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4-H youths enjoy the scenery from and activities on a dock at camp

Frequently Asked Questions: 4-H

You've got questions. We've got answers. Click any item below to learn more about 4-H, in Sarasota County and in general (show all items).

What is 4-H?
4-H is an informal, practical educational program for youth. It is the youth development program of UF/IFAS Extension, a part of the University of Florida IFAS. 4-H is where there is fun in learning and learning in fun!
What is the mission of 4-H?
The UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development program uses a learn-by-doing approach to enable youth to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to become competent, caring, and contributing citizens of the world. This mission is accomplished by using the knowledge and resources of the land grant university system, along with the involvement of caring adults.
Isn't 4-H just for kids who live on farms?
No! 4-H is for all youth, wherever they live – on farms, in suburbs, and 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, school-age child care, individual and family learning and mentoring, camping, and school enrichment. Most 4-H members are from towns and cities and they participate in contemporary projects such as bicycle care and safety, consumer education, aerospace and model rocketry, public speaking, and animal sciences. 4-H offers membership without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, or handicap.
What is a 4-H club?
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 volunteer 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.
What happens in a 4-H club?
4-H Club usually concentrates on one or more projects such as gardening, woodworking, small animals, food and nutrition, livestock, photography, and more. 4-H members build leadership by electing officers and conducting their own business meetings; work together on community service activities; meet new friends; and, most importantly, have lots of fun.
What age must you be to join 4-H?
Youth in grades K-12 can be 4-H club members and enroll in many different 4-H projects. Members age 8-18 may exhibit their completed work to be judged for awards. Youth in grades K-2 can be 4-H Cloverbud members. 4-H Cloverleaf is a noncompetitive learning experience. Usually, Cloverleaf members are in separate clubs where they sample a variety of 4-H projects. Older 4-H members also have special opportunities, such as serving on a countywide 4-H teen council.
Does it cost money to join 4-H?
In some counties and/or clubs there is a small fee to cover curriculum materials. Uniforms are not required. Most 4-H project information, activities, and events are available at cost, which is usually minimal. Each club chooses whether to charge dues.
How did 4-H originate?
4-H clubs were first known as corn clubs for boys and canning clubs for girls, organized early in this century by public school educators who wanted to broaden the knowledge and experience of their students. 4-H in Florida began in 1909 in several counties in north Florida. 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 US 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 interests of youth.
Where does 4-H get its funding?
UF/IFAS Extension, of which 4-H is a part, receives funds from a cooperative partnership of three levels of government: federal (via the Science and Education Administration of the US Department of Agriculture), state (via the University of Florida), and county (through the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners). 4-H also receives support from private sources.
Who runs the 4-H program?
Volunteers are the key to providing 4-H programs for youth. Capable, interested adult volunteers are always needed to lead clubs and to assist with 4-H activities. Orientation and training is provided, so no previous experience is necessary. 4-H volunteers are supported by a professional staff, including a county 4-H agent who is a faculty member of the University of Florida. The county 4-H agent is responsible for the countywide 4-H program and may also have state and national responsibilities. There are various county 4-H support and advisory groups made up of interested adult volunteers. State and national 4-H personnel assist county 4-H professionals.
What do the four H's on the 4-H emblem stand for?
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 protected by an Act of Congress in 1924.
What is the 4-H Pledge?
At 4-H club meetings and other 4-H events, 4-H members recite the Pledge of Allegiance and 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.
What is the 4-H motto?
"To Make the Best Better."
What is the 4-H slogan?
"Learn by Doing."
Where does 4-H offer programs?
4-H programs are conducted in every county and parish of the United States, 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 about 10 million young people.
Is 4-H in my county?
Yes! 4-H is in every county in Florida, with thousands of members in hundreds of local 4-H clubs. Thousands more are involved in 4-H through school enrichment, short-term programs, and camping. In addition, thousands of adults volunteer their time to assist with the 4-H program. You can become part of 4-H by contacting UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County at 941-861-9900 or
How can I find out more about 4-H in Sarasota County?
Contact UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County at 941-861-9900 or by email at
4-H youths enjoy the scenery from and activities on a dock at camp