4-H Youth Development
What is 4-H?
4-H is the comprehensive youth development program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. 4-H provides “learn by doing” opportunities for young people to receive hands-on experiences through work or activities from the latest research knowledge generated at Virginia Tech and Virginia State Universities.
Developing Confident Leaders
Standing for head, heart, hands, and health, 4-H uses more than a century of experience in youth development programming to build strong, confident leaders.
Young people in the 4-H community learn leadership, citizenship, and a vast array of life skills that benefit them for the rest of their lives. Through school-based, after-school, and community clubs as well as camp settings, 4-H members pledge to build a better community, country, and world.
Ready for the Future
4-H participants are youth, ages 5 to 19, taking part in programs provided as the result of actions planned and initiated by Extension personnel in cooperation with volunteers. With a direct connection to research at Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, 4-H is the first experience many young people have with higher education. 4-H is characterized as being community-centered, volunteer-led, Extension-staff supervised, research-based, home- and family-oriented, publicly and privately funded, and responsive to change.
The five through 18 years of age designation includes youth who will turn five during the 4-H year (October 1 through September 30). Eligibility for 4-H membership terminates on December 31 of the year the member has his or her 19th birthday.
Membership in 4-H is free – it costs nothing to join. 4-H youth are not required to purchase uniforms and member expenses are kept to a minimum.
For more information on 4-H in Virginia, please visit the Virginia 4-H Website.