How to join 4-H

Membership in Missouri 4-H Youth Development Programs is open to all youth 5 to19 years of age (age as of 1/1/15). People of all ages participate in 4-H programs, from pre-schoolers to grandparents. The list of 4-H projects is so varied that every 4-H member and adult volunteer is sure to find something of interest.

It doesn't matter where you live, 4-H is open to all young people. Whether you live in the country, a small town or a big city, you can participate in 4-H.

Joining 4-H is easy! Call your local University Extension Office, which is listed in the telephone book with other county offices. A 4-H staff member will be able to guide you to 4-H opportunities in your area. For Adair County, call 660-665-9866 or email Michelle Klem, University of Missouri Extension 4-H Youth Development Specialist.

There are presently ten 4-H clubs in Adair County. Club members attend monthly meetings, where items of interest to the entire club are discussed. It is within these meetings where members learn parliamentary procedure, leadership and public speaking skills, among others. In addition, club members enroll in a variety of projects annually. Members meet with others in the project and are led by a volunteer project leader. These projects range from the traditional "cows and cookies" variety, to the innovative computer and aerospace projects.

Adair County 4-H Clubs:  Clover Classics, East Center, Hazel Creek, Liberty, Novinger Town and Country, Oklahoma Indians, Ranch Hands, Salt River, Show-Me and Trinity.

There is a small fee to join 4-H. Check with the extension center for details. In addition, some projects may require a small investment to get started, and there may be charges for materials or special trips.

The program year is from Sept. 1 until Aug. 31.

Teen Option — The Adair County 4-H Council recognizes that many teens are extremely busy with school activities, and often, a job as well. With this in mind, and recognizing that teens can offer much in the way of leadership to our 4-H program, the Teen Option has been approved to help older 4-H members meet the completion requirements set forth in the Adair County 4-H Council Constitution and By-laws. Individual members complete a plan using the Adair County Teen Option Form (PDF) and file it with the local University of Missouri Extension Center.

Become a 4-H volunteer

Your very first step towards a rewarding experience working with or for 4-H youth is to complete and submit the 4-H Volunteer Application (PDF). Then, get some good information on working with youth. For the protection of 4-H members and volunteers, all volunteer applicants are screened for child abuse and neglect and criminal records prior to their acceptance for the volunteer position.  This screening and application process is completed each year. Missouri 4-H volunteers are required to take a one-time volunteer orientation; however, anyone is welcome to review the Missouri volunteer orientation materials.

You’re just about ready to roll! Learn about the “Nuts and Bolts” of becoming a 4-H Volunteer on our state 4-H Website – what to do first, where to look for information, steps to take in working through the 4-H project, keeping kids coming back, keeping kids interested, etc. Before your first meeting, be sure to order literature (PDF) for yourself and your members. Most of the literature available is good stuff!

These are just the basics, if you’d like to surf around and get even more great information check out the Missouri Center for 4-H Youth Development website.