For youth members, 4-H is about fun! For adult volunteers, 4-H is about the excitement of seeing a young person’s world expand. The philosophy behind 4-H is that informal education (education outside of school) enhances and expands a young person’s learning. 4-H programs are cooperatively developed with input from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rutgers Cooperative Extension and local communities.
4-H is a leader in helping youth develop and become productive citizens able to meet the needs of a diverse and changing society. It is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.
The 4-H’s stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. 4-H provides instruction in various subject areas as it teaches youth life skills. The program helps young people learn how to present themselves, feel comfortable with others, and make sound decisions.
Life skills taught through 4-H relate to the 4-H’s
The New Jersey 4-H program is open to youth 1st through 13th grade (one year out of high school). Cloverbud clubs are available for young 4-H members (grades 1-3) with regular clubs open to 4-13 grade members.
Adult volunteer leaders are the key to 4-H. Volunteers may take on a variety of leadership opportunities. Primarily, adults serve as volunteer leaders for local clubs, but may also share their skills, knowledge and experience.
In addition to leading clubs, volunteers may choose to serve with a 4-H affiliate program such as the Sussex County 4-H Advisory Council. The Council meets quarterly and helps shape the direction of the 4-H program in Sussex County through its efforts to:
4-H clubs are designed to be youth-adult partnerships where adult volunteers provide a structure for youth to learn and grow. We look to parents to be positive contributors to the club and its success.
For more information on the role of parents in 4-H, download, What parents need to know about 4-H
As members age in their 4-H clubs, they have opportunities to develop leadership working with adult volunteers.
A 4-H project is the thought, work, and action involved in learning a specific subject. Activities such as field trips, shows, conferences, and workshops enhance the learning.
At the beginning of the project year (September), each member chooses a project that fits his/her interest, home situation and ability. Projects vary in difficulty according to the age and experience of the member.
Contact the Sussex County 4-H Office for a list of active 4-H clubs and projects.
Use this link to learn more About 4-H and download contact information for the Sussex County 4-H Office.
4-H Youth Development is a program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. The Cooperative Extension program is part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. The New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station is the research and outreach arm of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Rutgers Cooperative Extension agents and specialists deliver wide-ranging educational programs in the areas of agriculture, fisheries, urban and community outreach, youth development, food, nutrition and health, and related areas of economic and workforce development across New Jersey.
The 4-H Youth Development Program uses a learn-by-doing approach to enable youth to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to become competent, caring and contributing citizens of the world. This is accomplished by using the knowledge and resources of caring adults.
The goals of the 4-H Youth Development Program are to:
• Provide informal, educational programs for youth in grades K–13 (one year out of high school)
• Encourage responsibility, community awareness and character development in youth
• Strengthen skills for adults working with youth through publications and training
• Improve community partnerships and collaborations
For more information on New Jersey 4-H, please visit, nj4h.rutgers.edu/
Rutgers Cooperative Extension Sussex County
1 Spring Street*
Newton, NJ 07860
*Our physical address is 130 Morris Turnpike
Office Hours: M-F, 8:30-4:30; closed 1-2 pm