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National leadership for 4-H is in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. State headquarters are in the land-grant university of each state. Wyoming's land-grant university is the University of Wyoming.
Every state has a team of 4-H youth staff and subject-matter specialists as part of the university's extension service. Work in counties is directed by county Extension educators. Volunteer leaders provide direct leadership and education support to youth in local communities.
4-H is the youth education program of the University of Wyoming Extension. 4-H membership is available to all Wyoming youth ages 8-19.
4-H members are in every county in Wyoming and number 15,500 statewide. Although 4-H is traditionally considered to be a rural youth organization, today's 4-H members live everywhere. In Wyoming, about 30 percent of the members live on farms and ranches, while 40 percent live in small towns (under 10,000) or rural non-farm areas. Another 30 percent live in towns and cities.
Local clubs are major 4-H delivery systems. Wyoming 4-H reaches young people in a variety of other ways. For example, "Blue Sky Below My Feet" is a video series on space available to school classrooms. 4-H is also a part of the youth phase of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). This program is designed to teach basic nutrition to members of families with limited incomes. 4-H materials are often used to enrich school curriculums in many areas. The classroom teacher may be the leader, or volunteer leaders may come into the schools.
UW Extension is an off-campus educational arm of the University of Wyoming. Specifically, Extension provides research-based educational information to help Wyoming citizens solve problems and develop skills related to youth, family, community, and farm.
The UW Extension system has specialists housed on campus in Laramie and county Extension educators in each county so information from the University of Wyoming can be "extended" to people in Wyoming.
4-H work is implemented mostly in project clubs. A project club is a group of youth working with an adult volunteer leader on a single project, such as clothing, horses, or gardening. Some clubs are organized to include more than one project, such as a 4-H livestock club that includes members with projects in beef, sheep, and swine.
There are also 4-H community clubs. Members are enrolled in a wide variety of projects. Community club leaders provide overall leadership, but other volunteers work with members and their projects.
Most clubs range from 5 to 25 members. Each club may meet regularly throughout the year or only part of the year, depending on the project and the interests of both leaders and members.