4-H Basics

4-H Handbook for Families

The 4-H Handbook for Families has basic information about the University of California 4-H Youth Development Program for all 4-H families and volunteers.

Keep your County Contact Information Handy

Your County 4-H Staff is your main contact for questions about 4-H. Download the County Contact form and fill it out to keep it handy whenever you need to contact them.

Your 4-H Age is your age by December 31 of the current program year.

Creating a Safe Space for Everyone

All 4-H members, family members, participants and adult volunteers are held to the 4-H Code of Conduct. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for all youth to be able to engage in activities. See our other Safety resources.

4-H Thriving Model image of flower growing

4-H Thriving Model

Steps to Success

In 4-H you have a place to belong, to matter, and explore your personal spark. Review the Steps to Success as a guide to reach the highest levels! You can participate in different programs to help support your growth and achievements:

Achievement and Recognition

As a 4-H member you have opportunities to be recognized for your achievements as you grow in 4-H. If you are a senior 4-H member when you graduate high school, you qualify to apply for 4-H Higher Education Scholarships to continue your education after high school.

Achievement Pins


Higher Education Scholarships

Create a 4-H Resume

For Senior 4-H'ers, a 4-H Resume summarizes your leadership roles and impacts in 4-H. The 4-H Resume is used as part of the application for Ambassador positions, in the Record Book, and also in the application for Higher Education 4-H Scholarships. This is also a great start to a professional resume when you're ready to look for jobs. See the 4-H Resume template (docx) to get started.

4-H hat with pins and badges

Did you know? 

California is the only state with a 4-H hat!

Members use their hats to display their 4-H achievement pins and badges. No other buttons, fair medals or conference pins may be placed on the hat.

Dress  Guidelines

All 4-H members, volunteers and participants are expected to follow the California 4-H Dress Guidelines at 4-H sponsored activities, meetings, and events. We encourage 4-H'ers to practice good judgement in choosing attire and footwear that expresses their individuality while still being appropriate for the activity. Additional considerations may include requirements for safety, such as safety helmets and closed toe shoes.

A uniform is not required for participation in any 4-H sponsored activity, event, meeting or occasion. The CDFA Fairs and Exposition Rule Book and the University of California 4-H Youth Development Program do not mandate a uniform or attire for judging. County fairs do not fall under the jurisdiction of the 4-H program and may require their own clothing for showing. Please check with your local fair for specific details. 

The California 4-H Uniform

The California 4-H uniform guidelines follow the protocols in the California 4-H Dress Guidelines that apply to all 4-H members. The California 4-H uniform is made up of the following garments:

Alternate Casual Uniform

For casual events, members may wear their club or county 4-H branded shirt without the uniform hat. 

2019 Ag Day at the Capitol 4-H youth in uniform holding rabbits
2023-24 State Ambassadors in uniform

Purchasing 4-H Attire

4-H hat, scarf and tie may be purchased from:

Leslie Carman 4-H Club Supplies

(888) 466-9433 or (805) 462-9433

This company is listed as a resource only and does not imply endorsement by the 4-H Youth Development Program.

Stay Informed!

Get up to date news and information at the club, county, state and national 4-H levels.

Click on the link to subscribe.

This is where we share the upcoming opportunities each month for all 4-H'ers in California. Get monthly updates about state and national 4-H events and opportunities. All 4-H members and volunteers are added to the list and can opt out at any time.

Additional Mailing Lists you can subscribe to

Animal Science - news and updates related to 4-H Animal Science projects and events

Equine Science - news and updates related to 4-H horse projects and events

4-H STEM - news and updates on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Events for ages 13 and up - Updates about 4-H events for ages 13 and up

Young Adult Opportunities - Opportunities for young adults ages 19-26 to stay involved in 4-H as volunteers in state and national events. Also learn of scholarship opportunities for higher education.

Alumni and Friends - Information and updates from the California 4-H Foundation for events and opportunities to support California 4-H and connect with other alumni and 4-H supporters. 

California 4-H Shooting Sports Updates News and updates about California 4-H Shooting Sports events, training, activities and opportunities.

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Let us know! Please email Suzanne at morikawa@ucanr.edu