The 4-H Mission and Three Priority Areas

What is 4-H?


The mission of 4-H is to help youth acquire knowledge, develop life skills and form attitudes to enable them to become self directing, productive and contributing members of society.

4-H emphasizes the importance of involving youth in the learning process. It is offered free of charge to youth ages 5-18. Youth from all cultural and economic backgrounds get involved in 4-H fun and learning. Members and volunteers live in towns, cities, farms, and suburbs.

Professional 4-H youth development educators located in each of New Hampshire’s 10 counties provide subject matter support, volunteer management and event planning for the more than 20,000 school-aged youth involved in all aspects of the 4-H program. As part of a national organization, NH 4-H is focused on three priority areas.


Since its inception, 4-H has placed emphasis on the importance of young people being engaged, well-informed citizens. By connecting to their communities and community leaders, youth understand their role in civic affairs and expand their role in decision making processes. It’s clear that civic engagement provides the foundation that helps youth understand the "big picture" of life and find purpose and meaning.

Healthy Living

Healthy food and nutrition has been addressed by the program since its inception in 1902. Having a long history of promoting healthy living among youth and their families, 4-H has become a national leader in health-related education. The 4-H Healthy Living Mission Mandate engages youth and families through access and opportunities to achieve optimal physical, social, and emotional well-being.


The need for science, engineering, and technology education is essential for today’s young people. 4-H programs prepare youth for the challenges of the 21st  century by engaging them in a process of discovery and exploration.

4-H emphasizes the importance of involving youth in the learning process.