4-H Membership Policies
- Membership in 4-H is open to all youth ages 5 -19 without regard to ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, or place of residence.
- Youth must be at least 5 years of age by January 1 of the current year and not be 19 years of age by January 1 in order to participate in club, county, regional, state, or national 4-H events and activities (i.e. the calendar year in which a child turns 6 is his/her first year of eligibility for 4-H membership, and the calendar year in which he/she turns 19 is his/her last year of eligibility for the program).
- Youth ages 5, 6, or 7 as of January 1 of the current year are only eligible to participate as Cloverbud 4-H members, where they can be involved in Cloverbuds approved activities only. Cloverbuds are not permitted to participate in any event where they will be awarded places or different levels of merit achievement. Cloverbuds may be awarded participation or achievement awards only. Youth age 8, as of January 1 of the current year, may decide whether they would like to be traditional 4-H members or Cloverbuds during that year.
- Only active Erie County 4-H members will be permitted to participate in qualifying shows and roundups and represent the 4-H program in activities such as the 4-H Livestock Sale; in out-of-county 4-H competitions such as the Area 4-H Horse Production Show, District Dairy Show, etc.; and in out-of-county 4-H leadership development and citizenship events and activities such as camp counselor training, camp counseling, the Ambassadors Conference, National 4-H Congress, etc.
To be considered an active Erie County 4-H member, a member must complete the following requirements:
- attend at least 60 percent of his/her club's regularly scheduled meetings, unless excused in advance by a club leader. Club or group leaders are charged with the responsibility for establishing specific club or group guidelines and for enforcing this policy within their club or group.
- remit to 4-H all monies collected in the name of 4-H.
- complete one or more 4-H projects annually (project completion is defined as completing a record book and any related activity guides and project materials such as a poster or display, submitting these materials for judging, and obtaining a minimum score of at least 70% and no fewer than 50% of the possible points in each judging category). Judging may require participation in a face-to-face interview with a judge or project leader. Completed project score sheets must be submitted to the extension office on or before October 1 in order for the member to receive completion credit for the year. Cloverbuds are only required to participate in project activities at the club level and are not required to present a project for judging. They may present an exhibit at the 4-H Fair to receive a Cloverbuds Achievement Ribbon if desired. There are no project record books for Cloverbuds as this is not an age appropriate activity.
Note: Members who tag market lambs, steers, or hogs as on feed for the annual 4-H Livestock Sale must complete required project records and activity guides for each animal in order to participate in the following year’s 4-H Livestock Sale.
Note: Members enrolled in a dairy project must complete required project records and activity guides by Friday evening of the annual Erie County 4-H Dairy Roundup in order to be certified as active 4-H members eligible to participate in the State Junior Dairy Show.
Note: Members representing the Erie County 4-H/Youth Development Program in a contest at State 4-H Achievement Days must meet the project completion requirements for that project in order to represent the county at the following year’s State 4-H Achievement Days.
4-H members participating in or attending club, county, regional, district, state, and national programs, activities, events, shows, and contests sponsored for youth by the 4-H/Youth Development Program of Penn State Cooperative Extension are required to conduct themselves according to the Erie County 4-H Code of Participation and the Pennsylvania 4-H Code of Conduct. The codes operate in conjunction with the rules and regulations of the specific event or activity.
A Pennsylvania 4-H member may not enroll in or exhibit the same project or species in two or more counties for 4-H project completion.
Approved by the Erie County 4-H/Youth Development Program Advisory Committee: 10/23/00; Revised 12/31/06