Updates as of 10/16/2023

6.1 Enrollment for Clubs and Independent Members:  Policy

4-H Members and Leaders are responsible each year for enrolling in 4-H. Nebraska Extension staff are responsible for overseeing the process. For adults who are becoming volunteers for the first time, the enrollment process includes volunteer screening. All adult Activity Workers who work directly with youth are required to complete the Youth Protection 4-H Volunteer Screening Process.

6.1.1 Members 

For members, this enrollment includes completing online enrollment in 4-H Online, selecting projects and meeting other county expectations (i.e. paying dues). A signed enrollment form will include:

  1. Parents or legal guardians must choose to give permission for use of the child’s name/photograph in publications, advertisements or news articles pertaining to 4-H Activities,
  2. Permission for participation in program evaluations and
  3. A signed 4-H Member Code of Conduct: https://4h.unl.edu/participant-code-of-conduct
  4. A signed Permission to Treat, Participate & Release of Claims: https://4h.unl.edu/permission-to-treat

Any 4-H member/parent/guardian who does not abide by the above Code of Conduct will be subject to review and appropriate consequences. 

6.1.2 Leaders, Direct and Indirect Volunteers 

Direct Volunteers, such as 4-H Leaders, are those volunteers that may assist directly with 4-H. Leaders are those volunteers who manage a 4-H Club and work regularly with 4-H Youth during club meetings or other club functions. Programming. Indirect volunteers may include county fair superintendents, program volunteers, etc. These volunteers assist with the 4-H program but do not routinely interact with youth on a continual basis. All volunteers must enroll as a volunteer in the 4-H program. this enrollment includes:

  1. Completing an enrollment form,
  2. Completing all risk management 4-H Volunteer Screening process:
    1. Either a Criminal History background check (or the activity worker application based on your role
    2. Successfully pass a sex offender registry screening
    3. Review and sign the UNL Youth Activity Safety Policy
    4. Review and Sign the Volunteer Code of Conduct
  3. Complete any orientation either offered by or required by your county. 

Volunteer Code of Conduct: https://4h.unl.edu/volunteer-code-of-conduct

6.1.3 Enrollment for 4-H Participants in Other Delivery Modes 

  1. 4-H School Enrichment and After School Clubs may opt not to enroll individual member online in 4-H Online.
  2. These clubs may use 4-H Group Enrollment means of entry.

6.2 Enrollment Period:  Policy

Youth may enroll in 4-H at any time. The 4-H calendar year begins October 1 to September 30th. However, 4H Online will be shut down October 1- 14, and reopen for enrollment October 15. 4-Hers will be eligible to use curriculum and participate in club meetings, workshops and day camps, etc. The state enrollment deadline for youth participation in County/State Fair is June 15.

Starting in the 2023-2024 program year, project selection is now optional. By successfully completing the 4-H member enrollment by the June 15th deadline, youth will be eligible to participate and exhibit in any project area and/or contest, including county and state fairs. While project selection is optional, it is encouraged for youth to select projects they are interested in exploring.

Please note:

  • Youth are only eligible to exhibit in a project area or contest in a single county.
  • Horse and shooting sports projects will continue to require project enrollment due to the parental consent required to participate in these projects.

6.3 Changes in Residence:  Policy

When 4-H members/volunteers move to another county and/or state, enrollment and participation will be transferred to the new Extension office upon request of the 4-H family. Records transferred into the county will be accepted and considered as a part of the individual’s achievement records. 4-H members meeting the 4-H enrollment regulations in the Extension Unit they have transferred to are eligible to participate in respective Extension Units 4-H events and programs.

6.4 Cross-county and Cross-state Line Participation:  Policy

Nebraska Extension will recognize 4-H members and volunteers of the 4-H program in which they are enrolled in irrespective of their place of residence.

A member cannot enroll in the same 4-H project area in more than one county or state in the same year. (Example: beef [bucket calf, feeder calf, market beef and breeding beef are among those listed within the beef project area], clothing, horse, foods, etc.) Exception: Youth may enroll in shooting sports projects in more than one county. Enrollment should occur by discipline (i.e., shotgun, BB gun) based on available certified instructors. Youth may not be enrolled in the same discipline in more than one county.

If a member is enrolled in more than one county, a member may not duplicate specific 4-H experiences by participating in more than one county or state in the same year. (Example: public speaking, presentation, Diamond Clover.) For team eligibility, see specific contest rules and guidelines.

4-H members may apply for county level awards, scholarships, or vouchers in the unit where they are enrolled, as long as they are not applying for similar awards, scholarships, or vouchers in another county where they may also be a member. (Example: You cannot apply for a Diamond Clover in one county and a Diamond Clover in another during the same year.) 4-H members represent the county in which they are enrolled when competing for state/national awards and scholarships. If they are selected in two or more situations for the above, they must choose which award they will accept. A member cannot receive two or more trips, awards, etc., for the same activity.

6.5 4-H/FFA Involvement Policy:

Many Nebraska 4-Hers are also involved with their local FFA Chapters. Involvement in one organization does not hinder the involvement in the other. The 4-H member may exhibit in one county and be an FFA member and exhibit FFA exhibits in another county.

6.5.1 4-H and FFA Animal Exhibits

The same animals can be dual identified in both 4-H and FFA. Animals may be shown at the county fair in either program. Regardless of which program animals are shown in at the county level, animals may be entered for the state fair in either 4-H or FFA.

6.6 Privacy Policy:  Policy

Nebraska 4-H is sensitive of the need to protect the privacy of youth under the age of 19. As a result, we will not knowingly collect personal or identifiable information for anyone under age 19 without providing the parent with the information and having parental permission.

6.6.1 Web Postings

In compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, we will not require anyone under the age of 19 to disclose more information than is reasonably necessary to participate in the activity as a condition of participation. 4-H will not post identifiable information of a 4-H member on a web site as per the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, which provides protection for children under the age of 13. To view the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, visit: http://www.ftc.gov/ogc/coppa1.htm.

6.6.2 Confidentiality

The Nebraska Extension4-H Youth Development Program protects the confidentiality of the names and personal information of 4-H members and leaders. No commercial or unauthorized use is made of names, addresses, and other confidential information of its members. Access to this information is strictly limited to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln system.

6.7 Media Release forms:  Policy

A signed release statement is required to use a 4-H member’s name or photographs in any 4-H publication, ad, news article or website. 4-H parents/guardians must update this release statement annually as part of the re-enrollment process. This release statement should be used on all 4-H (re-)enrollment forms for both members and leaders.

"I hereby grant to the University of Nebraska the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use, reproduce, publish and copyright photos and video recordings of my child/ward taken in the course of the 4-H activity; and to use such photos for any lawful purpose, in any manner or medium, and to alter the same without restriction."

For items where a more formal release is needed, use the University of Nebraska–Lincoln release form: https://go.unl.edu/yem8

6.8 Consent to Participate in the State-wide Impact Studies:  Policy

Following 4-H events/programs youth may be asked to voluntarily participate in a program evaluation to assess positive impacts gained from 4-H participation. Evaluations are voluntary and youth can refuse to participate or withdraw at any time without harming their relationship with researchers, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln or the 4-H program or in any other way receive a penalty of loss of benefit to which they are otherwise entitled. If you do not want your child to participate please contact your county office. If you have questions regarding this study, contact the primary investigator, Jill Lingard at 402-472-1710.


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