Agriculture and Natural Resources offers programs to help sustain profitability of agriculture and forest production, while protecting and enhancing land and water resources.
Resources and Services Offered
Master Gardeners are extension volunteers dedicated to working with the community to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices through sustainable landscape management.
Master Gardener Help Desk
Contact the Master Gardeners via email by sending pictures of plants or weeds that you want identified and get advice to correct the plant problem or erradicate the weed.
Leave a message on the helpline and a Master Gardener will call you back as soon as possible.
Check out the Hanover Master Gardeners website for more resources and information.
In response to a growing demand to assist the public with damage and conflicts caused by wildlife, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services Program and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have collaborated to develop the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline. The Helpline is a toll-free service intended to provide a single source of consistent, expert technical assistance, education, and referrals to callers experiencing human-wildlife conflicts. The Helpline is staffed by wildlife specialists who are able to help the caller identify wildlife damage and recommend solutions.
The Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline is available at 1-855-571-9003 and is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, except for federal holidays. Because the Helpline is not intended to be an emergency number, it is not monitored after hours, but callers are able to leave a voice mail which will be returned during the next business day.
For more information about Agriculture and Natural Resources, please visit the Agriculture and Natural Resources Numbered Extension Publications.
- What is 4-H?
- Why Join 4-H?
- 4-H Clubs & Membership
- Programs & Camps
- Contests & Scholarships
- Club Management
4-H is the youth development program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. This nonformal education initiative is conducted by our state land-grant universities (Virginia Tech and Virginia State), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. The land-grant university system consists of teaching, research, and extension education. Extension 4-H programs are a partnership involving local residents, volunteers, private support, three levels of government, and universities. 4-H is the only nationwide youth education program that is an extension of the knowledge resources of a university system.
4-H is characterized as being community centered, volunteer led, extension staff supervised, research based, home and family oriented, publicly and privately funded and responsive to change. The central theme of 4-H education is "learn by doing" by providing opportunities for youth to learn through hands-on activities.The four H’s stand for Head, Heart, Hands and Health.
Many people are familiar with a traditional version of 4-H as an agricultural based club for rural youth-cows, plows, and sows. However, 4-H is a dynamic organization; for over 100 years, 4-H programming has adapted to changes in society, family structure, education, work force needs, the economy and technology. Today almost half of 4-H members in Virginia reside in urban and suburban communities.
While the programming evolves, the core mission and the underlying values have held fast.
The mission of 4-H is to assist youth, and volunteers working with those youth, to gain knowledge, life skills, and attitudes that will further their development as self-directing, contributing, and productive members of society.
Prometo usar mi mente para pensar con m`as claridad
mi coraz`on para ser m`as leal,
mis manos para ser m`as servicial,
mi salud para cuidarme m`as,
por mi club, mi communidad,mi pa`is y mi mundo.
Participation in 4-H can look different from unit to unit, depending on the interests and needs of the youth community, number of trained and committed volunteers, and resources available. Hanover County 4-H delivers programs currently through community centered, equine, and livestock clubs. These groups led by volunteers meet on a monthly basis for a business and program meetings. Educational work is on a single topic. Clubs can participate in other 4-H activities and events such as the Hanover County communication arts contests and other competitions (local, district, state and national), Livestock and Horse programs and competitions, workshops, fundraising and community service, camps, State Congress or National Congress. Please note that 4-H does not provide horses or riding lessons for equine members.
4-H members live in towns, cities, suburbs, and on farms in every county of Virginia. Through 4-H, over 181,000 Virginia youth and 20,000 adult and teen volunteers join in local, county, state, national, and international educational opportunities.
The 4-H year runs from October 1st to September 30th. Although you can join anytime during the year, fall is when most 4-H clubs recruit new members. Youth ages 5 to 19 years old (yo) can take part in programs that are planned and initiated by Extension personnel in cooperation with volunteers. 4-H membership is open to all yoth regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religion, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, genetic information, or marital or family status. Eligibility for 4-H membership terminates on December 31 of the year the member has his or her 19th birthday.
