4-H Youth Development
Volunteering with 4-H
Many of the 4-H programs here in Alachua County are managed by volunteer leaders. Many volunteers join us to help with programs and events. These Level 1 volunteers are always needed for events like School Tours at the Alachua County Youth Fair, Living On My Own simulations through 4-H Life Ready, and the annual Little Run on the Prairie 4-H 5k. Our other group of volunteers are our club leaders and those working directly with youth on a regular basis. These volunteers spend countless hours on 4-H programming and are extraordinarily valuable to our program. All Level 2 volunteers undergo background screening in accordance with Florida 4-H policies. Level 2 volunteers will need to regularly complete the Volunteer Packet, OYCS Video, and the Record of Service form when requested by the 4-H Agent, Amanda Pittman.
Non-Livestock Judging is a pre-fair event for the Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show (ACYFLS). Youth submit their non-livestock exhibits and participate in a judging interview. An exhibit is the item or display that youth have made in a 4-H project. Posters, science exhibits, educational displays, photos, paintings, etc. are all exhibits. In some projects, the Exhibit List describes specific things you can enter (ex. in muffins: 12 regular or 36 mini; in flower garden: a garden plant, transplants, etc.). In other projects, it leaves it up to you to decide what to exhibit. Each exhibit entered will be judged. 4-Hers have the opportunity to meet with the judge in a "conference judging" situation. The judge will ask questions, such as how the exhibit was made or what problems were encountered and how they were solved, and they may offer suggestions on ways to improve it. 4-Hers can also ask questions of the judge. This is a great opportunity for youth to practice their interview skills.
County & District Events
Each year, Alachua County 4-H hosts County Events to give youth an opportunity to showcase their public speaking skills, as well as their talents in other areas. Youth are encouraged to prepare speeches or demonstrations, participate in the Share The Fun talent competition, and to submit photography/digital art pieces. Speech/demonstration topics can include nature & outdoors, healthy living, communication & expressive arts, animals and more. Share The Fun is a great opportunity for youth to showcase talents such as dancing, singing, comedy, and more. For each competition, local community members are asked to be volunteer judges. Participants are awarded ribbons based on their score sheets, and blue ribbon competitors are invited to participate in District Events. Seniors who receive blue ribbons at District Events are then given an opportunity to compete statewide at 4-H University in the summer.
One of the best parts of this program according to the students is the speakers that come to talk about their careers or skills that can help the students learn more. Each year, we ask the students to share their interests, and then we find speakers based on those interests. That means we're always on the lookout for great speakers in varying career fields who might match up to what our students want to learn more about. We are also always seeking shadowing/volunteer opportunities for students.
Commonly Used Terms
Little Run on the Prairie 5k
Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show
2020-2021 4-H Volunteer Opportunities
UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County
106 SW 140 Terrace, Suite 3
Jonesville, FL 32669
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Closed to the public - by appointment only.
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