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What Is 4-H? and How Do I Join?

What is 4-H?

4-H is the largest youth development organization in the US. In North Carolina, we are the youth component of the NC Cooperative Extension Service which is an outreach part of the two land grant universities in our state, N.C. State and N.C. A&T universities.

4-H is for all youth! Kids aged 5 to 18 can participate in 4-H programs. “Cloverbud” activities are offered for children 5 to 7 years old. Kids who participate in 4-H have all sorts of interests and abilities.

4-H offers hands-on activities with an emphasis on “learning by doing”. 4-H members participate in local activities. In addition, 4-H’ers have the opportunity to  participate in regional and state competitions and activities. The things you learn in 4-H are not only fun, but 4-H also helps you be involved in the community and become a leader. In other words, you are our future and 4-H wants to help you be the best you can be! And after all, that’s why we’re here: “To make the best better!”

The Cleveland County 4-H Program is a voluntary, non-formal educational program offered to all boys and girls regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

4-H Motto

“To Make The Best Better!”

4-H Pledge

I pledge …

My Head to Clearer Thinking …

My Heart to Greater Loyalty…

My Hands to Larger Service …

And My Health to Better Living …

For my Club, My Community, My Country and My World.

Is 4-H just for farm kids?

No! 4-H is for all young people. Today most members in Cleveland County are from various areas in our county and they participate in projects to learn many different life skills. 4-H also offers  school enrichment programs available in the schools.

What can 4-H offer my family?

4-H is a family affair. It is very difficult to fit work, family, and home life into a demanding schedule. Today’s parents often find themselves driving their children from one activity to another and miss out on valuable time spent together. There is a solution to this problem…  4-H!

4-H encourages family involvement. It’s not just a youth organization, it’s a family organization. That the reasons 4-H is the largest national youth organizations in the country.

4-H helps youth to improve family and home life by encouraging family-oriented learning experiences which can lead to closer parent-child relationships. Since parents are the most important influence in youth development, parent cooperation and participation in the  4-H program are given high priority.

4-H provides youth and their parents with numerous projects and activities that are designed to help them learn and grow together. Imagine the fun in developing interests and hobbies as a family!

If you would like to learn more about 4-H, contact your 4-H agent Charlie Godfrey.

What are some of the things I can do in 4-H?

There are a lot of different types of activities going on all the time in 4-H. There are livestock projects, teen retreats, trips, classes, workshops and loads of fun. Other Yearly events and competitions are listed below:

  • Projects
  • Presentations
  • Programs & Activities
  • Summer Fun
  • Dairy Steer Project
  • Shooting Sports
  • Mini Garden
  • Youth Market Turkey Project
  • Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Judging Competitions

How do I join?

Call us @704-482-4365 or email

Cleveland County 4-H -- Learn by Doing