- Cloverbud: 5 – 8 yo
- Juniors: 9 – 11 yo
- Intermediates: 12 – 13 yo
- Seniors: 14 – 19 yo
Community 4-H clubs offer a variety of 4-H projects for their members, generally meet in homes or public buildings, meet 9 to 12 months of the year, and have elected youth officers. A 4-H’er may belong to only one 4-H community club. A community club typically has 5 to 20 members and 2 or 3 adult leaders. Membership in a community club does not exclude one from membership in Special Interest groups or the 4-H Honor Club. Also, members in a given club are in no way restricted from meeting with other clubs for activities. One must, however, relinquish current club membership before joining another club.
Project 4-H clubs focus on a single 4-H project or subject matter area (i.e. horse clubs, photography clubs, etc.), generally meet in homes or public buildings, meet 9 to 12 months of the year, and have elected youth officers.
Teen Leadership Clubs
4-H Teen Leadership Club is conducted as part of the training program for counselors at camp. Being selected is a competitive process. Prior 4-H camping experience is an advantage but not required. If selected as a candidate, teens participate in leadership training from November through the start of junior summer camp the next summer. Teamwork, safety, responsibility, respect, creativity, fairness, problem solving, and empathy are leadership skills emphasized by the program.
Special Interest Groups
4-H Special Interest Groups have short-term learning experiences designed to create interest in a subject matter area, learn about 4-H, and have no elected youth officers.
Designed for youth 5 through 8 years of age, 4-H Cloverbud groups are a sub-group of a 4-H club and introduce youth to 4-H through special learning activities designed for their age group. There are no elected youth officers. While Cloverbuds are allowed to participate in all county contests except shooting education, they are not judged competitively.
(Currently Hanover County does not offer school based clubs.)
School based clubs must be approved by the 4-H Agent/County Unit Coordinator and the school system. After-school 4-H clubs meet after school hours, usually from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., in a school or public building; use 4-H materials; and may or may not have elected youth officers (depending on its organizational setup, a short- or long-term club). 4-H School Enrichment clubs meet during school hours and are designed to strengthen the members’ knowledge of school subject-matter areas, thus complimenting what the school is teaching. The club may or may not have elected youth officers depending on its organizational setup of being a short-term or long-term club.
Ready to join 4-H?
Hanover County clubs mostly fit in the "community or project" category. Each club has its own uniqueness and project focus .
- Review the list of current local clubs below.
- Contact club leaders to see which one is the right fit for your child/family. Contact must be made with club leaders before approval will be given.
- Club leaders and extension staff will approve memberships via 4hOnline.
- Go to 4HOnline to register the family and youth member(s).
- Re-enrollenment is necessary for members every year.
- Contact the Hanover Extension Office with questions at 804-752-4310.
Is the type of club your family/friends is intersted in not currently offered in Hanover County? For example, a club that focuses on dogs or cats? Do you want to volunteer to work with youth and start a new club? Contact the Hanover Extension Office at 804-752-4310.
4-H Junior Summer Camp
A five-day residential summer camp at the Jamestown 4-H Center in Williamsburg. Designed for youth 9 -13 years of age who are residents of Hanover County. Camp is combined with Powhatan and Goochland counties. The camp is coed and features opportunities like archery, marine science, kayaking, swimming and outdoor living skills.
SPIN 4-H classes
Short term workshops and clinics are offered, usually six-12 hours. In the past these have included Jammin’ Jam-how to grow and preserve berries, fitting and showing livestock, open 4-H horse shows, keeping chickens, and 4-H Maker Fests. You do not have to be a 4-H member to enroll in SPIN classes. These are promoted on our Facebook page and website.
