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What is 4-H?

In 4-H, we believe in the power of young people. We see that every child has valuable strengths and real influence to improve the world around us. We are America's largest youth development organization — empowering nearly six million young people across the U.S. with the skills to lead for a lifetime.

  • 4-H is open year-round to youth ages 5 to 18. It is open without regard to race, creed, gender, marital status, handicaps or disadvantages, economic or ethnic backgrounds.
  • 4-H programs are in every Idaho county. Youth from cities, suburbs, towns and rural settings participate.
  • Youth age 8 to 18 can join as members. Adults (ages 19 and up) can join as volunteers. Some projects have age limits. Cloverbuds is designed for younger 4-H members ages 5-7.

To learn more about the history of 4-H please visit


4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential through working and learning in partnership with caring adults.


4-H...a leader in developing Idaho's youth to become responsible, productive citizens, meeting the changing needs of a diverse society.

Head, Heart, Hands and Health

Head, Heart, Hands and Health are the four Hs in 4-H and they are the four values members work on through fun and engaging programs.

The 4-H 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 club, my community, my country and my world.

  • HEAD stands for decision making, planning, organizing, problem-solving and using knowledge throughout life
  • HEART stands for strong personal values, positive self-concept, concern for others, cooperation and communication
  • HANDS stands for volunteering, community service, preparing for the world of work, science and technology literacy and useful skills
  • HEALTH stands for healthy lifestyles, character, ethics, stress management and disease prevention

Promesa 4-H

Prometo usa mi mente para pensar con ma's claridad, mi corazon para ser mas leal, mis manos para ser mas servicial, mi salud para cuidarme mas, por mi club, mi comunidad, mi pais y mi mundo.

4-H is a Community

4-H is delivered by Cooperative Extension — a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provide experiences where young people learn by doing. Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Youth experience 4-H in every county and parish in the country — through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4-H camps. Find 4-H in your community.

4-H of Idaho Overview (MP4) video provides a great overview of 4-H in Idaho and the critical role volunteers play in making 4-H successful.

Safeguarding the well-being of youth is our highest priority. Our commitment is to create an environment that is safe, nurturing, empowering and promotes growth and success for all who engage in our program. Volunteers go through a certification process that includes viewing the Protecting Minors Training (MP4). Viewing the training here does not constitute training completion. The training needs to be completed within 4-H Online for completion or through training facilitated through the local county Extension office.

Positive Futures

The Study of 4-H Positive Youth Development shows that 4-Hers get better grades in school, are more likely to go to college and give more often to their communities.

Research shows 4-H members in Idaho:

  • Take fewer negative risks (such as alcohol, drug or tobacco use)
  • Do more service to help others
  • Take more school and community leadership roles
  • Will speak more with parents or guardians about important issues (such as drugs, alcohol or sex).

True leaders aren't born. They're grown.


The 4-H movement began more than 100 years ago.

4-H transformed how science was taught outside the classroom through practical, hands-on programs and experiences. 

4-H was one of the first organizations in America to teach young people leadership skills and how to impact their communities.

Idaho 4-H started in 1912. It serves tens of thousands of Idaho youths through community clubs, afterschool programs, day camps, summer camps, conferences and international exchange programs.

Nondiscrimination Policy

The University of Idaho has a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, genetic information, or status as any protected veteran or military status. This policy applies to all programs, services and facilities, and includes, but is not limited to, applications, admissions, access to programs and services, and employment and advancement.

Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodation. Each youth and event must be evaluated individually, assessing whether the youth is qualified for the event and whether they would be able to participate in the event with or without accommodation. So long as the youth meets the essential requirements of the activity, participation should be welcomed.

Requests for accommodation may be sent to U of I Center for Disability Access and Resources (CDAR) digitally, or by mail (detailed instructions included in the request form).

4-H Headquarters

University of Idaho Extension 4-H Youth Development

Physical Address:
Mary E. Forney Hall
1210 Blake Avenue, Room 206

Mailing Address:
UI Extension 4-H Youth Development
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3015
Moscow, ID 83844-3015

Phone: 208-885-6321

Fax: 208-885-4637


Web: 4-H Youth Development

4-H on Google Maps