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WHat is 4-H?

Massachusetts 4-H is part of the University of Massachusetts Extension Programming. The 4-H program is open to youth ages 5-18 throughout Massachusetts. No matter where you live or what you would like to explore, Massachusetts 4-H has something for you!

The 4-H Youth Development Program offers many projects, activities, and programs where young people can explore, learn, and grow. You can choose from many areas, including robotics, foods, consumer science, career exploration, community service, photography, leadership, and animal science projects.  See a more complete listing of potential projects.

4-H programs can take place in a variety of locations. These include community clubs, 4-H clubs or groups at community centers, in schools, and in after-school programs. 
Massachusetts 4-H is part of the University of Massachusetts Extension System. Founded in 1908, 4-H is the largest youth development program in the country reaching more then 27,000 youth in Massachusetts and 6 million young people annually throughout the country.


In 4-H, youth members participate in activities which are called projects. These are grouped by topic, such as foods, robotics, computer science, animal science, and so on. All 4-H members must be enrolled in at least one project. When you choose a project, you will learn a lot of things that there is to know about that topic and participate in a variety of hands-on activities. In 4-H, members “Learn By Doing” which means you will be an active participant when learning new skills, participating in community service, and more.

Think about what interests you or what you would like to learn more about. Once you select a few projects you are interested in, contact your local 4-H Extension Office to see which of those projects are offered where you live.

Join 4-H

  • Youth can join for $40 for the year. Younger ages, 5-7, are enrolled as 4-H Cloverbuds. This group focuses on exploring a variety of projects but is not allowed to participate in competitions. Those who are ages 8-18 before January 1 can join 4-H and focus on specific projects as well as competitions. Visit Youth section to learn more!
  • Adults can apply to be part of 4-H in many ways. Adult volunteers can have roles as judges, mentors, chaperones, or as 4-H club leaders. As a volunteer leader, adults mentor youth, lead a local club, and assist with organizing and running events. Applications and background checks are required. Training is provided for all adult volunteers. Visit Volunteer section to learn more!




National and State 4-H sites

  • Massachusetts 4-H Foundation
    The Massachusetts 4-H Foundation is committed to the enrichment and advancement of 4-H programs throughout the commonwealth.
  • National 4-H Council
    National 4-H Council is a partner with 4-H at all levels. Stop by here to shop the 4-H Mall, research about 4-H Alumni or find out more about 4-H.
  • 4-H Name and Emblem
    Official guidelines for the name and use of the 4-H emblem and other 4-H programatic guidelines can be found here.
  • NIFA (Formerly CSREES)
    National Institute of Food and Agriculture formerly known as Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service programs.
  • CYFERnet
    The Children, Youth and Families Education and Research Network contains a wealth of information for youth, parents and others working with children, youth and families.
  • Ag in the Classroom
    Resources for teachers and other educators that teach youth about agriculture.
  • MA 4-H SET Now on Facebook

University of Massachusetts

  • Stockbridge School of Agriculture
    The Stockbridge School of Agriculture has national recognition for providing a quality educational experience that integrates applied techniques and academic knowledge for those interested in a two-year education, prepares students for satisfying careers in today's agricultural industries and boasts a 100% job placement rate!

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