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Become a Volunteer

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Your Role



We need you. 

In 4-H, volunteers are vital to carrying out the program's mission and vision. Montana's 4-H youth development program relies on our volunteers to: 

  • Provide expertise in educational project areas such as photography, agriculture, food and nutrition, rocketry, robotics, public speaking, and more 
  • Guide youth in learning and exploration 
  • Engage youth in service opportunities in their communities 
  • Ensure leadership for 4-H club management 
  • Build a safe, caring, and nurturing environment and relationships with youth 


No matter your schedule, there's a way for you to make an impact through various roles and time commitments.

As a volunteer, you are a dynamic part of the organization.You play a vital role in the ongoing growth and development of those in the 4‑H Youth Development program. 


A male volunteer helps a female club member with her steer. Text: Inspire to do

Photo Credit: Tom Aldrich

You’ll benefit from it, too. 

More than 4,000 Montanan volunteers personally benefit from 4-H by: 

  • Becoming more experienced at working with youth 
  • Learning transferrable skills 
  • Gaining leadership & personal skills 
  • Increasing their positive well-being 
  • Having a higher level of life satisfaction and positive affect  
  • Enjoying greater social benefits 
  • Supporting youth learning 
  • Contributing to the organization 
  • Improving the quality of life within their community 
  • Paying it forward 


It's worth it: 4-H volunteers feel their volunteerism is valuable, and valued by the youth.


Read more from the Journal of Youth Development about The Impact of volunteering: A Multi-state Study of 4-H Youth Development Volunteers.

Learn more about how 4‑H helps young people excel beyond their peers. The 4‑H Study of Positive Youth Development, conducted by Tufts University, explores the impact that participation in 4‑H has on youth.


A female volunteer gardens with kids.

Photo Credit: Tom Aldrich


Become a Volunteer

Step 1 time and interest
  • Consider:  How much time do you have to volunteer?
  • What interests, hobbies, skills or knowledge would you like to share with youth or contribute to the 4-H Program?
  • Are you at least 19 years of age or older?
Step 2 Meet with Extension Office
Step 3 Enroll
  • Enroll as a 4-H volunteer through ZSuite.
  • Pay any county volunteer dues.
  • The Extension Office will submit your information into Sterling Volunteers for a background check.
  • All new volunteers must complete the Montana 4-H Volunteer Orientation training. The training is on Clover Academy in ZSuite.
  • View guide for completing the volunteer orientation modules in Zsuite. 
  • Shooting sports volunteers are required to complete additional training in the discipline they wish to lead before working with youth.
Step 4 Orientation Training
Step 5 Make a Difference
  • Congratulations! You are now a certified volunteer with Montana 4-H.
  • Work with your County Extension Agent in your volunteer role to make an impact.
  • Remember to enroll each 4-H year (starting October 1) to volunteer.



Volunteers are required to re-enroll each new 4-H year before volunteering and working with youth. Re-enrollment process includes: 

  • Review/update application through ZSuite
  • Complete and sign personal background update form
  • Sign volunteer agreement
  • Sign media release

If a volunteer skips a year of service, they are required to repeat the certification process.


Build Skills: A male technician shows a female club member an ultrasound

Photo Credit: Tom Aldrich

Volunteer/Adult Roles

The following volunteers  DO need to complete the certification process for Montana 4-H Volunteer Leaders:

Organizational Leader

Guide the overall organization of the club, help it function smoothly and maintain communications among the member families, the club and the county. Be the primary club contact person with the MSU Extension county staff.

Time commitment is 10 to 15 hours monthly (depends on club size and activities) through the 4-H year, October to September. 

Learn more about the role of an organizational leader.

Project or Program Volunteer Leader

Work with members enrolled in a specific project or project area, assisting them to plan and carry out experiences that will help them reach their learning goals. Support the positive growth and development of each youth involved. Develop important life skills and create opportunities for you to learn, lead and serve.

Time commitment may be two to four hours for planning, working directly with youth, and follow up for each project meeting. Project leadership can be a short-term opportunity. A variety of options are available, such as working once a month, once a week, for a short terms periods or for the 4-H year (October to September).

Learn more about the role of a project or program volunteer.

Activity or Event Volunteer Leader

Provide leadership within a specific, short-term program or activity. These activity volunteers work with 4-H members to make preparations for the activity, obtain relevant literature and distribute it to adult and youth participants, and coordinate the activity or community event while supporting the positive growth and development of each youth involved.

Time commitment will vary with the nature of the activity. Activities take place throughout the year. 



Text: Connect. A female volunteer and club member smile.

Photo Credit: Tom Aldrich

Additional Roles


4-H relies on adult chaperones for many overnight events. Chaperones are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the youth under their care. Adults must be 25 years or older to chaperone overnight events. There are opportunities at county, regional, state, national, and international levels.

While time commitment varies depending on the event, the most common duration is 3-5 days.

Chaperone volunteers DO need to complete the cerification process for Montana 4-H Volunteer Leaders.

Other Adult Volunteers

There are some short-term opportunities to volunteer with 4-H, depending on your needs. Some opportunities last as little as one day per year, or just one hour each month. 

Consider volunteering with 4-H to:

  • Judge a contest
  • Conduct Record Book interviews
  • Serve on a committee, council, or foundation
  • Assist a club or project leader
  • Be a guest speaker
  • Teach a workshop
  • Assist with after-school programs
  • Contribute your professional skills to the organization: Help out with graphic design, marketing, fundraising, accounting, public speaking, and more!

Depending on the role, some volunteers will be required to complete the certification process for Montana 4-H Volunteer Leaders. Check with your local Extension Office regarding the requirements for your desired role.



A male volunteer helps a boy with horse tack. Text: Pay it Forward

Photo Credit: Tom Aldrich

Volunteer Resources

4-H Basics for Volunteers

Managing Risk

Volunteer Excellence Webinars

Leaders Council

County Directory

Montana Volunteer Institute

More Resources