4-H Program FAQ

Questions and Answers about 4-H


Q: What is 4-H?

A: 4-H is an informed, practical educational program for youth.  It is the youth development program of the University of Idaho.  4-H is where there’s fun in learning and learning in fun.

Q: What is the mission of 4-H?

A: The 4-H Youth Development program uses a learn-by-doing approach to help youth develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need to become competent, caring and contributing citizens of the world.  4-H provides healthy places where school-aged Idahoans can:

  • Enjoy a positive relationship with a caring adult
  • Feel physically and emotionally safe
  • Master new skills and knowledge
  • Practice service to others
  • Practice self determination, decision-making and goal setting
  • Be an active, engaged learner
  • Make a positive connection with the future
  • Enjoy an inclusive atmosphere


Q:  Isn’t 4-H just for kids who live on a farm?

A: No! 4-H is for youth, wherever they live- on farms, in suburbs, in cities.  4-H serves youth from all backgrounds and interests.  It reaches both boys and girls through 4-H clubs, special interest groups and short-term projects, camping and school-based programs.  Most 4-H members are from towns and cities, and they participate in projects such as photography, rocketry, fishing and pet care.  4-H offers membership without regard to race, color, national origin, sex or handicap.

Q:  What is a 4-H club?

A: Clubs are the foundation of the 4-H program.  A 4-H club is a group of five or more youngsters guided by one or more adult leaders.  A club can be any size- from a small group of kids from one neighborhood to a larger club consisting of youth from all over the county.

Q:  What happens in a 4-H club?

A: 4-H members run the show (with help from adults).  They elect officers and conduct their own business meeting, making decisions about club activities and community service projects.  Members are encouraged to tell the club about their 4-H projects at least once a year, and clubs often socialize at picnics and project tours.

Q:  How often does a club meet?

A: Clubs usually meet on a monthly basis.  Members may meet more or less frequently (depending on the time of the year) to work on certain projects.

Q:  What age must you be in to join 4-H?

A: Youth ages 8 to 18 can be 4-H members and enroll in many different 4-H projects.  (Youth must be 8 years old as of January 1st of the current year)

Q:  Does it cost money to join 4-H?

A: Power County 4-H requires a once a year membership fee of $20.00.  This money goes toward fair awards, judges and insurance.

Q:  Can I be a member if I live in one place part of the year and in another during the other part?

A: Yes.  Ask your 4-H agent to help you coordinate membership in both places.  We ask that you chose one county in which to pursue awards shows and so on.

Q:  How did 4-H originate?

A: 4-H Clubs were preceded by corn clubs for boys and canning clubs for girls, organized in the early 1900s by public school educators who wanted to broaden the knowledge and experience of their students.  4-H became an official part of the Cooperative Extension Service, along with agriculture and home economics, at about the time Cooperative Extension was officially established by the U.S. Congress in 1914.  The term “4-H club” first appeared in a federal document in 1918, and by the mid-1920s, 4-H was well on its way to becoming a significant national program for youth.  4-H is an American idea that has spread around the world.  Throughout its long history, 4-H has constantly adapted to the ever-changing needs and interest of youth.

Q:  Who runs the 4-H program?

A: Volunteers are key to providing 4-H program.  Capable, interested adult volunteers are always needed to lead clubs and to assist with 4-H activities.  Orientation is provides, so no previous experience is necessary.  4-H volunteers are supported by a professional staff, including a county or 4-H agent oversees the county or district program, and professionals at the regional and state levels support the county programs.

Q:  What do the four “Hs” on the 4-H emblem stand for?

A: The 4-h emblem is a green four-leaf clover with a white “H” on each leaflet, symbolizing Head, Heart, Hands and Health.  The 4-H emblem was trademarked in 1924, and rights are owned by Congress.

Q:  What is the 4-H Pledge?

A: At 4-H meetings and other 4-H events, 4-H members recite this 4-H Pledge:

I pledge my head to clearer thinking, My heart to greater loyalty, My hands to larger service, and my health to better living, For my club, my community, my country and my world.

Q:  Where are 4-H programs found?

A: 4-H programs are conducted in 3,150 counties of the U.S., and also in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  In addition, more than 80 countries around the world have youth programs similar to 4-H, with an overall enrollment of nearly 6 million young people.

Q:  Is there a 4-H club in my area?

A: Yes!  4-H clubs are in every county in Idaho.  Hundreds of members are in local 4-H clubs.

Q:  How can I find out more about 4-H?

A: Visit the Idaho 4-H website at https://www.uidaho.edu/extension/4h to learn more. You can find links to every county on that site, with full contact information for each county office.  Or, call your local county/ district Extension Office. The number is usually listed under the county name in the phone book, or in the “county government pages” under Extension Services.