4-H Youth Development

New York 4-H empowers nearly 170,000 young people across the state with the skills to lead for a lifetime.

Program Director

Andrew Turner

Program Website


As the youth component of Cooperative Extension, 4-H connects young people to Cornell. In addition to its well-known clubs, 4-H also offers in-school and after-school programs, special interest groups, independent memberships, camps, and special events.

Teens participate in 4-H Career Explorations at Cornell Botanic Gardens.

4-H has four core content areas: STEM (science, technology, engineering and math); healthy living; civic engagement; and food systems/sustainable agriculture. Program activities and materials are developed by campus-based experts in related fields, who also provide continuing support to professional staff and volunteers. Hands-on, inquiry-based learning is central to 4-H. Participants learn to take leadership, work in groups, plan, and communicate.

4-H’er John Gabalski shadowing NBC News anchor Craig Melvin at MSNBC studios, NYC (photo: Jason DeCrow/AP Images for National 4-H Council)

Cornell student teaching 4-H kids (photo: Mark Vorreuter)

Cornell undergrad assisting in a research project at a 4-H summer camp (photo: Mark Vorreuter)

High school students in a video production class during 4-H Career Explorations at Cornell (photo: Robert Barker)

Learning about wearable technology on 4-H National Youth Science Day (photo: Robert Barker)

4-H high school students on campus for the Summer College Program (photo: Lindsay France)

Cornell Cooperative Extension receives support from federal, state, and county governments and has offices that reach the state’s 57 counties plus New York City. Educators in these offices work with faculty and staff to carry out Cornell’s mission as New York State’s land grant university to share its knowledge with the people of the state. Locating 4-H in the BCTR demonstrates a commitment to grounding 4-H firmly in research, not only about the content of programs but also about youth development and program implementation.