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4-H FAQs

Program Contact: Jennifer Leach, 4-H Youth Development Faculty
360-577-3014 ext. 4 •

What is 4-H?

4-H is the youth development education program of WSU Extension, which is conducted jointly by the U.S Department of Agriculture, the states land grant university (Washington State University), and your county government.

What can I expect my youth to learn from 4-H?

All 4-H youth development emphasizes three types of basic life skills: competency, coping, and contributory. Competency skills are: learning and using accepted practices for mental, physical, emotional, and social health; exploring and evaluating career and job opportunities; acquiring subject matter skills and knowledge in science or art; and developing and practicing responsible skills related to the environment. Examples of coping skills are: acquiring a positive self-concept; learning to respect and get along with people; and developing productive use of leisure time.  Contributory skills include those where youths: learn and practice leadership skills and fulfill leadership roles; participate in community affairs; and develop as individuals and leaders in the 4-H program.

What types of clubs are there?

4-H clubs can be either a project club, community club, or a family club. They can be any size, but a good rule to follow would be an adult to youth ratio of 1 adult to 5-8 youth. There must be a minimum of 5 members from 3 different families.

What types of projects are available through 4-H?

There are over 80 projects to choose from ranging in the following categories:  Animal Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Environmental Stewardship, Expressive Art, Family & Consumer Sciences, Plant Sciences, Social Sciences, and Interdisciplinary.  For more information about the projects visit the WSU 4-H home page at

What if I do not have the knowledge to teach the projects?

You don’t have to know 4-H to help your youth… you just need time and passion to make a difference with your youth and their friends.
All 4-H projects have a leader and member curriculum to teach the project skills, most manuals are under $10.
There is lots of support available ranging from experienced leaders, the 4-H county staff, and the county, state and national curriculum to help mentor you along your way.

What do I need to do to get started?

If you would like to start a club – please contact Jennifer Leach, WSU Cowlitz County 4-H Youth Extension Faculty at 577-3014 ext. 4 or email at To learn about how to become a certified 4-H volunteer and attend a new leader orientation to learn about the required application and screening process.

4-H teaches life skills that lead youth to become self-directing, positive, contributing members of our society.  WSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.