The mission of 4-H is to assist youth and adults working with those youth to gain additional knowledge, life skills, and attitudes that will further their development as self-directing, contributing, and productive members of society.
Extension employed staff and volunteers together provide learn-by-doing educational projects and activities in a large variety of 4-H subject matter areas.
4-H is based on seven foundations: it is community centered, volunteer led, Extension staff supervised, research based, home and family oriented, publicly and privately funded, and responsive to change.
4-H is an informal, practical, learn-by-doing, fun and educational program for boys and girls, ages 5 through 18, from all racial, cultural, social, and economic backgrounds. Membership is open to all youth in this age range without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, gender, or religious affiliation. The minimum criteria for membership is 6 or more hours of educational programming through 4-H with multiple sessions of learning at different times.
Youth and family members may participate in 4-H in a variety of ways. Ideally, participation in 4-H is over a long period of time in both organizational and project programming. Major emphasis is on 4-H educational programs delivered to youth.