State Project Area Awards

State Project Area Awards

State project area awards are awarded to 4-H members who have demonstrated leadership, communication, and community involvement through activities, events and self-directed learning related to a specific project area. Up to 50 project area award recipients will be provided with a $100 prize (dependent on funding). A complete list of Iowa 4-H project areas can be found on our projects page.

Note for 2019-2020

The one change that youth and volunteers both requested in the feedback process was the opportunity for state project area award applicants to interview. Up to 72 project area award applicants will be awarded an interview opportunity based on their written applications. ALL State 4-H Recognition Day applicants selected for an interview may choose to conduct those in person or by video teleconference--for any reason.

Who should apply?

  • Are you a 4-H member in grades 9-12?
  • Have you participated in leadership experiences in and/or out of 4-H related to a project area?
  • Are you actively involved in your community in ways that relate to a project area?
  • Are you willing to share with evaluators how your learning in a project area has benefited you, and may benefit you in the future?

How to Apply

  • Up to 50 awardees are selected each year (dependent on funding) through “State 4-H Recognition Day.” This process includes a written application with four essay questions, submission of a one-page resume, and a panel interview (by teleconference or in-person). Delegates will apply in November-January and winners are announced in April.
  • Applicants may apply for two project area awards per year, but may only be awarded in one project area.
  • 4-H members may only be awarded a project area award in each topic one time.
  • A maximum of 72 interviews will be scheduled for this opportunity, candidates will be selected through the written application round. Each applicant may be selected to interview for up to two project area awards.
  • Information, support and resources for the application process can be found on the State 4-H Recognition Day webpage and in the sidebar on this page.

Application Questions

Watch the application instructions video before preparing your application. A form is not required. You may copy and paste, or type, these questions into any document, and save as a PDF for uploading to your application in 4HOnline. Please use 12pt font or larger. You may use any word processing program, any size margins, double- or single-spaced lines. Your final document with all questions addressed must not be longer than 2 pages.

  1. Why would you be an ideal candidate for an Iowa Project Area Award, based on what you know about this opportunity? What do you see as your key successes in exploring this project area?
  2. Please provide one or more examples of how you have exhibited or developed skills in leadership in projects or programs related to this project area.
  3. Civic Engagement is the opportunity, right and responsibility we have to contribute to shaping the world around us and providing service to others. Provide one or more examples of how you engaged in civic engagement activities related to this project area, and how this has positively impacted your personal development.
  4. Regardless of how many or how few years you’ve been a part of 4-H, please explain how your 4-H experiences in this project area have helped you reach your personal goals. Explain how you think these experiences may benefit you in your future endeavors.

Helpful Tips

  • Watch the video on this page. The most frequent issue with project area award applications is that they are written as an exhibit report. A project area award application is your opportunity to show how you’ve explored leadership, communication, and civic engagement in one project area over time.

General Information

  • Award winners will be invited to an awards ceremony on the last day of the Youth Conference handled each year in late June.
  • Application reviewers are usually volunteers who work in related industries. They provide helpful feedback and encouragement on your project area learning.
  • Some project area award winners may be contacted for input or participation in statewide projects or events related to their awarded project area. In 2019, for example, clothing project area awardees were asked to assist in planning the 4-H Awardrobe Clothing Event at the Iowa State Fair. New opportunities are being explored and we welcome suggestions from youth and staff.