4-H Youth Fair 2009, Madison County

Becoming a 4-H member can take you places you have never been before!

4-H Power of Youth logo

Find out what 4-H can do for YOUR family! Call today!

About 4-H

4-H is the nation's largest youth development and empowerment organization, reaching more than 7 million 4-H youth in all walks of life. 4-H members engage in hands-on learning activities in all curriculum areas, including science, math, healthy living, and community service. Members participate in public speaking through public presentations. Youth and adults work together as one. Members develop life long skills that help them succeed, they grow and contribute as active citizens through service and leadership.

By combining club project activities with opportunities to publicly show their work, travel to 4-H events, and help others though community service activities, 4-H provides a framework on which young people can build self-confidence, responsibility, and generosity. Studies confirm it. 4-H members are likely to excel in school, lead their peers and give to their communities.

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 such as: animals, clothing, plants, food, community service, nature, science, woodworking, and many, many more!
  • Be an officer in your club, such as president, secretary or treasurer
  • Show projects and animals
  • Give public presentations at County Presentation Day and beyond when you qualify
  • Participate in state-wide events and trips

Younger children can still join 4-H as Cloverbuds.


  • Are youth between 5 and 8 years old
  • Can join in on the same fun as the older kids
  • Make new friends and have fun learning
  • Can give a public presentation
  • Can show projects
  • Can become regular members when they reach third grade

Click here to see a list of curriculum available to all of the Madison County 4-H Clubs right in the 4-H Office! More can be found online.

What will I do in 4-H?

4-H members choose projects that interest them. Members attend regular meetings, are involved in public speaking and community service activities, and may serve as a club officer.

How much does it cost to join 4-H?

Joining 4-H clubs costs very little. Individual clubs may charge dues to cover expenses, and some project areas, such as photography and livestock, may require a small investment for supplies and equipment. Clubs get involved in annual county-wide fundraisers that help raise money for their clubs.

When I join 4-H, do my parents have to become leaders?

Parents don't have to become 4-H leaders when you join 4-H, but most leaders appreciate the assistance of parents or other adults. This help can range from being a project leader, to driving members to activities, to supplying refreshments for a meeting.

Volunteer FAQs: 

How can I become involved?
First, decide which program within the 4-H program you want to volunteer for. Next, fill out a Volunteer Application, available here on our web site, and send it in. We'll call and talk with you about your interests and how you'd like to be involved.

Do I have to have children to be a 4-H volunteer leader?
No. 4-H volunteer leaders simply need to enjoy spending time with children and youth, and be willing to help them learn and develop.

Do I have to know a lot about a subject to be a leader?
No. Volunteer leaders solicit help from other volunteers. In addition, volunteer leaders can attend training to help them feel more comfortable and knowledgeable in specific areas. Our office also has curricula and other information on many subjects, and can help you identify activities and opportunities for your club or project.

Do I have to organize my own 4-H club, or can I help out with an existing one?
No. Just let the 4-H office know what you are interested in and the amount of time you have available, so we can direct you to the perfect volunteer opportunity (short or long-term).

Is there a cost involved?
There are no costs involved in becoming a 4-H volunteer leader!

What about background screening?
Those who volunteer to work directly with youth will be asked to consent to a sex offender and criminal background screening at Cooperative Extension's expense, as a means of ensuring the safety and security both of our volunteers and of the people we serve through our programs.

Whom do I contact?
Call 315-684-3001 or email madison@cornell.edu for more information

Learn More!

Find out more about the history of 4-H and what it can offer you by visiting the other pages on this site, then get in touch with a local 4-H staff person today! We're looking forward to welcoming you to Madison County 4-H!

Last updated September 22, 2021