4-H Awards & 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. 


Project medals

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.

4-H State Awards Program

This is the highest honor bestowed on Michigan 4-H youth. This program is for 4-H youth aged 13 and up.  The 4-H State Awards Program is divided into three award categories: Junior State Award (13-15 year olds, with at least three years of 4-H experience), Senior State Award (16-19 years old, with at least three years of 4-H experience), and Group Awards (13-19 year olds). All youth who meet these requirements are encouraged to apply. Youth in the individual Junior and Senior Award areas may compete in one of 18 different award areas showcasing their knowledge, skills and experiences in their chosen 4-H project area.

To apply, youth submit the State 4-H Awards application to State4HAwards@anr.msu.edu by February 1. Applications are carefully reviewed by selection committees and delegates are announced by March 15. Delegates are invited to participate in either an advanced leadership development program (juniors), competitive interviews (seniors) or presentations (groups) during 4-H Exploration Days on June 20, 2018. State 4-H Award winners will be announced at the 4-H Recognition Program, held at the MSU‘s Kellogg Center, June 21 during 4-H Exploration Days.

2018 Overview and Instructions State Awards

2018 State 4-H Group Awards Application

2018 State 4-H Individual Awards Application

4-H State 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.

Congratulations 2017 State 4-H Awards Delegates!

Watch the recorded 2017 presentation and recognition program at the MSU Kellogg Center or view the 2017 winners.

Past Michigan 4-H State Award winners.

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 …” Essays should be submitted to your county office by February 1. Counties then select their representatives and submit names and essays to the State 4-H Awards Committee. For more information and instructions, view the 2018 Overview and Instructions State Awards .  Copies of the Mark of Excellence essays are on display at Kettunen Center.

County Submission Form

Congratulations to the 2017 winners of the 4-H Mark of Excellence Awards!
Past Mark of Excellence winners

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. 

Volunteer recognition

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

Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in AgricultureThe 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 website for the application materials.


Jennifer Weichel, Volunteer Specialist
Email: weichel@msu.edu
Phone: 517-432-7606

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