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Division of Youth and 4-H

DY4-H focuses on developing a wide range of positive youth development (PYD) methods and venues to deliver extensive subject matter to rural, at-risk, military, and youth audiences.  Our programs help Americans perceive our nation’s children and teens as one of our greatest natural resources. We develop ways to engage youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in ways that develop and enhance their strengths.

The division works through federal, state, local and non-profit partnerships to help youth foster positive relationships and build leadership strengths. We seek to develop programs that support youth to reach their full potential.


  • Serve as PYD experts to the federal Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP)
  • Build  youth development professionals’ capacity to conduct high quality research and evaluation studies, bridging the gap between research and practice
  • Implementing inquiry-based, experiential learning experiences in non-formal educational settings
  • Collaborate with Land-Grant institution partners to design and share professional development and program management resources for extension staff and volunteers
  • Manage federal grants to fund military-connected child and youth programs, community-based education programs for families and youth at risk, and youth development research and extension activities at Land-Grant institutions
  • Connect Land-Grant youth development experts with federal agencies, organizations and representatives of other countries to exchange ideas, replicate model programs, build global awareness, and implement international positive youth development programs
  • Provide national program direction, through the extension land-grant system, to set priorities, define standards, and establish policies for 4-H
  • Promote 4-H as a model program for the practice of positive youth development

For Director and National Program Leader (NPL) contacts by Institute and Division, please visit the NIFA Institutes page.
For NPL contacts by Program, please visit the NIFA National Program Leaders page.

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