New York Mills celebrates National 4-H week Oct. 1-7

What is 4-H? "4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills" The mission of 4-H Youth Development program is to create supportive opportunities for youth and adults to reach their fulle...

What is 4-H?

"4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills"

The mission of 4-H Youth Development program is to create supportive opportunities for youth and adults to reach their fullest potential by experiencing the "learn by doing" theory. 4-H staff and volunteers design and deliver experiential education that:

  • Provides formal and non-formal, community focused, hands-on learning
  • Develops skills that benefit youth throughout life
  • Fosters leadership and volunteering in youth and adults
  • Builds internal and external partnerships for programming and funding
  • Strengthens families and communities; and
  • Uses research-based knowledge and the land grant university system

The objective of this mission is to promote positive, competent, caring citizens.
4-H is a cooperative effort of your County Extension Service, the University of Minnesota, the U.S.D.A. and the National 4-H Council. 4-H is found in every state of the United States, in Puerto Rico and Guam. Similar clubs have been formed in more than 80 countries around the world.

4-H delivers its program through clubs, special interest programs and school enrichment programs.


Why "hands-on" projects?

"Learning by doing" gives youth the ability to take ownership of their own learning. 4-H members sign up for projects as part of their enrollment process; these projects help 4-H'ers develop life skills as they learn important, practical everyday skills. These skills are learned and developed through "hands-on" experiences - sewing a dress, making a gun cabinet, mounting insects, training an animal, participating in leadership trainings, etc...

4-H projects are experiences that help 4-H'ers learn to make decisions, solve problems and to organize their time. The member must decide which projects to take each year and how much time to dedicate toward each project. Throughout the year, many decisions must be made while carrying out the project. This decision-making process lets the member assume responsibility for their own actions and gives them the personal satisfaction of reaching their goals. 4-H is a safe environment for youth to learn the consequence of responsibilities.

4-H members are recognized for their accomplishments. Recognition may be in the form of a certificate, award, or project pin and presented at the fall awards program. County Fair Champions receive trophies or savings bonds sponsored by various families, local businesses and 4-H clubs. The Minnesota Key Award is a highly prized award given to 4-H teen leaders who have shown exceptional leadership qualities within their club, community and county. To be eligible you must be 10th grade or older, have completed five years of 4-H, and completed 3 years as an actively involved teen leader.

Youth can be a member of the 4-H program Kindergarten through one year past high school graduation.

Community Pride project work encourages youth to take an active role in making their communities a better place to live.

Leadership opportunities within the 4-H program assist in the shaping and molding of the next generation of leaders. Teen Leaders are 4-H members 7th grade and up who may lead at the club and county level through officer responsibilities, planning and preparing club events and project activities, as well as being a positive role model for younger 4-H members.

4-H Symbols:


Motto: "To Make the Best Better"

Club 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 family, my club, my community, my country and my world."

Colors: Green & White

The white symbolizes purity. The green, nature's most common color, is characteristic of life, springtime, growth and youth

Emblem: The national 4-H emblem is the green four leaf clover with 4 white H's embellished in each leaf which represents Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. The clover signifies good luck and achievement, the emblem symbolizes the aim and hope for results of effective learning for each individual.

Who is the heart of 4-H?

4-H is a family orientated program, parents and other caring adults are the heart of the 4-H program. There are various opportunities within the 4-H program for parents and other caring adults to help youth develop into competent caring citizens. Volunteering your time, talents and resources to impact the next generation is a gift that keeps on giving. Here are some ways adults can assist youth:


  • Advise youth in the selection of project work
  • Show your interest and enthusiasm in youth's ideas
  • Help guide youth with project work but don't do it for them and rob them of the learning experience.
  • Provide transportation to meetings and other 4-H events
  • Volunteer to assist with leadership in a club, teach youth in a certain project area or chaperone a 4-H trip.

For further information about joining 4-H please contact Janet Malone @ 218-385-3000 New York Mills or Tammy Nordick @ 218-998-8760 Fergus Falls.

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