What Is 4-H?

It’s “Learn By Doing”. You get interested in a project, learn how to make it, or take care of it. 4-H is a “hands-on” learning experience.

It is the only federally authorized youth serving organization. It is also the largest youth serving organization in the country. It is a volunteer-led organization that reaches youth through a variety of programs in both rural and urban settings.

4-H provides fun, educational opportunities at the local, state, national, and international levels. 4-H programs are hands-on, age-appropriate, and university-based. 4-H helps youth improve their self-confidence; learn subject matter; and develop important skills including leadership, citizenship, communication, and decision-making that can be applied over a lifetime.

For older teens, 4-H also offers opportunities to develop and test their leadership skills as 4-H volunteers and working with youth. For Adults, 4-H offers opportunities for training in a variety of areas including youth development, instruction, and more.

You can find more information such as entry forms and the 4-H Premium Handbook by visiting the Indiana State Fair website or the Indiana 4-H Youth Development website.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 4 "H's"?

Head – for thinking, planning, reasoning. Hands – to be helpful, skillful, and useful. Heart – for kindness and truth. Health – for strength to enjoy life, resist disease, and be more efficient.

Who can be in 4-H?

4-H is for those who are in grades 3-12 at the time of enrollment. Mini 4-H is for youth in Kindergarten-2nd grade at time of enrollment. Parents & Guardians can join 4-H as a Volunteers and/or Leaders.

Monroe County 4-H Clubs?

Monroe County has 11 Animal Clubs, 11 Community Clubs, 3 Project Clubs and 2 Mini-only Clubs. 4-H Members can join whichever club they want and as many clubs as they want. Most members will join clubs that are close to where they reside or clubs that their friends belong to. If you would like to learn about and show an animal at the fair, we strongly encourage participating as a member of that specific animal club in addition to or in place of a community club. As a mini member, you can join a club that has only mini members, or you can join a community or animal club that accepts mini members. If you are not sure which club to join, please contact the Purdue Extension-Monroe County Office, and we will be glad to help you decide on a club that works for your family.

We do suggest you call the adult leader of the clubs you would like to learn more about. Each club is run independently and each have their own requirements. Talk to the leaders to see which club will meet your needs.

What are 4-H projects?

4-H projects are educational subject areas that 4-H members study and complete activities in all year.  There are over 60 projects available for you to choose. They are listed on the enrollment form, and details about each project can be found in the 4-H Project Book.

When choosing a project, consider your interests, background, what is necessary to start the project and the resources available to help you complete it.

Your completed project(s) will be judged and displayed at the Monroe County Fair.

Does it cost to join?

There is a $20.00 annual enrollment fee for traditional 4-H (Grades 3-12) and a $10.00 annual enrollment fee for Mini 4-H (Kindergarten through Grade 2). There is a $60.00 cap; if you have more than 3 children enrolling, the most you will pay is $60.00. The office can only accept cash or checks. However, if you enroll online (during the time allowed), you may pay with a debit/credit card.

How do I join?

You must enroll in the Monroe County 4-H Program annually. Open enrollment opens on November 1 and runs through January 15. We strongly encourage our 4-H member to enroll online. This is the most accurate and efficient method to enroll. You may also turn in a completed 4-H enrollment form to the Monroe County Extension Office at 3400 South Walnut Street. The 4-H enrollment deadline is January 15.

Please click on the links under related files below to access reference guides for enrolling online or 2015 paper Enrollment Forms.

Can I still enroll after the deadline of January 15?

If you missed the January 15 deadline to enroll in the 4-H Program, please contact the Purdue Extension - Monroe County Office for more information.  

What are the 4-H Project Book and 4-H Animal Rule Books?

In Monroe County, these books lists all the requirements to complete your 4-H projects and exhibit at the Monroe County Fair.

Where is the County Extension Office located?

The Purdue Extension - Monroe County office is located at 3400 South Walnut Street, Bloomington IN. Our hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. We are closed on county holidays.

How can I rent a room at the Monroe County Fairgrounds?

Please contact the Monroe County Fair Board at 812-825-7439. You can check out their website for more information.


I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking

My HEART to greater loyalty

My HANDS to larger service

And my HEALTH to better living

For my club, my community, my country, and my world


"To Make the Best Better" The motto was adopted at about the same time as the 4-H Club Pledge. Its intent is to inspire young people to continue to learn and grow, to make their best efforts better through participating in educational experiences.


The 4-H colors are green and white. Green symbolizes nature's most common color. Green represents life, springtime, and youth. White symbolizes purity.


The 4-H emblem is the four-leaf clover with the letter "H" on each leaf. The "H" stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health – the foundation of all 4-H programs.

Head – learning to think, making decisions, understanding the “whys,” and gaining new and valuable knowledge.

Heart – being concerned with the welfare of others, accepting the responsibilities of citizenship, determining values and attitudes by which to live, and learning how to work with others.

Hands – learning new skills, perfecting skills already known and developing pride in work and respect for it.

Health – practicing healthful living, protecting the well-being of self and others, and making constructive use of leisure time.