State 4-H Recognition Opportunities

Recognition Day Header Image

State 4-H Recognition is the process in which senior 4-H members in grades 9-12 can apply to be selected for special statewide opportunities such as awards and trips. The purpose of this event is to provide an avenue for youth recognition and to provide young people with an opportunity to practice and grow leadership, communications, and college and career readiness skills through application and interview activities.

State 4-H Recognition Opportunities Important Dates

  • Materials will be ready to view and use by November 20.
  • Applications open in 4HOnline on January 1.
  • The application deadline every year is 11:59 PM on February 1.
  • Interview selection and schedule are announced in the first week of March. The deadline for requesting schedule changes is March 15, 2021.
  • The virtual interviews will be held on Saturday, March 20 (9am-3pm) and Tuesday, March 23 (4-7pm), 2021.
  • The campus interview event date is March 27, 2021.
  • Awards announced every year in mid-April.

4-H Recognition Day has given me the opportunity to prepare a resume and be interviewed, both skills that will be valuable in my future. I recommend this experience for all 4-Hers looking to prepare themselves for a job or career after high school. --Britt Bowersox, Graham Champions 4-H Club, Johnson County

State Project Area Awards

State project area awards are awarded to 4-H members who have demonstrated leadership, communication, and service through activities, events, and self-directed learning in a specific project area. Recipients will be provided with a $100 prize (dependent on funding). Up to 50 project area awards will be presented to Iowa 4-H members in grades 9-12 at the time of application. Follow the event page link above for more information on the opportunity and how to apply.

National 4-H Conference 

National 4-H Conference is a week-long trip to our nation's capital each spring. Youth stay at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, MD with delegates from across the nation. This is a working event where youth will share their perspectives on issues relevant to youth with national leaders, including Congressional members. 5-6 delegates in grades 9-11 at the time of application will be selected, dependent on funding. Follow the event page link above for more information on the opportunity and how to apply.

National 4-H Congress

National 4-H Congress is held the day after the Thanksgiving holiday through the following Tuesday in Atlanta, GA. National 4-H Congress is comparable to the "State 4-H Youth Conference," but on a national scale. The event includes dynamic keynote speakers, community service in the Atlanta area, workshops on leadership, cultural issues, and team building. Follow the event page link above for more information on the opportunity and how to apply. Due to the cancellation of the 2020 Congress event, 10 delegates in grades 9-11 at the time of application will be selected for 2021, to join 10 of the 2020 delegates who were eligible to postpone their attendance by one year.

State 4-H Council

The State 4-H Council is a group of young people who serve as ambassadors for the Iowa 4-H program. This group of high school students works directly with Iowa 4-H Youth Development staff to represent 4-H across the state. They speak to local 4-H groups, present ideas to staff, and work in committees to plan the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and 4-H members for 4-H campaign. 40 delegates in grades 10-11 at the time of application will be selected. Follow the event page link above for more information on the opportunity and how to apply.

State 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador

The 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador Program is designed to promote 4-H Shooting Sports. Youth selected to serve as Ambassadors will receive training to become advocates for the program at the county, regional, and state levels. Through the program, Ambassadors develop skills in leadership, public presentation, civic engagement, community service, public relations, and team building.  Up to 2 awardees may also be selected to participate in National 4-H SESS Teen Institute. Up to 9 ambassadors in grades 9-11 at the time of application will be selected. Follow the event page link above for more information on the opportunity and how to apply.

Iowa 4-H Reporter Program

The Iowa 4-H Reporters program is an opportunity for youth who have an interest in media and the communications project area. Selected participants will get to work with professional media mentors from Iowa Public Television, WHO Radio, and the Iowa Newspaper Association and develop news media during two consecutive weekdays of the Iowa State Fair. Follow the program page link above for more information. Up to sixteen participants in grades 9-12 will be selected each year.  Follow the event page link above for more information on the opportunity and how to apply.

Iowa STEM Leadership Accelerator

The Iowa STEM Leadership Accelerator program is an opportunity for youth who have an interest in science, technology, engineering, and/or math. Selected participants will work with STEM educators and professionals from Iowa State University to learn more about STEM concepts, professions, leadership, and more! Participants will be tasked with assisting with the Iowa 4-H Astro Camp. The group will work to design and lead an educational STEM experience that will be showcased at the Iowa State Fair. Up to six participants in grades 9-12 will be selected. Use the resources in the sidebar for application instructions and questions.

Teen Equity Influencers

Teen Equity Influencers bring together high school students in grades 9-11 and adult mentors from across the state to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities. The Teen Equity Influencer does so specifically in areas of equity, inclusion, and diversity within Iowa 4-H Youth Development. The Teen Equity Influencer’s primary involvement will be through membership in an Iowa 4-H Champion Group. Through that service, they will engage in meetings with Iowa 4-H and community leaders, local events, community service activities, interactive trainings, workshops, and presentations. This is a one-year commitment with the opportunity to reapply based on performance and eligibility. Since 4-H members and non-members are welcome to apply, the applications for this opportunity are in this online form, due February 1.