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4-H MEMBERSHIP

4-H membership is open to all youth in Monroe County who are in kindergarten through grade 12. All young persons in kindergarten, first, and second grades may participate in the Mini 4-H Program. This program allows younger children in participate in similar 4-H activities until they reach they traditional 4-H age. Traditional 4-H is open to all youth in grades 3 through grade 12. A member may continue membership in the traditional program for a maximum of ten years.

An individual’s 4-H grade is determined by the school grade in which he or she is classified regardless of the time of year he or she enrolls in 4-H. A member does not advance in 4-H grade until he or she enrolls in 4-H for the subsequent school year. Each member should enroll in the division of a project that would best suit his/her interest and potential for personal growth and would enhance their family involvement.

Opportunities in the 4-H Program are available to all Indiana youth as defined regardless of race, religion, color, sex, national origin or disability. Married young men or women of 4-H grade may participate in any of the 4-H projects and activities. However, married people must participate by the same terms and conditions and/or guidelines as unmarried persons.  Membership in 4-H is gained by annually enrolling through a Purdue University Cooperative Extension Office.

A new 4-H year starts January 1 of each year and ends December 31. Enrollment is an annual process attained by completing the appropriate county 4-H enrollment form. Annual enrollment fees are $20.00 per traditional member, $10.00 per mini member with a maximum of $60.00 per family. You must have a zero balance, including enrollment fees, camp, trips, posterboard, etc, from previous years to enroll in Monroe County 4-H. 

RESIDENCE

Indiana youth typically enroll in 4-H in the county in which they reside. However, individuals living in one county may join 4-H in another county when there are special circumstances. If a project is not offered in the county of primary residence, a member may enroll in that specific project in a different county. During a single calendar year, a 4-H member enrolled in a given project is expected to enroll and exhibit that project only in the one county of enrollment. This policy is not intended to provide an escape mechanism for troubled 4-H members and families who are unwilling to follow the terms and/or conditions in their current county of 4-H membership. Approval of any special exception rests with the 4-H Board of Directors in the receiving county.

EXPECTATIONS OF PARENTS AND MEMBERS

Parent/Legal Guardian Statement: I understand that participating in 4–H activities can involve certain risks to my child. On behalf of my child I accept those risks. I hereby release and discharge Purdue University, the Trustees of Purdue University, the Monroe County Commissioners, The Monroe Cooperative Extension Service, and each of their trustees, officers, appointees, agents, employees, and volunteers (“released Parties”) from all claims which my child or I might have for any injury or harm to my child, including death, arising out of my child’s participation in any activity related to the 4-H youth development program, even if such injury or harm is caused by the negligence or fault of any of the released parties.

I (we) understand, agree to abide by, follow and comply with the rules, policies and expectations of the 4-H program and will conduct myself (ourselves) in a courteous and respectful manner by exhibiting good sportsmanship and being a positive role model for youth. I also understand that failing to do so will constitute grounds for sanctions and/or dismissal of the member from the program.

 Member Statement: I agree to follow the rules, policies and expectations of the 4-H program and will conduct myself in a courteous and respectful manner by exhibiting good behavior and good sportsmanship. I understand that failing to do so will result in sanctions, discipline, and/or dismissal from the program.

DEADLINES, PARTICIPATION, EXHIBITION, AND COMPLETION

Deadlines: Proper compliance with established, stated, and published final dates and deadlines is considered an appropriate expectation of 4-H membership. Submitting things on time and following the rules is part of the 4-H learning experience and is considered a reasonable thing to do. Individuals not complying with these expectations may lose awards and privileges. This is especially true in animal projects where animal ownership, raising, and identification have specific time periods as part of the project requirements. Members not complying with established and published dates and deadlines for exhibition may be denied exhibition privileges as well as premiums and/or awards for that project.

Participation: Attendance and participation at 4-H meetings is highly encouraged as a part of the overall experience. However, attendance and participation at club meetings cannot be required as criteria for project completion. 4-H meetings should be of the quality that 4-H members should want to attend, participate, and learn something beneficial. Also, rewarding 4-H clubs, 4-H members, and 4-H volunteers for attendance and participation in meetings, tours, workshops, local and county exhibits, etc. is encouraged. The rewards for participation in 4-H meetings, tours and activities should be significant enough to cause the 4-H member to see the advantage of reacting positively. 4-H volunteers and members of local clubs may establish goals for attendance, exhibits, completion, etc. to meet the criteria established for awards and recognition as long as they do not conflict with county, area, or state policies.

Exhibition: Exhibition of 4-H projects in local, county, or state exhibits/fairs is considered a privilege and is voluntary on the part of the exhibitor. The exhibition of 4-H projects provides members an opportunity to display their 4-H projects, entertain wholesome competition and enjoy an educational/social environment with their peers. With the privilege of exhibition also comes the responsibility for abiding by all the terms and conditions pertaining to the respective 4-H project. Not following the established terms and conditions of the projects will be grounds for exclusion from the competition/exhibition or the project itself.

