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4-H Youth Development Home »  Program Overview
4-H is interesting!
4-H is Interesting!
Photography is fun!
Learn New Skills like Photography
Crafting is Fun!
Crafting is Fun!
International Activities
Cross the Border in International Learning Activities
Go Hiking!
Go Hiking!
Learn new skills
Learn New Skills
Learn from Experts in a Relaxed Atmosphere
Learn from Experts in a Relaxed and Fun Atmosphere
Leadership Opportunities Abound
Leadership Opportunities Abound
Volunteers are Appreciated
Volunteers are Appreciated

Make New Friends

About 4-H

4-H is more than a club.

Windows Media file Watch the Award Winning 4-H Promotional Video! (NOTE: this file is 39 MB and is very large, if you are using a dial-up modem it will take a very long time to download.)

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H is about having fun, learning, exploring and discovering. In 4-H, young people make new friends, develop new skills, become leaders and help shape their communities. About 50,000 Wisconsin youth are enrolled members of 4-H clubs in Wisconsin. Another 195,000 Wisconsin youth get involved in 4-H through special educational opportunities at school, in after school programs, or at neighborhood or youth centers. These youth live in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural communities.

4-H gives them a chance to pursue their own interests - from photography to computers, from building rockets to raising sheep. A list of 4-H projects is available online. They go places - to camp, to state and national conferences, even to other countries on 4-H exchange programs. They learn to be leaders and active citizens.

In 4-H clubs, they serve as officers and learn to conduct meetings, handle club funds, and facilitate group decision-making. In a growing number of communities, 4-H youth serve as youth representatives in municipal or county government or as members of Teen Courts. They give back to their communities. 4-H members get involved in volunteer projects to protect the environment, mentor younger children and help people who are less fortunate.

4-H experiences are designed to address the four essential elements of positive youth development: Belonging, Mastery, Generosity and Independence.

Word Icon Essential Element Book Mark (2 pages, 300 KB, 2 per page, front and back of the handout) - Front and back of a handout featuring the four essential elements, with brief descriptions of the critical components of each element.

4-H Clover logo4-H Traditions

The 4-H Clover Emblem and Pledge Explained

The first 4-H emblem was a three-leaf clover, introduced sometime between 1907 and 1908. The three "H’s" represented head, heart and hands. In 1911, at a meeting of club leaders in Washington, a fourth "H" representing health was added and the current 4-H four-leaf clover emblem was approved. It is protected by the U.S. Congress. More information on Clover logo usage is available.

The 4-H pledge was worded by Otis Hall, Kansas state 4-H leader. It was approved at the first National 4-H Club Camp in 1927 in Washington, D.C. The words "my world" were added to the pledge in 1973. Their addition is the only change ever made to the 4-H pledge.

  • HEAD stands for clearer thinking and decision-making. Knowledge that is useful throughout life.
  • HEART stands for greater loyalty, strong personal values, positive self concept, concern for others.
  • HANDS stands for larger service, workforce preparedness, useful skills, science and technology literacy.
  • HEALTH stands for better living, healthy lifestyles.

4-H Pledge

I pledge....
my Head to clearer thinking,
my Heart to greater loyalty,
my Hands to larger service,
my Health to better living.
For my Club, my community, my country, and my world.

4-H Motto

To make the best better.

4-H History


UW-Extension 4-H Youth Development integrates research, education, and community-based  partnerships, enabling youth to learn and practice skills to be productive citizens.


4-H Youth Development: A catalyst for positive community youth development.

Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development State Staff