The 4-H project is the foundation of 4-H work. 4-H projects provide “learn by doing” experiences in useful, “adult-like” areas of responsibility. Projects may be done on an individual basis at home or as a group activity at club meetings. Project areas include:
- Animal Science
- Citizenship & Civic Education
- Communication Arts
- Environmental Science
- Family & Consumer Sciences
- Healthy Lifestyles
- Plant Science
- Personal Development & Leadership
- Science & Technology
4-H project requirements are on an individual basis. The member, working with their leader and parents, set specific goals which are based on the members opportunities, interests and abilities. Project records are turned into the 4-H Office in December each year.
County Activity Day
4-H presentations are first given at county activity day. Alumni of 4-H have often cited participation in presentations as one of the most important things they did in 4-H. Regardless of our age or occupation, we all are put in situations where we have to speak in public. By participating in 4-H presentations, 4-H’ers gain the skills they need to become effective public speakers. There are approximately 40 different categories in which 4-H’ers can compete.
4-H Fashion Revue
Each year, Iredell County youth are invited to participate in the 4-H Fashion Revue. Youth between the ages of 5-18 are eligible. Awards are offered for different age groups in several different categories. This is held in conjunction with County Activity Day.
4-H Entertains Talent Show
The Entertains program allows youth ages 5-18 to share their talents with others in a talent show setting. Youth may participate as individuals or as a group. There are many types of talent acts that would be suitable. The important thing is that the youth are well prepared so they can feel good about what they are sharing with others. This is held in conjunction with County Activity Day.
4-H Achievement Project
4-H members who want to challenge themselves to reach even greater heights through the 4-H program can participate in the 4-H Achievement Project. In this project, youth work through five levels that challenge them to participate in areas of the 4-H program that build leadership and citizenship skills. The five levels of the 4-H Achievement Project are: green, bronze, silver, gold and medal. There are five separate forms for the achievement program which are color-coded according to the level. To apply for each level, the member completes the form and has the form signed by his 4-H leader. It is turned into the 4-H Office in December.
Youth can work toward one level each year and can start with their first year in 4-H. They will be recognized with a certificate at Achievement Night for each level.
4-H Summer Fun is a collection of educational field trips, workshops, and hands on activities for all youth of Iredell County ages 5-18. These classes usually last 3-4 hours and run through June and July. Some classes have a small registration fee and brochures describing the classes are published each April/May.
4-H School Enrichment
4-H School enrichment is high quality, developmentally appropriate, hands on activities during school hours carried out by 4-H volunteers or trained teachers. Cooperative Extension and the local 4-H agent can provide trainings, curriculum and some supplies to carry out various school enrichment activities.
An example of one of our great 4-H school enrichment programs is Embryology, designed for second and third grade classrooms in the county. Teachers receive training on the project and then each class receives all the supplies necessary to incubate and hatch chicks. Twenty-one days after setting the eggs, baby chicks hatch to a very excited class of kids.
District Teen Retreat
This is a special weekend for active teen 4-H’ers, 13 years of age and older. The purpose of this event is to develop and sharpen leadership skills and meet with friends throughout the district. The cost of the retreat includes room, insurance, transportation, meals and any activity fees.
District Activity Day
Those 4-H’ers advancing from the county level presentation and public speaking contest are able to compete on the district level at District Activity Day. The top winners in each category can compete at the state level contest in Raleigh, NC during 4-H Congress. State winners in sponsored categories receive cash awards. In specific categories, the state-winning seniors may go on to compete at the national level.
Candidates for district office must be at least 14 years old and have been an active 4-H member for at least two years. A person may only serve as a district officer once.
Applicants must be at least 13 years old and a 4-H member for two years as of January 1. 4-H’ers may earn Bronze, Silver, Gold and Emerald Ambassador levels by completing workshops and a portfolio for each level. This program strengthens and expands upon 4-H Ambassadors’ current leadership abilities so that they may serve as positive role models for younger youth.
