Section 18: Federal Regulations


Nebraska 4-H complies with all federal regulations. The following sections are taken directly from federal policy and requirements. More detailed information on each of these areas can be obtained from the 4-H National Headquarters web page:

18.1 Fraudulent Use of 4-H Emblem - Public Law 772:  Policy

Public Law 772

[CITE: 18USC707]



Sec. 707. 4-H club emblem fraudulently used

Whoever, with intent to defraud, wears or displays the sign or emblem of the 4-H clubs, consisting of a green four-leaf clover with stem, and the letter H in white or gold on each leaflet, or any insignia in colorable imitation thereof, for the purpose of inducing the belief that he is a member of, associated with, or an agent or representative for the 4-H clubs; or

Whoever, whether an individual, partnership, corporation or association, other than the 4-H clubs and those duly authorized by them, the representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture, the land grant colleges, and persons authorized by the Secretary of Agriculture, uses, within the United States, such emblem or any sign, insignia, or symbol in colorable imitation thereof, or the words “4-H Club” or “4-H Clubs” or any combination of these or other words or characters in colorable imitation thereof—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

This section shall not make unlawful the use of any such emblem, sign, insignia or words which was lawful on the date of enactment of this title.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 733; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1) (E), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2146.)

18.2 Social Security Contribution:  Policy

The Social Security Act requires all charitable/educational organizations (unless specifically exempted) to make social security contributions for each employee who is paid $100 or more in a calendar year. This includes employees of 4-H camps, fair assistants, and part-time paraprofessionals. The organization paying the individuals salaries is liable for the payment of Social Security taxes. For exceptions, check with your local Social Security office.

18.3 Religion and 4-H Youth Development Programs:  Policy

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is home to 4-H National Headquarters and the 4-H Youth Development Program, prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, and marital or family status. As a result, 4-H programs must have secular purposes focused on education and must not advance religion. Promoting religion, or explicitly or implicitly requiring religion or practices that specifically support one denomination, such as Christianity, as a condition for participation in 4-H club meetings or activities not only has religious purpose, it has the obvious effect of promoting one religion over others and can create a barrier for participation among other groups. If 4-H activities and programs included prescribed religious prayers, scriptures, or religious components to club bylaws, activities, or names, it would inject impermissible sectarian overtones. Such violations could create the impression that 4-H is not open to participation by all.

4-H participation in religious activities does not violate the “separation of Church and State” when: 1) The purpose of participating is secular; 2) the primary effect of participating will not be to advance religion; and 3) the participation will not excessively entangle the affairs of the government with the affairs of the church.

If the scheduling of religious prayers, for example, reflects a secular purpose of setting a tone of solemnity prior to a meeting or meal, and the prayers are nondenominational or various prayers reflecting a variety of religious traditions are utilized, then this would be acceptable. 4-H programs may also engage in activities that neither advance nor inhibit religion, allowing moments of silence, for example.

18.4 Title IX and 4-H Youth Development Programs:  Policy

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) proscribes discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Since Cooperative Extension 4-H Programs receive Federal financial assistance for education programs, they must adhere to USDA regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex.

Consistent with these regulations, no State Extension may have an exclusive or formally sex-segregated 4-H program. Although some individual 4-H clubs attract members of only one sex, this is the result of interests and choice and should not be a requirement of membership.

Gender-specific competitions and awards are not permissible under Title IX of the Educational Amendments enacted by Congress in 1972. This act states:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

This means that the practice of arranging competitions or awarding trips or other awards, scholarships, etc. on the basis of male or female categories is not acceptable in 4-H Youth Development Programs. In all cases, the requirements for competitions must provide equal access for all youth and must not be designed to create barriers to participation.


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