This resource provides general terminology and language used within the Nebraska 4-H program.
Ambassadors: 4-H Youth Leadership Conference Ambassadors serve as the planning committee for the annual 4-H Youth Leadership Conference. Ambassadors meet on a monthly basis to plan and prepare for the conference while developing their own leadership skills. By serving as an Ambassador, youth have the opportunity to build connection with peers across the state, learn from adult mentors and take a leadership role in planning the annual conference.
Achievement Application: The Nebraska 4-H Achievement Application is a standard application used for the selection of county and statewide award winners, including Nebraska delegates to the National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference, as well as Nebraska 4-H Foundation scholarship award recipients. Youth aged 8-14 are invited to complete the county-level application; youth ages 15-18 are invited to complete the state-level application. More information regarding this recognition program can be found on the Nebraska 4-H website. Visit 4h.unl.edu/achievement-application for more information.
Afterschool: Afterschool programs meet between 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. to offer youth safe, fun, educational experiences through hands-on activities and 4-H curriculum. Enrollment is not required. Visit 4h.unl.edu/programs-afterschool for more information.
(4-H) Age: The age of the youth before January 1 of the current year. If your birthday is on January 1st, your 4-H age is the age you were on December 31st. 4-H eligibility is determined based on the 4-H age. The first year of eligibility for participation in the 4-H Clover Kids program is the 4-H age of five (5). The last year of eligibility for participation in the 4-H Clover Kids program is the 4-H age of seven (7). The first year of eligibility for the regular 4-H program is the 4-H age of eight (8). The last year of eligibility is 4-H age of eighteen (18). Certain programs designed for children with special needs/disabilities may establish age limits outside of those stated above. This decision will be determined locally. Visit 4h.unl.edu/policy-handbook/section-5 for more information.
Big Red Camps: Big Red Summer Academic Camps are residential, career exploration camps held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for youth in grades 10-12. During the week-long camps, participants will work with university faculty to explore the topic of their particular camp. Visit 4h.unl.edu/big-red-camps for more information.
Camp: 4-H overnight and day camps offer recreational, educational, and even career exploration opportunities. Nebraska 4-H offers summer camps for youth ages 6-18 and Big Red Summer Academic Camps for youth in grades 10-12. Enrollment is not required. Visit 4h.unl.edu/programs-camps for more information.
Charter: 4-H clubs must be chartered by the 4-H National Headquarters at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska state 4-H office in order to be recognized as part of 4-H and to be authorized to use the 4-H Name and Emblem. The Nebraska state 4-H office maintains documentation of the issuance of Charters to 4-H entities within Nebraska. Visit 4h.unl.edu/clubs/start for more information.
Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF): CWF is a week-long 4-H citizenship program designed for 4-H members and teen leaders ages 14-19. Sessions are offered through the weeklong program held throughout June and July each year. CWF provides youth opportunities to explore, develop and refine civic engagement skills, engage in sightseeing tours through Washington D.C., and learn the history of our national and how leadership and citizenship skills can be applied in their local community. Visit 4h.unl.edu/cwf for more information.
Clover Kids: Clover Kids are youth between the ages of 5 and 7. Clover Kids may participate in 4-H through a variety of delivery modes, such as clubs and campus. As an enrolled member, Clover Kids may exhibit non-competitively at county fairs. Visit 4h.unl.edu/programs-clover-kids for more information.
Club: see Community Club
Club Leader: Dedicated, enthusiastic, caring adults that have completed a volunteer screening process established by Nebraska 4-H. Club leaders are responsible for providing leadership, organization and communication to the 4-H families enrolled in their respective club.
Code of Conduct: The primary goal of the 4-H program is to help youth develop competency in their projects, confidence in themselves and others, connections to their community and sound character. Actions by persons (parents and 4-H youth) involved in the 4-H program will be consistent with the six core ethical values comprising good character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship. Both youth and parents are asked to abide by the code of conduct during the Nebraska 4-H enrollment process. Visit 4h.unl.edu/participant-code-of-conduct for more information.
