4-H in McLean County

What's it like in 4-H?

In 4-H, you get to decide what topics and projects interest you most. You make 4-H what you want it to be. Work on many projects or focus on one or two. Choose what events sound fun to you, and do them. In 4-H, you have an important role in making your community a better place to live, but you don’t have to do it alone. As a club, you’ll figure out what’s needed most in your neighborhood and find ways to help. 

In 4-H, you’re part of a family working together. At club meetings, you’ll learn how to get along with others as you build your skills and help your community. In 4-H, you’ll meet adults who care about you and want to help you succeed. 4-H matches you with mentors who will coach you in areas like problem solving, communicating, and teamwork. 4-H introduces you to potential careers and then gives you the training to get the career you want. 

What is 4-H?

The 4-H program is organized into clubs throughout the county, based on where members live or specific interests. SPIN (SPecial INterest) Clubs such as Shooting Sports and Robotics offer youth the opportunity to focus on a specific theme. Volunteer adult leaders help to lead the clubs and provide organization and adult supervision for the various club activities. They also help to advise the youth about educational opportunities, leadership, and citizenship development.

All youth ages 8 through 18 may enroll in a 4-H club. This age is determined by how old youth are on or before September 1 of the current year. Youth 5 through 7 years of age on or before September 1 of the current year may enroll in 4-H Cloverbud groups. 


Current Events

Waiving 4-H Enrollment Fees!

McLean County 4-H will again be waiving enrollment fees for the 2023-2024 4-H year!  Enrollment will be on the same platform as last year, 4h.zsuite.org. If you already had an account, you will not need to create a new one this year. Below you can find resources to help you with the enrollment process.

Volunteers must be enrolled and approved in ZSuite before you are able to host club meetings. Please only add adult profiles on ZSuite for adults that are planning on being volunteers.


4-H Project Books

Click the accordion below to view all of the projects that require books and where to purchase or access them!

What Project Books Do I Need?

The 4-H Project Book Selection Guide lists all of the 4-H projects that require a project book for completion, the project book name, and a link to access or purchase your needed project book. 

McLean 4-H Resources

Fairs & Shows

Need Project Books?

Project books can be ordered on the Illinois Virtual Pop Up Shop on shop4-H.org. The Pop Up Shop is linked here!
Want to review the Spark Sheets instead? View them here!

2024 McLean County 4-H Show

View the 2024 McLean County Fair & 4-H Show Book
View the 2024 McLean County 4-H Show Schedule


Projects need to be entered in FairEntry by June 15
Families must create a new FairEntry account this year due to the switch to ZSuite. Instructions on how to create a new account can be found in the Family Login for FairEntry Document.
Need Help selecting your projects? Click here!


If you are interested in sponsoring awards at the McLean County 4-H Show, you can fill out the Sponsorship form here and return it to the McLean County Extension Office at 1615 Commerce Parkway, Bloomington, IL 61704.

Interested in volunteering at the McLean County 4-H Show?

Contact Sky Holland



  • YQCA: For 4-H members showing dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, sheep, and goats: Youth can certify online via the website https://yqcaprogram.org/. The online training cost $12, in person trainings cost $3. The Extension Office will send out in-person dates as they are scheduled. This certification is required each year. 
  • QAEC: The Quality Assurance and Ethics (QAEC) training is required for 4-H members showing horses, rabbits, poultry, dogs and cats. You only need to take it once in your lifetime. The QAEC training can be accessed year round in the Clover Academy section of the ZSuite Enrollment System. ZSuite can be accessed at https://4h.zsuite.org/. Families can access directions for completing the course at https://go.illinois.edu/TakeQAEC
  • General Animal Lease Form The exhibitor must have written documentation providing ownership or lease of the animal being shown. 
  • McLean County Pride Form
  • 2023-2024 Livestock Ownership Deadlines


  • 2024 State Fair Beef Nomination Form - Must be weighed, tattooed, and tagged on or between January 27th and February 29th, 2024. McLean County beef tattooing and weigh in will be on January 27th, 2024. RSVP to Sky Holland at Skylarh@illinois.edu with the youth name and amount of steer you will be bringing by January 25th, 2024.


Lamb and Goat


McLean General Projects Open Show

In 2024, McLean County will be hosting a General Projects Open Show for individuals 18 years old and older that are not currently enrolled in 4-H. This show will run from Thursday, July 25 through Sunday, July 28, at the McLean County Fairgrounds.

To register, go to FairEntry.com, create an account, and add your exhibits under the "General Projects Open Show" department. Project areas include; Florals/Gardening, Fiber Arts, Photography, Art, and Crops. You can view a full list of exhibits classes, rules, and exhibit requirements at go.illinois.edu/McLeanGeneralOpenShow.


  1.  Open to residents of any county that are 18 years old or older (cannot currently be enrolled in 4-H).
  2. Entries MUST be submitted online at FairEntry.com by July 1, 2024. Entries received after July 1 will be
    not be accepted.
  3. Limit of 3 entries per exhibitor.
  4. All entries must be the work of the exhibitor and original, with the exception of utilizing patterns in Fiber
  5. Exhibitors cannot enter projects previously entered in McLean County 4-H Show.
  6. Exhibits must have been completed within the past year, with the exception of classes C0100 and C0200.
  7. Exhibits should be prepped for display to protect from fair life but still be visible to public.
  8. Exhibits that are not suited for a family-oriented county fair will be disqualified and not displayed. The
    McLean County Extension Office reserves final and absolute rights to determine if exhibits are following
    these rules and regulations.
  9. All exhibits must be accompanied by a 3”x5” notecard with the exhibitor’s name and class number.
  10. First and second place Community Choice Awards will be given in each department based on community
    votes. There will be no monetary premiums.

Enrollments & Clubs

How Do I enroll in McLean County 4-H?

New Family Resources:

Records, Scholarships and Awards

Click here to view timelines, application links, and responsibilities for leaders and youth for records and award applications!

McLean County Project Records: Due to the office after being reviewed from the club leader on September 15.

  • Need help filling out records? Check out our record book guidance document.

Illinois State 4-H Awards

McLean County Livestock Records


  • HCE Scholarship: Applications OPEN, deadline to submit is Monday, April 1, 2024
  • Mosbacher 4-H Educational Scholarship: Applications CLOSED, check back summer 2024.
  • George E. Holder 4-H Scholarship: Applications CLOSED, check back summer 2024.
  • H.O.R.S.E. Education Committee Scholarship: Applications OPEN, deadline to submit an application is June 15th, 2024.

Leader of the Year Nomination: Applications CLOSED, check back summer 2024.

Recognition of Excellence

View our annual Recognition of Excellence tabloid, where we get to show appreciation to our members and volunteers for all of their hard work and dedication to McLean 4-H throughout the year!

Member and Leader Resources

Additional Member and Leader Resources

Forms for Clubs

Forms for Clubs

Cloverbud Leader Resources

Wisconsin 4-H has created a series of Cloverbud learning activities that can be used in a variety of settings, including 4-H club meetings, Cloverbud project meetings, day camps and afterschool programs!

You can access the Cloverbud Leader Resources and Activities here.

Each activity features a different 4-H project area and targets the development of age-appropriate life skills. While each of the activities could be used as stand-alone, they are grouped together for a year-long sequence of Cloverbud activities.

We are here to help.

Opportunity For All
McLean County 4-H is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and accessible environment for all members, past, present, and future.