Youth in a 4-H program.

Children Youth Impacts: Michigan 4-H Youth Development Fast Facts


April 13, 2021

Key Figures 

  • 175,000 youth engaged in Michigan 4-H programming in 2018-2019
  • 13,400 individuals volunteered with Michigan 4-H in 2018-2019

Priority Areas

4-H Youth Development is a program of Michigan State University Extension. Each year, approximately 200,000 Michigan young people participate in 4-H through various activities, clubs, groups, programs and events. As they engage in these unique learning experiences, 4-H’ers explore their passions and interests while growing confidence, leadership skills and a sense of responsibility. Michigan 4-H youth are supported by caring volunteers who give their time in a variety of ways – as club or group leaders, mentors, chaperones, professional skills trainers and more!


In the 2018-2019 program year, 175,000 youth engaged in 4-H programming with:

  • 189,400 experiences related to science, engineering and technology.
  • 86,400 experiences related to citizenship, leadership, civic engagement, community service, communication and expressive arts.
  • 72,600 experiences related to food, nutrition, health and personal safety.

From the farms to the towns, and from the suburbs to the cities, 4-H youth come from every corner of the state:

  • 38% are rural nonfarm residents or come from towns of less than 10,000 people.
  • 32% live in cities and suburbs of more than 50,000 people.
  • 20% live in towns and cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people.
  • 10% live on farms.

For more information about Michigan 4-H, visit our website or connect with your county 4-H program by visiting

Participant Quotes

  • "When I joined 4-H, it was the first time I felt like I actually belonged somewhere. 4-H has always been there for me, allowing an outlet for the stress of everyday life to disappear for a little bit. I’m thankful."
    • Michigan 4-H youth participant 

A Difference For A Lifetime

As she wrapped up her senior year of high school in Alger County, 18-year-old Kyley reflected on her 4-H experience. After seven years of 4-H, taking part in a variety of craft, community service, leadership, civic engagement, and health and wellness programs, Kyley shared her thoughts in her own words:

“When I think about what 4-H has done for me or how it affected my life, I find it difficult to put into words. I am deaf. Even though I have cochlear implants, I still find it extremely difficult to hear, especially in certain situations. I know that people treat me different or that they don’t include or accept me in a lot of social situations. I’m going to be real, there are times when this has really gotten me down.

4-H turned all that around for me, especially in times when I most needed it. The experience I have gained and the people I have met from all over, through 4-H Exploration Days, Citizenship Washington Focus and National 4-H Congress have given me courage. Courage to not be afraid to be who I am. Each time, I have taken a risk, and it really has paid off. Making those connections has shown me that there are all types of people in this world with the capacity for compassion.

Through 4-H, I have learned a lot and really put myself out there. At National 4-H Congress, I spoke in front of hundreds of people as a delegate for Michigan. Normally, speaking in front of two people can be very intimidating for me. At 4-H Exploration Days, I learned how to make the best smoothie and found classes that were clear across campus. I also made great friends that I meet up with every year. 4-H community service has taught me that we really need to take care of each other.

4-H has also given me a sense of independence. I know I can go anywhere and do anything without knowing a single person and I can be successful. When someone tells me I can’t do something, I am not afraid to rise above and meet that challenge. 4-H hasn’t discriminated against me based on by gender, religion or deafness and I hope to always pay that forward, wherever I go or in whatever I do.”


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