4‑H’s Rural Youth Development programs empower rural youth, giving them the skills and tools they need to strengthen and sustain their communities.
Home Programs Rural Youth Development

Supporting Youth in Rural Areas

Through the USDA Rural Youth Development (RYD) Grant Program, National 4‑H Council collaborates with a community of more than 100 public universities to provide programs tailored to the unique needs of rural youth. The RYD program goals include empowering rural communities to involve youth as partners in decision-making and governance, improve the quality of after-school programs in rural communities and provide professional staff and volunteer development.


Engaging Youth, Serving Community began with a grassroots effort to recognize the 4‑H Centennial in 2002. As a result, the National Conversation on Positive Youth Development in the 21st Century brought together youth and adults in local communities, at the state level, and finally in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to develop a positive future for youth in America’s communities.

Engaging Youth, Serving Community aims to impart youth with the life skills and experience they need to emerge as effective leaders and contributing members of society. In addition, the program works to improve the ability of youth and adults to collaborate with diverse community members to identify local issues and develop strategies for addressing them. The end result is that young people and adults will begin to have a more positive attitude toward the role of youth in communities.

Youth Leading Positive Change in Rural America Reports

Download the latest volumes of the Combined Report of Youth Leading Positive Change in Rural America Reports.

Power of YOUth Special Editions

The Power of Youth newsletters feature success stories of teens making a positive impact on important issues in their rural communities.

Youth Leading Community Change: Evaluation Toolkit

Project Support and Resources

Public Relations Materials

Training Resources

State resources


Planning for Success for STAR, 3rd Quarter


EYSC Mississippi State Combined Evaluation Report with Success Stories - Years 10, 11, 12


Kent County After-School Lesson Plans


Missouri State EYSC Program


Moderator Guide - Childhood Obesity





Action Plan Poster