Completion: The completion of a 4-H project must not be misinterpreted as exhibition of said project at a local, county, or state fair. 4-H members are considered complete in their project work for that year when they have; (1) completed an “official” 4-H enrollment form prior to the deadline, (2) turned in a completed 4-H project record sheet prior to the fair and (3) has an officially recognized    4-H Leader/Extension Educator verify existence of the completed project. Though exhibiting in local/county and state exhibits/fairs is not required for project completion, as it does not necessarily directly relate to the learning received in the development of a 4-H project, project exhibition should be encouraged as a continuation of the educational experience.

GUIDELINES FOR ANIMAL EXHIBITS

Each 4-H member shall own his/her own 4-H exhibit. Ownership must be in effect on or before the county and state enrollment deadline and continuously until after the show date.

For 4-H breeding animals, family corporations and/or partnerships of 4-H members with one or more parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or legal guardians are acceptable.

For 4-H dairy cattle, family corporations and/or partnership of 4-H member with unrelated persons or dairy operations are also acceptable.

Horses, ponies, and llamas may be leased, subject to approval of both the county 4-H Horse and Pony committee and the respective County Extension Educator.

4-H animals purchased, sold or offered for sale after the animal enrollment deadline and prior to the Indiana State Fair, shall not be eligible to be shown at the Indiana State Fair.

4-H animals shown under different ownership (than they are listed on the 4-H enrollment form), after the 4-H animal enrollment deadline, shall not be eligible to be shown in the 4-H show at the Indiana State Fair.

For 4-H animals that are eligible to be co-enrolled by brothers and/or sisters (horses, ponies, sheep, and swine), ownership if established the first time the animal is shown after May 15th. The ownership of the animal cannot change from the first time the animal is shown after May 15th until the conclusion of the 4-H show at the Indiana State Fair.

4-H animals are expected to be in personal possession and regular care of the 4-H member who owns/leases them from the animal enrollment deadline until the conclusion of the county and/or state fair.  

GRIEVANCE GUIDELINES

There is a procedure if a 4-H member feels the need to file a grievance regarding a project or activity. The process starts with a small, unbiased subcommittee conducting an investigation. The burden of proof shall reside with the party filing the grievance. The person filing the grievance may appeal the decision to the 4-H Board. The facts are reviewed and a decision is rendered. This decision may be appealed to the County Extension Board for their decision, the final level in the appeal process. 

4-H PROJECTS

4-H members must take at least one project each year and complete the records for that project.

The local club leaders, with help from club members, will notify members when and where the meetings will be held. Project meetings are generally held from January through August.  Most project clubs have at least one meeting per month.

PROJECT SELECTION

In choosing a project, a member should consult with their parents and 4-H leader(s). After considering all the projects available and the requirements of each, they should select one based on:

(1)  Interest, needs, and capabilities

(2)  Family situation

(3)  Suitability of the area in which he or she lives

Members enrolling for the first time are encouraged to take only one project. As a member gains knowledge and experience, the size of the project may be increased and additional projects selected.

The club leader has project guidelines which give a brief explanation of each project.  Members may also ask the project superintendent about the project and the requirements for that project.

Early in their 4-H career, a member needs to consider developing a tentative project plan to guide him or her until they are past 4-H age. Some projects should be continued each year, with increases in the size of the project when possible. Members should also try to enroll in additional projects which are related to his or her other project work. For example, an electric project member may want to enroll in home improvement, woodworking, safety, or automotive projects. If possible, an older member should consider expanding project work to develop a complete farm, ranch, business, or home management program.

The project is the core of the 4-H member's experience. The project is the center of many activities in which members will find satisfaction in expanding his or her project work. The learning experiences one obtains through his or her project could even lead to career possibilities. 

AWARDS

Awards are given to 4-H members at the Annual Achievement Night held in the fall. Some local clubs may also hold their own award banquets where awards may be given to its members.

4-H members between grades 6 to 12 during the current calendar year are eligible to apply for trips taken the following summer. All persons who fit this grade requirement will receive trip details during March. Most of the trips take place between June and July.

RIBBONS

In 4-H, the ribbon placings are defined as follows:

White - - Below the average of the group

Red - - Average

Blue - - First Place: Above the average of the group

Purple - -Honor: Outstanding work

MY RECORD OF ACHIEVEMENT

"My Record of Achievement" forms should be filled out completely each year. These are available online or through the County Extension Office. It is important that these be filled out accurately in order to apply for trips and awards throughout your 4-H career.

4-H records should be filled out as completely and accurately as possible. Parents may oversee the child’s work, but we expect the child to do his or her own writing.