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Broadwater County 4-H Policy & Procedures

Updated November 2022


The 4-H program year is October 1 through September 30.

Funds raised in the name of 4-H must be carefully accounted for and used only in the direct support of the 4-H program.

The use of the 4-H name and emblem is governed by congressional action and is subject to approval by the Montana 4-H Center Director and MSU Extension Agent.

Participating in some parts of the 4-H program may require certain age requirements, specific enrollment deadlines, or ownership deadlines.  Such specific requirements are not intended to keep youth from joining and participating in other parts of the 4-H program at any time during the year.



Broadwater County 4-H is open to residents of Broadwater County or those individuals who attend school in Broadwater County.  Participants from outside the county will be approved if they have extenuating circumstances and after careful evaluation.  The Extension Agent must approve any out-of-county residents.


Any youth who is 5 years old on October 1 may join 4-H as a Cloverbud.  This is the only project available for youth this age.  Youth who are age 8 on October 1 may join as a full member and can enroll in different projects.  Given the differing maturity and ability of youth this age, a family may choose to have their child continue in the Cloverbud program for another year.  If a child turns 19 prior to October 1, s/he is not eligible to enroll in 4-H unless still in high school.


Marriage and parenthood shall not disqualify individuals from 4-H membership and participation.


4-H membership is open to all eligible youth.  The US Department of Agriculture, Montana State University and Broadwater County 4-H prohibit discrimination in all their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation and marital and family status.


Montana 4-H reserves the right to deny participation of any person in 4-H activities if the person(s) conduct poses a potential and substantial threat of injury to, or interference with, persons, property or the orderly operation of the 4-H program and the safety and security of others.  Persons denied participation in 4-H activities will be provided written notice of the reasons for the decision.  The decision may be appealed by submitting a written request for reconsideration with the Extension Agent within 10 days of the receipt of notice.  If the Extension Agent made the disciplinary decision, the appellant shall send a written request for the Director of the 4-H Center for Youth Development within 10 days of receipt of notice.  See the Montana 4-H Policy & Procedures for additional information.



4-H Club rules and bylaws must comply with the state 4-H policy. Clubs are allowed to make rules about enrollment and membership in the club so long as the rules are not in conflict with the State 4-H Policy or the bylaws of the Broadwater County 4-H Council. If a club splits or is disbanded, funds should be handled as per Montana 4-H policy or as specified in the club’s bylaws.  Funds are not to be dispersed to individual members.



Youth ages 5-8 years are eligible to participate in the 4-H Cloverbud program.  The 4-H Cloverbud curriculum is specially designed to meet the needs and interests of these youth.  Youth in this age group ONLY enroll in Cloverbuds although they may participate in a wide variety of activities common in the 4-H program.  Cloverbuds do NOT participate in competitive activities and are not to be judged against others.  The emphasis is on fun and learning in nonformal settings.


Cloverbud members must enroll.  Cloverbuds can participate in many aspects of the 4-H program but are not allowed to compete.   Cloverbuds can exhibit in a special Cloverbuds division at the fair or contests, but these exhibits should not be competitively evaluated.  No live animals are to be exhibited.  Cloverbud groups typically do not have officers, do not participate in fundraising, and do not participate at state or regional events.


Youth under the age of eight are not permitted to participate in 4-H or 4-H sponsored peer competitive events or activities.  Peer competition is defined as two or more individuals or groups working to achieve a mutually exclusive goal.  A 4-H or 4-H sponsored event is one that uses 4-H in the name of the event and/or the 4-H name and emblem promoting the event.  Examples of competitive events include judging contests, exhibits, shows, and other performance activities. It is not the intention of this policy to prevent youth under age eight from participating in informal games at 4-H gatherings or meetings (e.g., a family volleyball game at a 4-H picnic; a game of dodge ball at a 4-H meeting, or other similar examples.)



Membership as an independent (does not belong to an organized 4-H club) member is allowed under certain circumstances and is evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Extension Agent.



