4-H is the Cooperative Extension System's dynamic, research-based, non-formal, educational program and organization for youth (5-19 years). 4-H stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health.

The program combines the cooperative efforts of youth, volunteer leaders, state land-grant universities, state-local governments, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 4-H programs are conducted in 3,150 counties of the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, and Northern Mariana Islands.

Nationally, the 4-H program is managed by the Families, 4-H and Nutrition unit of NIFA of the USDA and operated in the location of 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-2225.

The Data Collection Process

Each year, states collect data from all of their local counties on the ES-237 form and the aggregated report is sent to NIFA of the USDA electronically (via web form) or hard copy.

The 4-H program, which is managed by the Families, 4-H and Nutrition unit of NIFA, collects and maintains the aggregated number of 4-H units and number of youth participants by categories who enroll and participate in 4-H educational program by each state every year in a Paradox database.

Data Collection Focus

For Youth and Unit

  • 4-H Organized Clubs
  • Special Interest Programs
  • Overnight Camping Programs
  • School Enrichment Programs
  • School-aged Child Care Programs
  • Individual Study
  • Instructional TV Programs
  • By School Grades
  • By Place of Residence
  • By National Initiative
  • By Racial-Ethnic Youth
  • Adult and Youth Volunteers By Race and Classification of Service
  • By Subjects/Projects/Learning Experiences Using Curriculum Classification.

The 4-H database measures the enrollment and volunteer outcomes of the 4-H Program.