Understanding 4-H policies

Why policies, rules and deadlines?

Policies guide decisions and help us to reach good outcomes. Minnesota 4-H policies direct staff, volunteers, members and their families on how to act in the program. All 4-H members and volunteers (individual, club, county, regional, state, national and international levels) are subject to the policies, rules, deadlines and behavior standards that govern participation and involvement.

Written rules define acceptable behavior, actions and operations. Rules have consequences when they're not followed. Minnesota 4-H has rules for membership, volunteering, youth and adult behavior (code of conduct), participation in projects and competitive events, and use of resources.

Deadlines are the dates by which something needs to be completed. Minnesota 4-H sets some deadlines statewide and some are set locally. Deadlines may or may not have consequences. Every Minnesota 4-H member is eligible for a "one-time exemption" from the consequences associated with missing a single competitive event deadline.

How are 4-H policies, rules and deadlines determined?

When considering whether to implement or change a policy, rule or guideline, Minnesota 4-H considers the following:

  • Is this a legal expectation required by their group exemption status as a public non-profit organization and/or by federal and/or state statute?
  • Is this a requirement of the University of Minnesota Extension, University of Minnesota, and/or National 4-H Headquarters at NIFA?
  • Will this attract and retain youth, volunteers and partners who reflect a broad interpretation of diversity?
  • Will this reflect positive youth development principles and practices?
  • Will this enhance the quality of the learning environment?
  • Will this ensure an equitable and uniform opportunity for participation in cooperative and competitive learning experiences?
  • Will this promote and expect efficient and effective use of fiscal and human resources?