Volunteer Training

Competent, caring adult volunteers are an Essential Element of the Iowa 4-H program. Volunteers contribute their time and talents to 4-H and in return 4-H has the responsibility to provide them with the positive youth development knowledge and skills they need to effectively work with youth. Leaders who participated in the training told us:

  • Learned from presenters and also from experience of other members
  • Being able to connect with others
  • Became more aware of situations I hadn't though of before - gained a new perspective of things
  • Good interaction and wonderful ideas and suggestions from other leaders

Annual Leader Training

Creating a Vibrant 4-H (2023-2024)

Volunteers who are club, project, or Clover Kid leaders, SESS leaders or assistant leaders attend an annual training that strengthens their positive youth development knowledge and skills. Training occurs in each county and is designated as the annual training module.

Learn strategies for creating a quality and vibrant 4-H experience that can strengthen youth engagement. Hear about critical issues of program quality while understanding the importance of creating a balanced 4-H experience. In addition, gain resources that can be used with 4-H youth throughout the year. Resources from the training are posted on the Volunteer Resources webpage.

Training for New Volunteers

County based volunteer orientation and training is crucial to volunteers being successful in their “home” counties. Each county has unique aspects of the 4-H program that volunteers need to learn. County Extension staff, Youth Committee members, experienced volunteers, and the regional youth program specialist form the county team who are the essential frontline trainers and mentors for new volunteers. This county based team builds the relationships and support systems which make volunteers successful.

Regional new volunteer training is designed for new 4-H volunteers committing to a long term experience working with 4-H youth as club, project, Clover Kid leaders and assistants. Volunteers committing to these roles are required to attend a regional new volunteer training within the first 12 months of being screened and approved as a 4-H volunteer.
The blended learning training is designed to give new volunteers a better working knowledge of positive youth development, the Iowa 4-H Equation, and tools that will help them be more confident and capable in their roles working with youth. The training will be delivered in two components. The first includes four online training modules that help create a baseline for 4-H volunteers. It is followed by a regional, three hour face-to-face training that will allow volunteers to apply some of their learning. AmeriCorps members are welcome to attend! Sign up for a training today via the individual registration links below.

New Volunteer Trainings - VIRTUAL Offerings:

New Volunteer Trainings - Face to Face Offerings:

Risk Management Training for Volunteers

Helping maintain a safe environment for members, families, volunteers, and staff is a priority for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Volunteers are required to participate in Risk Management Training. All new volunteers will participate in an online Risk Management training module via 4-H Online. To access additional risk management resources, visit the 4-H Risk Management webpage.

4-H Judges Training

Individuals interested in becoming a 4-H exhibit judge and current judges who would like a refresher or expand their areas of judging, should attend a regional judges training. If interested, here is a list of upcoming judges trainings.

Online Resources for Volunteers

Volunteers can acquire support materials through their county extension office, on the 4-H website or other online resources. View a list of current online resources for Club/Project and Clover Kids volunteers.