Accident insurance will be provided to cover members and certified volunteer leaders while participating in or attending regularly approved and adult supervised 4-H group activities.  This insurance also provides coverage while traveling directly to and from home and the meeting place.


The 4-H Council will carry insurance for every 4-H member and certified volunteer.  The purpose is to provide accident insurance.  Rodeo (rough stock) activities are excluded from coverage.  Any injury resulting from skiing, tobogganing, sledding or tubing is not covered.  

The current cost is $1.00 per person except for horse members where coverage cost $2.00 per member.    


Payment is due by the January 4-H Council meeting or other date set by the Council.   The method of paying the insurance is up to each club.  Some clubs pay the premium from their treasuries, while others assess each member and leader for the amount.



The role of the volunteer staff is to assist the Extension Agent in any or all aspects of the 4-H program including leadership and support.  Adult volunteers must be at least 19 years of age. Youth volunteers (teen leaders) are persons under 19 years of age, may be 4-H members, and must be under the supervision of an adult.  Adult volunteers must be at least 21 years old to serve as chaperones for 4-H activities, events or trips.


All new adult volunteers must complete a 4-H Volunteer Application and be approved by the Extension Agent.  To provide a safe and secure environment for 4-H youth, 4-H volunteers who have direct, one-on-one unsupervised contact with youth, are in a leadership role or handle funds must participate in the volunteer certification process.  This process includes completing a 4-H volunteer application, disclosure and consent form, volunteer agreement and clearing a criminal background check.


Volunteer Liability - 4-H volunteers acting in an official capacity for MSU Extension are, in part, carrying out the business of the Extension Service.  To that extent they are covered by Section 2-9-305, MCA 1983, which provides them with liability protection (not accident or medical insurance) while acting within the course of their official capacity as a 4-H leader unless the claim is based upon intentional tort or felonious act.


Volunteers are expected to act in good faith and without negligence in the performance of their duties to minimize any chance of creating a University liability.  MSU Extension and Montana 4-H reserves the right to reject an application or terminate the services of a volunteer if the individual’s actions are found to conflict with the best interests of the program.



A chaperone for any 4-H event must be at least 21 years old, be a certified volunteer and approved by the 4-H Council or the County Extension Office.  If boys attend 4-H events, there must be a male chaperone.  If girls attend, there must be female chaperones.


Chaperones for state and national events must meet the requirements for those particular events.  Applications to chaperone national trips are available through the State 4-H Office or the local Extension Office.



The purpose of the Montana 4-H Council is to maintain and strengthen the 4-H program by assisting Montana State University Extension with the 4-H program.  The bylaws of the Montana 4-H Council state, "Membership shall consist of all adult 4-H leaders who are certified and current Montana 4-H volunteers.” In Broadwater County, the 4-H Council may pay the dues for each person who is a certified volunteer leader. Clubs may be asked to contribute to leaders’ dues.  



The bylaws of the Montana 4-H Council direct that the state shall be divided into eight (8) districts.  Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, Meagher, Gallatin, Wheatland, Sweet Grass and Park Counties belong to District 6.  Broadwater County should be involved in district activities and delegate representative(s) for district events including the organization of statewide events.  Montana 4-H Rec Lab rotates to each district for location and planning responsibilities.  



The primary purpose of a 4-H Ambassador is to strengthen the 4-H program through public relations.  A 4-H Ambassador must conduct himself or herself with integrity in a mature manner that sets a good example by which other 4-H members can follow.  4-H Ambassadors represent 4-H in a public relations role; promote 4-H with potential members, parents and the general public; help conduct 4-H events; organize 4-H promotional activities; develop personal leadership skills and self-confidence; and encourage financial support for the 4-H program.


Qualifications to be an Ambassador can be found in the Montana 4-H Ambassador Handbook.  Broadwater County 4-H will support and promote the Montana 4-H Ambassador program.  The Key Leader or Teen Club Advisor and Extension Agent will create a selection process using an application and interview when there are interested individuals.  

The project requirements in the Montana 4-H Clover apply.  Any exceptions will be listed in this section of the Policy Manual.


