4-H Record Keeping

The purpose of 4-H recordkeeping is to teach how to keep records, an important life skill. Recordkeeping is an ongoing process.  Keeping records is a great way to document your participation in the 4-H program.  You will be able to refer to your information when you apply for 4-H awards, scholarships, and more.  

Objectives of keeping records

  1. To learn how to set goals, how to make plans for action, and how to decide how well you did (evaluation).
  2. To learn the skills of record keeping and organization to use now and in the future.
  3. To learn to communicate and summarize.
  4. To learn responsibility by completing a task.
  5. To evaluate information that will market personal skills through future resumes and application forms.

Available Forms

Overall Participation Summary – a way to summarize your participation each year in one document

Yearly 4-H Summary - a way to summarize your participation for one 4-H year

Story County 4-H Project Record - this is the form required for county 4-H project award.  Use this form for a project area you have participated in.  Examples 2010 Rabbit Project; 2011 Photography Project, etc.  To prepare for the 4-H award application process, it is recommended to keep records by project area. 

Additional items you may include in your records: your fair exhibit write-up, pictures, news clippings, certificates, etc., as they tell the story of your experience in the project area. You may record ribbon placings received for exhibition; however the actual ribbon should be stored in a separate location from your 4-H records.

Livestock Worksheets (financial) – some county 4-H awards require this information.

4-H Record-Keeping Self Evaluation

Tips for keeping records

  • Working on your records throughout the year is helpful. 
  • Records are required for most 4-H award applications.
  • You can have records for projects that did not have an exhibit for the fair.  Projects are what you enroll in and work on throughout the current 4-H year, while exhibits are one piece of a project that you choose to prepare and take to the county fair. 

Example: Project – Food and Nutrition (help prepare meals, help grocery shop, set table, make cookies for bake sale, made chocolate chip cookies for fair exhibit, etc.)  Exhibit – Chocolate chip cookies (made to be judged and on display during fair)

Ways to save your records:

  • In a tabbed 3 ring binder
  • Labeled hanging files
  • Files in a computer
  • Other ideas
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