About 4-H

4-H Logo

4-H Clubs provide a wide variety of opportunities for young people aged 5 to 19. More than 300 youth are enrolled in our 4-H Club program, in groups that are as varied as your imagination. Members of 4-H clubs are learning about environmental issues, veterinary medicine, science, engineering and technology (SET), sewing skills, healthy lifestyles, and having fun in the process!

If youth have a hobby or interest that they would like to explore, and enjoy being with friends, join a 4-H club where members learn something new while having fun, improving communication and leadership skills, and serving their community. If there isn't already a 4-H club that meets your needs, our 4-H staff can help a parent or adult volunteer organize and support a club.

Becoming a member in 4-H can take you places you have never been before! If you are between 5 and 19 years of age you can become a 4-H member. As a member, you can:

  • Choose from hundreds of 4-H projects to work on including animals, gardening, general interest, Teen Ambassadors, community service projects, and many more!
  • Become an officer in your club, such as President, Secretary or Treasurer
  • Exhibit projects and animals at the Dutchess County Fair or New York State Fair
  • Participate in state-wide events and trips such as 4-H Capitol Days, State Teen Actions Reps Retreat (STARR), and Career Explorations

What Are 4-H Clubs?
Five or more children, along with their parents and/or other supportive adults, meet with 4-H staff to form a 4-H club. Each club will design a program of projects and activities that will provide fun learning experiences and blend with the interests of that club. Youth involved in 4-H clubs gain self esteem, leadership abilities, and more importantly social as well as practical skills. Parents and/or other adults teach these projects at club meetings usually held once or twice a month.

How 4-H Clubs Help Youth Succeed
Today, more than ever, parents are looking to provide their children with safe, educational and fun activities. Research done on the impact 4-H club involvement has on children is incredibly positive. A strong 4-H club acts as a “mini community”, where children gain developmental assets.

Program Offerings
Youth members and adult leaders have many opportunities to participate in programming on several levels. They are: Club, County, District, Regional and State. Clubs can choose from a variety of projects and activities.

How do you get a 4-H group started?
You need at least 5 members and adult leaders who are willing to help. A 4-H staff member is available to meet with you to get you started. Check with the 4-H office for a schedule of volunteer orientation and training events.

How much time is involved?
Whatever you choose for your child. 4-H is not a “drop-off” program. A 4-H club is something you do with your child. Parents play an active role as project volunteers. Clubs generally meet once or twice a month for about two hours each meeting. Children that want a broader experience can opt to be involved in a county wide or higher level program.

How Much Does it Cost?
The program fee for the year is $25 for members, with a maximum of $75 per family.

Awards and Recognition
There are awards for both individual and group work done on the club level, and for those who choose to participate up to state level. In addition, awards and recognition happen several times a year via county wide programming, County Fair, State Fair, annual Achievement Night, and 4-H Leader Recognition. A system of awards includes, pins, certificates, ribbons, medals and award trips.

Last updated September 25, 2019