Community Clubs: 4-H clubs are an organized group that meets regularly to focus on a series of educational experiences. Office enrollment is required. Visit 4h.unl.edu/programs-clubs for more information.
Community Service: Giving back to one’s community through service helps 4-H’ers carry out their pledge “to larger service.” Service begins on a club level and local community, but can extend into county, regional, state, national and global efforts. Visit 4h.unl.edu/community-service for more information.
Council: A 4-H Council is a local group of elected representatives who provide guidance, solicit support, and assist in carrying out programs and activities in the interest of 4-H. The Council is volunteer and ensures that 4-H is providing the needed educational programs for their area. They also assist with local fundraising efforts.
County Fair: Members may exhibit projects at the county fair. Fair exhibition is not a requirement for project completion, but a showcase for a member’s 4-H project work and experiences. Visit 4h.unl.edu/county-fair for more information.
CWF: see Citizenship Washington Focus
Danish System of Recognition: Nebraska 4-H utilizes the the Danish system of recognition at county and state fairs. The Danish system uses color to signify different award levels to reward young people for their efforts and projects. The system is designed to maintain a proper balance of competition and recognition. The Danish system is a method of evaluating class entries (projects or exhibits) and placing them in groups according to standards developed for that class. The defined groups are designed to recognize youth for their achievement relative to set standards. The Danish system awards ribbons in these colors: Purple (superior); Blue (excellent); Red (good); White (fair); Green (participation). Visit 4h.unl.edu/ribbon-meaning for more information.
Delivery Modes: 4-H Youth Development experiences are delivered through camps, clubs, afterschool programs, school enrichment programs, and special interest programs. Visit 4h.unl.edu/programs for more information.
Demonstration: A planned presentation by one or two 4-H members that teaches, by illustration or example, information related to a project or event. A member’s first demonstration is usually at the project level where he or she is asked to show other members how to perform a particular skill. This may be developed into a more formal presentation that can be given at 4-H meetings, at school, or for other groups of people.
Diamond Clover: The Diamond Clover program encourages 4-H youth to engage in a variety of programs, projects and activities that will enable youth to acquire skills and abilities to prepare them for future success. The program consists of six levels that require a young person to plan and report a broad range of age-appropriate accomplishments. For each level, the Nebraska 4-H Diamond Clover program provides a list of accomplishments from which 4-H youth choose their goals. The accomplishments increase in quantity and difficulty for each level. At the beginning of the 4-H year, participants plan what to accomplish and at the end of the 4-H year, they report on their completed accomplishments. Successful completion of a level’s Plan & Report forms results in a 4-H youth earning that level of the Diamon Clover program. Visit 4h.unl.edu/diamond-clover for more information.
Dog Achievement Levels: The Nebraska 4-H Dog Achievement Program encourages youth to engage in a variety of companion animal opportunities, events, and contests. The program is designed to equip youth with a variety of skills and abilities and prepare them for success in the future. The program consists of four levels that require youth to plan and report a broad range of age-appropriate accomplishments. Visit 4h.unl.edu/dog-achievement-program for more information.
Emblem: The 4-H emblem is a green four-leaf clover on a white background. There is a white H on each cloverleaf. This was adopted as the national symbol in 1911. Visit 4h.unl.edu/name-emblem-guidelines for more information.
Enrollment: 4-H enrollment is open year-round. However, youth must enroll in 4-H by June 15 of the current year to be eligible for county and state fair participation. Youth between 5 and 7 are invited to enroll as Clover Kids. Youth between 8 and 19 are invited to enroll as 4-H members. Visit 4h.unl.edu/enroll for more information.
Exhibit: Exhibits are a portion of the 4-H member's project experience that is entered at the fair. This might include static exhibits or live animal exhibits. Exhibits are only a portion of what the 4-H member has accomplished in their project experience. They display only a portion of what the 4-H member is capable of accomplishing.
Experiential Learning: Experiential learning can be described as “learning by doing.” The steps of the experiential learning model includes Experience, Share, Process, Generalize, Apply. The 4-H program is based on the experiential learning model.
