After many recent conversations with the State 4-H Staff, agents, youth, volunteers, the Awards and Incentives Committee and others regarding the date to determine the 4-H Age and the 4-H Program Year, the North Carolina 4-H Program is providing the following guidance effective today (December 1, 2010):
1. 4-H Age
The North Carolina 4-H Youth Development programs are open to young people aged 5 through 18 (Note: This is through their 18th year; if they are 19 years old on January 1, they cannot compete). 4-H age is determined by a young person’s age on January 1 of the 4-H program year which runs (January 1 to December 31). This is consistent with National 4-H competitive guidelines. 4-H participation should involve age-appropriate experiences designed for youth aged 5 to 8 (Cloverbuds) and youth aged 9 through 18.
2. 4-H Program Year
The North Carolina 4-H Youth Development Program Year is January 1 – December 31. This is consistent with National 4-H competitive guidelines. All State Competitive Events and Activities operate on of the 4-H Program Year.
As with all issues like this, there are many different opinions and perspectives. While this will not please everyone, we trust that you will work with us to implement this in manner to provide our 4-H youth with great opportunities. Please note that this does not change the 4-H enrollment year which remains October 1 – September 30.
Thank you for the great leadership you provide for North Carolina 4-H’ers.