4-H Policy & Procedures Handbook

Revised January 2017

Using the 4-H Policy and Procedure Handbook

The 4-H Policy and Procedure Handbook is an established set of rules, recommended guidelines and implementation procedures for 4-H professionals to utilize as they provide leadership for 4-H Youth Development work and programming at various levels within the organization. Throughout this document, the words Cooperative Extension are used when quoting Extension policy and legislation at the federal level. When federal language is used in this document, it is copied verbatim from the 4-H National Headquarters, NIFA, USDA web site.

The following legend provides a visual for decision makers to have a clear understanding as to the intent of each section within this handbook. Questions surrounding the content may be addressed by Nebraska Extension 4-H Administration.

Legend

Policy  Policy: Not negotiable

Guidelines  Guideline: Strongly recommended

Procedures  Procedure: Recommended "Implementation Steps" for 4-H Staff

Table of Contents

Introduction

Section 1: What is 4-H?

Section 2: Nebraska 4-H Policy

  • 2.1: The 4-H Policy
    • 2.1.1: Failure to Follow Policy
  • 2.2: Approval of Nebraska 4-H Policy
  • 2.3: County Verses State Policy
  • 2.4: Essential Elements/Positive Youth Development
  • 2.5: 4-H Non-Discrimination Statement
  • 2.6: Core Values and Beliefs on Diversity and Inclusion
  • 2.7: Code of Ethics
  • 2.8: Grievances or Protests
    • 2.8.1: State Fair Protest Committee Process
    • 2.8.2: State Fair Livestock
    • 2.8.3: State Event Protest Committee Process
    • 2.8.4: District and State 4-H Horse Show Protest Policy
    • 2.8.5: County Grievance Policy
    • 2.8.6: On-the-Spot Decisions

Section 3: Organization and Administration

  • 3.1: UNL Extension
  • 3.2: Extension Staff
  • 3.3: Role of Extension Staff in 4-H
  • 3.4: Role of 4-H as Extension Programming

Section 4: 4-H Lore

  • 4.1: Nebraska 4-H Mission Statement
  • 4.2: 4-H Vision
  • 4.3: 4-H Educational Philosophy
  • 4.4: 4-H Pledge
  • 4.5: 4-H Motto
  • 4.6: 4-H Colors
  • 4.7: 4-H Name and Emblem
    • 4.7.1: Official Emblem
    • 4.7.2: 4-H Name and Emblem Regulations
    • 4.7.3: Use the Whole Emblem
    • 4.7.4: 4-H Emblem Colors
    • 4.7.5: Use the 4-H Name
    • 4.7.6: Application to Use the 4-H Name and Emblem

Section 5: 4-H Eligibility

  • 5.1: Age Requirements
  • 5.2: Youth with Special Needs/Disabilities
  • 5.3: Married Youth

Section 6: Enrollment

  • 6.1: Enrollment
    • 6.1.1: Members
    • 6.1.2: Leaders, Direct and Indirect Volunteers
    • 6.1.3 Enrollment for 4-H Participation in Other Delivery Modes
  • 6.2: Enrollment Period
  • 6.3: Changes in Residence
  • 6.4: Cross-county and Cross-state Line Participation
  • 6.5: 4-H/FFA Involvement
    • 6.5.1: 4-H and FFA Animal Exhibits
  • 6.6: Privacy Policy
    • 6.6.1: Web Postings
    • 6.6.2: Confidentiality
  • 6.7: Media Release Forms
  • 6.8: Consent to Participate in the State-side Impact Studies

Section 7: Methods of Participation

  • 7.1: Youth members of organized 4-H clubs
    • 7.1.1: Community Clubs
    • 7.1.2: In-School Clubs
    • 7.1.3: 4-H After-School Clubs
    • 7.1.4: Military 4-H Clubs
  • 7.2: Youth participating in 4-H school enrichment programs
  • 7.3: Youth participating in after-school, schoolaged child care educational programs
  • 7.4: Youth participating in Day Camping programs
  • 7.5: Youth participating in residential/overnight camping
  • 7.6: Youth participating in 4-H special interest/short-term programs/day camp
    • 7.6.1: Project Groups
    • 7.6.2: Activity Groups
  • 7.7: Youth participating in online technology
  • 7.8: 4-H Clover Kid Program
    • 7.8.1: 4-H Clover Kids Age
    • 7.8.2: 4-H Clover Kid Program is developmentally appropriate and involved the following components
  • 7.9: Families, Independent Members and Others

Section 8: 4-H Club Standards

  • 8.1: Definition of a Club
  • 8.2: Structure of a 4-H Club
  • 8.3: Club Names
  • 8.4: 4-H Club Charter
  • 8.5: Club Constitution and Bylaws
  • 8.6: Club Finance
  • 8.7: Nebraska 4-H Club of Excellence
    • 8.7.1: Club of Excellence Criteria
  • 8.8: Dissolution Clause
    • 8.8.1: Club Dissolution Clause to be included in Club ByLaws
    • 8.8.2: Procedure for Disposing of Assets of a Disbanded Club