Extension: Nebraska Extension brings University of Nebraska expertise and research in 8 key areas of impact directly to Nebraskans from all walks of life in each of the state’s 93 counties. Nebraskans turn to Nebraska Extension to strengthen their families, inspire their communities, empower young people, conserve and protect natural resources and advance their farms, ranches and businesses. Visit extension.unl.edu/our-strategic-direction for more information.
Extension Assistant: The Extension Assistant role is responsible for recruiting, training, planning, and conducting events and activities in support of the overall goals of the 4-H Youth Development program. Visit epd.unl.edu to find your local Extension Assistants.
Extension Educator: Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development educators provide leadership to the development, implementation, and evaluation of the county 4-H program. These individuals manage, teach, facilitate, mentor, plan, and deliver positive youth development programs through various delivery methods. Visit epd.unl.edu to find your local Extension Educators.
Extension Office: one or more counties that work together to provide Extension programming to local citizens and youth. Visit epd.unl.edu to find your local Extension office.
Fair: see County Fair
Fashion Show/Fashion Review: Clothing project members model the outfit sewn and/or purchased through their clothing project experience.
FIRST LEGO League Robotics: FIRST LEGO League introduces science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to children ages 4-16 through fun, exciting, hands-on learning. Participants gain real-world problem-solving experiences through a guided, global robotics program, helping today's students and teachers build a better future together. In Nebraska, 4-H is the partnering delivery organization. Visit 4h.unl.edu/first-lego-league for more information.
Horsemanship Advancement Levels: The horsemanship advancement levels program is designed to serve as a guide for instruction and evaluation of each 4-H member’s progress. Each level has particular emphases to assist in developing 4-H members’ self-discipline, patience, self-reliance, responsibility, and pride in accomplishment. Visit 4h.unl.edu/horse-advancement for more information.
Independent Members: Youth who choose not to be involved in a formal 4-H club may still join 4-H as independent members. These youth have the opportunity to participate in their county fairs, the Nebraska State Fair, and additional statewide programs. Visit 4h.unl.edu/programs-independent-membership for more information.
Judge: Judges are adults (19+ years of age) experienced in particular project areas who are hired to evaluate projects and provide encouragement for youth's future growth and improvement in their project.
Judging: see Project Judging
Junior Leaders: older 4-H members who assist adult volunteers in carrying out club responsibilities or teaching other members.
Life Skills: abilities youth learn to help them live successful, productive lives; 4-H youth programs provide learning opportunities for young people to gain life skills, practice them, and use them throughout their lives.
Livestock Achievement Program: The Livestock Achievement Program is designed to promote all educational aspects of 4-H livestock projects including selection, production, leadership and exhibition by recognizing youth striving to improve in their livestock project knowledge and leadership. Members of excellence are recognized within each 4-H livestock project area including: beef, sheep, meat goat, swine, dairy cattle, dairy goat, rabbit, and poultry. Visit 4h.unl.edu/livestock-achievement for more information.
Meetings: The 4-H meeting is one of the educational tools used in the 4-H program, often led by volunteer club leaders and youth officers. Parts of a 4-H club meeting include business, educational program, and recreation and/or refreshments.
Member: Members are youth ages 8-18 who have completed the 4-H Online enrollment/re-enrollment process for the year.
(4-H) Month: see Nebraska 4-H Month
Motto: The 4-H motto is "To make the best better."
National 4-H Conference: The National 4-H Conference is the premier national civic engagement opportunity for 4-H members across the country. Delegates not only learn while at the conference but also have the opportunity to practice and apply in a real-world setting their newly developed and refined skills. The National 4-H Conference is held annually in the Washington D.C. area. Delegates are selected each year to represent Nebraska at the National 4-H Conference by submitting an Achievement Application. Visit 4h.unl.edu/conference for more information.
National 4-H Congress: The National 4-H Congress is an award program, which provides recognition to 4-H youth for their outstanding performances and achievements in 4-H. It is held annually in Atlanta, Georgia. To attend National 4-H Congress, 4-H'ers must complete the Achievement Application and submit it for their county’s competition and must be selected to represent their county at the state level. At the state level, applicants will be selected to represent Nebraska at National 4-H Congress. Visit 4h.unl.edu/congress for more information.
