New 4-H Families

  • By now you have probably visited 4-H clubs and found the one that you would like to join.  If not, please find the complete club listing here.
  • If you haven't already done so, you will need to enroll in Iowa 4hOnline. Please read below to make sure you register the correct way.

    If you've been involved in 4-H or Clover Kids in the state of Iowa within the last 3 years, you already have an account.  Please DO NOT create a new account (we will have to delete the new account anyway).  You will need to enter in your family email address and select the I Forgot My Password button (unless you actually do remember your password).  If the system does not recognize your email address, please call 641-673-5841 or email and we will fix the problem.  To continue the re-enrollment process, please follow these simple instructions.  Re-Enrollment Registration Help Sheet
   If you have not been involved in 4-H or Clover Kids in the state of Iowa within the last 3 years, please create a new account in Iowa 4hOnline.  Use these simple instructions to register, New Enrollment Registration Help Sheet.

  • After you've visited and selected a club and enrolled, you will want to read the monthly 4-H newsletter.  Please bookmark,  Amy posts a newsletter to this site each month.  The newsletters contain information about deadlines, events, activities, and important details/rules.  You will also need to sign the Mahaska County 4-H Code of Good Conduct Form.  You may either e-sign or sign a printed form by May 15 of the current 4-H year.
  • Next step... Set goals.  What do you want to get out of 4-H?  Maybe you want to be able to speak to a large group.  You will want to set the goal of "Gaining skills to be able to speak to a large group.".  Maybe you want to work with your aunt to learn how to sew.  You will want to set the goal of "Learn sewing skills to create a sewn project".  What about becoming more involved in the community?  You could set the goal of "To gain citizenship skills to become more active in my community.".  Your 4-H Leader is a great resource for assistance with goal setting and goal writing.
  • Why do we set goals?  As the year goes on, you will want to work on your goals.  Work with someone or on your own to gain the skills you will need to reach your goals by the end of the year.  New members may only want to set 1-2 goals for the year, since it will take you some time to fully understand 4-H and how your club works.
  • Continue attending your club meetings, continue reading the monthly 4-H newsletter, and make sure that you have added all of the project areas that you're interested in learning more about in your 4hOnline account.  You can do that by clicking Edit next to your name and going to the projects page.  Select as many project areas as you'd like.  That way, if we hold a workshop in the area you'd like to learn more about, you will be notified.  Also, if you decide to apply for awards in the fall, you will be able to since you were enrolled in the project area.  Anyone not registered for a project area they are applying for an award in will not be eligible to receive the award.
  • At any time, if you are confused or unsure of rules or details for 4-H, please do not hesitate to contact your 4-H Leader or the Extension office.  You can call the office at 641-673-5841 or email Amy Brainard the Mahaska County Youth Coordinator at
  • The newsletter will also inform you about upcoming livestock weigh-ins, workshops and clinics, which are required for exhibiting at the county and/or state fair. 
  • You can also check out the 4-H Project Guide to learn more about each project area (especially livestock).
  • Another helpful guide is the Mahaska County 4-H Handbook.
  • You can also learn more about what's happening by visiting our Facebook page.
  • We now have a FREE Mahaska County 4-H app in Google Play and Apple Store, just search for Mahaska County 4-H.
  • As the county fair approaches, you will want to begin working on 4-H exhibits.  Work with your livestock, attend clinics, visit with other exhibitors, visit with local livestock producers, begin and finish your non-livestock exhibits, work on your goal cards, and prepare everything for the fair.  The July 4-H Newsletter will tell you exactly what you need to be able to exhibit, please be sure to read it carefully.  The fair forms can be found on our county website at,   Please note that 4-H'ers who have completed 5th-12th grade are eligible to advance or bring livestock/horticulture to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.  Cash premiums will be awarded to 4-H'ers for *each ribbon they received at the fair as a 4-H member.  *Some exclusions apply
  • After the fair is over, you will want to work on your 4-H record book.  Record book covers can purchased from the Extension office.  You can also just use a 3-ring binder and make your own cover.  Please be sure to include your name and club name on the cover.  All of the record book forms can be found at the same link as the fair forms (above).  Again, your 4-H Leader and the Extension office are great resources for record keeping.
  • Awards - - Once you complete your record book, you will have the option to apply for awards.  There are various types and levels of awards.  Some are very simple and others require support material and an interview.  Those who earn special and major/outstanding awards will earn cash!  A 4-H Year-End Awards Celebration is held each November to recognize 4-H'ers for a job well done.
  • The 4-H year technically ends at the end of August and the new year begins in September.  The process will start over again in September of the following year.
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