ProjectsDIY (Design It Yourself) | Environment | Livestock |Small Animals | Life Skills | Technology and Trade
4-H Alberta Projects Guide
With more than thirty – 30! – projects available to members, narrowing it down to just one or two can seem overwhelming. Whether you are looking into becoming a member, project leader or 4-H parent, here are a few questions to help you with the project selection process:
What do you like to do in your spare time?
How much spare time do you have to invest in your project?
Is there an activity or discipline that you want to become more skilled in?
Do any of the project areas complement an activity you’re currently involved in?
Do any of the project areas fit with a career or schooling aspiration you have?
Are there any project names or descriptions that immediately catch your attention? Don’t be afraid to go with that gut feeling!
And remember that even if you can’t find the absolute perfect project for you, there are a few projects in the guide that let you try a bit of everything, or allow you to design your very own!
DIY (Design It Yourself)
New to the 4-H program? Looking for a little variety? Then Exploring 4-H is designed just for you! With over 50 possible modules, most clubs are able to complete 6-10 per year, which means that your project year can more or less look like whatever you want it to! Exploring 4-H offers modules in the project areas of Alternative Livestock, Environment, Leadership, Life Skills, Livestock, Technology and Trade, and Small Animal.
Limited only by one’s imagination (and a willing leader, of course!), the Creative Options project has taken on a number of different looks - geocaching, snowboarding, paintballing, creative writing - in the past. There are two ways to partake in a Creative Option project: The Group Option is for members of all ages who tackle their created project through regular group project meetings, activities and workshops. The Individual Option is designed for members who are 12 years and older who have been in 4-H for at least two years. This is a self-directed and self-designed project that is determined by the member; however, a project proposal must be presented to the club leaders and membership for approval.
Looking to take your planning, communication and leadership skills to the next level? Look no further than the Leadership project! For members who are 12 years and older, the Leadership project presents an opportunity to work with your club as part of the leadership team. Various planning tools, leadership strategies and great ideas to help jazz up your 4-H club are included. An example of what this project could look like would be for a member, with the support of the club’s leadership team, to take on the role of “Club Communication Trainer” and in that role, work other with 4-H members as they hone their communication skills.
This project encourages members to build nestboxes to attract birds to the farmstead. Members keep accurate records on each nestbox while learning about Alberta’s birds and their habitat.
Are you a fan of the great outdoors? Always up for camping, hiking, or outdoor cooking? Members learn how to live in and appreciate their natural surroundings, with teaching around “leaving your site the way you found it” and lessening your “footprint” while you’re out exploring the great outdoors! This project includes environmental awareness, outdoor travel and survival skills.
Members gain an understanding of livestock production and management through the experience of owning, caring for, showing and marketing projects, as well as maintaining records. Please read below for more information on all of the available livestock project options, as each has its own specific format to highlight all of the options in their industry.
Members will acquire an understanding of the production and management side of the beef cattle industry through the hands-on work they will do with their project animal. Options available within the Beef project include Market Beef - Live, Market Beef - Carcass, Heifer, 2 or 3 year old Cow Calf, Beef Pen, Novice Beef, Beef Creative Options and Beef – Green Certificate.
Through the work done with their dairy project animal, members will increase their skill and knowledge in the areas of animal selection, feeding, housing, breeding, health, showing, grooming, and so on. Records management as well as production are also topics covered in the Dairy project.
Members learn approved practices in animal selection, as well as feeding, caring for, managing, showing and maintaining records, as they relate to their Goat project.
Members learn about all aspects of working with horses, starting with the basics of riding, safe horse care, and stable management. Once members have mastered the basics, they may choose to focus on specific areas of horse riding, like jumping or reining. This project is designed to make the experience safe and enjoyable for both the member and the horse.
Members enrolled in the Sheep project will cover topics such as management, digestion, nutrient requirements, animal health and breeding throughout their project year, with the end goal being to gain an increased understanding of sheep production and management.
Swine project members will learn more about the anatomy and digestive system of pigs, in addition to judging swine, expanding facilities, developing pork products, carcass quality, and maintaining herd health.
The Apiculture project is guaranteed to be a buzzing good time! This project involves studying and managing hives of bees for selling honey. Hives and bees must be the property of the club member.
Members will learn how to make the most out of their relationship with man’s best friend! In the Canine project, members explore all aspects of good health and gain the knowledge to teach their animals good manners and simple obedience. The member guide is divided into sections ranging from members who have no experience to those who have succeeded in canine training and shows. Advanced project options are available in Stock Dog and Agility.
Calling all cat owners! Work with your 4-H club to learn about animal selection, breed identification, handling, grooming, showing, budgeting, identifying parasites, controlling fleas and spaying – basically everything that you need to select, raise, care for and train your cat!
A project for members who want to be the one to raise their nontraditional family pet, which includes everything from a salamander to a gecko to a potbelly pig. This project will help members learn to select, care for and train their pet.
Don’t be a chicken - register in the 4-H Alberta Poultry project! Members of the poultry project raise laying hens, broilers or turkeys. They learn the basics of breeding, feeding and management through raising chicks and poults.
The Rabbit project is designed for those “hopping” to learn more about feeding and caring for rabbits, as well as the marketing and management involved in both small and large scale rabbit operations. How to provide a good product for the consumer is also covered.
Ever have a business idea and wonder if it would work, or if you have what it takes to manage a successful business? Members registered in this project will learn to plan and run their own business through the work they complete with a community mentor.
Keep your wardrobe up-to-date with 4-H Alberta’s Clothing project. Introduced in three different levels, members will learn all about sewing tools, patterns, fabrics, hems and facings in Level One. Level Two covers construction techniques, clothing care, choosing colour and figure flattery. Pattern adjustments, advanced construction techniques, wardrobe planning and tips on how to make the most out of the clothes shopping experience are all topics included in Level Three.
Just like the creativity that goes into making a craft, 4-H Alberta’s Craft project allows for ample flexibility and creativity! The craft project can be a series of lessons on one type of craft, or a combination of many different crafting projects. The crafts chosen should involve a variety of skills, techniques and be progressive in learning. Crafts currently popular are scrapbooking and quilting. Members and leaders are free to, and are encouraged to, select their own craft projects.
Have you been struck by the travel bug? Then you might want to take a look at the Exchange project! Members must be 12 years or older to participate in three to four week exchanges that usually take place during July or August. In taking the three units, the member advances from hosting in the first year to travelling in the second and reporting in the third year. This project could take three or more years to complete.
Food project members learn how to spice things up in the kitchen by learning proper food prep techniques, including washing, cutting and storing, as well as safe food practices, nutritional principles and delicious recipes, which of course get to be sampled! Bon appetit!
Prepare to perform! This 4-H project highlights drama and the performing arts. Whether your passion lies on stage or behind the scenes, this is your chance to shine as you create your own standing ovations.
Does developing your artistic skills and talents while learning the elements and principles of design interest you? The Visual Arts project has members exploring different art techniques, art history and culture and the science behind the art and artistic challenges. Visual Arts is for members who are 12 years and older.
Technology and Trade
Got a thumb that you’d like to make green? Members registered in the Gardening project will learn about the conditions and tools required for growing a variety of plants.
Take your photography from “ho hum” to “wow!” with the skills taught through Alberta 4-H’s Digital Photography project. Members start their learning through step-by-step guidance in camera selection, framing the perfect shot, light and distance considerations, and then progress into challenging photo assignments to help develop “the photographer’s eye.”
Don’t let this one fool you - despite “small” being its name, Small Engines covers a large amount of information! This project covers engine power, the stroke cycle engine, and the two-stroke cycle engine. The essential components and functions of the engine are studied. Members have an opportunity to take engines apart and reassemble them.
Thinking ahead to a possible career choice or post-secondary field of study? Members registered in the Veterinary Science project will learn about animal health, meat and poultry inspection, care of market and pet animals and diseases that directly affect humans.
Designed for members 15 years and older, the Welding project introduces the basic concepts of arc welding, oxyacetylene welding and soldering. Some welding projects are also included, but leaders and members are encouraged to research their own welding projects to tackle throughout the club year.
Discover the woodworking industry while making your very own woodworking craft! Explore all aspects of wood science including products, processing, building, and finishing, as well as the necessary tools and techniques for making the perfect project. Environmental considerations of the woodworking industry are also discussed.
A quick walk through this project guide provides you with an introduction to all that 4-H Alberta has to offer in the way of projects. This way you have everything that you need to make the best decision possible, with all of the information gathered and presented in one place.
So take a look and see what project catches your eye!
Project manuals and club resources can be found in the Downloads section of this web site. You must be a 4‑H member, leader or parent to gain access to this information. The 4‑H Registrar can help you access this section if you are new to 4-H.