You may also see 4-H participating in Agriculture Literacy Week at elementary schools, Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience for 6th graders, Agriculture Day for 3rd graders, the Hanover Public Schools Arts and Science Festival, Food Drives, Maker Fests and holiday parades. 4-H members are often the primary leaders at these county events.
Hanover County is fortunate to have (2) two endowed scholarships avaiable for it's 4-H members. The Andranetta E. Weimer 4-H Incentive Scholarship program and the The Betsy Mack 4-H All Star Endowed Scholarship. Resource links ate below:
- 2020 Contest schedule TBD
Pre-registration is REQUIRED for all 4-H Contests and Events
Entry form will include member name, e-mail, phone, birthdate, age, and information related to the contest. All registration forms must be in the Hanover Extension Office one week prior to each contest. The due date will be listed on the form highlighted in yellow. Only one registration form per contest allowed. Forms will be available once the schedule for the contests have been posted. Forms are to be submitted to Missy Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
- NOTE : 4-H members from other units are welcome to participate in all 4-H activities on a space available basis. However, 4-H members primarily affiliated with a unit other than Hanover, are ineligible to receive the Adranetta E. Weimer 4-H Incentive Scholarship.
4-H Agency Funds are established under the University system to allow for each 4-H Unit program and club to deposit and disburse funds necessary for club/group or affiliate business. These funds are primarily secured through fundraising.
- Local: Funds can be used for the purpose for which they are raised in support of 4-H with the exception of alcohol, gift cards, and gas cards which are prohibited.
- Foundation: 4-H Clubs have Virginia Tech Foundation funds, so that donations can be processed as tax deductible. For example: Paper Clover and feed tag funds are placed in the Virginia Tech Foundation Fund for VCE Hanover and tracked for each club.
- Gifts-In-Kind: If a club receives information about vendors wanting to donate items to their club, the UAA needs the following information to provide to VCE/VA Tech Foundation: Vendor Name, Contact Name, Address, Phone, Email, pricing information of how much the item(s) would cost if purchased when and how item(s) will be used by the club.
Clubs must create budget and plan what they would like to do throughot the year before raising funds in the beginning of the club year. The plan must be reflected in the meeting minutes
Clubs conducting fund raising activities will account for all funds collected by members and will be responsible for proper preparation of deposit tickets. An order log is sufficient documentation to account for collection of funds by club members from individuals purchasing items for sale. Clubs purchasing items for re-sale (i.e. fundraising, concessions, etc.) will pay sales tax at time of purchase. Any flyers/advertising must follow VCE/VA Tech policy such as having correct logos and indicia statements displayed. If a “Certificate of Insurance” is needed for a business or property owner for where your club will be conducting fundraising activities, email the VCE Hanover Unit Admin Assistant, Missy Johnson with details about the event.
Expenditures and Reimbursements
All club expenditures must be pre-approved in advance by the club membership and recorded by the secretary in the meeting minutes, preferably in the beginning of the club year when creating annual goals for the club. This pre-approval of expenditure is necessary to ensure that the club has adequate funds to cover the expense and that the club account is not overspent. Any request to purchase or reimburse, must be accompanied by completed and signed 4-H payment or reimbursement club forms with required supporting documentation.
Monthly Reconciliations and Bank Statements: The Treasurer and (adult Volunteer, typically a parent) is responsible for ensuring that that all expenditure and deposit documentation reconcile with the monthly bank statement that is sent from the VCE Hanover office. A bank statement is sent monthly from the VCE Hanover office with the club’s previous months transactions. Attach all supporting documentation to the monthly bank statement in chronological date order. The Treasurer’s Book should be updated as transactions occur or at least monthly.
The club year runs October 1 through September 30. Each year clubs are required to renew their charter while ensuring all requirments are met to keep the club active. The unit office sets due dates annually for various forms, record books and required training updates. Clubs must meet minimum requirements to remain active. If all requirements are not met the club may be suspended.
