Mission and Vision of Kentucky 4-H
Kentucky 4-H provides education and life skill development opportunities for youth to grow into confident, capable, and contributing members of their communities.
4-H is a community of young people across Kentucky who are learning communication, civic engagement, and leadership skills.
How would you like to get involved?
- Join 4-H
- Become a 4-H Volunteer
Who can join 4-H?
Any young person ages 9 through 18 may be involved in Kentucky 4-H. Some counties offer Clover Bud activities for youth ages 5-8. Once a young person reaches age 19, he/she is too old to be a participant but may become a volunteer in the 4-H program.
4-H participation is open to all genders.
4-H happens wherever kids live--in large cities, in small towns, in rural areas, on farms, and even on military bases. 4-H clubs and groups strive to meet in facilities where all youth feel welcome.
(referred to as "delivery methods" by Extension staff): Here are some ways you can participate.
- Organized Club: an organized group of youth who meet throughout the year and elect officers. There are four types of 4-H clubs--a) "community clubs" which meet at times when kids are not in school; b) "in-school clubs" which meet during school hours; c) clubs which meet during after-school child care; d) clubs organized on military bases for the children of military families.
- Special Interest/Short Term programs: group of youth who participate in a series of learning experiences on a topic of special interest to them such as a sewing group or robotics group. The group may meet several times but perhaps not throughout the year.
- Camp: group of youth participate in overnight or day camp.
- School Enrichment: classrooms of youth who participate in 4-H as part of the school curriculum.
- Individual Study: individual youth who participate in 4-H as a family but do not affiliate with a 4-H club/group.
4-H programs vary from county to county. Contact your local extension office for more information.
In general, Kentucky 4-H clubs/groups do not have membership dues. 4-H activities may involve pay-as-you-go fees for participation in specific learning activities. The lack of membership dues should not imply that participation is always free. Efforts are often made locally to raise private funds to offset some of registration fees for youth whose family cannot afford the expense.
Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability. University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Kentucky Counties, Cooperating.
Any employee or clientele who believes they have been discriminated against may seek resolution through a variety of paths. Discrimination may be reported to the District Director or supervisor. To initiate a complaint at the college level, contact Tim West in the Business Office at 859-257-3879. At the University level, Terry Allen and Patty Bender in the UK Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity (859-257-8927) may be contacted. Additionally, employee or clientele complaints involving any research or extension sponsored program or activity may be directed to the USDA, Directror Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W Whitten Bldg., 14th & Independence Ave. SW, Washington DC 20250-9410 (202-720-5964).
Simply put, Kentucky’s 4-H program wouldn’t exist without its thousands of volunteers. In every part of the state, 4-H volunteers coordinate 4-H community clubs, lead 4-H projects, and help to plan and conduct local, regional, state, and national 4-H events. Contact your county 4-H agent or extension office to find out about volunteer opportunities.
People volunteer in many different ways depending on their interests, their skills, and the time they can devote to 4-H.
As a 4-H volunteer you might...
- Help 4-Hers develop life skills by leading a 4-H project in a subject area that excites you—forestry, fishing, fashion, foods, farm animals, and many more project specialties. Contact your county extension office for local opportunities.
- Teach workshops at a summer camp or special event for youths or military families. Share your favorite hobby or skill.
- Judge at the county fair or at livestock events. If you have expertise in a 4-H project area and would like to be considered as a judge, please contact your county extenson office.
- Manage a 4-H community club. Schedule club meetings, train club officers, recruit parents to help out, be the communication link between your club and the extension office. Contact your county extension office for local opportunities.
- Be an Operation: Military Kids volunteer. Work with local youth groups to plan fun and educational opportunities for youths from military families. Help with family camps. Learn more.
- Host visiting 4-Hers or their chaperones in your home for a month-long summer stay or for yearlong school exchanges. Learn more.
- Help with 4-H fundraising. Contact your county extension office or Kentucky 4-H Foundation to learn more.
- Teach horse projects or work at horse events or contests. Contact your county extension office for local opportunities.
- Become a certified shooting sports instructor.
- And much more.
How Do I Get Started?
Contact the County Extension Service office in your county to talk about volunteer opportunities and learn how to apply to become a 4-H volunteer.