4-H Food Challenge – A Project vs A Program

John Ferguson UF/IFAS Extension – St. Lucie County 4-H Agent

A project vs a program. Relating to a famous Food Show such as Chopped on Television, 4-H has its version of a cook-off contest called 4-H Food Challenge. This may be a 4-H project vs a program of interest.  Anyone with interest in Foods and Nutrition, Healthy Living, Food Sciences, or the Culinary Arts, this could be your spark. If your career interest is to become a Dietician or a Restaurateur, you should consider getting involved in this project. A program is more complex, but it depends on how much one wants to pursue these life skills learning experiences. It could, therefore, be a worthwhile undertaking as a 4-H program rather than a mere project. What is the difference (project vs program)? In 4-H, a subject matter involving exploring interest in a field of study, whether self-guided or tutored, through hands-on learning experience is typically a project.

According to Jordon, J.C. (2018) 4-H Project: Frequently Ask Questions 4HS FS101.14, “A project is a series of learning experiences [objectives] of six hours or more within an area of interest.” Each learning objective usually lasts about 30 minutes to an hour. This, however, has some variations. Learning to bake a cake versus successfully building and programming a robot can be more complex.

St. Lucie County 4-H has implemented a new project vs a program. One aspect is the teaching-learning process, or a self-guided experiential learning process.  Another aspect may be the planning, designing, implementing, measuring, or evaluating throughout the period. Multiple learning experiences or various projects, when interconnected together, become a program rather than a single project. A good example is a computer coding or robotics interdisciplinary program. This may involve gathering data through remote sensing, which leads to solving a problem of poor soil drainage. The University of Minnesota Extension – Guide to 4-H Project states that a 4-H Project is a way to discover what you are good at through a hands-on learning experience. 4-H’ers may then think of what they want to learn and develop a project that will help them meet their goals (A Guide to 4-H Projects | UMN Extension).

This calls for all 4-H clubs to pursue the opportunity to adopt this new Healthy Living 4-H project. 4-H’ers may join the virtual Food Challenge club and the SLC 4-H Food Challenge Club. Kindly note that a supervising adult will always be needed. Watch for the annual sign-up via 4-H Online. To learn more about the St. Lucie County 4-H program, visit our page at slc4h’s Campsite.bio.
Prepared by John Ferguson – 4-H Extension Agent.


An Equal Opportunity Institution. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Andra Johnson, Dean and Director. Single copies of UF/IFAS Extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida residents from county UF/IFAS Extension offices.


Posted: June 11, 2024

Category: 4-H & Youth, Agriculture, , Money Matters, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: #4hOpportunityForAll, #H4HOutreach, #slc4h, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County

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