When people think of 4-H they think of farm animals, growing corn and the county fairs where livestock abounds. Animals are still a very large part of 4-H, but they are not the only option for kids to participate.

4-H is managed by UNH Cooperative Extension which is an system that spans every land grant university, its mission is to extend the research from the university into the communities.

In the late 19th century, Cooperative Extension wanted to teach farmers how to grow their corn in a smarter and more efficient way, but farmers just weren’t interested. Cooperative Extension reasoned that by educating youth about these farming techniques the message would spread to farming families.

This marked the birth of 4-H youth development, and thus the traditional agriculture-related projects that 4-H clubs are known for. However, in an ever changing world 4-H has continued to evolve and change with the needs of the youth in our communities.

4-H is the largest youth organization in the United States and in Carroll County NH we have more than 135 youth enrolled through community clubs, afterschool clubs, camps, events and short term enrichment programs.

All 4-H Clubs are run by screened and trained volunteers and cover a wide variety of topic areas for kids ages 5 to 18. Carroll County 4-H currently has horse clubs, STEM, citizenship & leadership clubs, photography, dairy club, rock climbing & hiking programs, and shooting sports just to name a few.

There are many ways for youth and adults to participate in 4-H clubs. We are always in need of positive adults to lead clubs throughout the county. While leading a club may sound time consuming and intimidating, the 4-H staff is a constant source of support and guidance to help leaders along the way to create a successful and enjoyable club for all involved.

To learn more about 4-H in Carroll County contact Amanda Royce, program manager at Amanda.royce@unh.edu or 603-447-3834.

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