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Washington State University

4-H Youth Development

Program Contact: Nancy Baskett, 4-H Program Coordinator
425-738-0104 •

What is 4-H?

4-H is a youth development education program conducted jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington State University Extension, and King County. It is designed to help young people develop essential skills and knowledge to become competent, caring, and contributing citizens of the world. The program focuses on experiential education in four key areas: STEM, CITIZENSHIP, HEALTHY LIVING, and MENTORSHIP.

In King County, there are various ways to get involved with 4-H. Volunteer-led clubs, after-school programs, in-school programs, teen conferences, and fairs are some of the opportunities available. Here are a few examples of 4-H activities in King County:

  • Cooped Up In Seattle: This is Seattle’s first urban farming-focused 4-H club, which has been featured on NPR.
  • Olympic Middle School STEM Days: Students at Olympic Middle School in Auburn organize school-wide STEM days for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. These events involve hands-on engineering projects.
  • Know Your Government: This is an annual four-day teen conference held in Olympia. It provides unique leadership opportunities for teenagers.
  • Teen Equity and Inclusion Taskforce: Started by a King County 4-H teen, this task force aims to support youth voice and inclusion in Washington state 4-H clubs.
  • King County Fair: This fair brings together youth from all over the county to compete and showcase their projects from the past year. Participants hope to qualify for the Washington State Fair.

These programs offer young people the chance to develop important life skills such as positive self-esteem, effective communication, teamwork, leadership, healthy life choices, and problem-solving. They provide valuable learning experiences regardless of the community’s location—suburban, urban, or rural.


Who Can Join 4-H?

4-H is open to all youth who have reached their 5th birthday (on or before October 1st of the current 4-H year) through those who have not reached their 19th birthday (on or before October 1st of the current 4-H year). The 4-H year runs October 1 to September 30.

There are four age groups in 4-H:

  • Cloverbud: ages 5-7
  • Junior: ages 8-10
  • Intermediate: ages 11-13
  • Senior: ages 14 to 19

Youth must be at least 8 years of age on October 1 to participate hands-on with large animals and in shooting sports.

Learn more about joining 4-H at:

Adults 18+ can apply to volunteer with us.


4-H Association Support

King County 4-H clubs are supported by the King County 4-H Association, a body of volunteers that provides direction, awards, grants, and other resources for King County 4-H.

4-H History and Partners

4-H is a youth development education program that is conducted jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington State University  Extension 4-H, and King County government. It is the largest youth development organization dedicated to “learn by doing” in the United States, with over 6 million members and 600,000 leaders. 4-H clubs can be found in cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural communities across the nation. The program has expanded globally, with 4-H type clubs now existing in at least 82 countries.

The vision of Washington State University 4-H Youth Development is to develop young people into productive citizens who are engaged in positive change and capable of meeting the needs of a diverse and changing society.


4-H Mission

4-H youth development education is designed to create supportive environments for all youth and families to reach their fullest potential. It employs a systemic approach of foundation and mission-driven science to meet its goals. As the largest youth development organization in the United States, 4-H aims to build real-life skills in children and their families. WSU 4-H Youth Development is committed to providing safe and inclusive environments for all youth and adults, irrespective of various factors such as race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, age, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, physical, mental or sensory ability, genetic information, and/or status as an honorably discharged veteran or member of the military.

The 4-H Youth Development program strives to create a supportive environment that enables youth and families to reach their fullest potential. This is achieved through a systematic approach that combines foundation and mission-driven science. The program has several goals:

  1. Provide formal and non-formal experiential learning.
  2. Develop skills that benefit youth throughout life.
  3. Foster leadership and volunteerism in youth and adults.
  4. Build internal and external partnerships for programming and funding.
  5. Strengthen families and communities.
  6. Employ research-based knowledge and the land grant university system.
  7. Embrace and expand the traditions of the 4-H Youth Development program.

How to Connect with Us!

We warmly welcome you to King County 4-H! Whether you are new to the Clover or already part of the 4-H family, we hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for on our website. If not, please email or call. If you would like to visit, please note our new address is in Renton off 7th Street, on the opposite side of the Habitat for Humanity offices.

Alyssa Bowers, 4-H Youth Development Faculty
(425) 738-0110|

Nancy Baskett, 4-H Program Coordinator
(425) 738-0104 |

Michelle Lanphere Green, 4-H STEM Coordinator
(425) 738-0105 |

4-H Office | WSU Extension, King County
560 Naches Avenue SW, Suite 130, Renton, WA 98057

Already a member or volunteer? Re-enroll here after 10/1

Follow 4-H on Facebook


Youth leadership is what 4-H is all about. In 4-H, you are in charge of your own programming. Adult volunteers work with you and/or your club to plan your activities to meet the goals you have set for yourself.

Club leadership – you may choose to serve on a committee, as an officer or to lead an event. Each individual club has a slightly different structure; once you’ve joined a club you can set goals for what leadership roles you might want to take.

Research Shows 4-H Helps Young People Excel Beyond Their Peers.

Wave 9 PYD Tufts Cover

WSU Extension programs, employment, and volunteer service are available to all without discrimination (See WSU Executive Policy #15). Concerns regarding potential discrimination may be reported through your local WSU Extension  office or directly to the WSU Compliance and Civil Rights (CCR) office, web:, email:, phone: 509-335-8288.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of
program information or other reasonable accommodation should contact Nancy Baskett at (425) 738-0104 or Alyssa Bowers at (425) 738-0110 or, at least two weeks prior to the event.