Projects & Record Keeping
Why do we do 4-H Projects?
4-H provides the opportunity to learn skills in everything from Agriculture and Arts to Science Wildlife, and Veterinary Sciences. Youth are encouraged to work on projects in 4-H to develop life skills, hone their talents, and gain new experiences. With over 50 projects to choose from, Arkansas youth have opportunities to grow in their knowledge while having fun experiences with their friends and families.
How can parents help with 4-H Projects?
4-H'ers are encouraged to choose a project (or projects) that interest them. These projects can be worked on individually, or with groups of youth that have similar interests. While working on these projects, youth are encouraged to keep detailed records that can be submitted for awards such as 4-H record books or Congressional awards. Parents and 4-H leaders are their to guide our youth as they expand their minds and strive to improve their club, community, country, and world.
While completing these non-formal, science-based, experiential education projects, 4-Hers gain knowledge and enhance life skills enabling them to become positive, productive, capable and compassionate members of society.
What's the best strategy for choosing a 4-H Project?
Picking a 4-H project can be a hard decision. With 50 projects to choose from, picking just a few can be daunting. (Project Handout)
- It's important to pick a project that interests you, a project that you can work on easily and a project that will teach you something new.
- Since most of your project work will in or around your home, you should work with your family to pick something that you can all participate in.
Once you pick your project, you will receive a project guide sheet with information on how to get materials and manuals to help guide you through your 4-H experience. Your Extension agent, parents, teachers, volunteer leaders, and others will help you learn; and learning will be fun.
Looking for a guide to picking a project...check out our Pick a Project Handout.
4-H Project Areas
Mind: Social and Emotional Well Being
- Bullying Prevention
- Personal Finance
- Substance Abuse Awareness
- Food and Nutrition
- Food Preservation & Safety
- Health & Fitness
- Human Development
- Safety (ATV, Shooting Sports)
- Public Speaking
- Workforce Preparation & Careers
- Service Learning
- Fashion & Fabric
- Photography and Videography
- Theater and Performance Arts
- Visual Arts
- Cattle (Beef & Dairy)
- Goats (Dairy & Meat)
- Livestock Skills
- Meat Science
- Veterinary Science
Plants and Agriculture
- Soils & Crops
Environmental Science & Energy
- Biology & Chemistry
- Energy & Electricity
- Forage & Grasslands
- Water, Wildlife & Fisheries
Engineering and Technology
- Computer Science & Coding
- Mechanical Sciences (automotive, welding, tractor)
- Robotics, Rocketry & Aerospace
Record keeping and completing a 4-H record book describing the work of a member's project is an important part of 4-H. While not easy, the benefits of completing a record book are very tangible. Youth will be prepared for future employement, college applications, and household management with the skills they gain from record keeping. Youth are encouraged to complete record books at the conclusion of each years project work. Record books can be submitted in January to your local county extension office for judging. Winning county level books can be judged at the district and state level.
Resources for projects and record keeping
Arkansas 4-H record books are completed using a standard form. The following templates are provided for 4-H youth to use when completing their record books.
When evaluating Arkansas 4-H record books, each book is judged on it's own merit, and not compared to other 4-H experiences. The beginner record books (ages 9-12) will be judged a the county level, with the top three books recognized at the district level, while intermediate (ages 13-15) and advanced (ages 16-19) record books are evaluated at the state level.
The final stage of record book evaluation for seniors involves an interview conducted at the Little Rock State Office that focuses on the familiarity of the 4-H youth with their project work. This interview is used to determine the winners senior 4-H record books.