Sign up for 4-H by March 15 to be eligible for fair

London resident Lily Thompson grooms her goat at last year’s Madison County Fair. Thompson is a member of the Madison County Show-Offs 4-H Club.

(Posted March 8, 2023)

Life offers kids countless opportunities throughout their childhood. Sports, school activities, church groups, and 4-H, of course. Being a 4-Her opens doors for youth and helps to prepare them to be leaders in their community. Youth can create their own journey by choosing from among more than 200 projects in topics ranging from animal science and STEM to arts and natural resources.

4-H members enroll in projects that help them find and nurture their “spark,” their passion, interests, talents and what eventually can lead to their career, enjoyment, and belonging in the community. 4-H allows youth to try something new and be exposed to something they may have never had to chance to explore otherwise.

4-H members start out by joining a club. Madison County 4-H has nearly 30 community clubs from which to choose, scattered all throughout the county in London, West Jefferson, Plain City, and Mount Sterling. Adult advisors who are trained and go through background checks help the youth grow into responsible, skilled adults, assist them with their project work, and provide opportunities to learn and engage with their peers.

Clubs offer at least six regular meetings over the course of the year, along with other experiential learning experiences. At club meetings, members discuss business while including time for education and recreation. Every club contributes to the community with a project, such as collecting donations or donating time to fix up an area park or the fairgrounds.

Once a member joins a club, they can choose their projects. Members can review and purchase books at the Madison County Extension Office. Another way to easily preview the project books and resources is to visit the 4-H Project Central at On the website, visitors can preview the book pages and read reviews on projects from other 4-H members and family members.

4-H members can participate in many other county, state, and national opportunities. Madison County Extension hosts a countywide 4-H camp, demonstration contests, judging opportunities, and clinics. At the state level, members can participate in statewide camps related to forestry, shooting sports, STEM, and even a Sea Camp.

Madison County’s deadline to join 4-H is March 15 to be eligible to participate in the Madison County Junior Fair. Find more information on joining at The membership fee is $15 per year.

To enroll in a 4-H project and competitive events, a child must be 8 and in the third grade or 9 years old through the age of 19 as of Jan. 1 of the current year. Any child that is age 5 and in kindergarten through second grade can enroll as a Cloverbud.
New volunteers can start applying on Nov. 1 for the 2024 4-H year.

Contact the Madison County OSU Extension Office at (740) 852-0975 to obtain a list of clubs available in Madison County. Visit or check out the program’s Facebook page at Madison County Extension OSU.

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