Since its inception, 4-H has emphasized the importance of young people as engaged, well-informed citizens.
By connecting to their communities and leaders, young people understand their role in civic affairs and expand their role in decision-making.
Civic engagement provides the foundation for youth to understand the "big picture" of life and find purpose and meaning.
The core areas of citizenship are:
- Civic engagement (voice, advocacy, activism)
- Service (community service, service-learning, community youth development)
- Civic education (government principles, processes and structure, personal roles and responsibilities, history and cultural heritage)
- Leadership (leadership, respect, understanding, character development)
4-H members learn civic engagement by engaging with the community and building relationships with youth and adults from diverse backgrounds.
State specialist contact: Steven A. Henness
Resources for all levels
CI200 Public Adventures
Target audience: Intermediate (ages 11–13) and Senior (ages 14–18) levels; adaptable for Junior (ages 8–10).
- Learn what civic engagement is and why it's important to be involved in your community
- "Public" vs. "private" - what is the difference?
- Consider interests of your group and needs of your community
- Identify community stakeholders who can help
- Learn how to write a mission statement, conduct a survey, create a petition, raise funds and attract media coverage
LO211 Public Adventures
Designed for clubs and groups of young people, this activity guides you through discovering public issues that are important to you and many others. Plan a project that creates, changes, or improves something valuable to your community. Learn how to be an active citizen in a democracy through exploring possibilities and taking action!
Citizenship Washington Focus
Missouri 4-H youths go to Washington, D.C. to learn skills to be better citizens and civic leaders through service learning.
Extension Council Youth Leadership
County Extension Councils across Missouri are expanding the role of youth and young adults in decision-making.
Do you ever wonder what kids from other cultures do for fun? What do they eat? What language do they speak? In this project you will have the opportunity to learn about other cultures, similarities and differences among families around the world.
Just as 4-H goes beyond our doorstep and your county line, it also goes beyond our nation’s border.
Legislative Academy is a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity for promising 4-H youth leaders. The goal is to strengthen relationships between Missouri 4-H and key lawmakers and donors, and for youth participants to learn skills in legislative advocacy. The Academy was founded by Lowell Mohler and the Missouri 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees.
National 4-H Conference
The National 4-H Conference delegates participate in developing recommendations for the 4-H Youth Development Program.
National 4-H Congress
National 4-H Congress is a premier 4-H event held in late November in Atlanta, Georgia. Participant experiences include leadership, service and cultural opportunities.
Public Speaking Academy
Youth who participate at this exciting invitational event are guided through the basics and finer points of writing and delivering a speech, in a non-competitive setting.
4-H members strengthen their communities through service-learning.
Show Me Character
Show Me Character is a framework that teaches young people to make sound moral judgments. It also encourages all adults to become more involved in helping youth develop positive character traits. Our communities benefit when youths and adults understand the importance of being involved and caring citizens and “doing the right thing” by incorporating the Six Pillars of Character in their daily lives.
State 4-H Congress
Congress is designed for Missouri 4-Her’s ages 14-19. The Missouri State 4-H Council plans and implements the event that is held on the University of Missouri campus.
State 4-H Public Speaking Contest
Youth compete in a communication category of their choice, alongside other Juniors (ages 8-10), Intermediates (ages 11-13) or Seniors (ages 14-18) in their age division.
State 4-H Teen Conference
TEEN CONFERENCE is a fun-filled, two-day event for ages 11-13, planned by your State 4-H Council teens, to promote Belonging, Independence, Generosity and Mastery by: Creating opportunities to make 300 new friends from across Missouri, Building leadership skills through quality learning experiences, Connecting youth with older peer leaders on the State 4-H Council, Taking a look at the exciting opportunities that await as a 4-H teenager!
4-H exhibits and competitions are part of the fun of the Missouri State Fair. You won’t want to miss this special event; visit the 4-H building to see the projects of our 4-H youth or catch the judging competitions. Whatever your niche, there is something for everyone. Bring the family! The Missouri State Fair is located at the intersection of Highways 50 and 65, and less than 20 miles south of I-70, Sedalia is roughly an hour from Kansas City, Columbia and Jefferson City.
Youth Civic Leaders Summit
The Youth Civic Leaders Summit is a statewide energizer for all 4-H and MCB (Missouri Community Betterment) teens, ages 14 to 18, and adult leaders who are involved in leadership and service and want to have a positive impact on their communities and world.
The Missouri MyPI program is for teens ages 14–18 to better prepare their communities, their families, and themselves for responding to emergencies. MyPI participants team up with teens and adult instructors to learn hands-on disaster preparedness, fire safety and suppression, treatment of injuries, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, and more!