4-H is a global program that involves youth age 5-18 in hands-on research based learning activities with a focus on science and technology, citizenship, and health. In the United States 4-H programs are available in every county and parish in all fifty states, whether urban or rural. Programs are delivered via the Cooperative Extensions associated with land grant universities, such as the University of Vermont (UVM). Extension’s 4-H educators are aided by volunteer 4-H leaders. Programs can take place in schools, in after school programs, in local clubs, at camps, and when individual youth undertake independent learning activities. Parents are welcome, but not required, to join the effort as volunteers.

Vermont’s 4-H programs are managed by the UVM Extension. 4-H Clubs in Vermont develop the potential in youth aged 5 to 18 by undertaking projects that involve citizenship and community service, healthy living, crafts, science and technology. 4-H projects are short term opportunities to address a particular subject area intensively. Projects can be undertaken by clubs, in schools or in after school programs. Many 4-H programs culminate in events and awards on a county, state, regional and national level.

Under the guidance of adult mentors, 4-H participants develop competence and compassion, becoming responsible, self-directed, productive citizens. Youth in 4-H learn to set goals, plan projects, monitor their own progress and present their results. A recent study found that in 2015 and ’16, 66% of Vermont high school graduates who had participated in 4-H entered college—a higher rate than the state’s average (53%). Two-thirds of these students matriculated at colleges in Vermont.


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Contact Information
Sarah Kleinman
Director of 4-H, Farmworker & Family Education Programs