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The Garfield County Extension office provides assistance and programs for citizens in five main areas: Agriculture, Horticulture, Family and Consumer Science, Natural Resources and 4-H Youth Programs.

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About Garfield County 4-H

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

  • 4-H is more than cows and cookin’! Call your county 4-H Specialist with questions; we can turn just about any interest into a 4-H project area.
  • General 4-H enrollment opens each year in October and remains open all year.
    • Members must be enrolled by February 1st to participate in Livestock Projects
    • Other projects may be added until April 1
  • We offer two main programs:
    • Children aged 5-7 may sign up for 4-H Cloverbuds– an introductory program that meets once per month.
    • Youth aged 8-18 may enroll in 4-H projects.
    • (Age refers to how old the youth is by Dec. 31st of the current 4-H year)

Garfield County 4-H Members are required to…

  • Join a community club– there are 22 active clubs from DeBeque to Carbondale who meet about once per month to connect and educate members and help keep everyone on track for upcoming deadlines and project requirements. Check out the current club list here!
  • Attend and participate in at least 50% of club meetings
  • Complete at least 6 hours of 4-H club or program initiated community service
  • Complete 2/3 of the projects they sign up for (projects may be added until May 1st and dropped until April 1st)
  • Complete and turn in a project record book. Your club leader or county agent can help you find and fill out the book(s) for you project(s)
  • Practice personal responsibility. Parents, leaders, and extension agents will help throughout the year, but responsibility ultimately falls on the youth to actively learn about and complete their 4-H project(s)

All About 4-H

4-H is a year-round youth organization that exists in over 80 different countries and looks a little different everywhere you go! In the United States, 4-H is run by the Land Grant University in each state. Land Grant Universities (LGU’s) were formed thanks to the Morrill Land Grant Act passed in 1862. This act ensured that public land was given to the state to be sold, the profit from which would go toward the formation of a college to teach agriculture and mechanical arts. In Colorado, this was the beginning of Colorado State University, our LGU. The extension program was later formed as an extension of LGU’s to provide educational opportunities on the county level. One of those educational opportunities is 4-H.

The Garfield County 4-H program began in 1916 with just a few clubs. Today we have grown to over 20 active Community Clubs and three 4-H Advisory Councils! There is a lively community of 4-H members across Garfield County who are constantly learning and practicing leadership, citizenship and life skills through the projects they take on. 4-H is about having fun, learning, exploring, and discovering new things. In 4-H, young people make new friends, develop new skills, become leaders and help shape their communities.

Since its humble beginnings more than 100 years ago, 4-H has grown to become the nation’s largest youth development organization.  Today, 4-H meets the needs of and engages young people in positive youth development experiences.  In looking to the next century, 4-H further develops its programs and continues its motto of “Making the Best Better.”

4-H gives young people a chance to pursue their own interests – from photography to computers, from building rockets to raising sheep- the list of 4-H projects is expansive.  4-H members go places – to other states, to district, state and national conferences. They learn to be leaders and active citizens.

In 4-H clubs facilitated by volunteer leaders, youth members serve as officers and learn to conduct meetings, handle club funds, and facilitate group decision-making.  They give back to their communities by getting involved in volunteer projects to protect the environment, mentor younger children and help people who are less fortunate.

New members and volunteers are always welcome!


Any person, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, or disability may enroll as a 4-H member.

Youth who are 5-7 years old on or before December 31, may enroll in the 4-H Cloverbud project.  Youth who are at least 8 years old and have not reached their 19th birthday on or before December 31, may enroll in 4-H clubs and groups.

Steps to Enroll:

  1. Decide what projects you would like to try. Explore the state project list here and give us a call if you are interested in something that’s not on the list!
  2. Choose a club. Before joining a club, you must reach out to the leader to make sure they will be a good fit for you. Please view the 2023-24 club list here.
  3. Now that you have your project(s) and a club, you are ready to sign up! Make an account at
  4. Pay your fee over the phone or at our office and pick up your project manuals. Begin attending club meetings and get started on your projects!

Contact your Garfield County 4-H Specialist, Taylor Ruckman, by email or by phone at 970-625-3969 Ext. 5 with questions.

Garfield County has a $35 new member registration fee for the year.  Financial assistance is available on a needs basis.  Please contact us for more information on financial assistance.


Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Colorado 4-H Youth Development Program! We are pleased that you are considering joining the nearly 13,000 talented, dedicated, 4-H volunteers across the state that help youth reach their full potential.
There are five required steps to becoming a Colorado 4-H volunteer. Contact your Garfield County 4-H Specialist, Taylor Ruckman, by email or by phone 970-625-3969 Ext. 5 to begin the process.
  1. Click here to enroll as a 4-H Volunteer!
  2. Complete the online application
  3. Receive two positive references
  4. Complete a 4-H orientation
  5. Complete the background check

Volunteers may serve in any capacity from leading a club or class to helping out at events and activities. We are glad to have you!

Forms and Resources