NYS 4-H Educational Programs

There are many opportunities for youth to participate in educational programs with 4-Hers from across the state. There are one or two day annual programs, recurring year long programs, and summer opportunities. These hands-on events build on programming at the local level and help grow connections between youth from different areas.

Annual State Educational Programs

youth with graduated cylinder of milk

Animal Crackers is a hands-on program intended for youth ages 9-12. It is a one-day program held every Spring at Cornell and welcomes 4-Hers from across the state. Each year, the program focuses on several different animal species.

holey cow

Dairy Discovery is a program for 14-19 year olds interested in learning more about the dairy industry through hands-on learning. The program is held every March on at Cornell and includes team building and leadership activities on Friday evening and dairy educational sessions all day Saturday. Program themes rotate annually and include: Dairy Herd Health and Management, Calf and Heifer Production, Quality Milk and Milk Production, Whole Farm Management and Analysis, and Maximizing the Feed Management Program.

Animal Crackers Logo

The NYS 4-H Animal Science Program is happy to offer another great animal science opportunity for youth!

Beginning in January, we will be offering a virtual Animal Crackers event for our older 4-H youth focusing on career opportunities and becoming involved in the various livestock industries. These workshops will take place via Zoom

More information will be available soon! But for now, if you have any questions, please reach out to Jessica at

Year Long Programs

youth near bunk silo

Junior DAIRY LEADERS is open to any high school aged youth from across the state with a sincere interest in learning more about the dairy industry. Youth travel to Wisconsin for the National 4-H Dairy Conference and World Dairy Expo, visit farms, creameries, and feed mills across the state, and learn professional and leadership skills. There is a competitive application process and participation requires commitment to participate in multiple programs throughout the year.

youth on ropes course

Beginning DAIRY LEADERS gives high school participants an opportunity to explore post-secondary agricultural education and career opportunities. Youth participating get the opportunity to interact with faculty and students at Cornell University, SUNY Morrisville, SUNY Cobleskill, and Alfred State while learning about team building, resume writing, and leadership skills.

two women with horse

We are excited to announce the new statewide NYS 4-H Advanced Equine Program to the NYS Horse Program curriculum. This program was developed in hopes to create a bridge between the 4-H youth with equine interest and the Equine Industries in NYS. Participants will be expected to join monthly zoom meeting to meet with equine professionals on a certain topic, work independently on month projects, complete 10 hours of shadowing a professional in the equine field, and attend an end-of-the-year trip.

Summer Opportunities

youth participating in career explorations

NYS 4-H runs the Career Explorations program on Cornell's campus every summer. Youth are able to choose their program focus, including a focus in Animal Science!

girls studying outside

High school aged youth can live on campus and earn college credit through Cornell's School of Summer and Continuing Education. Summer Animal Science classes include Sustainable Animal Husbandry and Domestic Animal Behavior and Welfare.