Section

Illinois 4-H produces the youth leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, stewards, and builders we need to solve world problems. Many programs can be tailored to meet the needs of youth in school classrooms, after-school programs, partner sites, military installations, community groups, and more. Contact your local Extension Office to find out what is available in your area.

Browse our full flier of Signature Programs here.

The world population will surpass 9 billion people by 2050, creating higher demand for food, water, productive land, and environmentally-safe practices. Producers are faced with many challenges, such as food safety, regulations, consumer attitudes, sustainability, and profitability. Illinois 4-H members are dedicated to feeding a nation. Illinois 4-H is providing first-time agricultural experiences to youth who are far removed from the source of the food they eat.

Available Programs:

Employers say many new employees lack basic skills to be productive in the workforce. Lack of available workers challenge the economic viability of families, businesses, and communities across Illinois. Some youth lack knowledge of preparing a personal budget and managing personal income to pay monthly bills. Others may not understand how career and educational choices affect salaries. 4-H programs build awareness of careers and skills needed to excel. 4-H youth gained an understanding of the financial processes which help them better manage their funds. 4-H youth now understand the role education plays in potential career goals.

Available Programs:

The world’s growing population is putting increased demands on our limited natural resources changing the earth’s climate and future environmental health. Illinois 4-H programs help youth learn about the environment through fun activities involving solar and wind energy; water quality and sport fishing; and how carbon sequestration can be related to healthy living actions. Measurable levels of caring about environmental issues can be made after hands-on 4-H programs which spark interests in why natural resources are important.

Available Programs:

More than 1.9 million Illinois residents do not have regular access to nutritious food, according to the advocacy organization Feeding Illinois. One in five Illinois residents experiences hunger weekly. More than 270,000 Illinoisans live in food deserts. These numbers have worsened due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Access to healthy food has a major impact on the overall health and development of young people. Through our grants and programs, Illinois 4-H helps youth to solve real-world problems in their neighborhoods and communities. 

Available Programs:

According to the U.S. Department of Education, for youth to succeed in the 21st century workplace students must develop intercultural competence, the ability to function effectively across cultures and work and communicate with people from different backgrounds. To build this competence youth must first gain knowledge of their own culture, then learn about oth­er cultures, and wider global perspectives. Through 4-H global civic engagement programs youth can learn about being a good global citizen and increase their overall intercultural competence.

Available Programs:

Tobacco, alcohol, and drug use is a national dilemma, with an estimated 23.9 million Americans age 12 and older having used an illicit drug or misused a prescription drug. Illinois deaths attributed to opioid use has increased 44.3% since 2013.  Programs delivered through Illinois 4-H are empowering youth to make wise decisions when confronted with risky behaviors such as substance abuse.

Available Programs:

A vital STEM workforce is needed to drive innovation in today’s global world. Workers lack skills in problem solving, design, programming, scientific inquiry, investigation, independent thinking, and teamwork. 4-H programs help youth use science and technology to solve problems and incorporate what they learn in their everyday life. Youth work cooperatively to innovate, build, solve problems, and imagine new possibilities for the world.

Available Programs:

You can do fun and creative 4-H activities wherever you are. Try some of these at home, or grab a friend and learn together. 4-H is everywhere you are!

Available Programs: