Peer competition

Some 4-H members are encouraged by competition and enjoy the opportunity to compete with peers to determine the best project, performance or achievement. Members should be reminded that in competition there are winners, but there are many more non-winners. Members should be prepared to accept the results of the judge's decision and encouraged to appreciate the valuable learning that took place before, during and after the competition.

State excellence awards

Missouri 4-H recognition form levels 1, 2 and 3 are used as both progress toward personal goals and peer competition. Competition was added in 2007 for levels 1 and 2.

Level 1

  • 4-H members who are between 8 and 10 years old on Dec. 31 of the program year are eligible to apply.
  • Visit with your 4-H youth development specialist or youth education assistant.
  • Complete Y2000, Missouri 4-H Recognition Form Level 1.
  • Submit form to your local extension office by the locally established date.
  • Extension regions will review written applications.
  • Up to five applications will be chosen as regional winners and should be forwarded to the state 4-H office by Jan. 15.
  • Written applications received at the state level will not be returned. Each applicant will receive a certificate, medal of excellence and $50 scholarship to be used toward a 4-H camping experience.

Level 1 forms

Level 2

  • 4-H members who are between 11 and 13 years old on Dec. 31 of the program year are eligible to apply.
  • Visit with your 4-H youth development specialist or youth education assistant.
  • Complete Y2100, Missouri 4-H Recognition Form Level 2.
  • Submit form to your local extension office by the locally established date.
  • Extension regions will review written applications.
  • Up to three applications will be chosen as regional winners and should be forwarded to the state 4-H office by Jan. 15.
  • Written applications received at the state level will not be returned. Applicants will receive a scholarship to attend State 4-H Teen Conference or, if aged out, will receive a partial scholarship for State 4-H Congress.

Level 2 forms

Level 3

National 4-H Congress is a premier 4-H event held in late November in Atlanta, Ga. Participant experiences include leadership, service and cultural opportunities.

  • 4-H members who are between 14 and 18 years old on Dec. 31 of the program year are eligible to apply. 4-H members who submit their applications in the fall the year they turn 19 may have their applications considered at regional and state review the following year.
  • Visit with your 4-H youth development specialist or youth education assistant.
  • Complete Y2200, Missouri 4-H Recognition Form Level 3.
  • Submit form to your local extension office by the locally established date.
  • Extension regions will review written applications and interview applicants.
  • Eight or 30 percent of the total applications submitted for regional review may be forwarded to the state 4-H office prior to April 1.
  • Written applications are reviewed at the state level.
  • Up to 30 applicants are invited to interview during State 4-H Congress.
  • Up to 20 applicants are selected as delegates to National 4-H Congress.

Level 3 forms

National 4-H Conference

The University of Missouri 4-H sends three delegates and a chaperone to the National 4-H Conference each year. Because few Missouri 4-H members are chosen to experience this event, it is a great honor to be one of the delegates.

The National 4-H Conference delegates participate in developing recommendations for the 4-H youth development program. The National 4-H Headquarters then shares the recommendations with the Secretary of Agriculture, National Extension program leaders and others who determine 4-H programs. This event brings together young people, volunteer leaders and state and county extension staff from across the United States, the U.S. territories and the Canadian provinces.

  • 4-H members who are between 14 and 18 years old on Dec. 31 of the program year are eligible to apply.
  • Visit with your 4-H youth development specialist or youth education assistant.
  • Complete the form Y2200, Missouri Recognition Form Level 3 (PDF) or (DOC).
  • Complete additional essay questions (docx).
  • Submit form and essay questions to your local Extension office by the locally established date.
  • If selected for regional or state judging, prepare a video presentation on the topic chosen for your final essay question.

National Leadership award (formerly I Dare You)

The National Leadership award honors extraordinary young people for their character, citizenship and leadership. The award is an ideal way to recognize established leaders as well as those members whose talents and potential are sometimes overlooked. Young people ages 15 to 18 who have completed their freshman year in high school are eligible to apply. The award application is submitted through the county extension center.

Award recipients receive a personalized award certificate, a copy of William H. Danforth's classic motivational book I Dare You!, are eligible to attend the American Youth Foundation's Leadership Conference, and are eligible to apply for the "I Dare You" scholarship.

Sponsored by the American Youth Foundation.

MFA Saddle Award

The MFA Saddle Award is awarded annually at the Missouri 4-H State Horse Judging Contest and Clinic held in the spring. The award is given to the Missouri 4-H member aged 14 years and older participating in the Missouri 4-H horsemanship program who demonstrates knowledge and skills in horsemanship and horse science, the ability to share the knowledge and skills with other members and the commitment to better their community.

The application form is in the LG1400, 4-H Horsemanship Manual (PDF).

Applications must be postmarked by the extended deadline of Jan. 15th and submitted to: MFA Saddle Award, State 4-H Office, 1110 S College Ave, Columbia, MO 65211.

This award is sponsored by M.F.A. Agri-Services-Feed Division (Ms. Janice Spears, Coordinator, 201 Ray Young Dr., Columbia, MO 65201).

Tennessee Walking Horse award

The application form is in the  LG1400, 4-H Horsemanship Manual (PDF).

  • Any 4-H member enrolled in a horse project can participate.
  • All participants must be a member of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeder’s and Exhibitors Association.
  • All 4-H members must be using a registered Tennessee Walking Horse as their project animal for that year.
  • Any member who wishes to participate must have their 4-H horse enrollment form in before March.
  • Record all projects that you have done on all forms.
  • All applications and record books must be submitted to the local extension office by March 1. The deadline for the state to submit to the Walking Horse Association is April 1.
  • Winners will receive a pair of Oster A5 Clippers and TWHBEA Apparel and will be recognized at the National Celebration in August.

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteers can be recognized for the following awards:

The Missouri 4-H Foundation has more information and applications for these awards.