Members are encouraged to make a final choice of projects by January 1.  This allows leaders to set up workshops and notify members enrolled in that specific project.  Members may add or drop projects until May 1 unless the project has earlier deadlines.  For example, members must have market beef in their possession by January 1, so may not add the project after that date.



1.            A mature, well broke horse is required for the Horsemanship project.  The same horse may not be used in the Horsemanship project and the Colt to Maturity project unless the member is Level 7.


2.            A Horse Identification Form is required every year and is due May 1st to the Extension Office.  If a need arises to change the project animal(s) after this date, the member must submit a new Horse ID Form along with a written request to the county 4-H horse committee and/or Extension Agent.


3.            The horse vaccination form is due May 1st or the first riding practice, whichever is first.  The following vaccinations are required: influenza, tetanus, rhinovirus and encephalitis (sleeping sickness).


4.            A 4-H member may complete a horse project level by submitting to an assessment by a horse leader or the Extension Agent prior to the fair entry deadline. 


5.            Ownership Policy:  All 4-H project horses must be owned by the member, in partnership with his/her immediate family or the member must have access to the horse.  A 4-H member must be responsible for the care of their project horse from May 1 through September 30.  A detailed record book should be kept that shows the member’s responsibility for the care of the animal and include an activity journal, feed records, cost summary, health care, etc.  If this policy is ever in question, the record book will be a key component used to determine if this policy is being followed.


6.            A horse carried as a 4-H project may be shown by more than one member of the immediate family providing that neither the horse nor the member competes against himself or herself.  


7.            Once a horse becomes a project animal, it may not receive professional training unless the member participates in that training.


8.            See the Montana 4-H Horse Show Rules for any policy not listed here.



1.   In enroll in this project, members must be at least 11 years of age on October 1 of the current 4-H year, have completed Horsemanship levels 1, 2, and 3 and demonstrated an ability to handle the project to a county horse leader or Extension Agent.


2.   The project is designed for a member to select a foal and continue consecutively each year thereafter. The same horse must be used for all five years of the project.  In the event the horse dies or becomes disabled, the project is terminated.  However, the member may begin the project again with a new yearling horse.



1.      This project is for those members who have horses that are not fully trained, but don’t fit into the Colt to Maturity project because of age or ability.


2.      To participate in this project, members must be at least 11 years of age on October 1 of the current 4-H year, have completed Horsemanship levels 1, 2, and 3, and demonstrated an ability to handle the project to a county horse leader or Extension Agent.



1.      To enroll in the Dairy or Beef projects (breeding or market), a 4-H member must be 10 years old by October 1. 


2.      Animals must be in the care of the 4-H member on the following dates:

a.      Market Beef – January 1

b.      Market Swine – April 15

c.       Market Lambs & Goats – May 15

d.      Meat Pens of Poultry & Rabbits – June 25


3.      All market animals must be tagged with a 4-H tag.  The Livestock Committee will determine the process and dates.


4.      All members selling market livestock (beef, goat, poultry, rabbits, lambs or hogs) at the Fair must:

a.      Participate in Livestock Quality Assurance Training every other year.

b.      Complete seven (7) project activities as defined by the Livestock Committee (see attachment).

c.       Participate in an interview prior to the Fair.

d.      Have his/her project and record book up-to-date and present it during the interview.


Members participating in the Livestock Sale are required to complete record books (My 4-H Year and Animal Journal & Records).  Any member who does not complete a record book by November 1st will not be eligible to sell an animal in the sale the following year.  Members can still participate in the project and exhibit or show at the Fair but may not sell.  Members will be notified after November 1st of their ineligibility.  Any participant wishing to appeal that decision can do so by presenting their appeal in person to the Livestock Committee at any regularly scheduled meeting.

PHILOSOPHY:  The Montana 4-H Record Keeping System supports an educational program, reflecting on members' experiences and abilities as well as recording memories and history.  This is accomplished through a flexible, realistic, non-repetitive method of documentation that encourages timely entries.  Information should be recorded using one or more formats most useful to the member or group.


