Younger siblings of 4-H members are often very eager to start their 4-H journey. The Cloverbud program allows 7- and 8-year-old youth to be involved in 4-H in a way that allows them to learn new skills and learn about the 4-H program in a non-competitive format. Individual clubs determine what is offered for this group of members. Exploring 4-H is a great format to provide an overview on a number of projects. In other cases, clubs may choose to allow members to focus on a project of personal interests. In all cases, the intent of nurture interest without competition.
Review the information below for an outline of the Cloverbud program in Nova Scotia.
What is a 4-H Cloverbud?
- Cloverbuds are 4-H youth who are 7 or 8 years as of January 1st, of the current 4-H year.
- Cloverbud is a non-competitive age segment of the 4-H population.
- Cloverbud programs allow the youngest of members to be involved in 4-H in a way that allows them to learn new skills and learn about the 4-H program in a non-competitive format.
Does a Cloverbud register for 4-H?
- Yes, in the Nova Scotia 4-H program, all members who are involved must register. Cloverbuds register as cloverbuds. They are required to pay the designated registration fee just as junior and senior aged members are.
- The registration details and forms can be found on the Registration Page. To find the nearest club near you, your club’s registration fee, and who to pass your registration form on to, please connect with your region’s Agriculture Extension Coordinator (AEC). He/She will have all of the information you are looking for.
Does a Cloverbud register for just Cloverbud or for a project?
- Cloverbuds should register as “Cloverbuds” on the registration form. They should not sign up to take a project on the registration form, however, they can focus on a single project area ie. crafts, or explore several small projects but they would enter Cloverbud for member type and project.
What does a Cloverbud do in the 4-H club?
- This is dependent on the individual club and the cloverbud/cloverbud’s family.
- Sometimes cloverbuds “explore” several projects like the Exploring 4-H program; other times a Cloverbud may be interested in a specific project and want to learn more (i.e. they have a rabbit and want to work with the club’s rabbit members as a Cloverbud; or have a sibling doing crafts and want to participate alongside them as a cloverbud).
- Cloverbuds are encouraged to participate (non-competitively) in all components that full aged members would participate in – this would include communications (speaking/demo), as well as judging. They are also encouraged to attend general meetings and club functions.
- In some counties, Cloverbuds are permitted to participate in junior tours, workshops, fun Tug-of-War teams, etc. Please check specific applications or with the general leader for more details on this.
What does a Cloverbud do/exhibit for achievement day?
- Cloverbuds should exhibit something at their club achievement day that reflects what they learned during their year in 4-H, like all other members.
- This could be project work relating to a specific project (i.e. a food item or craft item), or it could be participation in a showmanship class if the cloverbud learned about a livestock project and feel comfortable doing showmanship. It could also be a poster or photo display of what was learned in the livestock project they explored during the 4-H year. Cloverbuds also have the option of exploring several 4-H projects (like the Exploring 4-H project) in their year and exhibiting some of their work in a small organized box, as Exploring 4-H members do.
- Communications refers to an oral presentation, either formal (in that it is a prepared speech or demonstration, or impromptu presentation) that is presented to an audience/peers. The communications portion of the 4-H program is usually done in the spring of the year, however, it may be done at any time the club desires if it is not solely associated with Rally, but rather as a way for Cloverbuds and members to participate in oral communications at a club level. Cloverbuds can exhibit in the club level poster contest but they are for display only.
Can Cloverbuds do public speaking or a demo?
- All registered 4-H members – Cloverbuds, junior and senior members are encouraged to participate in the communications portion of the 4-H program by presenting a speech or demonstration at club level.
- The 4-H program provides a tremendous opportunity for young people to develop communications skills. These skills are usually more easily developed earlier in life, so Cloverbuds are encouraged to do communications if they desire.
- Cloverbuds are encouraged to do communications as part of their skill development, but their presentations are not to be scored, judged, or competitive in any way.
Can Cloverbuds do judging?
- Yes, Cloverbuds can do judging.
- They should only judge the class indicated as “Cloverbuds” on Achievement day. This is a special class separate from the project classes that give them an opportunity to practice their judging skills but is not competitive.
Do Cloverbuds get a “Certificate” and ribbons at achievement day?
- Yes, Cloverbuds will get a Cloverbud specific certificate at Achievement Day. It will reflect participation in the Cloverbud program.
- The certificate does not recognize the Achievement Day components like the Certificates of Achievement for junior and senior members. That is, there are no gold/silver or green stickers for project work recognition, nor stickers for judging, club contribution, and communications. The Cloverbud Certificate reflects all participation and that the Cloverbud completed the year by showing/exhibiting/displaying something at Achievement Day.
- All Cloverbud members who exhibit at Achievement Day will receive a red ribbon, as well as verbal or written comments on their work.
Do Cloverbuds go to County Level?
- Most counties allow for Cloverbuds to exhibit non-livestock items from achievement day at the county show/exhibition. If the Cloverbud learned about a livestock project, they are encouraged to exhibit something that shows what they learned in the livestock project (i.e. poster, photo display, etc.) as there are no Cloverbud showmanship classes at county level. Some counties have joint achievement day and exhibition programming. Please see your general leader for specific county guidelines. All cloverbud programming is non-competitive.
- The items are for display only and not judged, although most counties will give all participants a ribbon for exhibiting.
- Some clubs will have a designated “Cloverbud” Leader, others will have cloverbuds working with project leaders.
- Depending on the circumstances, parents/guardians may be asked to participate to provide assistance/chaperoning to some project groups with Cloverbuds.
Watch for regional and provincial programming opportunities for Cloverbuds to participate in.
Where to find additional information?
- Cloverbuds, parents and leaders can contact their Regional Agriculture Extension Coordinator (AEC) at the NS Department of Agriculture for additional information on the Cloverbud program, requirements for Cloverbuds, or for information relating to any components of 4-H project requirements.
- The Regional AEC offices also have resources available to assist clubs in getting Cloverbuds and members involved and participating in communications, including guides, and fun games and activities to encourage participation and learning. The Regional AEC offices also have resources available on specific projects, programs, and events in the county/region.