Section 9: 4-H Volunteers

  • 9.1: Being a 4-H Volunteer is a Privilege, Not a Right
  • 9.2: Age Requirements for 4-H Volunteers
    • 9.2.1: Minimum Age Requirements to Volunteer as a 4-H Club Leader
  • 9.3: Volunteer Enrollment
    • 9.3.1: Nebraska 4-H Volunteer Code of Ethics
    • 9.3.2: Required Volunteer and Staff Screening
    • 9.3.3: Yearly Screening
    • 9.3.4: Volunteer On-going Screening Process
    • 9.3.5: Required Volunteer Training
    • 9.3.6: Recommended Orientation and Training
  • 9.4: Volunteer Residence
  • 9.5: 4-H Council Volunteers
  • 9.6: Volunteer Termination/Suspension

Section 10: Risk Management

  • 10.1: Child Protection Policies
  • 10.2: 4-H and Web Publication
  • 10.3: University Liability Coverage
  • 10.4: Accident/Health Insurance
  • 10.5: Use of Alcohol/Tobacco/Controlled Substances during 4-H activities
  • 10.6: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Social Security Number Usage Policy

Section 11: 4-H Council/Foundations/Partnerships

  • 11.1: 4-H Councils
  • 11.2: Foundations
  • 11.3: Partnerships: Schools and Community Centers
  • 11.4: Livestock/Premium Sales

Section 12: Financial Management

  • 12.1: Fiscal Year
  • 12.2: 4-H Club Finances
    • 12.2.1: Year End 4-H Club Treasurer's Report
    • 12.2.2: Annual IRS Filing Requirements
  • 12.3: 4-H Council Finances
    • 12.3.1: 4-H Council Financial Management Manual
  • 12.4: Sale of Products by 4-H Clubs and Councils
    • 12.4.1: 4-H Sales and Donations
    • 12.4.2: Local and State Sales Taxes
  • 12.5: Grants and Donations
    • 12.5.1: Extension Staff Generated Funds
    • 12.5.2: 4-H Council Generated Funds
  • 12.6: Fund Raising
    • 12.6.1: Raffles
  • 12.7: State Sales Tax Exempt Status
  • 12.8: Federal Income Tax Exemption for 4-H Clubs
    • 12.8.1: Electronic Filing Requirements for 4-H Groups
    • 12.8.2: Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Section 13: 4-H Resources and/or Project Materials

  • 13.1: 4-H Curriculum/Publications
  • 13.2: 4-H Communication Guidelines
  • 13.3: Social Media Guidelines for Nebraska Extension
  • 13.4: University of Nebraska-Lincoln and 4-H Identifiers for Print Materials

Section 14: Competitive Events

  • 14.1: Competitive Programs and Events Background
  • 14.2: Competition and Youth Development
  • 14.3: Competitive Event Definition and Criteria
    • 14.3.1: 4-H Competitive Event Definition
    • 14.3.2: Criteria for 4-H Competitive Events
    • 14.3.3: Operational Guidelines for Committees for Competitive State and District Events
  • 14.4: Age Divisions for 4-H Events
  • 14.5: Nebraska District/Regional Events
  • 14.6: State Events
    • 14.6.1: Minimum requirements to hold a state contest
    • 14.6.2: State Judging and Related Contests
  • 14.7: United States Regional & National Events
    • 14.7.1: Eligibility Rules for Regional and National Events
  • 14.8: Open Shows/Non 4-H Competitive Events
  • 14.9: Managing Client Complaints for 4-H Competitive Events

Section 15: 4-H Role in County/State Fairs

  • 15.1: 4-H Rules for County/State Fairs
  • 15.2: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with County Fair Board or Ag Society

Section 16: 4-H Projects Requiring Special Policy

  • 16.1: Animal Science
    • 16.1.1: Equine Limited Liability Law
    • 16.1.2: Quality Assurance
    • 16.1.3: Animal Exhibits for Clover Kids
  • 16.3: Shooting Sports
    • 16.3.1: Shooting Sports Program Overview
    • 16.3.2: Minimum Standards for a Shooting Sports Program

Section 17: 4-H Trips

  • 17.1: Trip Approval and Crisis Management Form
  • 17.2: Trip Chaperones
    • 17.2.1: Housing
  • 17.3: Youth Travel Opportunities

Section 18: Federal Regulations

  • 18.1: Fraudulent use of 4-H Emblem - Public Law 772
  • 18.2: Social Security Contributions
  • 18.3: Religion and 4-H Youth Development Programs
  • 18.4: Title IX and 4-H Youth Development Programs
  • 18.5: 4-H Livestock Sales

Policy Committee Members

Lisa Kaslon - Committee Chair
Steve Pritchard, Extension Educator
Linda Dannehl, Extension Educator
Jana Schwartz, Extension Assistant
Jacie Milius, Extension Educator
Brett Kriefels, Extension Assistant