PURPOSE AND GOALS:  The primary purpose of 4-H Records is to record member experiences and achievements.  Specific goals for keeping 4-H records are to:

1.   Instill good record keeping habits.

2.   Develop analytical thought processes by using records as a basis for decision making and setting future goals.

3.   Practice self-discipline.

4.   Provide a measure of member/leader accomplishments including life skill development through activities and projects.

5.   Obtain documentation for critical evaluation and assessment of the 4-H program for accountability.


Record Journals will follow the form suggested by the Montana 4-H Center.


Members will submit record journals to the club organizational leader by the date specified by the leader, typically on or before September 15th.  The organizational leader will review the records and make suggestions for continued growth of the member.  The Record Book Checklist (see attachment) will be used to evaluate the records for completeness.


If the record book is NOT complete, each member has a period of time to work again on it and bring it up to the minimum standards.  Every completed record book will receive recognition for a complete year.  Failure to do so will result in an incomplete and the member will not receive credit for current year project work.

Planning for county events is done by a committee organized by the Council with representation from each club.  The following contests will be held each year:  Communications, Fashion Review, Hooked-on-Cooking, Stir-ups and Quilting.  New contests may be added at the discretion of the committee and Council.


Responsibilities include selecting a date and location, securing and communicating with judges, promoting the event through the newsletter and other means, and overseeing the contest.   It is recommended that the club follow state recommendations and rules for organizing each contest but may add their own theme and county rules as desired.  Clubs will split costs associated with the contest.


                                                             NATIONAL 4-H WEEK

All clubs including the Teen Club will be responsible to plan and coordinate activities for 4-H Week, which is typically the first full week in October.


                                                                 FASHION REVUE

PURPOSE:  Fashion Revue emphasizes skill development in selecting, constructing, accessorizing, and modeling of a garment or garments.  Additional skills developed through Fashion Revue are leadership, self-confidence, poise, good posture, good grooming and planning.  There are two categories of the contest.  The traditional category is where you bring a new garment that you made.  Items can be sewn, hand-knitted or crocheted.  The refashioned category is where you take an existing clothing item and repurpose it into a significantly wearable garment or look.  Participants interview with a judge in addition to modeling the item.


AWARDS:  Division winners will receive an award at Achievement Night.   Members who are 13 years or older (as of October 1) who receive a blue ribbon are eligible to represent Broadwater County in the Fashion Revue Contest at Montana 4-H Congress.



PURPOSE:  The Quilt contest demonstrates the application of the principles of design and an understanding of the techniques required to construct a quilt or other quilted item.  Participants will interview with the judge while he/she looks at the construction of the quilt.


AWARDS:  Division winners will receive an award at Achievement Night.    Members who are 13 years or older (as of October 1) who receive a blue ribbon are eligible to represent Broadwater County in the Quilting Contest at Montana 4-H Congress.



PURPOSE:   4-H recognizes the importance of developing high-level communication skills as an essential life skill.  This contest serves as an opportunity to practice and demonstrate communication skills through a variety of different styles.  The following are components of the contest:  illustrated talk, impromptu speech, demonstration, video, career communications and prepared speech.


AWARDS:  Division winners will receive an award at Achievement Night.  Blue ribbon recipients who are 13 years or older (as of October 1) are eligible to represent the county at Montana 4-H Congress. 


                                                              STIR-UPS CONTEST

PURPOSE:  To provide an opportunity for Broadwater County 4-H members to demonstrate, through competition, the cooking skills they have learned.  Stir-Ups allows members 13 years or older to exhibit knowledge in nutrition and expertise in cooking.  It is open to individuals or teams.


AWARDS:  The winner will receive an award at Achievement Night.  Blue ribbon winners are eligible to represent Broadwater County at Montana 4-H Congress.  


                                                           HOOKED ON COOKING

PURPOSE:  To provide an opportunity for 4-H members to demonstrate, through competition, the cooking skills they have learned.  Hooked on Cooking will emphasize having fun with cooking while learning good cooking habits and developing knowledge of safety, nutrition, and proper presentation of food.  Each year is a new theme (i.e., beef or desserts) and participants create a meal and place setting and interview with a judge. This contest is open to junior members only, individuals or teams.


