4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. 4-H provides members with a safe, family-friendly environment to learn, make friends, and explore career paths by participating in projects of interest to them.
Texas 4-H is part of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas A&M System. Founded in 1908, 4-H is the largest youth development program in Texas, reaching more than 550,000 youth each year.
You may think 4-H is only for your friends with animals, but it’s so much more! You can do projects like dog training, shooting sports, food science, healthy living, robotics, fashion, and photography.
4-H encourages members to be caring and conscientious by getting involved in community service projects throughout the year. These service projects may be carried out on a county, district, state, or national level.
What do all of those H’s stand for, anyway?
The H’s pertain to the 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.
HEAD stands for clearer thinking and decision making – knowledge that is useful throughout life.
HEART represents greater loyalty, strong personal values, positive self-concept and concern for others.
HANDS stand for larger service, workforce preparedness, useful skills and science and technology literacy.
HEALTH stands for better living and healthy lifestyles.
Who can join 4-H?
Youth may participate in 4-H year from September 1st of grade three through August 31 following completion of grade twelve, with these age restrictions: Minimum age – 8 as of September 1st (in addition to being in the 3rd grade) Maximum age – 18 (as of August 31st)
4-H Member Categories
Juniors: Grades 3, 4, and 5
Intermediates: Grades 6, 7, and 8
Seniors: Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12
Are there other ways to get involved with 4-H?
The 4-H Clover Kids Program helps youth learn social skills, reinforce formal school programs through informal, noncompetitive experiential educational projects and activities, develop self-esteem and build family strengths.
Generally, a club will have the Clover Kids program if they have several members with younger siblings enrolled in their club.
Clover Kids may NOT participate in any of the regular competitions, raise animals or participate in the horse or shooting sports projects, but they do have age appropriate project activities at the club meetings for them.
Check with the clubs in your area to see if they have Clover Kids.
Volunteers are essential to the successful implementation of the 4-H program.
Volunteers can serve in a variety of roles, including the following:
- 4-H Club Managers
- 4-H Project Leaders
- 4-H Master Volunteers
- Event Judges
- Camp Counselors / Chaperones
- Parent Helpers/Activity Leaders
4-H depends heavily on involvement of the whole family.
4-H Leaders do not have to be experts in the project or activity they are helping with. They simply need to be willing to learn and willing to help.
To become a 4-H Leader, adults enroll annually as an Adult Volunteer on the Texas 4-H member database, 4-H Connect, and submit $10 per year for an application fee. Every new volunteer and every 3rd 4-H year thereafter, a background screening is performed in compliance with the Youth Protection Standards.
Becoming a 4-H Leader is a very rewarding experience. There is something for everybody in 4-H!
4-H sounds so cool! How do I join?
Click the links below to more information on each step.