Awards

Recognition is available to 4-H members at all levels of involvement from project groups to our highest award, the Key Award. Recognition can occur during project meetings when a member is asked to demonstrate a skill they have mastered. It also occurs when older 4-H members compete for the chance to attend National 4-H Congress or National 4-H Conference. Missouri 4-H's award program was developed using the National 4-H Recognition model.

Use this chart as a handy reference for recognition types available. Below the chart you will find details on each program.

Recognition type Clover Kid 4-H Member Volunteer Clubs
  5-7 8-10 11-13 14-18    
Participation*
Clover Kid Pins (order on Clover Kids page) X          
Membership and completion cards X X X X    
4-H Charter (mandatory)           X
Progress toward Personal Goals
Project Record Completion (county level)   X X X    
Key Award       X    
Standards of Excellence   X X X    
Peer Competition Awards
State Excellence Awards   Level 1 Level 2 Level 3    
National 4-H Conference       X    
State 4-H Council       X    
Cooperation*
4-H Foundation Community Service Grant        
Kids Helping Kids For 4-H familines in need.
4-H'ers Helping 4-H'ers For 4-H familines in need.
Through the 4-H Foundation
Century Family Multi-generational  
Hall of Fame         X  
Scholarships       X    
Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award         X  
Frank Graham 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award         X  

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    National 4-H Recognition Model

    Recognition is a significant incentive to further learning. Recognition properly designed and used can inspire young people to continue participating and learning. Young people become active in 4-H because they benefit personally; thus, the focus should be on what they gain from the program and not on the program or organization itself. Young people make choices depending on their need for security, new experiences, response or recognition.

    Recognition must be continually revised to meet the needs of individual participants. Individual progress must be recognized and individual enthusiasm must be encouraged. There is no one-way of encouraging and supporting young people. Young people come from varied backgrounds and with different experiences. Their interests, values, needs, attitudes and aspirations vary.

    For some young people, intrinsic or internal recognition is far more powerful than any extrinsic or external recognition. Motivation is determined by a complex blend of environment, attitude and self-concept. This is what energizes a person and directs individual activity.

    The national model for recognition provides a balanced approach that encourages a variety of forms of recognition to meet the diverse needs and interests of today's youth.

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      Recognition purposes

      • Recognition can be a motivator for some young people to excel and take risks.
      • Recognition can foster self-appraisal skills, providing a strong foundation for each young person to engage in self-reflection and self-evaluation without the need for external rewards.
      • Recognition can encourage and support the efforts of young people as they engage in individualize learning, peer competition or cooperation.
      • Recognition, used in all its forms, can provide balance to the recognition young people receive as they move through our educational programs to increasingly difficult challenges.
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      Beliefs about recognition

      The National 4-H Recognition Model is a dynamic model for planning, implementing and developing 4-H programs. Several beliefs underlie the principles of the model:

      • Recognition is a basic human need with security, new experiences and responses.
      • Recognition should be a part of all 4-H learning experiences.
      • Appropriate recognition takes many forms.
      • Respect for individual differences is essential.
      • Recognition must be structures to build self-confidence.
      • Opportunities for self-assessment and reflection allow young people to learn.
      • A range of opportunities and challenges provide choices to meet individual needs.
      • Adult support is essential in youth learning and recognition.
      • Everyone should be recognized at some level.
      • A balance between all elements of the model is essential.
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      Reference

      National 4-H Recognition Model Design Team. (1993). National 4-H Recognition Model. Washington, D.C.: Families, 4-H and Nutrition, United States Department of Agriculture.

    Note: County offices will find the Recognition and Awards order form on the S: drive in the Recognition and Awards folder.

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    Participation

    A first step in building self-confidence is to acknowledge 4-H members for their involvement in educational experiences. Clubs, groups and counties are encouraged to recognize additional forms of participation by 4-H members and volunteers. Creative ideas recognizing Clover Kids, new members and new families help welcome them into the 4-H program and create a sense of belonging and community.

    Note: The remainder of the awards experience is not age appropriate for Clover Kids who need the freedom to explore their creative outlets. Children younger than eight cannot distinguish that they can be good at some things and not others. They tend to think in terms of all good or all bad. Using awards especially in competition is confusing and undermines their self-confidence. It is appropriate to start helping them understand or think about standards of excellence, but their performance should not be evaluated in relation to the standards. Recognition is important for Clover Kids, but it should be positive and non-competitive.

    Participation incentives for various aspects of 4-H. This area of the recognition program connects closely with the essential elements of belonging and independence. See below for some great ideas to recognize young people, adults and groups in the area of participation.

