4-H Youth Development


What is 4-H?

4-H is the only university based youth development program in the nation. It is an educational activity for youth sponsored cooperatively through the US Department of Agriculture, the University of Florida, and Hardee County. 4-H is a fun, educational program for young people ages 5-18. 4-H provides educational experiences through a “learn by doing” approach and helps young people acquire knowledge, develop life skills, and form attitudes to enable them to become self-directed, productive, and contributing members of society.

Since 1902, the 4-H program has been geared toward the positive development of the “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health” of our youth. The 4-H program is the largest educational youth organization free to all participants.

Hardee County 4-H Clubs

There could be a 4-H club in your neighborhood. Or you could start one yourself. To learn more about being a member of 4-H or being a leader of a 4-H club, give us a call at (863) 773-2164 any weekday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

What's so Special about 4-H?

In 4-H young people have the opportunity to “experience” through “hands-on” learning and discovery in project areas such as foods and nutrition, sewing, hiking, citizenship, community service, photography, large and small animals, lap animals, horses, and more. Older 4-H members develop leadership skills by assisting and instructing younger 4-H members under the guidance and leadership of volunteer adult leaders. 4-H is also a family affair, involving the total family in the various 4-H projects, events, and activities.

Youth Get Involved

Youth get involved in 4-H through a variety of avenues. There are traditional 4-H clubs that meet around the county in community recreation centers, schools, churches, and the 4-H Center housed at the Fairgrounds in Wauchula. Clubs are organized by volunteer leaders, youth officers are elected and run the club meetings. Other volunteer leaders serve as project leaders and resource leaders to help the members learn about their project areas.

Older 4-H members have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and learn more about their community through citizenship projects. Travel experiences include three week long programs, State 4-H Congress at the University of Florida, State 4-H Legislature at the state capitol and Florida State University in Tallahassee, as well as Washington FOCUS in Washington, D.C.

Clubs and Projects

There are ten (10) 4-H clubs in the county ranging from beef and swine to poultry and rabbits. There are several hundred different project areas that youth can participate in such as citizenship, communications and expressive arts, performing arts, visual arts, photography, child care and babysitting, natural resources and environmental education, recycling, gardening and ornamental horticulture, and much more.

Hardee County 4-H Clubs


Adults gain leadership experience and training when they become 4-H leaders. Adults interested in serving as club leaders go through an extensive screening process application form, background check, interview, reference check, and orientation before becoming involved with youth. A yearly mandatory leader training is conducted at the county level. Adult volunteer leaders are encouraged to attend the State 4-H Leader Forum as well as the Regional 4-H Leader Forum to increase their leadership skills, gain ideas from other leaders, and get reinvigorated in the program.


Funding is multi-faceted. Hardee County 4-H is a part of the Cooperative Extension Service and receives funds for programs, support materials and staff from the US Department of Agriculture, the state land-grant university - The University of Florida, and the Hardee County Board of Commissioners. The Hardee County 4-H program is a not-for-profit organization with the Cloverleaf Foundation of Hardee County, Inc., providing financial support for youth and leaders to attend educational programs.

Staffing of the Program

The Hardee County 4-H Program has a paid staff of one full time Program Assistant (Marissa Alexander), one part-time 4-H Coordinator (Carolyn Wyatt), and a secretary (Mary Alderman). There are over 50 volunteers working with the program through the club program.

For More Information

Contact us at the Hardee County 4-H Office any weekday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (863) 773-2164 or e-mail us at: Hardee4H@ifas.ufl.edu . The office address is 507 Civic Center Drive, Wauchula, FL 33873.

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    507 Civic Center Drive
    Wauchula, FL  33873-9460

    E-mail the Office



    (863) 773-2164


    (863) 773-6861


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