Risk Management for 4-H Youth Development Work: Records and Contracts1

Stefanie Prevatt, Dale Pracht, Paula Davis, Janet Psikogios, Marilyn Norman, Kate Fogarty, and Jean Hink 2

This is one publication in the series Risk Management for 4-H Youth Development Work. This series is intended to prepare UF/IFAS Extension county faculty, staff, volunteers, and youth to satisfactorily complete the important task of providing best practices in risk management strategies.

Our goal is to conduct educational events and activities that coincide with the 4-H mission and mandates while protecting the safety of participants, sponsors, property, finances, and the goodwill/reputation of the 4-H name. The inherent risk of events and activities can be mitigated through planning and preparation. This risk management guide has been created to outline ways to prepare for and deal with the specific risks associated with your program.

Early planning is key to conducting successful events and activities. A helpful tool in this process is the Risk Management for 4-H Youth Development Work: Pre-Event Planning Guide and Matrix, which is found within the Risk Management for 4-H Youth Development Work Series: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_series_risk_management_for_4-h_youth_development_work. As you work through this matrix, questions may arise that are unique to a specific situation and may not be completely answered by the series. Extension faculty and staff should refer these questions to appropriate personnel. Questions that require time for research punctuate the need for early planning.

Another tool is the Risk Management Checklist, which can be used as a guide when planning an activity or event.


The intent of this document is to clarify the expectations and procedures for signature authority regarding all contracts, leasing contracts, facility use contracts, etc. within UF/IFAS Extension.

Faculty, staff, and Extension volunteers are not allowed to sign contracts. This is to protect the individual and the University from committing personal resources or the resources of the University in case something happens that is not in the favor of the vendor.

If a faculty, staff, or volunteer signs a contract, it means that he or she becomes personally liable for the terms of the contract.


Any Extension agent or volunteer engaging with an outside vendor that requests a signature must first contact Extension Administration for the signature delegation process. Extension Administration will proceed with the appropriate channel for obtaining the signature as requested by the vendor. Upon execution of document, Extension Administration will return to the UF/IFAS Extension agent an executed document to return to the vendor.

Agreements can be complicated and will require discussions between the vendor and the purchasing officer. Please plan accordingly for the documents to be reviewed and signed―it can take from several weeks to several months depending on the complexity of the agreement.

Work closely with your agent, County Extension Director, and District Extension Director to obtain approval and signatures for the contracts.

Renting a Vehicle Under the UF Contract

For vehicles rented under the UF Contract – Rental Vehicles, an agreement is signed at the rental agency―this is not a contract and individuals can sign the agreement when you pick up the vehicle. Insurance is provided as part of the contract. If traveling out of state, verify that insurance is included.

More information can be found at Florida 4-H Policies and Procedures (http://florida4h.org/policies/#contracts).


University of Florida. (n.d.). 4-H Contract Policy. February 17, 2017. Retrieved from http://florida4h.org/policies/#contracts

University of Florida. (n.d.). Extension Administration. February 17, 2017. Retrieved from http://extadmin.ifas.ufl.edu/

University of Florida. Department of Procurement (n.d.). Procurement Services. February 17, 2017. Retrieved from http://www.purchasing.ufl.edu/contracts/default.asp#vehicles

University of Florida. Department of Procurement (n.d.). Procurement Services Rental Vehicles. February 17, 2017. Retrieved from http://purchasing.ufl.edu/contracts/rentals.asp

University of Florida Foundation, Inc. (2009). Signature Authority and Contract Administration. February 17, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.uff.ufl.edu/Documents/Document.asp?DocID=2144


1. This document is 4H10.4, one of a series of the 4-H Youth Development Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date August 2010. Revised January 2018. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2. Stefanie Prevatt, 4-H youth development agent; Dale Pracht, associate professor, Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences; Paula Davis, 4-H youth development agent; Janet Psikogios, 4-H youth development program assistant; Marilyn Norman, retired associate professor and 4-H program leader, Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences; Kate Fogarty, associate professor, Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences; and Jean Hink, 4-H youth development agent; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.