4-H Youth Development


Listed below are over 35 Kentucky 4-H programs for which the Foundation is actively fundraising. These comprise the core 4-H activities in need of financial support. These programs have touched alumni in profound ways, so please read through them to see how you can support the experiences of today’s youth.

Program Description
Annual Fund This fund includes undesignated gifts to the Foundation, used by the Board of Directors to support 4-H programs without designated donors and to grow financial support for Kentucky 4-H.
ATV This fund supports the 4-H ATV safety programs across Kentucky.
Foods and Nutrition Program This fund provides training and materials in the area of food and nutrition programs for 4-H members and volunteers. It also supports awards for the program.
4-H Dairy Program This fund supports 4-H dairy programs at the state level, such as workshops, dairy skillathon, dairy judging contest, and other educational events. It provides for the expenses of the state 4-H Dairy Judging Team to represent Kentucky in regional and national contests.
Dog Project This fund helps maintain the equipment, awards, and expenses for the state 4-H Dog Show and Dog Camp.
Club Resources This fund supports 4-H club development and resources.
Engineering Events This fund allows Kentucky 4-Hers to participate in the National 4-H Engineering Event, which includes tractor, lawn tractor, and bicycle.
Forestry This fund backs forestry educational programs across Kentucky and provides for expenses for the Kentucky 4-H team’s participation in the National 4-H Forestry Invitational.
4-H Teen Conference This fund supports the Kentucky 4-H Teen Conference held each June on the UK campus. The program includes four days of workshops, general sessions, and state 4-H officer elections.
Horse Program This fund supports all state level Horse Program events, including the state 4-H Judging and Horse Contest in June and the state 4-H Horse Show in July, as well as other educational activities throughout the year.
Horticulture This fund provides for the Kentucky 4-H Horticulture team’s participation in the National Junior Horticulture Association competition each fall.
4-H Issues Conference This fund supports the 4-H Issues Conference held each fall at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Educational Center. The program consists of a four-day gathering of top student leaders from across the Commonwealth. It is open to high school students who display leadership potential and make a commitment to implement what they learn when they return home.
Land Judging This fund backs the state 4-H Land Judging Contest and the participation of the Kentucky 4-H Land Judging team in the National Land Judging competition.
Livestock Judging This fund supports all programs related to 4-H Livestock Projects, including the Livestock Skillathon Program, state Livestock Judging Contest, and the Kentucky 4-H All-Star Livestock Judging Team.
Meats Judging This fund supports the program better known as the Kentucky 4-H Country Ham Project. The program gives 4-Hers the opportunity to cure a country ham and compete at the Kentucky State Fair.
Entrepreneurship, Financial Management, and Professions This fund supports programs to prepare youth for careers and personal financial management. Programs include: 4-H Means Business, Reality Store, Be the “E” Entrepreneurship, and other workforce curricula.
Achievement Program This fund sustains a new Achievement Program launched in 2011. The new program encourages 4-H members to set and reach goals throughout their 4-H career. 4-Hers can choose to compete on the state level for the bronze, silver, gold, and emerald awards and, with these, receive awards, trips, and scholarships. Thirty gold winners are selected to attend National 4-H Congress. The four emerald winners are selected to attend National 4-H Conference.
National 4-H Congress National 4-H Congress is the flagship event of the 4-H program. For over 85 years, youth from across the United States have participated in this youth leadership development conference. The program is builds upon the Cooperative Extension System’s belief that young people can be significant partners in addressing the issues that face our nation, especially those affecting youth. For 73 years, National 4-H Congress has given over 100,000 delegates the opportunity to participate in this special event in Chicago. In 1998, National 4-H Congress moved to its current home in Atlanta, Georgia. This fund supports Kentucky sending its 30 gold winners each year.
National 4-H Conference The National 4-H Conference is a working conference held at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, MD, near our nation’s capitol. Deemed “the Secretary’s Conference,” this experience upholds a tradition dating back to 1927 and is the United States Secretary of Agriculture’s premier youth development opportunity. Delegates attend conference sessions to strengthen leadership skills and gain knowledge; they participate in general assemblies to motivate and inspire action; and delegates have the opportunity to meet with our nation’s leaders. This fund backs Kentucky sending its four emerald winners each year, providing these youth the opportunity of a lifetime.
Program and Staff Development This fund supports 4-H program development of new programs and 4-H staff development as determined by the Assistant Director of 4-H Youth Development.
State 4-H Volunteer Advisory Group This fund supports a dedicated group of 4-H volunteer leaders that advise the state 4-H staff on all things related to the Kentucky 4-H program.
Poultry Judging This fund helps support Kentucky 4-Her participation in the national competition for poultry judging and the avian bowl teams. These events are held during the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville each November.
Shooting Sports Events This fund supports the Kentucky 4-H Shooting Sports Program, which includes the 4-H Shooting Sports Camp, Youth Hunter Education Challenge Camp (YHEC), and State Shooting Sports Competition. The program started in 1988 and has grown to approximately 6,000 youth with 900 volunteers statewide.
