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2023 Van Wert County Family Guide


4-H Member Eligibility

Ohio 4-H membership is based on a child’s age AND grade as of January 1 of the current calendar year. Eligibility for Cloverbud participation begins when a child is age 5 and enrolled in kindergarten. Eligibility for participation in 4-H projects and competitive events begins when a child is age 8 and in third grade. Any youth age 9 or above is eligible for project membership, regardless of grade level. Membership requires enrollment in an authorized Ohio 4-H club or group under the direction of an OSU Extension professional or an approved adult volunteer. A youth’s 4-H eligibility ends December 31 the year he or she turns 19.

Joining Ohio 4 H is a privilege and responsibility for individuals and is subject to the Ohio 4-H Code of Conduct and applicable policies of The Ohio State University

4-H is open to all boys and girls without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, or disability status. Local clubs may elect to have dues to help pay for any expenses of the club. Clubs may choose to meet year round or at least the months of March-August.


4-H Membership Requirements include:

  • Eligible as of January 1 of current year per guidelines listed above.
  • Choose a project, completing a planned series of educational experiences.
  • Be an active member of a 4-H Club with at least five youth members and one volunteer adult advisor, which meets at least 6 times per year. Recognized by the Ohio State University Extension as in good standing.
  • Members must attend 50% of club meetings.

4-H Attendance Guidelines:

  • Members must attend 50% of their club’s meetings (other 4-H activities can be used a substitute meeting credit for up to 25% of meetings with approval of 4-H advisor overseeing club).
  • County 4-H Clubs develop their own attendance rules and regulations as long as they meet the above requirements.(Clubs can require meeting attendance over and above the 50% required by county guidelines).
  • Those members not meeting the above requirements would lose 4-H privileges such as fair exhibition.

4-H Project Work:

  • Each 4-H member should register and complete at least one 4-H project per year for a youth to be considered a member in good standing.
  • Projects must be registered on your 4-H enrollment form, signed by parent and returned to the Extension Office by the enrollment deadline.
  • Members must finish their projects and be judged for completion. Those judged incomplete or those not meeting requirements will lose 4-H benefits such as fair exhibition.
  • All youth selected for county positions, (CarTeen, Jr. Fairboard, 4-H Camp Counselor, Buckeye Ambassador, Fashion Board and other opportunities) must complete at least one project, be judged at interview judging and remain members in good standing of a local 4-H Club.

Cross County Membership

Cross County Information, Policy, and Form

4-H and FFA Membership

Ohio 4-H members are sometimes also FFA members, often within the same county or in an adjacent county. These members especially need to keep in mind the 4-H policy about 4-H projects being separate from school projects. To keep work in both organizations clearly separate, 4-H members are advised to take different species in the two organizations or, at the very least, to take market animals in one and breeding animals in the other. The idea is to refrain from exhibiting the same project more than once. Exhibitors should check their junior fair exhibition rules about exhibiting both 4-H and FFA projects and animals. 





Breeding Gilt

Market Hog


Market Steer

Market Hog

Not Allowable

Market Lamb

Market Lamb



            Ohio youth age 5 AND in Kindergarten through 2nd grade may enroll in the Ohio 4-H Cloverbud program.The Cloverbud program is designed with specific educational objectives and is non-competitive.Cloverbuds are encouraged to take part in “SHOW & TELL” 4-H judging offered at both judging’s in the Summer.

Cloverbuds are not permitted to take any regular 4-H projects. However, they may complete #715 My 4-H Cloverbud year or a coloring/activity book as provided from the Extension Office.

Fair participation is used for positive reinforcement, and consists of an exhibit that can be hand-carried by the participant, with no competition and no scoring. Cloverbuds cannot take or show horses, steers or large animal projects. The may opt to participate in Open Class divisions thru the Senior Fair.

Not all clubs in the county accept Cloverbuds as they require one-on-one instruction. It is not always possible in clubs with too few advisors.

The following clubs currently accept Cloverbuds:

  • 24 Carrots 4-H Club
  • Venedocia Lads and Lassies             
  • Bunny Hoppers
  • Barnyard Buddies
  • Ohio City Blue Ribbon Workers
  • Clever Clovers
  • Ohio Challengers
  • Hoaglin Farmers
  • York Commanders

More information about Cloverbuds and curriculum can be found at  or



We strive to make quality 4-H Programming accessible to all youth in Van Wert County. With this in mind we can make accommodations in judging events and other activities so that every child can have a successful experience. In order to make sure that we know what accommodations are necessary, I am making a form available for parents to complete. We can use this information to communicate to judges and volunteers as needed. It will also help us to formalize our process so that we do not miss anyone. If a 4-H member needs accommodations for a show or project judging, please contact the office for a form and instructions.