4-H youth are involved in hands-on activities that allow learning by doing. All 4-H programs focus on active involvement and quality experiences which stimulate lifelong learning of values and skills.

Ohio 4-H membership is based on a child’s age AND grade as of January 1 of the current calendar year. Eligibility for Cloverbud participation begins when a child is age 5 and enrolled in kindergarten. Eligibility for participation in 4-H projects and competitive events begins when a child is age 8 and in third grade. Any youth age 9 or above is eligible for project membership, regardless of grade level. Membership requires enrollment in an authorized Ohio 4-H club or group under the direction of an OSU Extension professional or an approved adult volunteer. A youth’s 4-H eligibility ends December 31 the year he or she turns 19. Joining Ohio 4-H is a privilege and responsibility for individuals and is subject to the Ohio 4-H Code of Conduct and applicable policies of The Ohio State University.

Across-County Lines Membership Policy and Procedures

Youth are expected to affiliate with the 4-H program in their county of residence. OSU Extension programs are typically supported at the local level by taxes, so it makes good sense that a child participate in the county program supported with taxes from parents or guardians. However, there are circumstances in which membership in a county other than where one lives is a practical and reasonable request.

Ohio State University Extension administers the 4-H Youth Development program. Our mission is to enable youth to reach their full potential as capable, caring, and contributing citizens. Each county in Ohio conducts the 4-H Youth Development program to accomplish this mission.

We require that each non-Tuscarawas County youth needs to complete an Across County Line request form. Request forms are due to our office no later than March 15 of the current year. (Families with more than one child need to complete a form for each child.)

To affirm Ohio State University Extension’s position concerning 4-H cross county lines (and/or cross state lines) membership, the following philosophy and process statements are provided.

EACH non-Tuscarawas County youth is required to complete an Across County Line request form. Request forms are due to our office NO LATER THAN MARCH 15 of the current year.

  1. 4-H membership in two counties (and/or two states) simultaneously is not permitted.

  2. Cross state lines membership has the same considerations as cross county lines membership.

  3. When the county of residence does not have a 4-H program (due to financial or other reasons), youth may not join 4-H in another county. Previously approved cross county lines or cross state lines memberships are revoked.

  4. In situations where membership in a county other than the county of residence is desired, the 4-H professionals in both counties must be in agreement regarding the application. The agreement, based on their professional judgment in accord with the mission, does not supersede item 3 above.

  5. Consideration for membership may not be motivated by perceived competitive or sale advantage in another county, any change due to controversial issues, or other similar motivations.

  6. Should families own residences in more than one county, the county of residence is determined by the public school system in which the youth would be enrolled, regardless of actual attendance.

  7. Parents, guardians, and youth should become familiar with all policies, procedures, and guidelines for the county in which membership is requested. Some Ohio counties limit participation in the county junior fair to those who reside in the county.

  8. Any consideration for membership in a county other than the county of residence, within the limits of this policy and not addressed by the above statements, should be brought to the attention of the Ohio 4-H Youth Development assistant director or associate state leader to identify a course of action in these special situations.

  9. The decision to allow or deny cross county lines membership is made by the county 4-H professionals in the county of request and the county of residence and is fully supported by the state organization.

Click here for the Across County Line Membership Policy and Request Form

Scroll to "Club Membership" then select "Across County Line Membership Policy and Request Form." Form is a fillable pdf. Complete the form and turn in to our office no later than March 15 of the current year.

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