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.
  • Awards are announced every year in mid-April. 2022 Awards will be posted here as available.

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

Apply Today!

Read through the opportunities available on this page (below). Click through to the opportunity webpages to learn more!

Watch the Application Instructions Video.

  1. Create your ONE one-page resume. You can see samples here.
  2. Write no more than two pages answering the application questions for each opportunity. To learn more about what the reviewers will be looking for, you can review the judging criteria if you wish.

Submit your applications through 4HOnline no later than midnight, February 1. In early March, you will find out if you've been selected for interviews.

Prepare for Your Interview!

In early March you will find out if you were awarded one or more interviews.

To pepare, we recommend you watch the Youth Interview Orientation video (in revision), and read our publication Interview Tips 4H 2800.

If you have selected a video teleconference interivew, you can also watch the WebEx how-to video from WebEx on YouTube.

Awards, Trips, and Leadership Opportunities

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 in or near Washtington D.C. 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. 20 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.

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 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. 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.

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.

Teen Influencers for Equity and Inclusion

Teen Influencers for Equity and Inclusion is a unique leadership opportunity in the areas of equity, inclusion, and diversity within Iowa 4-H Youth Development. By engaging with adult mentors from across the state, students in grades 7-11 will embark on a year-long leadership development journey and engage in their community, and serve as a liaison for the different groups of Iowa 4-H Access, Equity, and Belonging Committee. Through their membership in the Teen Influencers for Equity and Inclusion, youth will partake in local, statewide, and national opportunities, events, service activities, interactive training, workshops, and presentations. They will engage in meetings with community and national leaders/experts in equity and inclusion, collaborate with peers around the state and nation on the issues, and promote mutual understanding to enhance leadership skills and make a difference in their communities.  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.