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Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > Be a 4-H Member

Be a 4-H member

Go directly to: online enrollment | paper-based enrollment

Who can participate in 4-H?

4-H serves youth in grades kindergarten through one year past high school from all backgrounds and interests. 4-H offers membership without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, or handicap. To join, contact your local county Extension office.

How can I participate in 4-H?

  • As a Cloverbud - Cloverbuds is an age appropriate, non-competitive experience for youth grades K-2. The Cloverbud information sheet for parents, guardians and mentors, outlines the program options and characteristics as well as the rules that apply in competitive settings. Project resources are available to support Cloverbuds in their learning.
  • Join a local 4-H club — 4-H clubs are groups of youth who meet regularly to work on 4-H projects, perform community service, develop leadership skills and learn to work together. Guided by one or more adult volunteers, a club can be any size, from a small group of neighborhood kids to a large group from a school or county. Visit a club meeting in your area before joining and see what 4-H has to offer! Find a club in your area.
  • Become an independent 4-H member — Independent 4-H members participate in planned learning outside of a club setting. Their work is self-directed with guidance and support of parents and mentors. (See below for more information and required forms).
    • Youth six grade and older who have had at least two years of 4-H club experience may enroll as an independent member. A prior 4-H club/group experience helps ensure a basic understanding of 4-H, connections to peers and adults, and skills from being engaged in group learning and decision-making. The minimum age requirement is important as youth at this age are better able to begin to seek out resources for individual learning.
  • Participate in 4-H Adventures — 4-H Adventures are one-time events where youth can participate in a 4-H project or activity. You need not be enrolled in 4-H to participate. Check your county's Extension office to find out about 4-H Adventures in your area.

What can I do in 4-H?

If you're enrolled in a 4-H club or as an independent member, 4-H has something for you! Explore all of the 4-H projects. If you don't see a project that interests you, just ask! We can help you create your own project.

How do I enroll in a club?

You may enroll online, by completing paper forms, going to a club meeting or contcting your local county Extension office.

How do I enroll as an independent member?

Independent members begin their enrollment the same as club members (by enrolling online, completing paper forms, or by stopping in person at your local county Extension office).

In addition independent members must complete and submit (to your local county Extension office) the following forms which are designed to strengthen the partnership between the independent 4-H member and their mentor (click to see mentor resources on the 4-H adult volunteer "tools" page).

How much does it cost to participate in 4-H?

4-H is a publicly funded program of University of Minnesota Extension. Some counties and clubs charge a nominal membership fee (check with your local county Extension office.)

Project costs vary, and many don't require a big investment. For example, members enrolled in crafts might use supplies from around the house to practice the skills they are learning and, therefore, would have no additional expenses. 4-H'ers who buy and keep a saddle horse, however, might have to make a large investment.

How can I volunteer for 4-H?

Capable, caring adult volunteers are always needed to help lead and assist with 4-H activities. Orientation and training is provided, so no previous experience is necessary. 4-H volunteers are supported by a professional staff, including 4-H Program Coordinators and 4-H Extension Educators. There are also various 4-H support and advisory groups made up of interested adult volunteers.

All adults who work with 4-H youth must complete the Volunteer Selection Process, including a criminal history check. Check out the 4-H Volunteer page or contact your local county Extension Office for more information about how you can become a 4-H volunteer!

How do I find the 4-H office in my area?

See a list of county and regional Extension offices and websites.

Welcome to 4-H!

Just joined?

See a personal welcome from Minnesota 4-H State Program Leader Dorothy McCargo Freeman.

Getting started in 4-H

Here are a few key resources that will help guide you in 4-H:

Current 4-H members

4-H has something for everyone! Youth in kindergarten through one year past high school can participate in short-term activities or longer-term clubs, where groups meet regularly to work on projects, perform community service and develop leadership skills.

No matter what project you choose, through 4-H you will learn public speaking skills, how to collaborate, understand government and community, and how to develop goals for life and career.

Browse the 4-H project selection guide. If you can't find a project that interests you, we'll help you develop one.

Here are a few key resources that will help guide you in 4-H:

4-H family handbook (1,070K PDF) (updated 12/13/2013) - everything you need to know about participating in 4-H.

Policies for 4-H members, including code of conduct, graduation and animal science policies

Project selection guide - Use this to help select projects you are interested in this year.


Re-enroll online

4-H members can re-enroll online, update contact information and drop/add projects (during the appropriate dates) on 4HOnline.

4-H youth record keeping

4-H is not just learning by doing. It's learning by doing it, sharing it, understanding it, relating it, and using it. 4-H Youth Record Keeping encourages you to reflect on your experience so you can share it with others and learn.


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