About 4-H

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

Through America’s 110 land-grant universities and the youth development program of the Cooperative Extension System, 4-H is the nation's largest youth development organization, reaching every corner of our nation—from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. 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 the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of USDA, land grant universities, and county government to resource learning opportunities for youth.

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 and empower youth to move our country and the world forward in ways that no other youth organization can.

Who We Are

Clemson University Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development will enhance the lives of youth in South Carolina by providing positive youth development programs relating to the areas of agriculture, community engagement and leadership, healthy living, and science.

Learn more about the future of 4-H through our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.

The South Carolina 4-H s is committed to ensuring the accessibility of its websites for people of all abilities. We are in the process of making sure that the content of this site conforms to Section 508 standards and WCAG 2.0 Guidelines. If you experience a problem or need content in an alternate format please email Ashley Burns: tpoland@g.clemson.edu

Clemson University Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development uses a learn-by-doing approach to help youth gain the knowledge and skills to be responsible, productive, and contributing members of society.  This mission is accomplished by creating safe and inclusive learning environments, the involvement of caring adults, and utilizing the expertise and resources of Clemson University and the nationwide land-grant university system.

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


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 programs during out-of-school time (Grades 10–12)
  • 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