What is 4-H?

A 4-H field trip to the fire department in Bethel

The 4-H  Youth Development Program is unique from other youth programs in that it is an integral part of our nation's public education system (through the land-grant universities in each state). The 4-H Program is the only youth program with direct access to technological advances in agriculture and life sciences, home economics, human development, and related areas, which result from the land grant research.


The foundation of 4-H Youth Development is in the practical application of the land-grant university knowledge by youth in their communities. It is an off-campus, non-credit, and voluntary educational program of the University of Alaska Fairbanks that has been in existence for over 75 years.

The essence of 4-H  Youth Development is:

  • To create opportunities which promote positive youth development,
  • To teach knowledge and life skills which enhance quality of life and
  • To engage young people in the work of the land-grant university.

4-H membership  is open to young people of all ages, from kindergarten through high school.

Alaska's 4-H is the educational youth development program of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

It is sponsored jointly by the United States Department of Agriculture and UAF's Cooperative Extension Service. Authority for 4-H program policy is held by the director of the Cooperative Extension Service and administratively delegated through the state 4-H program leader and district Extension faculty and staff.

Mission Statement:

4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.  

Like 4-H programs everywhere in the United States, Alaska 4-H  strives to fulfill the 4-H mission through a variety of programming that fits with Alaska's diverse cultures and environments: from southeast Alaska to the western Arctic coast, from urban centers like Anchorage and Fairbanks to small remote rural Alaska Native villages throughout the state. 

What do the four H's stand for?

Head, Heart, Hands and Health: the four values which form the foundation of 4-H learning.

  • Head - managing and thinking
  • Heart - relating and caring
  • Hands - giving and working
  • Health - Being and living

These values are acknowledged and reaffirmed by 4-H members every time they recite the 4-H pledge:

I pledge

My headto clearer thinking,

My heart to greater loyalty

My handsto larger service

My healthto better living,

For my club, my community,

My country and my world. 

Through 4-H, you can experience:

  • Independence and friendships,
  • A sense of belonging with club members and adult volunteers,
  • A spirit of generosity in helping others, and
  • Lots of opportunities to master life's challenges!

4-H Emblem:

A green four-leaf clover, with a white "H" on each leaflet. 

4-H Colors:

4-H colors are green and white.

4-H Motto:

To Make the Best Better

4-H Slogan:

Learn by Doing

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