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Welcome to 4-H!

“4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization. More than 6 million 4-H youth in urban neighborhoods, suburban schoolyards, and rural farming communities stand out among their peers: building revolutionary opportunities and implementing community-wide change at an early age.”

“4-H is uniquely equipped to deliver high-quality positive youth development. As the youth development program of the nation’s 109 land-grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System, 4-H produces research-driven programming with proven results.”

Cornell University is the land-grant university in New York. 4-H is the youth component of Cornell Cooperative Extension.

New York State 4-H programs offer youth hands-on learning activities in three mission mandate areas:

  • 4-H Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
  • 4-H Civic Engagement
  • 4-H Healthy Living
  • 4-H Agriculture & Food Systems

Project curriculum and resources are available to you in these project areas as well as others. Work through the county 4-H office to locate appropriate, high-quality resources.

4-H Basics

Membership Requirements

All youth regardless of gender, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or marital status may join 4-H.

In New York State, 4-H membership is limited to children enrolled in kindergarten through youth age 19. Kindergarteners must turn 5 by January 1 of the current 4-H year and teenagers may not enroll or re-enroll if they will turn 19 before January 1st of the new club year (October 1 to September 30).

Independent membership - When circumstances prevent a child from joining a 4-H club, that child may participate in the 4-H Club Program by enrolling as an independent member. Independent members work on projects of their choice at their own pace with parental or other adult assistance. They are encouraged to participate in county activities.

NYS 4-H Guiding Principles Document

Last updated May 17, 2024