4-H age is always calculated using October 1 of the current 4-H year. For example, if a 4-H member turns 14 on December 15, their 4-H age is still 13 years old until the next 4-H year.
- Cloverbud: 4-H members 5-8 years old (as of October 1). This is the only option for members under 8 years old. It is a non-competitive educational project and is the only project they can enroll.
- Traditional 4-H Member: Youth who are 8-18 years old (as of October 1). Members may participate fully in
the program and competitive activities. This category is broken down further into
the following categories often used for competitions and events:
- Junior 4-H Member: Members who are 8-13 years old (as of October 1)
- Senior 4-H Member: Members who are 14-18 years old (as of October 1)
Due to safety concerns, some projects have age limitations. The following project areas follow different age guidelines:
- Green Horse and Colt-to-Maturity (Horse): Must be at least 12 years old (and completed levels 1-3 of Horsemanship)
- Leadership: Must be at least 13 years old (as of October 1)
- Shooting Sports: Must be at least 9 years old (as of October 1)
4-H membership is open to all eligible youth. Montana State University Extension does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status.
Youth can enroll in 4-H between October 1 -May 1 each year, however there may a few project areas unavailable if enrollment occurs later in the enrollment period. If enrolling after January of any year, contact the Extension Office to find out if your project is still eligible for enrollment.
Locate and Contact a Club
First, from the Club List you'll want to locate and contact a club leader to learn more about the club. Talk to the leader and let them know you are interested in enrolling. The leader will guide you in providing information to help you through the enrollment process.
To Enroll in 4-H, complete the following enrollment forms, choose your project area(s), and pay a $10 enrollment fee. These can be turned into the Extension Office. Please contact your leader or Extension for any assistance needed.
Complete all of these forms:
- 4-H Enrollment Form - Club Leader signature is required
- Media Release
- Code of Conduct
- Medical Release
- Animal Project Permission Form - required for all animal projects
Here are Resources to help you select your project(s):
- Supported Montana Projects
- 4-H Clover Project Selection Guide - a printed copy is also available in the Extension Office
There are so many different ways you can get involved in 4-H! You can be involved with a club and project area(s), but you can also do other things like:
- Teen Leaders
- 4-H Ambassadors (County, State, National and International level)
- Various Shows and Activities
- Club leader
- Various Committees
- Attend Leaders training
- Be a project leader or coach
- Assist other volunteer leaders
- And so much more!
4-H has a long history and as new events and activities are created, so are the requirements. There are many events and activities in 4-H that have specific requirements (e.g. form, enrollment deadlines, meeting dates, materials, etc.).
These events, activities and requirements are predominately communicated via email and through the monthly Newsletter. The Newsletter is the primary source of everything 4-H that occurs within the county, state and national level.
IMPORTANT: Please read the Newsletter on the 1st of every month! This can be found under the Newsletter tab in the left menu on the website.
If you provide an email address, please be sure to check it often for updates from your club leader, project superintendents (the leaders in charge of the different project areas), extension, etc.
There is a ton of more information under the Youth Member link at the left. Be sure to check it out!
If you ever have a question, please don't hesitate to contact your leader, project superintendent or the Extension Office at 447-8346.
Administratively, we set due dates for forms, training, etc. because we need to allow time for paperwork to be completed or ensure training is completed at such a time that it is most effective. With our small staff, we do the best we can and provide ample opportunities to turn in required forms and complete required training(s). I encourage you to complete any requirements as early in the window as possible. In many cases due dates are firm where we cannot accept the requirement late.
If you have an extenuating circumstance that prevents you from meeting the due dates (i.e. a documented medical emergency or death in the family), please contact your club leader, project leader or the Extension Office as soon as possible for assistance.