National 4‑H Council

National 4‑H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of 4‑H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 4‑H programs are implemented by the nation’s 100+ land-grant colleges and universities and the Cooperative Extension System through 3,000 local offices across the country.

Established in 1976 through the merger of the National 4‑H Foundation and the National 4‑H Service Committee, National 4‑H Council partners with 4‑H at all levels – national, state and local – to build stronger 4‑H programs and distribute national financial support to benefit the nation’s youth. Other revenue generators include the National 4‑H Conference Center and the National 4‑H Supply Service, both subsidiaries of National 4‑H Council.

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Cooperative Extension

The Cooperative Extension System is a nationwide, non-credit educational network. Each U.S. state and territory has a state office at its land-grant university and a network of local or regional offices. These offices are staffed by experts who provide useful, practical, and research-based information to agricultural producers, small-business owners, youth, consumers, and others in rural areas and communities of all sizes.

Youth development educators from the nation’s 100+ land-grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System use cutting-edge research to support volunteers and communities in providing youth with rich, educational, hands-on learning programs and activities.

This network provides 4‑H youth with the positive environments they need to become fearless leaders.

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4-H Cooperative Extension

4‑H National Headquarters, NIFA within USDA

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the federal partner in the Cooperative Extension System. NIFA provides federal funding to the system and, through program leadership, helps the system identify and address current issues and problems. 4‑H is the youth development program of NIFA, which houses the 4‑H National Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Congress created NIFA through the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. NIFA replaced the former Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), which had been in existence since 1994.

NIFA partners with land-grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System to support research-based youth development programs that take university knowledge and expertise to youth in rural, suburban and urban communities. NIFA also partners with public and private agricultural and nonagricultural sectors and other federal, state, and local agencies in program development and support.

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National Association of Extension 4‑H Agents

The National Association of Extension 4‑H Agents (NAE4‑HA) is the premiere professional association for today’s network of more than 3,500 youth development educators.

NAE4‑HA provides professional development opportunities through conferences, workshops and virtual seminars, supports professionals with an inclusive and supportive network of educational leaders and integrates scholarship, research and practice to keep today’s youth development professionals connected to the latest best practices.

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