Join the Club!
As Montana State University Extension's youth development program, 4-H meets all kinds of needs at the local level. Read about Montana's 4-H's impact to learn how membership can serve you.
Whether you are looking to join a club, find a program, volunteer, or donate for a cause, we have what you are looking for!
Who can join?
Both children and adults can participate in 4-H through different roles.
Montana 4-H membership is based on a child's age as of October 1 of the current project year.
Eligibility for Cloverbuds begins when a child is 5 years old on or before October 1 of the current project year.
Eligibility for 4-H projects and competitive events begins when a child is age 8 on or before October 1 of the current project year.
Youth who are 8 years old on or before October 1 may join 4‐H as a 4‐H member and enroll in project(s) listed in the 4‐H Clover except for Shooting Sports and some horse projects. To enroll in Shooting Sports, youth must be 10 on or before October 1. The Colt to Maturity and Green Horse projects require that youth be 11 on or before October 1 and meet other project requirements as stated in the project manual. Other project specific exceptions may occur. Therefore, families are encouraged to read project descriptions in the 4-H Clover Project Guide.
4‐H enrollment is completed through the member’s primary county or tribal area of residence. Youth are encouraged to enroll with the extension office in their home county or reservation.
Youth who are 19 years old on or before October 1 are ineligible to re‐enroll in 4‐H unless still in high school.
Working with youth in the Montana Extension 4‐H youth development program is a privilege and an honor. Volunteers and Extension staff are expected to be positive role models. At the same time, youth are expected to abide by established rules of conduct for 4‐H events, activities, and general membership. The youth “Code of Conduct” outlines specific expectations for participation, as viewed in ZSuite upon enrollment.
4-H relies on volunteers to provide leadership and work with youth as partners in learning.
Volunteering is an opportunity for you to share your personal skills and values by leading a club, coordinating events, and demonstrating expertise in subjects as varied as robotics, food and nutrition, public speaking, agriculture, and more.
Use your experience and skills to help a young person find their own voice and passion. Learn how to volunteer and grow true leaders.
The Montana 4-H Foundation helps 4-H youth by raising private funds, managing financial resources, and partnering with the MSU Extension Service to fund educational opportunities for Montana 4-H youth, volunteer leaders, and staff.
Each year, the Foundation provides direct support to 20,000 4-H members and almost 4,000 volunteers. This partnership with MSU Extension and the 4-H Center for Youth Development allows many youth and leaders to participate in educational, social, and often life-changing experiences that mold them into caring and contributing citizens and community leaders.
Participation in Montana 4-H and itsprograms is open to all interested youth regardless of race,color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political belief, sexual orientation, andmarital and parental status.
Participation in some programs or aspects of 4-H maybe subject tocertain age requirements, specific enrollment deadlines, or specified ownership deadlines. Theseage requirements are detailed in the section titled “Youth Membership” and found in related project literature.
A participant, applicant for participation, professional or volunteer staff member, or any personneeding accommodation because of a disability should request accommodation from the County Extension Agent.
Photo Credit: Tom Aldrich
When should I sign up?
Join anytime! However, we recommend that members join in Octoberin order to take advantage of all 4-H opportunities, including participation in Fair.
How do I join a club?
You join 4-H through your local county.
Your county’s local extension office can let you know the clubs and programs that are available in your county.
*Note: Clubs may offer different projects. If the project you are looking for is available in a different club then you should contact your local county extension office to discuss options.
Step 3. Contact the club or program leader.
Contact the club or program leader you are interested in joining to let them know you are signing up for 4-H. They can give you more information about their club and the types of projects they offer.
Your county’s extension office will be able to provide you with their contact information.
Step 4. Choose a project.
Individual project offerings are different in each club and program, but all 4-H projects align with one of four Mission Mandates: STEM, healthy living, civic engagement, or leadership.
Members choose from a range of projects, based on their interests and the availability of adult project leaders for mentorship. They should sign up for at least one project upon enrollment.
Through these projects, members set goals, learn skills, achieve goals, and demonstrate their learning at events such as county fairs, speaking contests, and other presentations.
4-H projects allow members the opportunity to explore their interests, develop and demonstrate life skills, and serve their community.
Step 5. Enroll in ZSuite.
- All family members are grouped together in one family profile.
- If you are under 18, please have a parent or guardian log-in to submit your medical release forms through the system.
- Please use an email address that you will check regularly. This email will be used to confirm your enrollment and send communications to you.
Step 6: Submit program fees.
If there is a payment required on ZSuite enrollment and you cannot complete it via credit card payment in your county, then please work with your club or program leader and your extension office to pay the enrollment fees. Some counties and clubs have additional fees added to the State 4-H fees.
Contact your county’s extension office for information on scholarships and financial assistance.
Step 7. Get activated.
Once your county extension office receives the completed enrollment and enrollment fees, they can update you in the ZSuite system. Please check your family email for an enrollment confirmation.
If you filled out a paper enrollment form, you will have to check with your county 4-H program representative for your membership status.
Once your membership is active, you can start participating in 4-H events and activities!
Additional Resources for New Members & Families