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4/21/2011 - 4-H - A Focus On Youth

A Focus On Youth
4-H Remains One of America’s Largest Youth Organizations

The 4-H Youth Development Program is the Cooperative Extension System’s non-formal education program for young people. 4-H partners with youth, adult volunteers, state land-grant universities, state and local governments, 4-H foundations and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The mission of 4-H is to use a learn by doing approach to enable youth to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to become competent, caring, and contributing citizens of the world. This is accomplished by using the knowledge and resources of the land grant university system, along with the involvement of caring adults.

With over 100 years in existence (4-H started in 1902), the 4-H program

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills!


4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills!

is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States with more than 6 million youth participants and more than 612,000 volunteers. 4-H serves youth through a variety of methods, including organized clubs, school enrichment Programs, special interest programs and groups, individual study programs, camps, school-age child care and after-school programs and instructional television programs.

More than 45 million people are 4-H alumni, including many leaders in business and industry, government, sports and entertainment. On the local level, many alumni return to the program to serve as club leaders and adult volunteers.

Originally geared to teaching skills related to agriculture, today’s 4-H program offers more than 100 project areas that include communications, the arts, healthy lifestyles, environmental and earth sciences, leadership training, plants and animals and science, technology & engineering.

In Cumberland County, we have over 75 4-H clubs in 50 project
Jeannette Rea-Keywood, Cumberland County 4-H Agent
Jeannette Keywood
areas including dog care & training, horse, rabbits and small animals, robotics, foods and nutrition, double dutch, creative arts, sewing and needlework, junior leadership and herpetology, to name a few
” said Jeannette Rea-Keywood, Cumberland County 4-H Agent. “The project areas reflect the interests of our young people. When potential new project areas arise and we find there are kids in our area who want to learn more, we will try to organize a new club around that subject. This ability to meet the changing interests and needs of youth is the reason for the longevity and continued popularity of the 4-H program.”

The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. 4-H offers educational programs to all youth, grades K-13 (one year out of high school), on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. For additional information, contact the Cumberland 4-H Center at (856) 451-2800 ext. #3 or visit the New Jersey 4-H website at
Providing young people with hands-on training has always been at the core of the 4-H program. “A learn-by-doing approach imparts important life skills,” said Joanne Murphine of Millville, former leader of the Millville Trailblazers 4-H Club and long time member of the 4-H Horse Program Leaders Committee. “As 4-H’ers progress through the program, you can see real changes as they mature, take on new responsibilities and share what they have learned with the newer members. As a volunteer with the program, I find it to be a very rewarding experience.”

To learn more about the opportunities 4-H offers young people, or to inquire about volunteer opportunities, contact the Cumberland County 4-H Center at (856) 451-2800 ext #3.


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