National 4-H Council: The National 4-H council supports national and state 4-H programs with a focus on fundraising, brand management, communications and legal and fiduciary services. Council oversees the National 4-H Supply Service and is the authorized items bearing the 4-H Name and Emblem. Visit 4-h.org for more information.
Nebraska 4-H Foundation: Established at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to accept contributions to benefit the educational efforts of the state and county 4-H programs. Gifts may be designated towards specific projects and programs. Visit NE4HFoundation.org for more information.
Nebraska 4-H Month: Nebraska 4-H Month is celebrated each year in February. Visit 4h.unl.edu/4h-promotion for more information.
National 4-H Headquarters: (4-H HQ) strengthens and promotes healthy youth development to give young people the capacity to act as responsible citizens and agenda of community change. Through youth-adult partnerships, the 4-H program connects youth and adults to their communities, preparing them for work and life. 4-H HQ focuses on three key objectives: access, equity and opportunity; learning; program quality and accountability. Visit nifa.usda.gov/grants/programs/4-h-positive-youth-development for more information
National 4-H Week: National 4-H Week is celebrated each year during the first full week in October.
Officers: Members lead the club through holding office and chairing and serving on committees. Examples 4-H officers could include: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian, News Reporter, Recreation Leader, Safety Officer, Flag Bearer.
(4-H) Online: 4-H Online is a web-based enrollment system. All members, club leaders, and project leaders must complete annual enrollment through 4-H Online each year to maintain membership. Visit 4h.unl.edu/enroll for more information.
Outdoor Education: Outdoor Education is experiential learning that happens outside. Hiking, camping, and ropes courses are a few examples of outdoor education activities. Outdoor Education promotes creativity and confidence and is good for both physical and mental health.
PASE: The Nebraska 4-H Premier Animal Science Event (PASE) features a variety of state-level animal science contests. The two-day event is held annually at the UNL’s East Campus Animal Science Complex in Lincoln. The event is designed to help youth explore issues related to the animal industry, discover college and career opportunities and work with the other teens from across the state. Youth have the opportunity to participate in livestock contests that do not require owning or exhibiting a live animal, including livestock, meat and poultry judging, as well as livestock skill-a-thon and quiz bowl. Visit 4h.unl.edu/pase for more information.
Pick Your Project: a directory of curriculum and learning resources that assists volunteers and youth with reaching their 4-H project learning goals. Visit 4hcurriculum.unl.edu for more information.
Pledge: The 4-H pledge is "I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world."
Positive Youth Development: Positive Youth Development occurs from an intentional process that promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, relationships and the support to fully participate. The Nebraska 4-H program is based on the principles of positive youth development. Visit 4h.unl.edu/pyd for more information.
Project: a developmentally appropriate series of hands-on learning activities which help youth reach their learning goals. Visit 4h.unl.edu/projects for more information.
Project Judging: Judges evaluate the finished product (exhibit) against a set of standards without the member present. The focus is the quality of the project itself, while considering the learning process that occurred to create the finished project. Project judging may or may include an interview with the 4-H member. Visit 4h.unl.edu/ribbon-meaning for more information.
Project Leader: see Volunteer Project Leader
Quality Assurance: see Youth for the Quality Care of Animals
Re-Enroll: All members, club leaders, and project leaders must re-enroll through 4-H Online each year to maintain membership. The re-enrollment process is slightly different from the initial enrollment process. Visit 4h.unl.edu/enroll for more information.
Ribbons: see Danish System of Recognition
School Enrichment: School enrichment programs offer non-formal, hands-on educational experiences in classrooms in support of school curriculum. Enrollment is not required. Visit 4h.unl.edu/programs-school-enrichment for more information.
