Section 4: 4-H Council Structure

Teens on Councils & Committees

Youth involvement is vital to the 4-H Council; the 4-H program is for youth so allowing them to have a voice, a vote, and representation is key. Youth membership on the Council and committees as well as serving as officers is expected.

The Council Membership Process

The 4-H Council membership is a yearly process. Image, selection and recruitment phases will clarify what is expected of the potential member, and do much to establish the climate in which they will work. Orientation, continuing education and recognition are important determinants to the individual’s effectiveness as a Council volunteer. The 4-H Council Constitution and Bylaws explain the selection process. When recruiting new Council members you should consider the following:

  1. Image: A strong community image of the comprehensive 4-H youth development program will make it more effective when recruiting key leadership. An organization built on the premise of what’s in the best interest of the youth of our county, is the image a Council should envision and develop.
  2. Selection: Recruit strong candidates that have an interest in promoting positive youth development, represent the county or area and demonstrate leadership capabilities.
  3. Recruitment: Provide an overview of theCouncil philosophy and role to orient and inform candidates to serve on the Council.
  4. Orientation and Continuing Education: Provide in-depth training on the 4-H youth development program, Council goals, current programs and operating procedures. In addition, provide volunteers a chance for personal growth and development by their participation.
  5. Recognition: Give “Thanks” for a job well done.
  6. Rotation: Opportunities for the Council volunteers to experience different roles for regular rotation of new members. Rotation of membership brings fresh ideas and enthusiasm for a strong youth program.
  7. Conclusion: The 4-H Council term should be clearly understood. Experiences on the Council should lead to further opportunities to serve youth and the community.

The Council Roles, Functions & Expectations

The 4-H Council serves as a local group of elected representatives who provide guidance, solicit support and assist in carrying out programs and activities in the interest of the 4-H youth development program. The 4-H Council is made up of volunteers who are interested in promoting positive youth development and represent the demographics, delivery modes and project areas they serve. Their input, fundraising and interaction help to insure 4-H provides the needed educational programs for the area.

The major functions of the 4-H Council are:

  1. Develop and Secure Resources
  2. Establish and Support Local Policy
  3. Advise Development of Local Program Plan
  4. Advocate for Youth & Nebraska Extension

4-H Council members should act in the overall best interest of all young people and are expected to regularly attend Council and committee meetings, volunteer at 4-H events and activities and support the final recommendations and decisions of the Council. The 4-H Council operates under the leadership of the local 4-H Staff.

Specific Functions of 4-H Councils

Specific functions related to resource development in cooperation with your local Extension staff are to:

  1. Develop and manage a Council budget to support the planned program.
  2. Lead and support fund raising activities to reflect planned budget.
  3. Provide resources to provide recognition of those contributing/participating to the 4-H youth development program (youth, volunteers, partners)

Specific functions related to policy support in cooperation with your local Extension staff are to:

  1. Establish local policy for the 4-H program when not determined by state or national regulations.
  2. Provide input to interpreting and enforcing on policy issues when relevant.
  3. Serve as support to 4-H staff responsible for carrying out policy.

Specific functions of the 4-H Council related to program advisory in cooperation with your local Extension staff are to:

  1. Ensure a comprehensive 4-H youth development program that includes all delivery methods, based on the needs of youth and local needs.
  2. Participate in efforts to assess and clarify youth and community needs.
  3. Promote full participation by youth and adults in 4-H programming, events and activities, including those outside of the county/area.

Specific functions related to advocacy, in cooperation with your local Extension staff are to:

  1. Inform others about Council decisions.
  2. Advocate for 4-H, positive youth development and Nebraska Extension.

Enrollment of 4-H Council Members

4-H Council members are required to enroll as volunteers in 4-H Online. This includes signing the code of conduct and completing a background check.