Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

image of kids working at table building something, courtesy of Adobe Stock

Through their numerous collaborative programs, the USDA and the military have been able to impact the lives of youth across the nation and on military installations throughout the world.

4-H Military Partnership Overview

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Division of Youth and 4-H (DY4-H) partners with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Military Community and Family Policy, the Military-Civilian Transition Office and the Army, Navy, and Air Force to support military-connected children and youths and to ensure that service members are able to focus on readiness and the mission. The objectives of these partnerships include fostering access to consistent and evidence informed programs and services, both on and off military installations, that encourage positive youth development.

40 Years of Collaboration

The collaboration between the armed forces and NIFA started in 1982. At that time, local military installations began partnering with Land-grant Universities, supported through the USDA, to develop programming to support military families.

Today to support military-connected children in accessing consistent, supportive and multifaceted programs and services that foster positive youth development, both on and off military installations, DY4-H maintains partnerships with DoD’s Office of Military Community and Family Policy, DoD’s Military-Civilian Transition Office, the Army, Navy and Air Force.

  • 4-H MILITARY PARTNERSHIPS OUTREACH SUPPORT GRANT PROGRAMS includes partnerships with the Army, Navy and Air Force to develop and support military children, youth and family programs on military installations around the world, as well as families of National Guard and Reserves living in communities far removed from military installations. With the support of 4-H Extension professionals, the programs supported through these partnerships differ in focus, from 4-H Clubs to professional development for military staff members, but each infuses positive youth development practices within its work and contributes to military mission-readiness.
  • CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES AT RISK MILITARY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE supports the implementation and capacity of the 4-H Military Partnerships Outreach Support Grant Programs in addition to supporting capacity-building and network enhancement for Extension programs in all 50 states. By working with Extension professionals and military direct service workers and training coordinators in child and youth programs on installations worldwide and with guard and reserve partners, these resources allow for leveraging existing assets to design and implement innovative approaches to support military families.
  • MILITARY TEEN ADVENTURE CAMPS provides military teens with high adventure camp opportunities that they would not normally find through installation youth programs. The experiences provided are designed to develop critical life skills and resiliency, enhancing the teens’ abilities to meet the unique challenges that result from military life.
  • YOUTH SUPPORT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM is a national internship program created to meet the unique needs of National Guard and Reserve Component military youths impacted by deployment while simultaneously providing participating interns customized training, education and experiential-learning experiences designed to enhance vocational awareness and career planning. This program supports DoD’s Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.
  • 4-H MILITARY EXTENSION EDUCATOR PROGRAM supports the establishment, sustainment and expansion of positive youth development programming around the world by supporting Military Service Child and Youth Programs (CYP) with professional development opportunities, curricula and programs from the Cooperative Extension System and Land-grant Universities.

Your feedback is important to us.

Take the Website Survey