Download Adobe Reader

About 4-H

Who We Are

4-H’ers across the nation are responding to challenges every day in their communities and their world.

As the youth development program of the Cooperative Extension System of land-grant universities, 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, empowering six million young people throughout the United States. Cooperative Extension of 1862 and 1890  land-grant universities provide the leadership to engage young people in 4-H in all 3,007 counties of the United States.  The impact of the Cooperative Extension partnership is profound, bringing together National Institute of Food and Agriculture of USDA,  land grant universities and county government to resource learning opportunities for youth.

Through America’s 110 land-grant universities and its Cooperative Extension System, 4-H reaches every corner of our nation—from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. With a network of more than 6 million youth, 611,800 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 25 million alumni, 4-H helps shape youth to move our country and the world forward in ways that no other youth organization can.

Proven Results

The Positive Development of Youth: Comprehensive Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is the first-ever research project of its kind. The decade-long study, completed by a team of researchers at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, Medford, MA, is influencing research and practice around the world.

The report shows that 4-H youth excel beyond their peers. 4-H'ers are about:

  • Four times more likely to make contributions to their communities (Grades 7-12);
  • Two times more likely to be civically active (Grades 8-12);
  • Two times more likely to make healthier choices (Grade 7);
  • Two times more likely to participate in Science, Engineering and Computer Technology programsduring out-of-school time (Grades 10 – 12); and
  • 4-H girls are two times  more likely (Grade 10) and nearly three times more likely (Grade 12) to take part in science programs compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities.

4-H Youth Development in South Carolina

South Carolina 4-H Youth Development Program follows the same mission and model as the National 4-H program. It uses the same a learn-by-doing approach, the involvement of caring adults, with the additional knowledge and resources of Clemson University as part of the land grant university system to empower youth to become healthy, productive, and contributing members of society.

To find out more on 4-H in South Carolina, check out this program model (288 KB, PDF).