WHAT IS 4-H?
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization. Over 230,000 members in the State of Florida help to make up the community of more than 6.5 million young people across America. 4-H is a nonformal, practical educational program for youth. Florida 4-H is the youth development program of Florida Cooperative Extension, a part of the University of Florida IFAS.
4-H is open to all youth, ages 5-18, determined as of September 1 of the current 4-H program year and open to all counties in the State of Florida. 4-H serves youth from all backgrounds and interests. It reaches both boys and girls through 4-H clubs, special – interest groups and short – term projects, school-age childcare, individual and family learning and mentoring, camping, and school enrichment.
There are three primary program areas, or mission mandates, – science, citizenship, and healthy living. The educational foundation of 4-H lies in these three-mission mandate. These mandates reiterate the foundation purposes of Extension (e.g., community leadership, quality of life, and technology transfer) in the context of 21st-century challenges and opportunities.