Join 4-H


Our typical enrollment period is from September 16th through May 15th.  Don’t worry, if you have missed the enrollment deadline for this year we can still get you enrolled so that you can fully participate next year.  Click here for more information about 4-H!
4-H is a program offered for youth in 4th through 12th grades.  There is a separate “Clover Kids” program for children in kindergarten through 3rd grades.  The process of getting enrolled is an easy one, just follow the steps below.


You may choose a club based on location or special interest.  To see a listing of the 4-H clubs in Howard County, click here .  If you would like specific contact information for a leader, and need assistance in retrieving that information, please contact the Extension Office.  We are happy to assist you in contacting a club leader.  It is important that you make contact with the club leaders, as they can give you specific information about the club such as meeting times, special club rules and how many club members there are.


The 4-H Online database is the method for Online Registration.  The Database tells the club leader and the Extension Office who you are, where you live and what your project interests are.  If none of your family members are currently in 4-H, you must contact the County Youth Coordinator to get your family set up in the online database.  From there you can complete the 4-H Registration.  There is also an annual program fee of $30 to enroll in 4-H.  Currently, we don’t have the ability to accept payment online so you will pay your fee through your 4-H club.  This fee helps to support the county and state 4-H programs.  Howard county does offer support for the fee, the amount of county support is determined each fall and many times ranges from $15 - $20 of the $30.  If you feel the fee would constitute and undue financial burden, financial aid is available from the Iowa 4-H Foundation by visiting their website at


You should spend some time familiarizing yourself with the 4-H program.  Look for a project in y our interest areas by checking in the Pick-Your-Adventure Guide.  Orient yourself to 4-H with our New Member Guide, or consider attending our New Member Series held each spring.  Check our Calendar for more information about upcoming events and opportunities.
 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Extension Office.


4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential working and learning in partnership with caring adults.
Youth as powerful members of society
Youth and adults as caring partners
Learning as a lifelong commitment
Diversity and social conscience
Doing our best and making it better
 4-H youth programs provide opportunities for youth to develop skills they can use now and throughout their life.  Iowa 4-H builds upon a century of experience as it fosters positive youth development that is based on the needs and strengths of youth, their families and communities.
 Iowa 4-H follows the principles of experiential learning, and draws on the knowledge base of Iowa State University and other institutions of higher education in cooperation with the United State Department of Agriculture.  The Iowa 4-H Program’s vision and mission statements clearly view youth as partners working with staff and volunteers, and as full participants in planning and working for individual and community change.
 Youth development research emphasizes the importance of meeting the four basic human needs of belonging, generosity, independence, and mastery.  Studies indicate that youth whose needs are met in positive ways are likely to develop into active citizens and contributing members of their families and communities.  The Iowa 4-H program ensures that every youth will have the opportunity to participate in 4-H experiences that strengthen a young person’s sense of belonging, generosity, independence and mastery.
BELONGING –Youth need to know they are cared about by others and feel a sense of connection to others in group settings.  4-H gives youth the opportunity to feel physically and emotionally safe while actively participating in a group.
GENEROSITY– Youth need to feel their lives have meaning and purpose.  By exploring 4-H community service and citizenship activities, youth can connect to communities and learn to give back to others.
INDEPENDENCE– Youth need to know they are able to influence people and events through decision-making and action.  By exercising independence through 4-H leadership opportunities, youth mature in self-discipline and responsibility and learn to better understand themselves.
MASTERY– Youth need to feel and believe they are capable and experience success at solving problems and meeting challenges to develop their self-confidence.  Through the exploration of ideas and activities related to their interests, youth learn skills and participate in experiences that help them make positive life choices for their future.
 Iowa 4-H youth programs address the needs of young people by focusing on their strengths and capacities and the essential elements of positive youth development programming.  The essential elements of a 4-H experience are the “best practices” that help staff and volunteers address the four basic developmental needs of youth.  The 4-H program’s vision, mission, and values emphasize the importance of youth and adults working as partners to improve the group experience as well.  A positive youth-adult partnership ensures that the essential elements are being practiced in 4-H programming.


County 4-H News

Award Winner Dan Evans and county council members Erin Ryan and Ethan Govern
November 19, 2019

The 2019 4-H Awards program was held on November 10, 2019 honoring 4-H members and leaders and others for accomplishments during the past 4-H year.

Matt Ross - presentor at Farm Safety Day
September 12, 2019

The annual farm safety day was held on September 10, 2019 in Cresco at the Fairgrounds with 136 4th grade students from Crestwood, Notre Dame and Riceville schools.

August 22, 2019

Howard County 4-H members participated at the Iowa State Fair and received numerous awards on their static entries, livestock entries and communication entries.

July 9, 2019

The 2019 4H and FFA Horse games were held on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at the Mighty Howard County Fiar in Cresco, Iowa.

July 5, 2019

2019 4H and FFA Beef show results from Mighty Howard County Fair on June 29, 2019 in Cresco, Iowa.

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