Michigan 4-H State Awards: Getting started

State Awards recognize 4-H members for engaging in rich learning experiences resulting in outstanding knowledge and life skill development.

Michigan 4-H members are passionate about their 4-H projects. They engage in learning experiences to bolster their knowledge and skills ranging from 4-H club meetings and field trips to attending workshops, trainings and educational contests. Through 4-H projects, many members cultivate their future career aspirations and gain experience needed to be successful in their chosen field. Michigan 4-H members are twice as likely to pursue and be successful in post-secondary education pursuits according the Michigan State University Extension article, "4-h makes a difference in post-secondary education enrollment.”

The Michigan 4-H State Awards program is an experience for 4-H members to receive recognition for engaging in 4-H project experiences while preparing a portfolio that can be used in their current and future education and career pursuits. A 4-H State Award is the highest honor a 4-H member can earn. A State Award not only provides the member with an accolade to list on their resume, but also helps them compile information that could be used to prepare a future resume, cover letter and application.

So, how does a 4-H member earn this prestigious award? Michigan 4-H State Awards program is open to members 13-19 years old (4-H ages). The program includes three opportunities:

  • Junior State Award: An individual award for members 13-15 with at least three years membership.
  • Senior State Award: An individual award for members 16-19 with at least three years membership,
  • Group Award: An award for groups with representative members 13-19.

There are 18 individual project area categories with a junior and senior award presented in each area. The individual State Award project categories are:

  • Beef Science
  • Biological Sciences
  • Birds and Poultry Science
  • Civic Engagement
  • Communications and Expressive Arts
  • Companion Animal Sciences
  • Consumer and Family Science
  • Dairy Cattle Science
  • Environmental and Earth Sciences
  • Equine Science
  • Goat Science
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Leadership and Personal Development
  • Plant Science
  • Rabbits and Cavy Science
  • Sheep Science
  • Swine Science
  • Technology and Engineering

To apply for a State Award, the member or group submits an application that includes a cover letter, completed application questions and a 4-H story. To get started, members can download a copy of the directions and applications for Michigan 4-H State Awards at:  Michigan 4 H Awards and Recognition Program webpage. All State Awards applications must be submitted by Feb. 1 to State4HAwards@anr.msu.edu.

Look for additional MSU Extension articles that provide tips for completing a Michigan 4-H State Awards application, including:

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