Youth Communications This fund helps maintain the state 4-H Communications Day held every July. The program is based around the concept of helping youth explore, develop, and define their communication abilities in regard to such areas as public speaking, personal expression, interaction with others, and professional correspondence.
State 4-H Teen Council This fund supports the state 4-H officers and the 42-member state 4-H Teen Council. These youth leaders travel the Commonwealth throughout the year speaking on behalf of 4-H and providing leadership to the program. The expanding role of the officers and council members is one of the true success stories in Kentucky 4-H. These youth serve an important role as they represent the pinnacle of leadership and achievement in the Kentucky 4-H program. Their responsibilities are immense but so are their rewards and recognition.
Kentucky 4-H Summit Started in 2005, the Kentucky 4-H Summit is held annually at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Educational Center in Jabez for youth in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. This program is designed to develop leadership, citizenship, and communications skills, all while encouraging middle school-aged 4-H youth to remain active in the 4-H program and acquaint themselves with the programs and activities available to them as senior 4-H members. This fund helps achieve program objectives, which are accomplished through hands-on, active workshops, guest speakers, seminars, group living, recreation, and recognition.
Southern Region Teen Leadership Conference SRTLC is a conference open to youth ages 14-18 and is held at the Clyde York 4-H Center in Crossville, TN. This conference is an opportunity for 4-H members from across the South to come together for education and development in the areas of leadership and civic engagement. This fund allows participants to learn about 4-H programs in other states so they can bring back ideas and inspiration to improve their local 4-H programs. They also gain a greater appreciation for their own 4-H program.
State 4-H Officers Scholarship Program During their year as a state 4-H Officer, youth give a tremendous amount of time and talent to lead the 4-H program. Beginning in 2001, an endowment was established to provide scholarships to the state 4-H Officers for their year of service. The Foundation subsidizes the income from the endowment in order to provide a $1,000 scholarship to these outstanding 4-Hers.
Goodman Teen Leadership Grants With donor support and an endowment established in memory of Dennis Goodman, former State 4-H Specialist, these grants provide financial support for planning, executing, and supporting area-level opportunities for youth to develop leadership skills. Ideas for grants include area teen round-ups, multi-county leadership retreats or seminars, and learning activities or events where youth make a plan and carry it out, putting the leadership skills they learn into practice.
Capital Experience 4-H Capital Experience is an opportunity for 4-Hers to see our state government in action during the legislative session and to assure legislators know the importance of the Kentucky 4-H program. Funding that supports this experience provides many their first trip to the state capitol and a first glimpse into government and the political process.
State Fair Cloverville The Kentucky State Fair hosts more than 5,000 4-H projects from across the state in Cloverville. 4-Hers can showcase their project in 18 divisions, but they first must compete in their county and be selected as the grand champion in the class. 4-Hers can also be involved in Cloverville by mannequin modeling or demonstrating, hosting, and performing on stage.
4-H Camp Improvement Campaign For nearly 100 years, Kentucky 4-Hers have participated in some form of camping. Nowhere else in 4-H is the slogan of “Learn by Doing” more true than for the more than 14,000 Kentucky 4-Hers that participate each year. In spring 2011, Phase I of the Foundation’s Camp Improvement Campaign was completed with $2.7 million invested in Kentucky’s four camping centers. Phase II is underway; donations can be designated to an individual 4-H camp or left to the discretion of the Foundation.
Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp – Maintenance This fund supports ongoing maintenance and repairs at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp near Jabez, Wayne County. This camp has a capacity of 373 campers and serves 21 counties.
North Central 4-H Camp – Maintenance This fund supports ongoing maintenance and repairs at the North Central 4-H Camp near Carlisle, Nicholas County. This camp has a capacity of 358 campers and serves 31 counties.
West KY 4-H Camp – Maintenance This fund supports ongoing maintenance and repairs at the West KY 4-H Camp in Dawson Springs, Hopkins County. This camp has a capacity of 426 campers and serves 37 counties.
J. M. Feltner Memorial 4-H Camp – Maintenance This fund supports ongoing maintenance and repairs at the J. M. Feltner Memorial 4-H Camp near London, Laurel County. This camp has a capacity of 294 campers and serves 32 counties.
SET – Science, Engineering, and Technology Kentucky 4-H Science programs reach more than 147,000 youth with hands-on learning experiences to ensure global competitiveness and prepare the next generation of science, engineering, and technology leaders. 4-H’s approach is comprehensive and holistic—from agriculture to climate change to alternative energy—youth are learning about highly relevant, complex systems and issues that will ensure their contributions to their communities today and their success as global leaders tomorrow. This fund supports Kentucky 4-H programs in a variety of areas for youth: aerospace, biotechnology (forensics), energy-electronics, robotics, and spatial science (GPS/GIS). These are just a few opportunities for youth to experience hands-on, educational programming.
Kentucky Volunteer Forum The Kentucky 4-H Volunteer Forum is the second largest of its kind in terms of attendance, with more than 500 attending the two-day biennial event. The next forum, planned for February 2014, will be host to over 100 hours of educational workshops covering the entire spectrum of 4-H Youth Development programs, activities, and curricula.