4‑H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4‑H offers informal educational programs to all youth in grades K–13 (one year out of high school) and uses the "learn by doing" approach. In New Jersey, the 4‑H Youth Development program is funded through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, USDA, and the County Board of Chosen Freeholders cooperating. 4‑H is available to all youth at limited or no cost.
In Warren County, 4‑H youth participate in public presentation nights to show their public speaking skills. Youth take responsibility for their project each year by keeping records, caring for their project and all equipment used, and displaying their project at the annual Warren County Farmers' Fair. Popular 4‑H project areas in Warren County 4‑H are horse, horticulture, dairy, photography, goat, sewing, and arts & crafts. 4‑H clubs meet locally and may consist of both boys and girls in grades 1–13. There is no fee for 4‑H membership. For more information about Warren County 4‑H, please visit the website at www.warren4-h.org.
NJ 4‑H Mission Statement
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4‑H Youth Development program uses a learn-by-doing approach to enable youth to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to become competent, caring, and contributing citizens of the world. This mission is accomplished by using the knowledge and resources of the land-grant university system, along with the involvement of caring adults.
Something for Everyone
Because 4‑H offers a variety of programs to meet the needs of New Jersey's diverse population, there is something for everyone in 4‑H whether they live in urban, suburban or rural areas. Using this grassroots approach, programs are designed based on the needs of local youth using subject matter knowledge gathered globally. 4‑H faculty and staff in New Jersey have access to knowledge through research at Rutgers as well as universities throughout the nation, ensuring programs that are contemporary and relevant to today's youth.
There are four essential elements of positive youth development. 4‑H prepares youth for independence, creates a sense of belonging with a positive group, fosters a spirit of generosity toward others, and a wide variety of opportunities to master skills to face life's challenges. These experiences often occur within the context of a program or an organized, purposeful set of activities designed to achieve positive youth development outcomes.
In 4‑H, youth participated in the following ways:
- organized 4‑H clubs
- 4‑H special interest/short-term programs
- camping programs
- 4‑H school enrichment programs
- 4‑H individual study programs
- School Age Child Care education programs
Grants and private donor support generated nationally and locally also help to fund program efforts. To see the local 4‑H program in action, stop by the Warren County Farmers Fair at the Fairgrounds on Route 519 during the summer. The FFA (Future Farmers of America) have teamed with 4‑H to feature various animal and agricultural shows and exhibits including a Small Animal Show, Seeing Eye Dog Show, Beef Show, Goat Show, Games on Horseback, Dairy Show, Horse Drill Team and Cat Show. Visit the 4‑H building right on the Fairgrounds property to check out what 4‑H youth in Warren County have to display this year, to find out how your child can benefit from a membership or to see how you can become a much needed adult volunteer. The 4‑H building is alive with 4‑H merchandise for sale (100% support goes to youth programming).