Programming, Youth

This is 4-H

My colleague, Megan Burda in York County did a great job describing 4-H in one of her recent columns so I decided to share facts about 4-H in case you are unfamiliar or haven’t experience 4-H in many years, as it has changed and evolved with the times.4h_mark1

The 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.

Head, Heart, Hands, and Health are the four H’s that describe how youth are engaged in the 4-H program.  Using their heads they learn to manage many different things in their 4-H projects and life. Through their heart, they learn to relate to others and be caring to those around them and their projects.  With their hands, 4-Hers are able to work on various projects. By living healthy they are practicing being capable of caring for self and others.

How can being involved in 4-H foster youth’s success?  In 2002 the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development longitudinal study began and was then repeated annually for eight years.  There were more than 7,000 adolescents from across 42 states in the United States that participated in the study. The Tufts research team examined how structured-out-of-school time learning, leadership experiences, and adult mentoring that young people receive through 4-H plays a role in helping them achieve success.

4-Hers practice responsibility by being involved in a variety of different projects offered through the program.  The project areas are Animal Science, Communication and Expressive Arts, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Education and Earth Sciences, Family and Consumer Sciences, Healthy Lifestyle Education, Leadership and Citizenship, Plant Science, and Plant Science and Technology.  If a youth chooses to participate in a Healthy Lifestyle Education project, they may learn the skill of meal planning for themselves and their family.  This skill could lead to them actually planning out healthy meals for themselves and their family members and may even include keeping a food budget for their family.

4-Hers practice responsibility by caring for animals daily in various animal science projects. 4-Hers make sure their animals have a safe place to be, have appropriate food and water, and that their animals are cared for and can be handled.  This takes much time and dedication by the 4-Her and their family and does not just happen one week out of the year at the county fair.  4-Hers in livestock projects take 4-H Livestock Quality Assurance to help prepare them for daily care and management.  They also work closely with their family members and veterinarian and participate in animal science contests throughout the year.

The Tufts research longitudinal study showed that compared to their peers, youth involved in 4-H programs excelled in several areas.

4-Hers are:

  • Nearly 4x more likely to make contribution to their communities.
  • About 2x more likely to be civically active.
  • Nearly 2x more likely to participate in science programs during out-of-school time, 2x more likely (Grade 10) and nearly 3x more likely (Grade 12) to take part in science program compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities.
  • Nearly 2x more likely to make healthier choices.

For information on how you can be involved in 4-H in Fillmore County, go to or for Clay County 4-H information, go to

 Source: The Positive Development of Youth; Comprehensive Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University. 

Uncategorized, Youth

National 4-H Week

National 4‑H Week is October 2-8, 2016 and this year’s theme is “#4HGrown.” 4‑H reaches almost six million young people through our community of 100 public universities. Programs are delivered by 3,500 4‑H professionals and 500,000 volunteers. Young people experience 4‑H through school and community clubs, in-school and after-school programs and 4‑H camps.fall4-h

In 4-H, we believe in the power of America’s youth to succeed in life; however, too many kids lack opportunities that prepare them with the skills to lead in their lives, community and careers. The 4-H experience taught 4-H alumni critical life skills — responsibility, compassion, respect and the value of hard work. It helped them become a confident kid and adult. That’s why 4-H created “SHARE YOUR #4HGROWN STORY.” A nationwide call to action for 25 million alumni to share a photo or story that inspires 10 million kids and helps provide them with critical skills to lead for a lifetime. Help us grow the next generation of True Leaders — because every child deserves the opportunity to succeed.

4‑H’s reach and depth is unmatched. Through our community of 100 public universities, 4‑H reaches kids in every corner of America – from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. Our network of 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 4‑H professionals provides caring and supportive mentoring to all 6 million 4‑H’ers, helping them grow into true leaders today and in life.

Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Kids experience 4‑H in every county and parish in the country—through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4‑H camps.national 4-h week logo RGB

Locally in Fillmore County, our Extension staff of three and numerous volunteers reaches over 200 4-H members and another 100 conservatively through school enrichment activities.

During 4-H week this year, we reached out to 3-4th graders in the county with the National 4-H Youth Science Day activity, “Drone Discovery” and more!

To find out more about 4-H in Nebraska, go to In Fillmore County, we have our own website which can be found at You can also contact our office at (402) 759-3712 or visit us at 1340 G Street in Geneva, NE and we’d be happy to add you to our monthly newsletter so your kids can be a part of the experience!