The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jul. 13, 2024

Local 4-H seeking new members for 2019

VW independent/submitted information

4-H is the largest youth development organization in the country, with more than 6 million youths participating across the country. The 4-H program was started in 1902 in Springfield by A.B. Graham. Graham started clubs for youths so they could “learn by doing” — which to this day is the 4-H slogan; youths learn by actively participating in educational experiences and projects. 

Today, the 4-H program is operated in every county in Ohio by the Ohio State University Extension and has nearly 216,000 members participating across the state.

In Van Wert County and all across the country, 4-Hers are still actively following the slogan of learn by doing to develop themselves into caring, contributing citizens and working to follow the 4-H motto of “To Make the Best Better.”

Van Wert County has over 500 active 4-H members and adults involved in 16 community clubs throughout the county. There are around many dedicated adult volunteers who work to provide support for clubs, programs and activities.  Community clubs participate in community service projects, clinics, field trips, social events, and fundraisers throughout the year. Other opportunities include project judging, 4-H Camp, state and national events, and exhibiting at the Van Wert County Fair.

Youths who are at least age 5 and in kindergarten as of January 1, 2018, are eligible to join 4-H as a Cloverbud member. Cloverbuds participate in community clubs and non-competitive activities exploring a variety of fun, hands-on interest areas. Youths who are age 8 and in third grade as of January 1 can join 4-H as project members. Project members participate in club activities, select 4-H projects that interest them, go through project judging, and can exhibit their projects at the Van Wert County Fair. Youths “age out” of 4-H the year they turn 19. 

Youths are eligible to join 4-H in the county they reside in. To join 4-H in a different county, youths should contact the Extension Office of the program they wish to join for more information on eligibility.

The first step in joining 4-H is to find a community club near one’s home or school. There are 16 community clubs throughout the county; youths can experience 4-H with a friend and can invite friends to join with them. Contact the Van Wert County OSU Extension Office at 419.238.1214 today for help in locating the right club or visit the county Extension on the web at for more club information.

Youths can join 4-H at any time, but should join by the April 1 deadline to take advantage of all the opportunities throughout the year. First-year families and members are given some extra time to get a club and get settled, so, for those still looking to join in 2019, it is not too late.

Members who are age 8 and in the third grade are considered project members and must enroll and complete a minimum of one project each year. There are over 200 4-H projects a member can choose from, or members can create their own personalized project by taking the self-determined project category.

Projects cover a wide range of topic areas. Excluding livestock projects, examples of popular projects include photography, small engines, and natural resource projects such as fishing, foods, rockets, creative writing, and shooting sports such as archery.

Youths can discover all the projects available through the Ohio 4-H Family Guide, which is available through a community club or can be picked up at the Van Wert County OSU Extension Office or online at Also, those interested can visit Project Central online at to browse projects. Project Central allows youths to filter projects by interest areas and skill levels. They can also read reviews from others who have taken the project. 

The 4-H program is part of the Ohio State University Extension services. For more information on the 4-H program and how to get involved, contact the Van Wert County OSU Extension office at the above number. The office is located at 1055 S. Washington St. in Van Wert at the fairgrounds. More information can also be found on the Extension website above or follow Van Wert County 4-H on Facebook at

POSTED: 03/11/19 at 7:57 am. FILED UNDER: Youth