AWARDS:  The division winners will receive an award at Achievement Night.



Broadwater, Judith Basin, Meagher, Wheatland, Musselshell and Golden Valley Counties hold a joint 4-H camp each year at Camp Rotary between Niehart and Monarch.  The camp belongs to the Great Falls Rotary.  4-H Camp is an organized activity for members in grades 3-6. The Camp Committee determines the camp dates.  Cloverbuds are not eligible to attend.  No member who is older than 13 may attend camp unless he/she is selected to attend as a Camp Counselor.   

Broadwater County will make an effort to fill camp staff positions including cook, nurse or medical staff and chaperones as needed.  


Camp Counselors: To be eligible to apply for a Camp Counselor position, the 4-H member must be in high school during the time of application.  Camp Counselors are expected to attend trainings when available and arrive at camp a day early.



The fair is held annually during the summer for the purpose of members exhibiting, at a public event, projects they have made or raised and receive recognition for their 4-H project work.


The Council and Committees will assist the Extension Agent in obtaining judges. Recommendations will be accepted.  Judges selected for the current year's fair shall not conduct any 4-H workshops, clinics, etc., in the county prior to the fair.


All rules and regulations concerning the fair will be set forth in the current fair book. These rules will be reviewed prior to printing of the fair book.


                                                            ACHIEVEMENT NIGHT

Achievement Night, traditionally hosted by Teen Club, is the annual 4-H awards program where all 4-H members are recognized for their accomplishments.  This event is open to all family members to enjoy.  The 4-H Council or Teen Club sets the date for Achievement Night.  Parents, other relatives and friends are encouraged to attend.



Broadwater County 4-H supports and encourages both youth and adults to participate in 4-H events outside of the county.  These opportunities allow youth to learn new skills and gain ideas to bring back to the county.  They can offer a new perspective of 4-H.  There are many different opportunities.  Information on the events can be available from the Extension Office or state 4-H website.


State events include but are not limited to Montana 4-H Congress, Montana 4-H Rec Lab, Ambassador Fall Training, 4-H Legislative Breakfast and Montana Citizenship Seminar.


National 4-H Events include but are not limited to National 4-H Congress, Citizenship Washington Focus, Leadership Washington Focus, National 4-H Conference and Western Regional 4-H Leaders’ Forum.


International Opportunities include, but not are not limited to Alberta Leaders’ Forum, International Program for Young Adults, outbound travel opportunities and hosting opportunities.


The selection of county project awards is based on the 4-H Record Book.  Record books will not be judged, but the content of the books will be used to determine the project award.  4-H Club Leaders will review the record books for awards by a date selected by Council or Extension Office.  The 4-H Council will purchase any awards necessary.



1.      A checklist will be used to determine if members are eligible for the awards (see attachment).  

2.      The member must show growth in project and demonstrate work towards goals.

3.      Project should, but does not have to, be exhibited at the fair.

4.      If no projects are worthy of awards, none will be awarded.



Nominations are submitted to the 4-H Council.  Except for the I Challenge You Award, they are awarded to senior level 4-H members (14-18 years old as of October 1 of current 4-H year).  Members can only receive each award once during their 4-H career.  These awards will only be given if there are worthy candidates.  More than one award may be given per category at the discretion of the Council.   All candidates must have a completed record book.  Criteria for Award Selection:



>     Has attained broad knowledge of 4-H projects and activities and their contribution to improving family and community living.

>     Has become a skilled, productive and self-directed individual.

>     Uses all 4-H experiences in exploring and setting goals for the development of being a caring, capable and competent member of society.

>     Practices leadership skills and roles, takes part in community affairs, and demonstrates citizenship responsibility.

>     Developed skills, knowledge and attitudes for lifelong use.

>     Demonstrates ability to use accepted practices for mental, physical and emotional health, and to respect themselves and others.



>     Is aware how their relationship with others affects the community, local and global.

>     Has acquired life skills that are essential for an individual to become an active, responsible United States citizen.

