The 4-H youth development program is the youth outreach program of the land-grant universities’ Cooperative Extension Services and USDA.
4-H serves as a model program for the practice of positive youth development. 4-H National Headquarters is housed in the Division of Youth and 4-H at NIFA. Additional support is provided to 4-H by National 4-H Council (a private, non-profit organization) and conducted through the land-grant university extension 4-H offices.
4-H National Headquarters (4-H HQ) strengthens and promotes healthy youth development to give young people the capacity to act as responsible citizens and agents of community change. By understanding the complex experiences that youth face and promoting high quality youth leadership development, 4-H HQ helps youth meet the challenges of adolescence and transition to adulthood. Through youth-adult partnerships, the 4-H program connects youth and adults to their communities, preparing them for work and life. The 4-H program is designed to engage youth and adults in intentional, experiential, and inquiry-based learning while providing emerging research to highlight positive youth development. To achieve this, 4-H HQ focuses on three key objectives:
- Access, Equity and Opportunity
- Program Quality and Accountability