4-H Volunteer Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in becoming a 4-H Professional Volunteer. Simply put, Kentucky’s 4-H program wouldn’t exist without its thousands of volunteers. In every part of the state, 4-H volunteers coordinate 4-H community clubs, lead 4-H projects, and help to plan and conduct local, regional, state, and national 4-H events. Below are some of the different volunteer roles within the 4-H program. All 4-H volunteers must complete the youth and client protection process. To request a volunteer application, contact Elijah Wilson at (270) 433-7700 or by email at elijah.wilson@uky.edu

Volunteer Roles:

  • Community Club Leader: A person who works with a 4-H community club’s function is to assist the club’s members in planning the annual club program, conducting club business and enrolling individually or as a group in one or more 4-H projects. Members of a community club are usually from a small geographic area. Clubs must have a minimum of five members, at least three officers and a volunteer leader.
  • Project Club Leader: This position is nearly identical to the Community Club Leader with two important exceptions: the project leader is an “expert” or serves as a resource in one specific project area project clubs are usually county-wide and are not restricted to specific locations within the county. Project Clubs must have a minimum of five members, at least three officers and a volunteer leader. An example of a Project Club Leader includes a Horse Club Leader or a Livestock Club Leader, in which on-going programming is offered, membership is county-wide, club officers are elected and conduct the meeting.
  • Special Emphasis Volunteer: This is an individual who works with a 4-H group and offers a series of activities designed to meet the needs and interests of youth within a community or county. This is different that a Project Club Leader in that the youth do not belong to a “club.” (Officers are not elected and the activities are generally shorter term and culminate in the completion of an activity.) An example could be a County Ham Volunteer, who organizes the County Ham project, but doesn’t engage the members in club meetings or activities. The special emphasis volunteer often coordinates the program or a part of it. A second example would be a camp volunteer. 
  • School Enrichment Volunteer: Any individual, often a classroom teacher, who works with a 4-H program in a formal classroom setting. This program may be either short- or long-term (throughout the school year). School enrichment programs are offered during school hours to enrich the formal education experience. A school enrichment program focuses on hands-on experiences and provides real life application of knowledge gained, increasing the understanding of difficult concepts, development of life skills and fosters the development of youth as young adults. Examples include Reality Store Volunteers, Speech or Demonstration Judges, etc.
  • 4-H Committee Member: Individuals may participate as members of standing (long-term) or special (temporary, ad hoc) committees. Committee members often have less direct involvement with youth and serve in more of an administrative role in the 4-H program.
  • 4-H Council Member: 4-H Council members oversee the county-wide 4-H program. This is a formal, decision-making group serving in an administrative role. Councils generally schedule from 6 to 12 meetings each year and have broad discretion in programmatic oversight.
  • Youth Volunteer: An older 4-H member with the ability to function in a variety of 4-H roles, with the exception of Community Club or Project Leader. Developing leadership and fostering responsibility are two fundamental components of this position. Examples include mentoring younger 4-H members, serving on the 4-H Council, 4-H committees, Jr. Camp Counselors, 4-H Ambassadors, etc.