4-H Youth Development Program

4-H Clover

Developing Skills For Life

What is 4-H?

4-H is an informal, educational youth development program conducted by the Oregon State University Extension Service, as authorized by federal and state statutes.  In each county, local Extension staff has the authority to administer the program in accordance with University and Extension policy. Extension staff members work with advisory groups to provide a program that meets the county needs.  Members belong to a club/group led by volunteer leaders and take part in club activities such as community service, educational tours, and fun events. In addition to club activities, there is a wide variety of enrichment activities offered at the county, state, national, and international levels.

4-H leaders are trained volunteers who have enrolled with the Extension Service.  They present information provided by Extension and Oregon State University.  Publications your child receives for use with 4-H projects are developed by Extension faculty or other resource people.  4-H helps young people discover and develop life skills and set personal goals.  Involvement in project areas gives members the help needed to improve specific skills and explore new ones.  Activities within clubs also introduce members to the importance of helping others through community service.

4-H Members and Participants 

4-H members are youth in grades 4 through 12 who learn together in club settings led by volunteer 4-H leaders.  Club members meet all year long to complete one of 20 or more projects.  4-H clubs usually have officers elected from their membership.

Some youth participate in 4-H school enrichment programs or other short-term special-interest programs.  These short-term programs may be led by volunteers or teachers.  Most programs focus on science-based curricula that support the latest educational goals for Oregon students.

Youth in ages 5-8 may enroll in the 4-H Cloverbud program.

4-H members and participants are considered part of the off-campus student body of Oregon State University. Current 4-H enrollment includes more than 55,000 Oregon youth.

The Mission Statement 

The mission of 4-H is to develop youth and adult potential through:

  • Developing leadership skills
  • Learning by doing
  • Being a life-long learner through research based knowledge and the land grant university
  • Having fun!

4-H Pledge

I pledge

my HEAD to clearer thinking,

my HEART to greater loyalty,

my HANDS to larger service, and

my HEALTH to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world.