4-H Youth Development
Learn by Doing
In 4-H, you learn while you're doing, and you usually have a pretty great time while you're doing it! Want to know more about what your 4-H experience might look like?
- Create and build things. Whether you're inspired by robots and drones or photography and recipe cards, our programs give you the tools and the opportunities to create, imagine, and build.
- Travel and see the world around you. In 4-H, you can travel across the state and around the world if that's what you're in to. Dream big and discover the world through our programs.
- Explore careers that interest you. In 4-H, career exploration is more than just reading about possible jobs, it involves rolling up your sleeves and trying it on for size.
- Make new friends. From clubs to camps to field trips, in 4-H you'll meet new people and experience new social and cultural events. It's pretty easy to form lasting friendships when they're based on shared interests and experiences.
- Teach and inspire kids. 4-H helps prepare youth for roles as leaders in their classrooms, communities, and future careers. We'll help you develop the skills you need to work with youth in your community and help them launch their own 4-H journey.
- Help others. A core aspect of 4-H is learning to serve with and for those around us. 4-H clubs create opportunities for members to find meaningful ways to impact the people and neighborhoods they live in.
- Meet cool people and earn cool prizes. Who wouldn't love the chance to meet and learn from some of the best athletes, actors, scientists, and artists in their fields? Our network of professional contacts is deep and wide - you never know who might show up at a 4-H event!
4-H is a place where you can find where you belong. It's where you decide what matters to you and learn about things that interest you. And, it's the place where you serve in the community where you live.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Interested in learning more about 4-H but not sure where to start? Complete this interest survey to find the 4-H group that's just right for you. If you're already a member, you'll find everything you're looking for in the links below.
County 4-H Programs
Livestock/ Animal Certifications: Quality Assurance and Ethics Training (QAEC) and Youth For The Quality Care of Animals Certification (YQCA)
4-H Cloverbuds: 4-H Cloverbud membership is reserved for kids who were 5 to 7 years of age on September 1 of the current year. The focus of Cloverbuds is to introduce kids to all that 4-H has to offer.
4-H Camp: 4-H Camp provides boys and girls, including non-4-H members, between the ages of 8-14 the opportunity to make new friends during this safe summer get-away.
4-H Shows: University of Illinois Extension is committed to providing an opportunity for 4-H members throughout the state to display their projects during a County Fair or Project Day.
Clubs are the heart of the 4-H program. During club meetings, 4-H members learn new skills, such as speaking in public, working together as a team, and making decisions. You'll help out in your communities and lead activities while you practice the skills you'll need at school and in your careers. Click here for more information/Forms
Cloverbud Program: The Cloverbud program is designed for youth ages 5-7 as of September 1 of the current year. Cloverbuds participate in hands-on learning activities to explore: Aerospace, Arts & Crafts, Caring for My Pet, Caring for My Room, Exploring Farm Animals, Kids In the Kitchen, Legos, Vegetable Gardening and Watching My Flowers Grow. Most Cloverbud projects are leader-guided and all come with a member booklet. The projects require minimal reading and writing skills.
Cloverbuds may participate in the County Fair and, in fact, have their own special designated day and time at the Fairgrounds. Cloverbuds may select projects from nine (9) areas to show at the Fair!.