What is Kansas 4-H?
The network of families that grows great kids.
Raising great kids is a challenging task, but it's easier when you have a team of people behind you. 4-H clubs are groups of families that do just that. Through working together, families share knowledge and interests to help kids learn practical skills and important values.
4-H is one of the largest youth organizations in the world. The primary purpose of 4-H is to provide educational programs and opportunities for youth and adults to work in partnerships as the develop life skills to become healthy, self-directing, contributing members of society focusing on, having a positive self-concept, and inquiring mind, a concern for the community, healthy interpersonal relationships, and sound decision making.
Join a Club!
4-H Clubs generally meet monthly, and nearly every community in Kansas has a least one. These meetings give youth opportunities to share their project work (speak), plan community service activities, and practice running meetings. They have many "sub-clubs" for individual projects, led by adults or teens within the club. For specialized projects like shooting sports, many counties have county-wide project clubs that operate in a similar fashion.
Members choose from a wide range of individual projects, based on their interests and the availability of a knowledgeable adult in the community to serve as a mentor/leader (matching facilitated through clubs). Through these projects, members set goals, learn the skills needed to achieve goals, and exhibit/demonstrate their skills at events like county fairs, speaking contests, and other competitions.
Click here for a list of projects
Who runs the 4-H Program?
Ultimately 4-H is run by the land grant university in each state, which is why the state 4-H office lives at Kansas State University in a department called K-State Research and Extension.
Though the state office guides the overall program, 4-H is largely administered at the county level. Each county in the state has a K-State Research and Extension Office (or a district office if multiple counties have joined together), staffed by Extension Agents who oversee their county or district's clubs, membership, activities, fairs, and so on.
The 4-H Program is ran at the local level by the County Extension Council, the 4-H Program Development Committee, County Extension Agents, and County 4-H Council. At the State level by Kansas State 4-H Office at Kansas State University, and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The pledge tells what 4-H is all about. 4-H has as its goal the four-fold development of youth: Head Heart, Hands, and Health. The pledge was adopted by the delegates of the 1927 National 4-H Club Camp in Washington, DC. State club leaders voted for and adopted the pledge for universal use. The phrase "and my world" was added in 1973. The saying of the pledge has prominent place in 4-H activities at regular 4-H meetings, achievement days, and other club events.I pledge:My head to clearer thinking.My heart to greater loyalty.My hands to larger service.My health to better living for my club,my community,my country, and my world.
The official 4-H Emblem is a clover with four leaves and an "H" on each leaf. The clover's stem must point to the right as you look at the image. The official and preferred color of the 4-H Emblem is green (PMS 347 green- to be exact!) with a white H on on each leaf pf the clove. The colors that the 4-H Emblem are in represent different aspects of 4-H. The white symbolizes purity. The green represents nature's most common color, and is emblematic of youth, life, and growth. The clover can also be white, black, or metallic gold. The clover can be outlined in green or white to dd prominence to the image, and make the emblem stand out from the background.
"To Make the Best Better"
The motto was adopted at about the same time as the 4-H Club Pledge. Its intent is to inspire young people to continue to learn, grow, and to make their best efforts better through participating in educational experiences.
4-H Membership Age Requirements:
A youth may join at any time during the year after they turn 7 years of age. They may not have turned 19 before January 1 of the current year. Membership is open to all youth regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
- A new 4-H year starts October 1 and end September 30
- 4-H membership is open to both boys and girls who are age 7 and have not passed their 19th birthday by January 1 of the current year
- Some events require age limits. In that case, 4-H age is determined as of January 1 of the current year.
- A youngster may join 4-H any time they are 7 years of age by January 1 of the current 4-H year. However, most 4-Hers start in the fall to keep up on club activities, project lessons, and make themselves eligible for several 4-H awards that have deadline dates.