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.


Age Eligibility

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.



4-H Motto

To Make the Best Better!


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.


4-H Colors

Green & White. The white is for purity. The green, nature’s most common color, is for life, springtime, and youth.


For more information on 4-H in Virginia, please visit the Virginia 4-H Website.

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