Who Can Join
4-H Membership Age Policy – effective September 1, 2015
Membership age of youth participation is determined by the youth’s age as of September 1 of the current program year (September 1 – August 31). The minimum age of a 4-H’er is 5 years old and the maximum age for a 4-H’er is 18 years old, or completion of high school, whichever comes first. Youth whose membership age is beyond 18 who have qualified for a National Contest (as a culminating event for their project learning) shall be eligible to participate in the event as long as they qualify as per National Contest policies. Youth classified as an “exceptional student” and thus determined eligible for a special program by the State Board of Education [Florida Statute 1003.01(3)(a)] shall be eligible to participate in 4-H until the age of 21 years old (National 4-H upper age limit) or completion of high school, whichever comes first.
Eligibility for enrolled 4-H members is determined by the youth’s age as of September 1 of the current 4-H program year, which runs September 1 through August 31.
4-H programs and events are offered on an age-appropriate basis to youth, ages 5-18. Age requirements are designed to give youth involved the optimum experience in their respective programs. Generally, age classifications for most 4-H programs and events are below. Age requirements can vary for each of the 4-H events and activities held within the state. It is important for one to be aware of the various age requirements for participation. Read more about each 4-H program and event.
Ages 5 – 7: Cloverbud Division
Children under 8 years of age on September 1 of the current 4-H year, are ineligible to participate in competitive activities at any level (Club, County, District, State, National or International). 5-7 year olds may exhibit or share project activities at a participation level (for feedback), against a predefined standard. Participation awards should be given to this group, but they should not be involved in Peer Competition. 4-H Cloverbud members are part of an introductory, exploratory program without competition that prepares them for the full 4-H membership experience as they get older (age 8).
Ages 8 – 10: Junior Division
Any youth 8-10 years old as of September 1 of the current 4-H program year is considered a junior.
Ages 11 – 13: Intermediate Division
Any youth 11-13 years old as of September 1 of the current 4-H program year is considered an intermediate.
Ages 14 – 18: Senior Division
Any youth 14-18 years old as of September 1 of the current 4-H program year is considered a senior.
All 4-H programs and activities shall be offered on an age-appropriate basis that should consider the mental and physical readiness of youth, availability of suitable curriculum materials, adequate supervision, and the health and safety of participants.
4-H aims to offer a progression of suitable, educational activities that avoid overwhelming younger participants but also maintain their interest and continue to challenge them as they grow older and more experienced.