About Lewis & Clark County 4-H

4-H logo

4-H, Yesterday and Today

The foundations of 4-H began in 1902 through the work of several people in different parts of the United States. Educators at land grant universities discovered that the best way to introduce improved farming and farm-homemaking practices was through young people who were more open to new ideas and would share these ideas with adults. The idea of practical and “hands-on” learning came from the desire to connect public school education to agricultural life.

The passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 created the Cooperative Extension System at USDA and nationalized 4-H. By 1924, 4-H clubs were formed and the clover emblem was adopted.

Today, 4-H is America's largest youth development organization, empowering young people with skills to lead for a lifetime. 

The 4-H Year (at a glance)

The 4-H year starts on October 1st and ends on September 30th. At the beginning of each year, members and volunteers must re-enroll. This includes completing and turning in forms, paying an enrollment fee, and selecting your project areas.

October - Start of the 4-H Year

  • Enrollment and re-enrollment begins October 1st

    • Re-enrollment due by December 31st
    • Enrollment of new families due February 2nd
    • Volunteer enrollment continuous

  • Clubs hold their first meeting of the year. Please be sure to attend!
  • Montana 4-H Fall Ambassador Training


  • Project materials are ordered and distributed at Club meetings by Club leaders.


  • Club holiday activities
  • 4-H gift wrapping at Murdoch's
  • Enrollment deadline -- December 31st. Late fee after this date.


  • IFYE (International 4-H Youth Exchange) applications are due for delegates
  • Market beef deadline for possession and tagging
  • Lewis and Clark County 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational
  • 4-H Legislative Breakfast (odd-numbered years) - This event provides an opportunity to educate Montana legislators about the work and successes of 4-H and MSU Extension. It brings youth and adult constituents from across the state together to share ideas, issues and concerns. Organized by Montanans for 4-H.



  • Communications Day
  • Montana 4-H Recreation Lab (Rec Lab) - Held every year in a rotating location across the state, this event is open to 4-H members age 13 or older. The focus is on learning to coordinate activities and to send youth home with new activities and ideas for use in their local clubs and camps.
  • 4-H Citizenship Seminar, Helena (odd-numbered years)
4-H Summer Camp


  • County and state college scholarship applications - due April 1st
  • Volunteer Appreciation nominations - due April 1st
  • Market swine possession and tagging
  • Sewing Review


  • Montana 4-H State Award - due May 1st
  • Market lamb and possession and tagging
  • Meat goat possession and tagging
  • Senior Night
  • Photo Show


  • Montana 4-H Congress Registration - This event is held for senior 4-H members every year in Bozeman on the Montana State University campus. Students can qualify to participate in everything from Livestock Judging to Public Speaking to the Fashion Review to Stir-Ups, a cooking and nutrition event. Members can also attend to assist with competitions or activities and attend leadership workshops. Between 300-400 members from across the state come together to compete, socialize, participate in leadership workshops, and experience campus life. Registration is due June 15th.
  • Lewis & Clark County 4-H Camp
  • Fair entries - due June 15
  • Helena Jackpot Show



  • Carcass evaluation
  • Record books due August 31st to Club Leaders

September - End of the 4-H Year

  • Award applications - due September 20th to the Extension Office

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Montana State University and the Montana State University Extension Service prohibit discrimination in all of their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status. Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Director of Extension, Extension Service, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717