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.
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.
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.
Warren County 4-H is a youth development program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. The County 4-H Agent is a Rutgers faculty member. Warren County has a 4-H agent and a county paid staff member called a program associate.
4-H members have the opportunity to learn life skills through all 4-H activities. Life skills are those abilities youth need to develop into responsible adults. They include:
- enhancing learning skills
- strengthening and using decision-making skills
- developing a positive self-concept
- communicating with and relating to other people
- responding to the needs of others and of the community
Answers to Questions You Want to Know About 4-H – excellent fact sheet on the basics of 4-H.
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
Cloverbuds are our youngest 4-H members! They are in Kindergarten – 3rd grade and do not compete but experience and learn about civic engagement, science, and animals in a non competitive environment.
The 4-H emblem is a four-leaf clover with a capital H in each leaf, standing for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. To use the 4-H name and official 4-H emblem, federal law requires approval by the county 4-H office.