4-H Awards and Recognition Program
“It’s great to be recognized!”
Whether you’re a youth or an adult volunteer, if you’re doing great 4-H work, there are lots of ways to be recognized for it! Check with your county to see which opportunities are available where you live.
While each county establishes its own criteria for giving these medals, if you are an outstanding member between the ages of 11 and 13, you may be especially likely to be considered for one of the medals which celebrates your excellent work in a particular project area. There is no general application process, but each county may have a process of their own for determining medal recipients.
Michigan 4-H Key Club Award
The 4-H Key Club Award is intended to be the top county 4-H honor, and selections are made at the county level. To be eligible, a 4-H member must:
- Be 15 years old by the beginning of the project year (September 1)
- Have completed three calendar years of club work as of January 1 of the current year
- Have completed 4-H projects in at least two project areas
- Have completed a teen leadership project
- Have participated in three regional or state 4-H events
- Be recommended by his or her 4-H leader
You may download the Application for Michigan 4-H Key Club Award here.
State 4-H Awards Program
This is the highest honor bestowed on Michigan 4-H youth. This program is for 4-H youth aged 13 and up with at least three years of 4-H experience. All youth who meet these requirements are encouraged to apply. Youth compete in 19 different award areas showcasing their knowledge, skills and experiences.
- Overview and Instructions for the Mark of Excellence and State 4-H Awards Program
- State 4-H Awards Program Information Webinar
- 2014 State 4-H Award Application (Please note: in order to complete and submit this application the PDF must be saved to your computer. No content will be saved to applications completed in a web browser. New and/or the most recent version of adobe reader will make completing the application a much smoother process. This download is available for free on the adobe website.)
State 4-H Award winners become a part of an elite group of 4-H youth who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence. While all State 4-H Award winners receive a plaque, seniors receive a $200 cash award, while juniors receive a $50 cash award.
4-H Mark of Excellence Award
If you are 11 or 12 years old, you could be the recipient of the 4-H Mark of Excellence Award. To enter, you write an essay on the theme, “Because of 4-H I can . . . .” Counties select their representatives and submit names and essays to the State 4-H Awards Committee. For more information and instructions, see the “Overview and Instructions” link above.
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
If you are a 4-H’er in 5th to 12th grade who does a lot of volunteer activities, you may want to apply for a Prudential Spirit of Community Award, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. You can apply online at http://spirit.prudential.com or www.principals.org/spirit. Applications must be submitted to a county 4-H educator by November 1, 2011. For more information visit Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
Michigan 4-H Salute to Excellence Awards
The Michigan 4-H Salute to Excellence Awards highlight the important work of 4-H volunteers across the state. Volunteers are, undeniably, the “heart and soul” of 4-H, and in an age when time is at a premium, the Michigan 4-H Salute to Excellence Award serves as an opportunity to acknowledge our volunteers’ unwavering dedication to Michigan 4-H Youth Development. These awards honor outstanding volunteers for their dedication to youth. There are two categories for nominations:
- The Lifetime Volunteer Award is presented to a 4-H volunteer with more than ten years of service.
- The Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to a 4-H volunteer with ten years of service or less.
These awards are patterned after the national 4-H Salute to Excellence Awards. Currently, Michigan 4-H does not have an organized system for providing state, regional or national recognition to its volunteers. Instituting this award in Michigan provides us with this opportunity and assists in the identification and selection of individuals to be nominated for the national Lifetime Volunteer Award and Volunteer of the Year Award.
Each year, counties are invited to nominate two outstanding individual volunteers, one in each of two categories. A state winner and runner up will be selected in each category. Recipients of the Michigan 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer Recognition Awards will be chosen from nominees submitted by county 4-H offices. Each year the recipients of the Michigan 4-H Lifetime Volunteer Award and the 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award will be submitted for regional and national recognition honors. Recipients of each award will be presented with a plaque and asked to designate a 4-H program, club or activity to be the recipient of a $400 monetary award in their name. Awardees will also have their name engraved on the Salute to Excellence Perpetual Plaques to be located at Kettunen Center in Tustin Michigan.
Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award
The Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes outstanding achievements of Michigan 4-H volunteers or groups that have exhibited excellence in 4-H youth education and leadership development in the areas of 4-H beef cattle; dairy cattle; goats; horses; horticulture, crops and soils; poultry; rabbits; sheep; swine; and veterinary science. Honorees choose where their $1,000 recognition award will go to advance Michigan 4-H youth development programming in agriculture. Visit the Michigan 4-H Foundation web site for the application materials.
Jacob DeDecker, Ph.D., 4-H Program Leader