Primary members must be 5 years old by December 31st of the program year. Youth enrolling who turn nine on or after January 1, must participate as a primary member until June 30th. Primary members cannot enroll in large animal projects. Approved primary member animal projects are dogs, rabbits, rats, cats, poultry, cavies, mice, embryology, bees, entomology, marine science, pygmy, Nigerian dwarf goats and therapeutic animal projects. For a complete list of approved primary member projects, see the California 4-H Project List .
Primary members who exhibit in shows and fairs, do so based on their age by December 31st of the program year regardless of when the fair or show is conducted during the calendar year. Primary members may not participate in competitive showmanship classes as a 4-H member. This includes competitive classes also identified as "pee wee" showmanship or "junior buckaroo" events. Coverage under the 4-H accident/sickness insurance program and protection under UC’s liability program is not extended to include competitive showmanship classes.