Every dollar county, state and federal agencies invest in the Colorado 4-H Program is returned to the state’s economy six times over. That’s one of the findings of a new Colorado State University study evaluating the economic contributions of the youth development program.

“This is a conservative estimate of the contribution of 4-H,” said Rebecca Hill, a CSU extension research economist and author of the study. “In addition to the monetary benefits, there are other benefits that are not easily quantifiable.”

Results of the statewide study will be released at 8 a.m., January 24, in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver as part of Colorado 4-H Day.

Hill analyzed 4-H member record books completed during the 2012-2013 4-H year to compile expenditures made by participating families. She found that Colorado’s 4-H families spend $22.5 million a year in their communities supporting their children’s projects. When secondary effects spending are calculated, the program’s statewide economic contributions swell to $45 million.

“Taxpayers contributed approximately $7.3 million to the Colorado 4-H program during the same time period,” said Jeff Goodwin, Colorado 4-H Director. “This investment in Colorado 4‑H is leveraged to contribute a six-fold return to the Colorado economy.”

The Colorado State 4-H Program asked Hill to study the program’s economic benefits so county, state and federal officials had accurate information on which to base their budget decisions. The Colorado 4-H program serves more than 110,000 youth annually with 14,000 in organized 4‑H clubs.

“We have always known that 4-H is good for kids, families and communities,” said Goodwin. “Here is strong economic evidence to support that fact as elected officials get ready to tackle tough budgetary issues.”