>     Demonstrates social responsibility.  Has learned to respect and respond to the needs, rights and responsibilities of others.

>     Contributes to community.

>     Has learned how issues affect the people of the world, affect us as a nation, and how the individual can become involved in addressing those issues.

>     Practices leadership skills and roles, takes part in community affairs, and demonstrates citizenship responsibility.

>     Has developed identifiable citizenship skills and relationships from several years of 4-H activities.



>     Has learned to identify and understand roles, attitudes, tasks and functions necessary for effective leadership.

>     Seeks guidance in leadership development, which will provide opportunities to develop self-confidence.

>     Actively participates in program planning, development and implementation, and helps recruit new members and leaders.

>     Helps the 4-H program while developing leadership abilities.

>     Practices leadership skills and roles, takes part in community affairs, and demonstrates citizenship responsibility.

>     Has developed leadership skills and applies these skills for lifelong use.



>     Demonstrates leadership qualities in their agriculture project area(s).

>     Challenges themselves to continue learning in their project area(s).

>     Actively participates in other facets of the 4-H program.

>     Applies project knowledge and skills into other areas of their life.



This award is intended for emerging leaders.  These young adults have the qualities and abilities to lead but may not yet recognize or act on them.  These individuals are challenged to step outside of their comfort zone to develop their leadership potential and contribute to their club, community, country and world.



The Friend of 4-H award is given to a local business or individual who has provided a unique contribution to the 4-H program.  They have typically demonstrated dedication and support to the 4-H program through the years.



1. 4-H Story Award

A.    Contest is optional.

B.    Awards given to Super Starter, Junior and Senior Divisions.

D.    Award will be based on creativity.


2. Secretary's Book Award

A. Contest is optional.

B. Council Secretary does the judging.

C. Completed books should be turned in at the Extension Office by September 15.


3.      Scrapbook Award

A.  Contest is optional.

B.  Completed book should be turned in at the Extension Office by September 15.



The purpose of this award is to encourage participation in 4-H activities.  The Council will choose worthy individuals, deserving groups, or clubs that they feel have contributed outstanding "Spirit" to the Broadwater County 4-H Program.  This award may or may not be given each year.  



To be awarded to an outstanding woodworking project member.  Judging for the award will be by the 4-H Council and will be based on the member's overall project records and woodworking fair display.  The award will be an engraved hammer, of fine quality, purchased with the interest earned from the memorial fund.  The award may be made at any level of the woodworking project, and to more than one deserving member in a year.  It need not be awarded annually.



To complete a year, members must finish the requirements for at least one project and give their completed record book to the 4-H club leader(s) by the specified date.  If members successfully complete the 4-H year, they will be recognized at Achievement Night with an award and recognition for years in 4-H.  Additional awards (i.e., key chain and bag) will be given at 7 and 9 years of membership.

Broadwater County 4-H follows state grievance policy guidelines.  For those who feel aggrieved due to some action in the 4-H program, the following steps should be taken.  

1.      A written statement of grievance shall be filed by the party(ies) grieving the process or decision.  The grievance must be presented in writing within fifteen days of the action in question.  The grievance statement should be filed with the County 4-H Council Executive Committee. A refundable $20 good faith deposit is required to initiate the grievance procedure.  The statement should include the following information:

a.      The date of the incident.

b.      The name(s) of the people filing the grievance.

c.       A complete statement describing the incident including all facts upon which the complaint is based.

d.      Any rules, regulations, policies or procedures that have been violated if any.

e.      List of the names and addresses (preferably with phone numbers) of people who have been involved in the incident and their role in it.

f.        Signatures of those submitting the grievance.


2.      Grievance Committee: A committee of 3-5 people will be appointed by the County Extension Agent to:  

a)      narrow and define the issues related to the incident.

b)      gather information related to the incident which may include—

1.            identifying and obtaining input from people

2.            reviewing documents

3.            other processes deemed necessary by the committee.

c)        Prepare recommendations for the resolution of the grievance.  


The recommendations will be non-binding and no testimony used by the grievance process may be used for other purposes.