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

  • Applications open in 4HOnline on January 1. Interviews may be done in-person or by video teleconference.
  • 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 event is usually held on a Saturday in late March.
  • 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.

2021 Award Winners

Hannah Albrecht, Plymouth County, Consumer Management
​​​​​​​Emma Alstott, Webster County, Leadership
Marli Backhaus, Worth County, Child Development
Katherine Barnes, Boone County, Environmental Sustainability
Erin Barnes, Boone County, Photography
Addie Burkett, Madison County, Civic Engagement
Zachary Campbell, Story County, STEM
Tianna Charlson, Worth County, Communication
Madison Craig, Johnson County, Communication
Rebekah Craighton, Franklin County, Food and Nutrition
Emma Davidson, Worth County, Communication
Julia Deppe, Bremer County, Communication
Britta Elsdernd, Cerro Gordo County, Communication
Morgan Farnham, Webster County, Civic Engagement
​​​​​​​Kristina Goth, Cherokee County, Communication
Hannah Groos, Warren County, Leadership
Dillon Hanlon, Story County, Sewing and Needle Arts
Caleb Hartsook, Story County, Meat Goat
Halle Heyer, Boone County, Rabbit
Abby Kaska, Johnson County, Poultry
Miriam Kelly, Polk County, Food and Nutrition
Bethany Kelly, Polk County, Sewing and Needle Arts
Lauren Koehler, Jones County, Communication
Cadence Koenigs, Monona County, Communication
Thea Larsson, Poweshiek County, Communication
Tyler Loudon, Union County, Leadership
Alex Ludeking, Benton County, Music
Sasha McCoy, Warren County, Clothing
Jake McGowan, Woodbury County, Leadership
Maria McGowan, Woodbury County, Civic Engagement
Jenna Messer, Washington County, Communication
Brooke Miller, Johnson County, Beef
Grant Movall, Sac County, Swine
Cale Niehaus, Sac County, Swine
Regan Peters, Plymouth County, Beef
Logan Pickhinke, Sac County, Civic Engagement
Isabele Raveling, Woodbury County, Civic Engagement
Zayden Rawlings, Adair County, Leadership
Ava Rectenbaugh, Adair County, Poultry
Ashley Rosener, Monona County, Music
Holly Schmitt, Winneshiek County, Music
Erik Soenksen, Story County, Communication
Aneisha Sritharan, Humboldt County, Leadership
Justine Weir, Polk County, Photography
Parker Weirich, East Pottawattamie, Civic Engagement
Josiah Westercamp, Van Buren County, Leadership
Drew White, Winneshiek County, Dogs
Alexis Wurzer, Bremer County, Dogs
Ashley Yedlik, Johnsons County, Communication
Bryan York, Cass County, Photography

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.

2021 Award Winners

Madison Craig, Johnson County
Hannah Groos, Warren County
Cecelia Hill, Worth County
Logan Pickhinke, Sac County

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.

2021 Award Winners

Marli Backhaus, Worth County
Josephine Burkett, Madison County
Alaina Gebel, Allamakee County
Thea Larsson, Poweshiek County
Justine Nelson, Worth County
Jayce Reed, Monroe County
Kaleb Scott, Boone County
Erik Soenksen, Story County
Parker Weirich, East Pottawattamie
Nehemiah Westercamp, Van Buren County

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.

2021 Award Winners

Emma Alstott, Webster County
Marli Backhaus, Worth County
Jaydee Bremer, Osceola County
Tayler Bremer, Osceola County
Emma Brennan, Plymouth County
Josephine Burkett, Madison County
Madison Craig, Johnson County
Julia Deppe, Bremer County
Abby Drost, Mahaska County
Bridget Fisher, Johnson County
Nathaniel Gaul, Clayton County
Elizabeth Hadley, Union County
Dillon Hanlon, Story County
Gracie Harvey, Webster County
Claire Hennessy, Harrison County
Cecelia Hill, Worth County
Ellyse Holubar, Johnson County
Grace Johnson, Polk County
Bridget Johnson, Polk County
Noah Johnson, Taylor County
Teagan Johnson, Worth County
Kendra Kinne, Worth County
Lauren Koehler, Jones County
Cadence Koenigs, Monona County
Thea Larsson, Poweshiek County
Steiger Manson, Benton County
Natalie Marr, Chickasaw County
Sasha McCoy, Warren County
Morgan McKay, Marion County
Grant Movall, Sac County
Regan Peters, Plymouth County
Ashton Pfister, Fayette County
Logan Pickhinke, Sac County
Jayce Reed, Monroe County
Holly Schmitt, Winneshiek County
Nathaniel Scott, Boone County
Justine Weir, Polk County
Parker Weirich, East Pottawattamie County
Megan Wells, Mills County
Nehemiah Westercamp, Van Buren County

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.

2021 Award Winners

Madison Craig, Johnson County
Coleton Cuddy, Webster County
Haydan Pestorious, Worth County
Tayden VanPelt, Polk County

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.

2021 Award Winners

Madison Craig, Johnson County
Rebekah Craighton, Franklin County
Abby Drost, Mahaska County
Alaina Gebel, Allamakee County
Gracie Harvey, Webster County
Bridget Johnson, Polk County
Teagan Johnson, Worth County
Cadence Koenigs, Monona County
Thea Larsson, Poweshiek County
Emmaline Mitchell, Union County
Amber Myli, Tama County
Ashley Yedlik, Johnson County

Iowa 4-H Healthy Living Ambassadors

4-H Healthy Living Ambassadors work as a team, bringing wellness initiatives to communities across Iowa. Selected participants will be immersed in a community health and wellness learning experience addressing issues such as hunger and food insecurity, nutrition and physical health, and mental well-being. Healthy Living Ambassadors are invited to represent Iowa at the National 4-H Healthy Living Summit each February at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD. Then the team will design an action plan to facilitate educational experiences for youth. They will wrap up their term by hosting 4-H Healthy Living Day at the Iowa State Fair. Up to ten participants in grades 9-11 will be selected. Follow the event page link above for more information on the opportunity and how to apply.

2021 Award Winners

Warren County, Hannah Groos
Harrison County, Claire Hennessy
Poweshiek County, Thea Larsson
Bremer County, Brody Kuhse
​​​​​​​Warren County, Sasha McCoy
Webster County, Kara McGonegle

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 more information on how to apply.

2021 Award Winners

Abby Drost, Mahaska County
​​​​​​​Kaci Vanlaningham, Polk County

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.