Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station | [Cooperative Extension of Essex County]

4-H Youth Development

The 4-H Clover. Upcoming Events

Citizen Washington Focus Conference, July 5–11

Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) is held each summer at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase Maryland. It is a weeklong event (Sunday – Saturday) for 4-H members in grades 9–12 (14–19 years old). The program is based on the principle that democracy requires skills and strategies that must be learned and practiced and it teaches participants to be active, responsible citizens and leaders. To apply for this conference please visit

Rutgers Summer Science Program, July 6–10

The Rutgers Summer Science program is designed to enrich young people's interest and competency in science, technology, and communications by having direct experiences with Rutgers University faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.

All participants must have completed their freshman year in high school and are selected based on teacher recommendations and participation in an extensive application process that included writing an essay and interviews by their local 4-H staff.

Each selected youth participant agrees to provide a minimum of 50 hours of service to their local 4-H program, committing to work with 4-H staff in their community to provide science-focused after-school and summer programming to younger youth and children. The program creates and supports 4-H Science Ambassadors who share their experience, new knowledge, and understanding of STEM topics and campus life with other students in their community through employment and/or volunteer opportunities through local 4-H offices.

To apply, submit your completed application packet to: 162 Washington St, Newark, NJ, 07102 or Applications are due on April 19, 2015

The Power of YOUth

4-H is the youth development component of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. 4-H uses a learn-by-doing approach to enable youth to become competent, caring citizens of the world. Dedicated adult volunteers provide leadership to 4-H clubs and activities.

Essex County 4-H staff and volunteers work together to develop programs which will provide youngsters with opportunities for new experiences and a broader view of life. Under the guidance of caring adult and teen leaders, youth in grades K-13 develop characteristics of leadership and citizenship, improve their skills, become more aware of others and the environment in which they live, and help others through community service. 4-H works with all youth on a grade-appropriate basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

Essex County 4-H teens help prepare the garden.

Urban Agriculture Youth Program

Essex County 4-H is supporting sustainable communities and sustainable commons through our Urban Agriculture Youth Program (UAYP). Families and youth can join one of three program options including; including the Urban Agriculture Youth Internship Program, Plant is Forward Service Days and Farm Camp. All programs are supported by community collaborators including the Irvington Waris Cultural Community Center, Montclair Community Farms, and the City of Newark. Come participate in one of our Urban Youth Farm Programs to learn about food, our earth, and community service! Contact our office for registration details.

Youth Urban Farm Club

The Youth Urban Farm Club (YUFC) is for youth ages 12–17 who are interested in learning about gardening, entrepreneurship and service. Youth participants are asked to complete 30+ hours of service at one of our farm sites in Montclair, Newark, and Jersey City. While maintaining and harvesting the garden, youth will be encouraged to try new recipes, will take turns working to sell produce at a farm stand, and will work as a team to locate community members in need to donate fresh produce to. To register, complete the application linked to below, and mail it to 162 Washington St, Newark, NJ 07102. Applications can also be submitted via email to

Farm Camp

The 4-H farm camp supports youth development by promoting a positive interest in nature and encouraging awareness and interest in farming and agriculture. Our mission is to provide the best camp experience for your children, while also providing a beneficial learning experience about food, our earth and nutrition. Camp runs for one week in June, July and August, respectively and is open to youth ages 4–11. We accept registrations from youth 6 months younger or older than the stated ages. Please see the program flyer and registration packet for more details. To register, complete the application linked to below, and mail it to 162 Washington St, Newark, NJ 07102. Applications can also be submitted via email to

Plant It Forward Service Days

In order to keep our UAYP alive we rely on volunteers to help our gardens grow. Plant It Froward (PIF) Service Days are set up for youth and community members to dedicate time in one of our garden sites throughout Essex County. PIF projects include sowing seeds, weeding, cleaning the chicken coup, turning the compost, helping to build sustainable structures, beautifying the garden space, and many other projects that are going to get your hands dirty! Please see the PIF flyer for scheduled dates and locations. RSVP by emailing the date(s) you plan on attending and the number of expected participants to Visit the Montclair Community Farms Facebook page for updates.

Essex County 4-H Clubs

A 4-H club is a group of young people and adult volunteers who meet regularly for fun and learning. Clubs are usually made up of families from a community and often formed around schools, churches or community centers. Most clubs hold monthly meetings attended by members and their parents. Club members elect officers who lead the group and the meetings. An adult club leader advises the officers. The meetings usually last less than two hours. The time is equally divided among club business, recreation and educational programs. A well-organized 4-H club meeting provides opportunities for every member to be involved.

Opportunities for 4-H Teens

What Can You Do?

If you are interested in young people and want to help, you can apply to start a club in your neighborhood, volunteer to assist one of our present clubs, or take the responsibility for one or more of the special 4-H program activities. If you are an adult, and would like to start a new club, contact the 4-H office.

How to Join




For More Information:

Essex County 4-H
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
Cooperative Extension of Essex County
162 Washington St.
Newark, NJ 07102-3098

Phone: 973-353-1337