Apply to become
a 4-H volunteer

How to volunteer with us

We can't run the 4-H program without volunteers. You don't need to be an expert or a parent to volunteer with us.

Count the benefits of volunteering.

To ensure program quality and safety, we ask all our volunteers to go through a three-step screening process. Any of them may be done online or using a paper form.

Before you start, READ OUR SCREENING GUIDE: English version or Spanish version

Volunteer Code of Conduct and Terms of Agreement

The steps below are only done once when a volunteer first applies to become a volunteer.
If you are a current
volunteer and need to renew, please go to this Renewal page.

Step 1 - Application

Step 1 download an application

Download an application to print, fill out and sign. A handwritten signature is required, but the application can be submitted after signature to your local 4-H office via email, fax, mail or in person.

Step 1 request a paper copy

Step 2 - Background check

Step 2 online

Read our instructions, then submit online through The McDowell Agency, our screening vendor

Step 2 on paper

Print a Background Check Release that you can mail or fax (address and fax number on page 2 of release)

FYI: What’s covered in a Minnesota 4-H volunteer background check?

Social Security Number validation/address trace

Often called “Soc. Trace.” This is not a credit check. It verifies that the Social Security Number is valid and uncovers any aliases or addresses that an applicant might fail to disclose.

County criminal records search

Considered the “gold standard” for background check searches. It includes case numbers, dates filed, charges, deposition dates, deposition and sentence. Most crimes are committed in the counties in which a person resides.

State BCA database

Contains public data maintained by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It will include offense, date, court of conviction, and sentencing information for offenses outside of the applicant’s county of residence but within their state of residence.

USA Criminal Index

The most comprehensive national criminal index available. It covers all of the United States and includes information on convicted felons, individuals that have been or are under the supervision of a state department of corrections, and some individuals convicted of misdemeanors. Information is provided by states.

National Sex Offender Registry

Contains information on convicted sex offenders with data from all 50 states.

Step 3 - Orientation

Step 3 online

  1. View video training (45 minutes)

  2. Submit the orientation survey at the end of the video training OR use this orientation survey link. OR use this paper orientation reporting form.

NOTE: This training works best with a desktop/laptop computer or with an Android mobile device.

Step 3 on paper

Two options:


    • Visit your local 4-H office to read, sign and submit the Orientation Reporting Form

Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing of screening materials. We will notify you when your screening is complete.

You must be approved BEFORE beginning to serve as a volunteer.


Elaine Hardy, regional support staff,, 218-828-2276