Participate

Get Involved in 4-H!

There are lots of events, activities, and programs where 4-H members can get involved! This section provides information on local 4-H programs and events that take place throughout the year.

Links to some regional, state and national 4-H events are also provided.

If you’re looking to register or apply, please see our Forms section.

Sussex County 4-H clubs participate in local, regional, state and national events. 

Local Events

4-H STEP Clubs-NEW!

Short Term Exploratory Program

What is a STEP club?

STEP stands for Short Term Exploratory Program. It’s been designed to provide a way for youth to experience a 4-H project area in a shorter period while learning about the larger 4-H program. These programs won’t replace traditional 4-H clubs that meet monthly throughout the year. STEP clubs offer the chance to begin exploring a topic of interest using the same foundation as a 4-H club.

Who can join?

Any youth in grades K-13 (1 year out of high school), whether they are current 4-H members or not. (Some programs may have an age range depending on the subject matter.)

How long are STEP clubs?

Depending on the program, participants will experience 4-H in a 1-3 moth setting, meeting 1-4x per month. Most programs will initially run from the beginning of January until the end of March.

Who runs STEP clubs?

STEP clubs will be run by a minimum of two caring and competent adult volunteers in partnership with 4-H. Parents, teachers, or any adult with the desire to teach and inspire youth to learn new things. All volunteers will go through a youth protection screening and training process.

Are there fees?

The base fee for participating in a STEP club is $20 per youth. Additional program fees may apply depending on the project area.

Discovery 4-H Curricula

Download More Information on STEP Clubs

To get more information on STEP clubs, including a list of available curriculum, download our 4-H STEP Overview.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer STEP club leader, download and complete the Volunteer STEP Interest Form

Go to 4-H Discovery to view, select and download STEP club curriculum.

Parades

Parades take place seasonally. To participate 4-H clubs must register in advance. Forms are sent to 4-H club leaders in advance and are also available for download.

Newton Holiday Parade

A holiday paraded is hosted in the town of Newton each year, traditionally on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 4-H clubs are invited to participate in marching as a club with or without animals.
The Newton Chamber of Commerce announces a theme for each year’s parade. Club’s may opt to dress or prepare a float following each year’s theme.
For more information, contact:
Nancy Woods at the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce, 973-300-0433 or info@greaternewtoncc.com.

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Held during mid-March, 4-H clubs are invited to march with their club banners. Members may choose to show their project animals in cages, using wagons. Larger animals can also participate. (Be sure to bring scoopers to clean-up after them, though.)
For more information, email Mary Harrington, caseyharrington1950@gmail.com

Newton Memorial Day Parade

The Memorial Day Parade held in Newton takes place on the Monday observance of the holiday. Sussex 4-H clubs are invited to participate. However, no animals are permitted for this parade.
For more information contact:
Nancy Woods at the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce, 973-300-0433 or info@greaternewtoncc.com

Branchville Memorial Day Parade

The town of Branchville’s parade is also held on the Monday of Memorial Day Weekend. Sussex 4-H clubs are invited to participate—animals may participate in this parade. Afterward, members and their parents are invited to join the American Legion (parade sponsor) at their facility on Route 206 for refreshments.
For more information contact Edith McGrath at, 973-383-9446.

4H kids at Newton Holiday Parade

At the Fairgrounds

The  Sussex County Fairgrounds is home to the Phoebe and Ralph Shotwell 4-H Exhibit Hall where some of our largest events are held. 

Fall

Halloween Happenings!

Traditionally held a few weekends before Halloween this event is open to the public and offers fun, games and trick-or-treating for all. Many 4-H clubs create trick-or-treat stations, others sponsor games and activities, all are invited to donate baked goods.

Trick or treat booth
Spring

Spring Fling

Held in early April this event offers 4-H members and clubs the opportunity to demonstrate skills and share activities with the public. Many clubs use it to raise funds through the sale of small craft items.

4-H Youth on Blender Bike
New Jersey's Largest Agricultural Fair

New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show

In partnership with the New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show, Sussex County 4-H exhibits and volunteers at New Jersey’s largest agricultural fair held over ten days in early August. 4-H members participate in animal shows and costume contests as well as displaying art, crafts, horticulture, photography, food, and other exhibits in the Shotwell 4-H Building.

kids playing cornhole
Learning the business of agriculture

Sussex County 4-H Market Animal Sale

The 4-H Market Animal Sale is an annual event held during the New Jersey State Fair®/Farm and Horse Show. The Sale is an opportunity for 4-H members, who qualify, to sell their project animals at a live auction event.

The Market Animal Sale (MAS) program’s purpose is to offer 4-H members an opportunity to learn the business of agriculture. To qualify, members are required to follow specific rules to earn the privilege to sell their MAS project.

Animals entered in the MAS must qualify for the sale. This requires meeting documentation requirements, making weight prior to the 4-H show and being judged as Excellent (Blue Ribbon Quality) during the show.

This process ensures the buyer receives high-quality meat from a dedicated 4-H member.

Many buyers opt to donate all or a portion of the animals they purchase to support local charities. In this way, participating in the Sale not only supports local 4-H youth, but it can also support our community, as well!

Potential Buyer

If you are interested in participating in the 4-H Market Animal Sale as a buyer, please complete the contact form below and we will forward you more information.

Donor

Prior to the Sale, a social is held to thank prior buyers and welcome new ones to the Sale. The Market Animal Sale Committee solicits donations to help offset costs for the Social. (Donors are recognized by placards at each table.)

4-H Member

If you are interested in raising a 4-H Market Animal Sale project (beef, sheep, goat, swine or rabbit), please talk with your 4-H club leader to get more information. 

Look over this Marketing Your Animal Guide and be sure to review the MAS Rules .





Please send me information about the Sussex County 4-H Market Animal Sale:


Sussex County 4-H Programs

4-H Public Presentations

Building Skills for a Lifetime

Each year during March, Sussex County hosts four nights of public presentations by 4-H members. These are attended by parents and evaluated by judges offering constructive criticism for improvement.

For details on when and where public presentations are being held, see our calendar. Members are encouraged to register for presentations using their profile in 4HOnline.

Sussex County supports the largest public presentations program in New Jersey 4-H!

4-H Foundation Wreath Sale

Many Sussex 4-H clubs opt to sell wreaths to raise funds to support their club’s activities and to contribute to the Scholarship Fund available to graduating Sussex County 4-H members.

Wreaths are sold by 4-H members/clubs during November. Wreaths are distributed Thanksgiving weekend and members deliver them to customers in the following weeks.

Wreaths come in two sizes, 3” and 1” diameters and may be purchased decorated or undecorated.

Scholarships

Scholarships are available to 4-H members pursuing their education beyond high school. Eligibility requirements are described in each scholarship application.