Service Learning: combines meaningful community service with learning and reflection to enrich the experience. Elevating a community service project to a service-learning project will increase the learning potential for youth and make it an experience they won’t forget! Youth gain positive relationships, develop leadership skills and learn decision-making, problem-solving, teamwork, and empathy for others. Service-learning also promotes a lifelong commitment to public service and learning. Visit 4h.unl.edu/community-service for more information.
SET: Science, Engineering, and Technology is one of the primary 4-H project areas.
Shooting Sports: The Nebraska 4-H shooting sports program teaches young people the safe and responsible use of shooting sports equipment, including the fundamentals of the following discplines: archery, air rifle, air pistole and BB gun, smallbore rifle and pistol, hunting and outdoor skills, shotgun (9 years old, 4-H age) and muzzleloading (9 years old, 4-H age). The 4-H shooting sports program is only administered through Nebraska 4-H certified shooting sports instructors. Members may only take shootings sports projects if their instructor has been certified in that specific discipline. Visit 4h.unl.edu/shooting-sports for more information.
Skillathon: Evaluation of livestock, horse, and dog member’s project knowledge through participating in hands-on skill stations that allow the member to apply knowledge/skill to real world situations.
Special Interest Programs: special interest programs include short-term experiences such as workshops or clinics, as well as experiences focused on a single topic or interest. Special interest programs are not part of a school enrichment curriculum and are not restricted to 4-H club members. Visit 4h.unl.edu/programs-special-interest for more information.
State Fair: Located in Grand Island, Nebraska, at Fonner Park. This is an 11-day event; however, 4-H activities are focused on three days. Registration for 4-H entries are separate from other entries that are shown at the Fair. Please contact your County Office for information about 4-H specific entries. Visit 4h.unl.edu/state-fair for more information.
Static Exhibits: Static exhibits are products of hands-on project experiences exhibited at the fair, excluding live animal exhibits. These might include posters, living plants, harvested vegetables, baked goods, clothing items, artwork, etc.
Style Show: see Fashion Show
Superintendent: A key position that will contribute to reaching objectives and building good internal and external relationships. Superintendents are usually tasked with coordinating aspects of the a program, coordinating volunteer efforts, and providing a high-quality experience for youth, leaders and staff who participate.
Tag-In Day: Date required to tag-in, weigh-in and/or identify your project animal for fair participation. Contact your local county office for more information regarding specific dates and locations.
Teen Leader: see Junior Leaders
Volunteer: volunteers serve in a variety of roles in the 4-H program. Visit 4h.unl.edu/volunteer to learn more.
Volunteer Club Leader: see Club Leader
Volunteer Code of Conduct: As a 4-H volunteer, you are to help kids do what they are capable of doing. You are to promote teamwork and leadership while helping the 4-H'ers learn and have fun. Serving as a 4-H volunteer is a privilege not a right. During the volunteer screening process, volunteers agree to act according to the six core ethical values comprising good character, including trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship. Violations of the standards can result in suspension or termination. Visit 4h.unl.edu/volunteer-code-of-conduct for more information.
Volunteer Project Leader: Project/Activity leaders often bring a specific skills or experience to 4-H youth. This is the perfect role for an adult or parent would like to focus on specific 4-H project or activity int heir volunteer role.
(4-H) Week: see National 4-H Week
Weigh-In Day: Opportunity to tag-in, weigh-in and/or identify your project animal for fair participation. Contact your local county office for more information regarding specific dates and locations.
Workshops: see Special Interest
Youth Development: see Positive Youth Development
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA): Nebraska 4-H requires all youth enrolled in livestock projects to complete annual quality assurance certification through the Youth for Quality Care of Animals (YQCA). YQCA is a national multi-species quality assurance program focused on three core pillars: food safety, animal well-being, and character development. YQCA certification is required for all 4-H members enrolled in any of the following projects: beef (bucket calf, feeder calf, breeding beef, market beef), dairy cattle, goat (breeding meat goat, dairy goat, meat goat), poultry, rabbit, sheep (breeding sheep and market sheep), swine (breeding swine and market swine). Visit 4h.unl.edu/yqca for more information.
YQCA: see Youth for the Quality Care of Animals