4-H Youth Development

Program Contact: Julie Sorensen, 4-H Program Coordinator
(509) 962-7507 • jjsorens@wsu.edu

WSU Extension’s youth and family programs improve the capacity of young people to be successful while strengthening their families to support healthy development.

WSU’s 4-H Youth Development Program is the largest youth-serving organization in the state, engaging almost 80,000 youth annually with educational programs leading to acquisition of critical life skills, reduced risk of dangerous behaviors, increased educational attainment, and enhanced citizenship skills. 4-H has placed renewed educational investments into increasing the science, engineering and technology skills of youth people. In addition, 4-H Youth Development Programs reach out to the daughters and sons of deployed military personnel to help them cope with family stresses and disruption of the family unit.

4-H is our nation’s largest youth organization. The four H’s stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. The 4-H Youth Development Program teaches life skills to youth through hands-on activities, leadership development, and community involvement. The life skills that are taught in 4-H are: responsibility, problem solving, decision making, increased self-esteem, record keeping, communication, leadership, and project skills/knowledge.

The first 4-H clubs in Kittitas County started in 1916. In 1921 there were eight clubs, including three livestock and five home economics clubs, with a total of seventy-eight members. Kittitas County has maintained a strong 4-H club program through the years. In 2017 there are 24 community clubs with 444 members and 102 leaders. Livestock is the primary project area with Swine leading the way. We also have strong Horse and Dog projects, in addition to thriving Shooting Sports and Robotics programs. The 4-H year begins October 1 and ends September 30. Youth who have reached their 5th birthday before October 1 of the current 4-H year through youth who have not reached their 19th birthday before October 1 of the current 4-H year are eligible to enroll in a 4-H club. Youth may enroll in 4-H at any time.  However, Kittitas County 4-H Council Committees may set enrollment deadlines for participation in specific events, such as the Kittitas County Fair, and certain project areas to meet positive youth development needs. To complete the year, a 4-H’er must complete a record book, participate in showmanship, give a demonstration, attend club meetings, and complete a project.

Kittitas County 4-H Vision Statement:

The WSU Kittitas County 4-H program is a community recognized and supported quality youth development program that helps youth of the county acquire practical hands-on experiences and life skills that enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of a diverse and changing society.

Kittitas County 4-H Mission Statement:

Through club experiences and program activities, county youth learn life skills such as decision-making, oral and written communication, leadership, community service, record keeping, financial management, and personal and social responsibility.