Stark, C. 2019, 4-H Programs & Projects Overview, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno

What are 4-H Programs?

4-H programs are the umbrella for 4-H content areas. 4-H programs are underneath the three mission mandates: science, engineering and technology, healthy living, and citizenship. 4-H Programs differ from 4-H projects because they include a variety of knowledge areas and are inclusive of many projects and events. Programs can target specific audiences, seek out community partnerships and have funding sources that provide resources. The identified 4-H program areas in Nevada are: 4-H Afterschool; Ambassadors; Collegiate 4-H; Cloverbuds; Healthful Living; Military; Shooting Sports; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

What is a 4-H project?

A "project" is a topic that you can explore. As you explore, you'll learn more than just about the topic. You'll learn life skills, such as understanding yourself, communicating and working with others, problem solving and decision making skills that you will use for the rest of your life.

How do I choose a 4-H project?

Think about what you like to do or what you are interested in, then look at the list of projects. Some of the project manuals are available in your local extension office and some are on the Web. Click on one that looks interesting and find out more about it. Your 4-H leader and parent can also help you decide. Check with your 4-H leader to find out if there are requirements for the project.

Do I have to do all the activities in the project guide or manual?

Of course not. The member, parents and leader choose the activities. Members may plan to do a little or a lot based on their interests and abilities. Project plans (goals) change as a member's interest's change.

How much time is spent on a 4-H project?

It depends on the size and scope of a member's plan and goals. Some projects take a few days, weeks or even months. Some projects are repeated or undertaken again the following year to learn more and accomplish more goals.

Are there rewards for completing 4-H projects?

There are several ways to receive awards and recognition for completing projects. Check with your county 4-H staff member or 4-H leader to find out if there are special requirements.

How do I get 4-H project manuals or guides?

Your 4-H leader or county 4-H staff member will have a list of project manuals or guides. Some project activities are on the Web. Your 4-H staff member may have extra copies in his or her office; otherwise, the manuals can be ordered. Your 4-H leader or 4-H staff member can help you, so just ask!

List of projects

4-H can be anything you want it to be. 4-H projects are based on research, so you can have up-to-date and accurate information about the things you're interested in. 4-H project manuals and guides give you ideas for activities to do and ways to learn more. Not all of these projects may be offered by your club or county 4-H program, but this is a great place to explore! If there is something that you are interested in and it's not on the list, talk with your county 4-H staff member.

Citizenship

  • Community Involvement
  • Ambassadors
  • Careers
  • Community Service
  • Leadership
  • Diversity

Capital Days

Capital Days is an educational program for youth 13 to 18 years old (high school students) to learn about governmental procedures while visiting Nevada's capital city. Youth will tour the Legislative Building along with meeting their state representatives. Some of the other activities include bowling, visiting the state museum, and exploring the Governor's Mansion!

Some of the participants even get to sit on the floor with their senator or assemblyperson and listen to the current issues the representatives are discussing. This allows attendees to get a first-hand experience in the law-making processes that occur in Nevada.

Before youth visit the capital city, they pick a few bills that are being considered by Nevada Legislators and follow them through the "How a Bill becomes a Law" process (even the bills that do not make it to the law stage). Following the bill(s) also includes sitting in on the committee hearings related to their bill(s) while at Capital Days.

Creative Living

  • Arts and Communication
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Drawing and Painting
    • Leathercraft
    • Performing Arts
    • Photography
    • Public Speaking
    • Scrapbooking
    • Sculpting
    • Theatre Arts
    • Cake Decorating
    • Ceramics
  • Food and Nutrition
    • Breads
    • Preparing Meals
  • Child Development
  • Clothing
    • Knitting and Crocheting
    • Fashion Revue
    • Needlework
    • Sewing and Quilting
    • Wool Spinning
  • Health
    • Dance
    • Fitness
    • Health Rocks!
    • Recreation
    • Skiing and Snowboarding

Independent Projects

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

  • Animal Sciences
    • Beef
    • Birds
    • Cats
    • Cavies
    • Dairy
    • Dogs
    • Embryology
    • Exotic Animals
    • Goats
    • Guide Dogs
    • Horse
    • Llamas
    • Pets
    • Poultry
    • Rabbits
    • Sheep
    • Swine
    • Veterinary Science
  • Natural Resources
    • Camping
    • Fishing
    • Geology
    • Insects
    • Outdoor Adventure
    • Shooting Sports
    • Soils and Water
    • Wildlife
  • Plant Sciences
    • Gardening
  • Science and Technology
    • All Terrain Vehicles (ATV)
    • Bicycling
    • Computers
    • Electricity/Energy
    • GPS/GIS Technology
    • Photography
    • Robotics
    • Rocketry
    • Small Engines
    • Videography
    • Woodworking
Animal Science

"There is an old expression that summarizes the philosophy of 4-H; we are raising blue-ribbon kids, not blue-ribbon animals."

The under-lining purpose of all 4-H project education (including animal science) is positive development of life skills and personal growth that benefit youth so that each 4-H club member will become a productive and contributing member of society.

Many youth have a natural interest in animals, and since a broad range of animal species are encompassed in animal science projects, animal science is the largest portion (41% or about 2.4 million youth) of the 4-H Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Program.

4-H animal science projects encompass many areas. Animals include horses, beef cattle, dairy cattle, dairy goats, meat goats, llamas, sheep, swine, cavies, poultry, dogs, cats, and pocket pets (such as hamsters, gerbils, parakeets and many more species). Many other opportunities also exist for youth to participate in including animal judging (livestock, horse, dairy, poultry, etc.), animal products judging (meat, wool, egg, etc.), skillathons, quiz bowls, and presentations (public speaking and demonstrations on almost any topic pertaining to animal science).

The educational purpose of these projects is to teach youth how to feed, fit, care for and evaluate animals or animal products. However, the more important purpose is to provide an opportunity for personal growth and development. Regardless of the club member's preference, each project offers many similar opportunities that develop life skills in youth. 4-H always offers:

  • Fun and Exciting Experiences — the joy of making new friends through club meetings, county activities, state events and national programs
  • Challenges — the responsibility of caring for an animal and learning about production, management, nutrition, health, training, grooming, showing and ethics
  • Life Skills — the understanding of citizenship, leadership, self-respect, coping, decision making and caring for others that leads to a positive and productive life
  • Competition — the opportunity to exhibit an animal, demonstrate showmanship skills, present knowledge gained/learned, display sportsmanship and produce records of accomplishment

In 4-H, all of these aspects come together to form the foundation, ultimate purpose, or major goal of providing opportunities for young people to develop character. The Josephson Institute of Ethics has identified six "Pillars of Character" in its nationwide Character Counts! Program. These six core values (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship) better describe and link the value of 4-H animal science projects with the positive development and growth of life skills.

Contact

Please contact your county Extension office for more information.

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