November 1, 2020: Notify Hanover Office who the adult leaders and volunteers will be so that any new training can take place; at least 2 adult leaders must be enrolled and approved in 4Honline. A roster of elected and trained youth officers must be set. Here is resources guide to assist with training new officers: A Guide for 4-H Club Officers PDF (PDF)
November 30, 2020: Renewal forms due to Hanover office and are available for download below.
- Club Leadership Information
- Charter Renewal
- Civil Rights Compliance
- Club Constitution & Bylaws- example is provided - is not to be used as a fill in the blank.
- Club Annual Goals- fillable form provided or can use your own format
- Club Annual Program Plan- fillable form provided or can use your own format
- Property Inventory form- if there is no club property return the form with the top part completed and enter N/A- No Eqipment
- Secretary Record Book
- Treasurer Record Book
The Treasurer's Record book consists of the following sections:
- Completed 4H Treasurer’s Record Book Cover Page.
- Income/Expense Log: If you prefer, a spreadsheet can be kept for the income and expense log ensuring there are separate logs for Foundation, Local Agency and Paper Clover. Transaction should be updated on the log as they occur, so that they are not missed.
- Monthly Bank Statement with expense and deposit documentation attached in chronological date order.
- 4-H Treasurer’s Monthly Reports: These should be done prior to meetings and are based off of the bank statements and income and expense logs.
- 4-H Treasurer's Annual Report and Audit Report: This is done at the end of the club year, September 30th. This is when the Treasurer’s book is to be completed and audited within the club. An auditing committee should be assigned to review the club records and funds at the end of the year prior to being submitted to the VCE Hanover office for audit by the Unit Administrative Assistant.
December 18, 2020: at least 5 members must be enrolled and approved in 4Honline by Extension staff in order for the club to remain active. This requirement will not be waived as it is 4-H policy.
Club leaders and adult volunteers must attend risk management, civil rights and youth training. In addition, club leaders and the Treasurer and parent volunteer must be trained on 4-H club finance policies and procedures. Revised policies are below.
Engaging with Communities
Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists in community viability work with Extension agents, campus-based faculty, organizational partners, communities, and individuals to further opportunity and build capacity in five program areas:
- Leadership & Planning
- Community Enterprise and Resiliency
- Community Food System and Enterprises
- Community Planning
- Emerging Community Issues
Examples of our work include training county elected officials, educating entrepreneurs, facilitating collaborative projects, supporting the growth of community food systems and local economies, enhancing agent skills and community capacity in facilitation and leadership, conducting problem-driven research, and creating publications and tools that address critical community needs.
Do you have a question about Community Viability?
Perhaps one of the Community Viability specialists below can help you. Contact a Community Viability specialist or direct a question to them using our Ask an Expertsystem.
Community Viability Specialists
Once a month the Hanover Board of Supervisors has an afternoon session and an evening session. A dinner break of two hours separates the two sessions, normally catered by the nearby prison .
The Hanover Extension office proposed joining forces with the Hanover-Caroline Soil & Water Conservation District office to cater one meal with foods supplied by local producers. The farmers would provide dishes from their farms and Extension and Soil & Water would provide a very short-10 minutes-overview of what we do and who we are. The board members were astounded by the financial input of the farming community.
The 50-mile meal (so named because Hanover County is approximately 50 miles long) is scheduled for the July meeting-the height of the harvest season.
After the initial year the Board of Supervisors requested that VCE and Soil & Water along with the producers stay and share the meal. They wanted to meet the people who are the largest economic industry in Hanover. Over the years the 50-Mile meal has grown in the number and variety of producers.
Our dinner site stays near the Courthouse where the Board of Supervisors meet but has moved multiple times to accomodate more producers. Our current meal providers range from farmer's market vendors to 4-H youth entrepreneurs to CSAs to international wholesalers. Even Ashland Milling Co. that focuses on locally sourced grains. Engels Family Farms, one of the largest in the Commonwealth, is one of our participants.
See the Slide show that was shown at the 2018 meal below: