4-H Policies &
4-H Lunch ‘n Learn
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Colleen Brady, Carl Broady,
Natalie Carroll, Steve McKinley
Where do I find answers to
4-H policy-related questions?
• Indiana 4-H Youth Program Policies and
Procedures orange notebook (rev 10/10)
or at the State 4-H Web site:
• Fall 2010 Youth Staff Update:
Where do I find answers to
4-H policy-related questions?
• Campus County Connection (e-mailed
monthly): http://www.fourh.purdue.edu/ext_ed/ccc/index.cfm
• Consultation with respective specialists –
phone, e-mail, visit
Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ’s)
1. Insurance
Directors and Officers (D&O)
Accident Insurance
Insurance for Food Sales
What is Directors and Officers
(D&O) Liability Insurance?
• D&O coverage provides protection for wrongful
acts associated with the decisions and actions of
the board, its directors, and officers.
• D&O liability insurance is recommended for
organizations that enter into agreements and or
contracts for services that have no direct bearing
on the 4-H educational mission or purpose of the
• Examples of such agreements include, but are
not limited to, carnivals, entertainment, food
vendors, buildings, rental space/facilities, etc.
Why is D&O Needed?
• Not-for-profit organizations are 6 times more
likely to have claims brought against them than
for-profit boards because of the lack of structure
to these boards.
• There is often no formal training for board
members on how to professionally run an
organization, establish and adhere to by-laws,
and record and store meeting minutes.
• Directors may be held liable for the nonperformance of the organization.
Why is D&O Needed?
• Directors and officers may be held liable for
claims made against the council at meetings and
with the fair functions (e.g., using account as a
pass-through account for the livestock auction).
• Not-for-profit organizations are frequently
regulated by many statutes, rules and
regulations with which directors aren’t familiar.
• Many times by-laws aren’t kept current and
followed in accordance to their charter.
• Minutes may not be recorded accurately or
stored effectively.
Why is D&O Needed?
• Board decisions may be seen as being made in
a biased or unfair manner.
• Directors and officers may not realize secret
profits or unfair gain from the use of the
organization’s materials and nonpublic
• All directors and officers can be held personally
liable for the actions of any one person acting
outside of his/her organizational duty.
• Ignorance is not a defense when someone (like
a new member) isn’t aware of any wrongdoing.
• A 4-H Council enters into a contract with a carnival to
provide rides at the County 4-H Fair. This contract is not
related to the educational mission of the 4-H program, so
would be beyond the coverage provided by Purdue
University to the 4-H volunteers. A fair visitor is injured
while riding one of the carnival rides and sues for
damages. The suit names the carnival company, the 4-H
Council (since it was the organization who entered into
the agreement with the carnival), and the Council
members. D&O Liability Insurance would provide
coverage of the 4-H Council’s decision to enter into this
Why should we bond a
• Bonding a treasurer (and any individuals who
handle the organization’s finances) insures
the organization against loss of funds
resulting from the misuse (or theft) of funds.
What is accident insurance?
• Each county should be purchasing $1/year
insurance for each 4-H member and
volunteer, likely through the American
Income Life Insurance Company.
• This provides limited supplemental medical
coverage for accidents/injuries that may
occur at 4-H events.
• This coverage is secondary, meaning that the
individual’s/family’s insurance is primary.
When should special events
accident insurance be purchased?
• Special events insurance covers accidents,
injuries, and illnesses (illnesses are not
covered in the $1/year policy).
• Purchase this coverage for:
– Events where non-4-H participants (youth or
adults) will be present (e.g., open shows, pool
parties, etc.)
– Overnight events (e.g., completion trips, camps)
• Select Plan #3 at a rate of $.23/person/ day;
minimum policy is $4
Is insurance provided for the
sale of food?
• Purdue University does NOT provide
insurance coverage for the sale of food (e.g.,
bake sales, food stands, etc.)
• Coverage may be acquired through a Fair
Board policy, or by the organization itself.
Is insurance provided for the
sale of food?
• Coverage should include liability issues that
may arise through the sale of food items
(e.g., someone suing due to illness as a
result of food eaten at a food stand).
• Accident/injury insurance for 4-H participants
can be provided by the American Income Life
Insurance $1/year or special events
2. Meeting
Required vs. Optional
Can we require 4-H member
attendance at meetings?
• NO! (A rare exception can be made for safety
meetings, with explicit safety objectives included
in a written lesson plan.)
• Meeting attendance can NOT be required in
order for members to complete 4-H (this is a
general 4-H policy statement that applies to ALL
project areas).
• Required attendance would be considered
exclusionary, which is in violation of guidelines
for a tax-supported program.
When can member
attendance be required?
• In order for a member to sell a lot in an
• As a condition for participation in a year-end
club completion trip or for receipt of a special
attendance award
• To be eligible to receive awards as a result of
participation in activities such as fair setup/clean-up, fund raisers, etc.
NOTE: These types of activities are considered
privileges within the 4-H program.
How can members be
encouraged to attend?
• The members (and parents) need to see a
purpose for attending.
• Involve the members in the meeting; help
them feel ownership in the program.
• Make the meeting/activity as exciting as
possible so that the members will want to
choose your event over a competing event.
• Offer special incentives/awards for
attendance and participation.
3. Animal Enrollment
Who can co-enroll animals?
• Siblings can co-enroll and exhibit each
others’ animals prior to State Fair without
endangering State Fair eligibility.
• Siblings include:
– Steps, children with shared legal guardianship
in the same household
– Please note on enrollment forms relationship,
if not clearly brother and sister: e.g. different
last names
4. Small Animal
How should vaccinations for
small animals be handled?
• Human and animal health issue
– Please emphasize proper animal care and potential for zoonotic
disease transfer when addressing
• We are 100% supportive of requiring vaccinations before
training sessions begin
– Same risk of transfer any time animals are comingled
• All required vaccinations are required at all levels of
– County should use State form; not their own modified form
• Someone at the county fair should be checking for
– Does not need to be a vet; just confirming completion of form
5. Shooting Sports
Policy Statement
Range Plans
Compliance Statement
• The Youth Educator must
sign, if your county has a 4-H
Shooting Sports program
• Signifies compliance with all
4-H Shooting Sports policies
• Kept on file in the State 4-H
Q - What policies am I agreeing to?
A – Those given in the 4-H Shooting Sports Policy
Q – Where can I find that?
A – Procedures & Policies
and at www.four-h.purdue.edu/shooting_sports
Policy Statement
• Volunteers instructors must
– Complete the Indiana 4-H Youth Development
application/screening process
– Participate in the State 4-H Shooting Sports Certification
Workshop (dates & registration at: www.fourh.purdue.edu/shooting_sports)
• All Indiana 4-H Shooting Sports Programs must have
a 4-H Shooting Sports Certified Coordinator.
• All 4-H shooting activities must be directly supervised
by an Indiana 4-H Shooting Sports Certified Instructor,
teaching in only the discipline in which he/she holds
Policy Statement
• Prohibited activities:
– Arranging or conducting hunting activities with (or for)
4-H members
– Tree climbing or activities involving tree stands
– Reloading of firearms cartridges and shells
• For safety reasons, cartridges and shells should
be purchased from authorized manufacturers
who apply industry standards in the
manufacturing and loading process.
Range Plans
• One required for each range
used in the program.
• Responsibility of the County
Youth Extension Educator,
usually with the assistance of
the shooting sports
coordinator and instructors.
• Keep a copy.
• Used when a certificate of
insurance is requested.
6. Access to
Volunteer Files
Who has access to 4-H
Volunteer files?
• The 4-H Youth Development Extension
Educator is responsible for the maintenance
and confidentiality of 4-H Volunteer files.
• The Educator may designate another staff
member to assist with the maintenance of
these files, but this person should maintain
the same level of confidentiality.
Who has access to 4-H
Volunteer files?
• The 4-H Volunteer may request information
from his/her file that he/she has provided
(e.g., volunteer application, signed ABE form)
• The 4-H Volunteer may not have access to
information in his/her file that he/she did not
provide (e.g., reference checks, notes
concerning performance), without submitting
a public records request. If this request is
granted, then the additional information may
be released to the volunteer.
7. Adult Behavioral
Expectations (ABE)
Annual Signature
Personal Liability Release Statement
Are 4-H Volunteers asked to
annually sign the ABE?
• Yes. Each 4-H Volunteer should be given the
opportunity to annually reaffirm their
commitment to and participation in the 4-H
program for the next year.
• This can be done via paper form or by using
the online electronic version.
• Deadline for volunteers to complete the ABE
is set by the county at a time that makes
sense for the program.
What if a Volunteer doesn’t
sign the ABE?
• Part of the terms under which an individual is
granted the privilege of serving the 4-H
program as a volunteer include following the
policies that have been set. If an individual is
unable/unwilling to sign the ABE, they have
chosen to not serve as a volunteer in the 4-H
• We thank them for their service and wish
them well in their future endeavors.
How do we address concerns regarding
the personal liability statement?
• A personal conversation between the
Educator and individual is appropriate
• Talking points may include:
– Changes over time in the legal environment and the general nature of
society have caused Purdue University, like many other entities
throughout the state and country, to take steps which will limit their
exposure to lawsuits.
– As a part of the University’s standard risk management procedures, this
waiver has been added to the Adult Behavioral Expectations form that
each adult is required to sign in order to serve as a volunteer with the
Indiana 4-H Youth Development Program and to the 4-H enrollment
form that each parent/member is asked to sign to be a member of the
Indiana 4-H Youth Development Program.
Talking points, continued…
– When you, as a 4-H volunteer, parent, or member, sign the personal
liability waiver, you are indicating that you agree to take responsibility
for your own actions and decisions. If injuries happen to you due to
decisions you have made or actions you have taken while a participant
in the 4-H program, you agree not to sue Purdue University.
– There are inherent risks in having children involved in activities (and
there is a range of risk in our programming depending on
subjects/activities selected by the student/parent). Obviously, if we (or
our volunteers) are negligent or remiss in our activities, we can and
should be held accountable. A parent or member who signs this liability
waiver does not negate Purdue’s accountability. (NOTE: new line added
to end of statement in 2010.)
– The liability release statement has been recommended and approved
by Purdue University’s legal counsel and Risk Management
Talking points, continued…
– Individuals who have children in group athletics in school or who are
part of a day care are likely already familiar with similar liability release
statement. For example, the Indiana High School Athletic Association
has a liability release statement with similar language as Purdue
– 4-H Shooting Sports, Horse & Pony, and ATV Safety project members
have been asked to sign similar statements for the previous 3-4 years; it
has now been expanded to include all 4-H participants (members and
– Bottom line: it is the parent’s/volunteer’s choice to sign or not …. But we
cannot allow the child’s or volunteer’s participation without a signature
on the statement as it is written.
Do we need to print the
electronically-signed ABE’s?
• Records of those volunteers who sign the
ABE’s electronically will be maintained
indefinitely in ED.
• Printing each ABE to put in the volunteer’s
file is optional.
• A print-out of all volunteers who have (and
have not) signed the ABE electronically is
also available via ED.
8. Vehicle Use Policy
Signature Guidance
What happens if a volunteer does
not sign the vehicle use policy?
• Find out why…
– Did they overlook it?
– Do they not understand it?
– Are they unable to sign it?
• If they are unable to sign it, find out as many
specifics as the volunteer is willing to share.
• Visit with State 4-H Office for further guidance.
• Each case will be handled on an individual
Scenario #1
“I have hit 3 deer in the last year, so I’m not
eligible to sign the form.”
• That’s O.K. Hitting a deer does not qualify as an
at-fault crash; thus, does not affect your ability to
sign the Vehicle Use Policy.
Scenario #2
“I don’t want to assume the liability of
transporting youth, so I will not sign the form.”
• The Vehicle Use Policy applies to more than just
transporting youth. Signing it does not mean that
you will have to transport youth. The policy is in
effect at any time an individual is driving on
University business (e.g., driving themselves to
and from a meeting; picking up supplies for a 4H activity; etc.)
Scenario #3
“I have a DUI on my record, so I have an
unacceptable driving record and cannot sign
the form.”
• This is a time to call the State 4-H Office for
further advice after you’ve talked with the
• An individual with a DUI is not automatically
disqualified as a 4-H Volunteer, but may result in
termination or reassignment.
Scenario #4
“I don’t drive and have never had a driver’s
license. What do I do about this policy?”
• Do not sign the form. In this case, the individual
is NOT disqualified as a volunteer. A note will be
put in the volunteer’s file indicating the reason
the form is not signed is because the volunteer
does not drive and has no driver’s license.
9. Driver Verification
Parents (Non-4-H Volunteers)
4-H Volunteers
What driver verification do parents
need before transporting members?
• Parents who are asked to transport members
other than their own and who are NOT
screened as 4-H Volunteers (and who have
not agreed to the ABE and Vehicle Use
Policy), should be asked to show a driver’s
license and proof of insurance to the CES
• The Educator will NOT collect this information
to keep on file, but needs to have visual
evidence that it does exist.
What verification do 4-H
Volunteers need to provide?
• 4-H Volunteers who have signed the ABE
and the Vehicle Use Policy do not need to
show any additional verification.
What additional steps should be taken
when adults transport 4-H members?
• 4-H members should provide a written
permission slip from their parents or guardians if
they will be riding with other parents or 4-H
Volunteers to a 4-H event.
• Adult drivers should be reminded that their
personal automobile insurance is primary (i.e.,
their insurance would provide the initial
coverage for any damage or injury).
• NOTE: adults should be at least 21 years old
before they transport members other than their
own children.
10. 4-H Member
Signature Authority
Who should sign an 18-year old
4-H member’s paperwork?
• If an individual is 18 years of age at the time of
4-H enrollment, he or she is considered a legal
adult. Thus, this individual’s signature should be
on the 4-H enrollment form, health form, etc.
• The parent of this 18-year-old MAY also sign the
form, but it is not a requirement.
• Even though the 18-year-old may live under the
roof of the parent, this individual is still
considered a legal adult.
Next 4-H Lunch ‘n Learn
Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 12-1 (ET)

4-H Policies and Procedures - Indiana 4-H