Section 16: 4-H Projects Requiring Special Policy

16.1 Animal Science:

16.1.1 Equine Limited Liability Law  Policy

4-H horse activities should only be conducted in compliance with the Equine Limited Liability Law.,253

All horse events should post the following statement:

"WARNING! Under Nebraska law, an equine professional is not liable for an injury to, or the death of a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities pursuant to Sections 25-21, 249 to 25-21, 253."

16.1.2 Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA)

YQCA training is mandatory for all exhibitors of livestock, or food-producing livestock animal projects (beef, sheep, swine, goat, dairy cattle, dairy goat, poultry, and rabbit) at county and state level events. This applies for youth in classic 4-H programs (ages 8 – 19) and for State Fair exhibitors.

16.1.3 Animal Exhibits for Clover Kids  Policy

Animals and animal subject matter can contribute to Clover Kids objectives. However, for safety, liability, and competitive reasons often associated with livestock shows, some restrictions are necessary to maintain Clover Kids program objectives. The Clover Kids program will be developmentally appropriate and involve the following components:

  • Encourage involvement of parent or significant adult
  • Focus on self-esteem and provide positive feedback
  • Foster the development of life skills that are essential for the cognitive, social, emotional and physical maturation of youth by providing a unique educational opportunity
  • Share through cooperative learning
  • Noncompetitive — emphasizing fun and success of every child
  • Programs are activity-focused and not project focused
  • Recognize individuals for participation
  • Present recognition and incentives without rank or placing

Specific reasons for being cautious with direct large animal involvement are as follows:

  • Children eight and under often lack the mental and physical skills for controlling and understanding the strength of large animals (Livestock Conservation Institute, 1994).
  • Young children may lack the strength, balance, and attention span to adequately manage large animals (American Medical Equestrian Association, 1993).

Because of these reasons, Clover Kids programs involving live animals must adhere to the following:

  • Exhibition only includes enrolled 4-H Clover kid members, 4-H does not sponsor or support pee-wee events or exhibition. Pee wee referring to non 4-H age youth.
  • Exhibition includes discussions with youth based on their knowledge of the care and raising of the animal.
  • Exhibitors show in a non-competitive setting for participation only.
  • Age, size, and temperament of animal projects must be appropriate for the exhibitor’s age and size.
  • Horse projects and/or horseless projects are not allowed or an option for Cloverkids. They are not allowed to handle, ride or participate in or at 4-H events.
  • Animals weighing more than 350 pounds at time of show are not allowed or appropriate for this age group.
  • Animals that are appropriate for this age group include bucket calf, sheep, swine, goat, dog, poultry, rabbit, cat, and companion animals.
  • There will be one adult/teen volunteer present for every Clover Kid member that is handling or exhibiting animals. This applies to all animal projects.
  • Exhibitors in this age group are not allowed to participate with their animal in a livestock sale or premium auction.

16.2 Shooting Sports:  Policy

16.2.1 Shooting Sports Program Overview  Policy

The Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports Program is administered by a nationally certified state committee consisting of Extension staff and volunteers. The program is designed to:

  • Give youth safe instruction and training in the use of firearms, archery equipment, and conservation;
  • Enhance self-confidence, personal development, responsibility, and sportsmanship;
  • Create an appreciation and understanding of natural resources; and
  • Provide volunteer instructors safe and proper instructional techniques and information on how to plan and manage shooting and conservation clubs.

The program relies on state 4-H certified and trained instructors to conduct classes in the various disciplines (Archery, Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, Muzzle Loading, and Hunting Skills). The program requires 4-H certified and trained instructors to adhere to the safety rules and regulations as directed by the program.

The 4-H Shooting Sports Program is a youth development education program that uses a prevention education model that strongly emphasizes positive youth-adult interaction and peer leadership. It uses skills and disciplines of safe shooting and conservation to assist young people and their leaders in attaining knowledge and developing essential life skills. The program can enhance family communications and quality time together. It creates an environment for a caring relationship between a young person and a significant adult (family member, other adult, or a teen volunteer). These activities provide the opportunity for immediate gratification to the youth and satisfaction and self-worth to the adult/teen leader who is acting as a teacher and role model for younger 4-H members.

Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports Policy adapted from the National 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor Manual: documents/NE4H-Shooting-Sports_Policy_030117.pdf

16.2.2 Minimum Standards for a Shooting Sports Program  Policy

The Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports Advisory Committee recognizes the diversity of the 4-H shooting sports programs within the state and has established the following minimum standards:

  • All instructors, members, and parents will accept and abide by the Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports Code of Conduct:
  • The 4-H Curriculum is the established and accepted curriculum for teaching youth.
  • It is in the best interests of adult leaders and 4-H youth that the recognized 4-H curriculum is utilized in conjunction with a written Risk Management plan.
  • The driving force of the 4-H shooting sports curriculum is to teach youth life skills, as opposed to teaching shooting skills to youth.
  • The program is open to all youth. Youth must be 4-H age eight years old to enroll in a shooting sports project except for the shotgun and muzzleloading projects. Youth must be 4-H age nine years old to enroll in shotgun and muzzleloading projects.
  • All 4-H shooting sports projects, events and programs must be conducted by a 4-H shooting sports instructor who is current, trained and certified in the appropriate discipline.
  • Certifications by other national organizations are a welcome supplement to the 4-H shooting sports certification process. The following minimum guidelines for instructor training at the state level are adhered to:
    • All certified adult 4-H volunteers with supervisory responsibilities in the shooting sports program are a minimum of 21 years of age or older.
    • All state level certification workshops must provide a minimum of twelve (12) hours of instruction, including a minimum of eight (8) hours instruction in each specific discipline taken and a minimum of four (4) hours instruction in teaching youth development and life skills.
    • All instructors must teach at least once every two (2) years and submit an annual report to remain certified.
    • Individuals, ages 14 to 20, who have successfully completed a state or national sponsored workshop, may assist a certified adult instructor while under their direct supervision as an Apprentice Instructor.

The Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports Program can be found at:


Policy  Policy: not negotiable    Guidelines  Guidelines: strongly recommended    Procedure  Procedure: recommended implementation steps