The network of families that grows great kids.
Raising great kids is a challenging task, but it's easier when you have a team of people behind you. 4-H clubs are groups of families that do just that. Through working together, families share knowledge and interests to help kids learn practical skills and important values.
How does 4-H work?
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4-H clubs generally meet monthly, and nearly every community in Kansas has at least one. These meetings give youth opportunities to share their project work (speak), plan community service activities, and practice running meetings. They have many “sub-clubs” for individual projects, led by adults or teens within the club. For specialized projects like shooting sports, many counties have county-wide project clubs that operate in a similar fashion.
Members choose from a wide range of individual projects, based on their interests and the availability of a knowledgeable adult in the community to serve as a mentor/leader (matching facilitated through clubs). Through these projects, members set goals, learn the skills needed to achieve goals, and exhibit/demonstrate their skills at events like county fairs, speaking contests and other competitions.
Who runs the 4-H program?
Ultimately 4-H is run by the land grant university in each state, which is why the state 4-H office lives at Kansas State University in a department called K-State Research and Extension.
Though the state office guides the overall program, 4-H is largely administered at the county level. Each county in the state has a K-State Research and Extension Office (or a district office if multiple counties have joined together), staffed by Extension Agents who oversee their county or district’s clubs, membership, activities, fairs and so on.