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4-H Club Charter

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What Does Chartering Mean?

  • 4-H Charters, issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and signed by the Secretary of Agriculture’s designated representative are the only documents that officially recognize a 4-H Club and authorizes its use of the 4-H Name and Emblem for conducting 4-H Youth Development programs. 
  • The official 4-H Charter, issued by USDA, is obtained from the Division of Youth and 4-H at USDA NIFA. 
  • State and local charters that do not include a USDA signatory, are not considered official 4-H Charters.
  • State 4-H offices are expected to maintain documentation on the issuance of 4-H Charters to 4-H Clubs within their respective states. 
  • Charters should be issued when establishing a 4-H Club.
  • For those 4-H Clubs that have been long established, and verification of a valid Charter is not available, issuance of a new 4-H Charter is necessary.
  • 4-H Charters are agreements within the context of the overall 4-H Program. 


  • 4-H Charters do not qualify a 4-H Club as a legal entity according to state government and business policies and definitions. 


  • 4-H Charters do not allow a recognized 4-H Club to share their rights and privileges, like the use of the 4-H Name and Emblem, with any other person, group, or business. 


  • A 4-H Charter is required for any 4-H Club to use the 4-H Name and Emblem.
  • The USDA 4-H Charter, once issued, will be valid for as long as the 4-H entity receiving the 4-H Charter exists. To be in good standing after the initial charter, clubs/groups must charter annually at the gold level for Clubs and groups must complete certain requirements.


  • If the 4-H entity disbands, separates into multiple entities, or changes its name, a new charter will need to be issued. 


  • The USDA does not mandate the use of an expiration date. Additionally, even with a change in the USDA designated representative, the USDA 4-H Charters remain valid. 


  • However, 4-H Charters may be revoked at any time by the Land Grant Institutions’ State or Local 4-H Extension Office for failure by the club to meet any aspect of the agreement. 

Ordering Charters

NC 4-H has a new process for requesting 4-H Charters for your Clubs. According to guidelines outlined by USDA NIFA, we must maintain documentation of the issuance of 4-H Charters to 4-H clubs. In order to do this, 4-H Agents will need to fill out an order request form per club with the club information, etc.

To order a 4-H Club Charter, you will need to complete the google form with the information for the Charter. Please allow at least 2 weeks prior to needing the charter. We must obtain signatures before we can mail those to you.

4-H Charter Order Request Form

4-H Charter Seal Request Form

USDA/NIFA Chartering Information Letter