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Johnson County

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Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax

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K-State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Johnson County Extension at (913)715-7000. Notify staff of accommodation needs as early as possible.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

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Lending Your Time and Talents to Johnson County 4-H

By Jessica Lawrenz | 4-H Youth Development Agent


   According to 4-H.org, there are approximately 500,000 volunteers that serve to mentor and guide six million 4-H’ers every year. In our local program, Arn Eccles, JoCo Shooting Sports coordinator recently reported that in 2022, 86 4-H’ers were mentored by 22 volunteers/coaches, and contributed 5,683 hours, which equaled the salary of 2.73 full-time staff. And this was just in Shooting Sports. Hundreds of volunteers in our county share their time and talents throughout the year in so many capacities including club leaders, project leaders, livestock, judges for fair and club days. The list goes on and on.

   The value of adult mentorship is immeasurable in a program that relies almost solely on volunteers. One principle of youth development is based on the benefit of a positive, sustained relationship of the young person with a caring adult. Youth gain the confidence, connections, and caring they need to achieve their potential.

   Volunteers impact the communities where they live and work. Their value goes beyond the goal of the program and leads to changes in communities. Volunteers impact communities in four main ways: by making communities stronger, by connecting communities, by improving the health of communities, and by increasing civic involvement. Learn more from the North Central 4-H Volunteer Impact Study.

In a recent survey when asked "What has been your most significant 4-H volunteer experience?" Kansas 4-H volunteers shared:

  • "Being club leader ... it is great to work with a variety of youth and watch them grow individually and as a group. I have also loved getting more involved in the community because of 4-H opportunities."
  • "Watching the kids in my 4-H Club grow and mature. There is just no other organization that allows for the mentoring of youth by older youth as well as 4-H does. I so love watching kids that I think 'oh my' in their junior high years become awesome leaders in senior high and see how the younger members look up to them."
  • "Developing life-long friendships throughout our county and extension district. Also, the feeling of "belonging" through participating in 4-H."
  • "Seeing the excitement in the kids when they are involved and enjoy what they are doing."

   Interested in volunteering with 4-H? Watch this short orientation video. Wondering what ways you can volunteer? Click How can I help?

   As the largest youth development organization in Kansas and across the nation, 4-H conducts the most effective strategies and practices in volunteer screening and selection. All youth deserve a safe and caring environment, and all parents and guardians should expect that when their children are entrusted to the 4-H program, each child will be in a safe setting with caring adults. The volunteer application screening process involves five steps: application, orientation, interview, background check, and Board approval. Please visit the Johnson County 4-H Volunteer website for more information including detailed steps to the screening process. For assistance or questions, please call 913-715-7000 or email joco4-h@jocogov.org.