4-H Cumulative Records
This is an accumulation of up to three years of 4-H project work in a major project area. Records are submitted in age categories of 13-15 and 16-18. These books must be postmarked to the State 4-H Office by March 1. State winners receive cash awards.
4-H Entertains is a talent showcase. This event occurs in conjunction with District Activity Day. Each county may register two acts to perform at District Activity Day. Acts will then be selected to perform at the state talent show at 4-H Congress in July.
4-H Group Awards
There are several group awards that clubs and other 4-H groups can apply for each year. The NC 4-H Community Service award is based on ONE community service project completed by a 4-H group. There is also a 4-H Electric Group Award. Applications must be received by the State 4-H Office by March 1.
4-H International Exchange
North Carolina hosts Japanese exchange students ages 12-18 for one month, beginning late-July. Host families must complete an application and in-home interview. 4-H members may elect to host a year-long exchange student from Japan or one of the Newly Independent States. Host families are typically secured in early spring.
4-H Presentations and Public Speaking
This competition allows you the opportunity to present information by demonstration or illustrated talk for competition. The time limit is generally between 5 and 12 minutes, with specific time regulations in specific categories. Each county determines how 4-H’ers are selected to compete at district competition.
4-H Project Records
Project records highlight what a 4-H’er has learned and done in a specific project area for a period of 12 months. The books are judged in age categories of: 9- 10, 11-12, 13-15 and 16-18. They are submitted to the County 4-H office at the end of your 4-H year. The top county winners in each of the curriculum areas are then submitted to Raleigh for district competition. Most counties have their records due during the months of December or January.
Application, Interview, Resume and Essay (AIRE)
Applicants must be at least 14 years old as of January 1. This program is used to select the delegates who will represent North Carolina at National 4-H Congress, National 4-H Conference and the International Leadership Conference. Participants must complete an application and submit a resume of no more than two pages. The resume should highlight the 4-H’ers achievements, project work and leadership throughout their 4-H career. Interviews are also held. Applications and resumes are due to the State 4-H Office by May 15.
The North Carolina 4-H Camping Program offers programming for 4-H’ers of all ages. Counties generally take a delegation of 4-H’ers (ages 8-12) to one of the 4-H camping centers for 4-H Junior Camp each summer. County camp locations and dates change each year. A few of the general 4-H camps utilize Leaders in Training. These are 4-H’ers not quite old enough to be a full time camp counselor – but at least 16 years old. LIT’s work during the week to gain counselor experience. Other 4-H Specialty Camps available are: Fur, Fish and Game, Shooting Sports, Marine Science, Cloverbud and others.
Citizenship NC Focus
Hands-on workshops, panel discussions, distinguished speakers and open discussion will help youth discover how government impacts your everyday life, and how you can impact government in return. You will learn about state government, learn about working with public officials, hear from prominent North Carolina officials and visit legislators.
High school seniors may apply for 4-H scholarships. The application must be postmarked by January 15. One application form is completed if applying for one or more than one scholarship. Several of these scholarships are restricted to youth that meet certain criteria. The County 4-H Agent receives information on these scholarships in early December. Scholarship awards range in amounts from $500 to $2000.
Events focused on dairy education include: dairy judging, dairy quiz bowl, dairy skill-a-thon, dairy poster contest, numerous dairy shows and national 4-H dairy conference.
North Carolina 4-H Electric Congress is an educational event designed to recognize excellence in the Electric Program throughout the state. 4-H Electric Congress travels from region to region of the state, thus allowing for a variety of programming opportunities for everyone. 4-H members participate in workshops, meet their Power Company Representatives, and interact with other electric winners. 4-H’ers must be at least 11 years old to attend. Counties may send two project winners, two cumulative record participants, and one program recruiter. 4-H Electric Congress is usually held during the second week of July.
Events focused on horse education include: Equine Expressive Arts Contests, Horse Bowl, Hippology, Retreats, Horse Judging and Horse Camp.
The Horticulture Contest takes place at State Congress in July. It consists of three parts, a knowledge exam, testing what you know about horticulture, an identification test of flowering annuals, vegetables, woody shrubs and trees and indoor foliage plants, and a judging section that works your skills in determining plant quality.
Events focused on livestock education include: livestock judging, livestock skill-a-thon, livestock shows and showmanship circuits and the Perry & Doris Teeter 4-H Beef Leadership Institute.
Make It With Wool Competition
This competition is open to all ages and all levels of sewing. Entries may be sewn, knitted, crocheted, woven or felted and must contain wool or wool blend (minimum 60% wool, mohair, cashmere, alpaca, camel, llama and/or vicuna). Contestants must select, construct and model the garment themselves
NC 4-H Congress
Held the third week of July, NC 4-H Congress is the culminating 4-H event for the year. The event is geared for teen 4-H’ers ages 13-18; however, junior 4-H’ers may attend part-time if they were named district presentation winners. Congress is held on the campus of NC State University. Activities of the week include: State Fashion Show, State Talent Show, State Presentation Finals, Honor Club Tapping, State-level Hands-to-Service Project, State 4-H Council Officer Elections, Banquets, Dances and more.
NC 4-H Honor Club
A 4-H’er must be 16 years of age or older as of January 1 to apply. Membership is based on a point system involving community service, 4-H activities, leadership and citizenship. Applications are due in the State 4-H Office by January 15.
Events focused on poultry education include: poultry judging, NC State Fair Turkey Show, poster competition and a Poultry Science Summer Institute.
State 4-H Project Award
This award changes each year with the state 4-H project theme. These awards are generally due in May to the State 4-H office and are presented during NC 4-H Congress.
State Council Conference
This event, held in November each year, is the kick-off event which introduces the new state theme to 4-H members. Workshops and activities, taught by district and state officers, focus on the state theme.
State Fashion Revue
The State Fashion Revue is held annually during NC 4-H Congress who youth who have sewed a garment. You must be a county Fashion Revue winner to advance to state competition. A participant must model the garment.
A 4-H member is eligible to run for State 4-H Office if he or she is at least 16 years of age as of January 1 of the year of nomination, and if he or she has been an active 4-H member for at least three years prior to seeking office
State Photo Contest
The purpose of the state photo contest is to provide a showcase of 4-H members’ photographic accomplishments. The exhibit is unveiled at 4-H Congress in Raleigh, NC each summer. The winning photos are then displayed at selected meetings and events throughout the year until the next Congress.
The North Carolina State 4-H Program is divided into five districts: West, North Central, South Central, Northeast and Southeast. District officers from each district help to plan this district-wide 4-H event. Teen Retreat is generally held in the spring. This leadership building retreat generally offers training and workshops centering around the state 4-H project. 4-H’ers ages 13 to 18 are able to attend. District teen council officers are elected either at Teen Retreat or District Activity Day, depending on the district.
TRY-IT (Teens Reaching Youth through Innovative Teams)
TRY-IT provides an opportunity for 4-H teens to become teachers/facilitators by completing required training at a basic TRYIT retreat. Teams of three to four 4-H teens and one adult volunteer receive specific training to become certified TRY-IT members. TRY-IT teams utilize their skills to teach specific curricula to younger youth in their counties. Basic TRY-IT retreats are typically held in the spring and fall of each year.
Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program
WHEP is a 4-H youth natural resource program dedicated to teaching wildlife and fisheries habitat management to junior and senior level youth.
The North Carolina State 4-H Program is divided into five districts: West, North Central, South Central, Northeast and Southeast. District officers from each district help to plan this district-wide 4-H event. Winterfest is typically held in January. 4-H’ers ages 13 to 18 are able to attend.
Youth Volunteer Awards
District and State 4-H Youth Volunteer Awards are presented at State 4-H Council Conference to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and volunteer service.
Reach out to Taylor Jenkins, Iredell County 4-H Agent, with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-873-0507.