About Michigan 4-H Youth Development

Always heard of Michigan 4-H but not sure what it’s all about?

Many people think 4-H is just for kids who live on farms or those interested in raising and selling animals – but that’s not true! Offering a diverse range of topics and interest areas, 4-H is the largest youth development organization in Michigan. In fact, each year more than 200,000 young people explore what interests and excites them through Michigan 4-H. From program areas ranging from science and technology to clothing and textiles, and so much more, 4-H provides fun, educational opportunities that become the foundation for a lifetime of success.

Based on the experiential learning model, youth in 4-H participate in specific program areas through the learn-by-doing approach. In addition to gaining valuable content knowledge, this model teaches 4-H members critical life skills such as goal-setting, self-discipline, conflict resolution and teamwork that directly contributes to the communities they live in.  The growth of these life skills are just one of the many positive youth development outcomes that occur from youth’s participation in 4-H and result in a direct impact on not only themselves but others youth interact with as well.

Parents, are you curious about opportunities for your youth in 4-H?

4-H is offered in nearly every county in the state – just contact your local Michigan State University (MSU) Extension office! Because Michigan 4-H is part of MSU Extension, the activities your kids will participate in are all backed by and based on child and youth development research. Through hands-on learning in a wide variety of program areas, youth will gain valuable knowledge, enhance their expertise and uncover their aspirations while developing important life skills that will benefit them now and in the future. 4-H has other great benefits too – research shows kids who participate in 4-H obtain better grades and are more likely to go to college and give back to their communities. 

Looking to leave a legacy? Consider becoming a volunteer!

At the core of 4-H are caring adult volunteers who give their time and skills to answer the little questions of kids in their community. Volunteers serve throughout Michigan in many ways to help enhance the lives of thousands of youth. With real-world experience, Michigan 4-H volunteers also offer young people another crucially important element: a healthy adult role model who helps to build their confidence and ignite their dreams for the future. Become a 4-H volunteer and help the youth in your community. Because after all, life’s little questions aren’t meant to be answered alone.

Interested in learning more about Michigan 4-H?

MSU Extension supplies a culmination of data each year for Michigan 4-H. This data tells the stories of the program’s impact on significant topics such as education, economy, college readiness and more. Visit the Michigan 4-H Impact Reports page to learn more about how Michigan 4-H is making a positive impact on youth.

Additional details can be found by visiting the Michigan 4-H Guiding Principles page and Michigan 4-H FAQ’s.


For more information on how to get involved as a youth or volunteer, contact your county MSU Extension office or:

4-H Youth Development
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 517-432-7575

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4-H Youth Development | Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture | 446 W. Circle Drive Room 160 | East Lansing, MI, 48824 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)