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      Clover Kids

      Membership pins

      • Y4815, White Year 1 Pin
      • Y4816, Black Year 2 Pin
      • Y4817, Red Year 3 Pin
      • Y4812, Membership Cards

      Clover Kids Pin Order Form

      • Sponsor: 4-H Center for Youth Development and Missouri 4-H Foundation
      • Age eligibility: 5 to 7 years on Dec. 31 of the program year
      • Selection criteria: Children enrolled in and participating in Clover Kids
      • Goal: Acknowledge involvement in educational experiences; build self-confidence; bolsters a sense of belonging
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      Members

      Membership card

      • Sponsor: 4-H Center for Youth Development
      • Age eligibility: 8 to 18 years on Dec. 31 of the program year
      • Selection criteria: All 4-H members enrolled
      • Goal: Bolsters a sense of belonging

      4-H year completion

      • Sponsor: County 4-H program
      • Age eligibility: 8 to 18 on Dec. 31 of the program year
      • Selection criteria: 4-H members completing a 4-H year
      • Goal: Acknowledge involvement in educational experiences; build self-confidence; bolsters a sense of belonging

      To order, contact Joyce Taylor.

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      Clubs

      4-H Charter

      • S120, 4-H Club Charter

      Order charters by sending the club name, county, and charter date (usually the first official meeting date) to Brandy Dickey.

      The charter will be mailed to the youth faculty or staff sending the request.

      • Sponsor: 4-H Center for Youth Development
      • Age eligibility: Young people ages 8 to 18 enrolled in a 4-H club
      • Selection criteria: Enrollment forms on file at the county extension center
      • Goal: Acknowledgment that the club is a unit of 4-H youth development; bolsters a sense of belonging

      4-H club kit

      4-H and U.S. flag, 4-H pennant, motto banner, pledge banner, gavel and sounding block (a $75 value)

      • Sponsor: Missouri 4-H Foundation
      • Age eligibility: Young people ages 8 to 18 enrolled in a 4-H club
      • Selection criteria: Enrollment forms on file at the county extension center. County 4-H staff contacts the Missouri 4-H Foundation
      • Goal: Acknowledgment that the club is a unit of 4-H youth development; bolsters a sense of belonging

      New member committee mentoring program

      Establish a committee to develop a mentoring program for new members and families at the club level. The goal is to foster a sense of belonging so members continue in the program.

      Additional ideas for participation

      • Proclamations from legislators (contact your legislator)
      • T-shirts (county)
      • Separate recognition night for volunteers (county)
      • New member committee mentoring program
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    Progress toward personal goals

    Progress toward personal goals enables young people to gain experience in goal-setting and realistic self-assessment as they plan their projects, set their goals and reflect on their experience. This area of the recognition program connects closely with the essential elements of belonging and independence and mastery.

    Project record

    Young people self-select projects and goals at the beginning of the project year and then reflect on the experience at the close of the year. The purpose is to help members learn to set goals, reflect on their experience and apply this experience to other parts of their life. Eligible young people are 4-H members 8 to 18 on Dec. 31 of the program year.

    Y620, 4-H Project Record (PDF)

    Y7405, Shooting Sports Project Record (PDF)

    Key Award

    The Key Award, the highest award a 4-H member can receive, recognizes 4-H members who have achieved significant leadership at the club or group, community and state levels. The Key Award is a prestigious award rewarding 4-H members for their hard work and accomplishments as well as the contribution they have made to the overall 4-H program.

    The objective of the Key Award is to encourage the growth of Missouri young people in the areas of leadership, community service and project excellence.

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      Eligibility

      • Ages 14-18 years old on Dec. 31 of the program year
      • 4-H member for at least one year
      • Worked with an adult mentor (preferably an adult that is not the member's parent or guardian)
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      Application process

      • Visit with your 4-H Youth Development Specialist or Youth Education Assistant.
      • Select an adult mentor who will support your work and help document your efforts for your Capstone Effort.
      • Members who reach the minimum points required will receive the Missouri 4-H Key Award and certificate at the local level; they will also be recognized at the state level. The mentor will receive a 4-H Key Award mentor pin.
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      Application format

      • Complete the application form with all the required signatures.
      • Documentation of achievements is important. Document your work to demonstrate that you have reflected on and applied the experience.

      Key Award application (PDF)

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    Standards of Excellence

    Recognition of achievement for standards of excellence gives young people an external, pre-determined target for their learning experience. Members may elect to have 4-H projects or have their performance evaluated at a local or county 4-H show, fair or other exhibit opportunity.

    Mastery is the building of knowledge, skills and attitudes and then demonstrating the competent use of this knowledge and skill. The level of mastery is dependent on the developmental ability of the individual youth. The development of mastery is a process that happens overtime and is increased with repetition.

    4-H club standards of excellence (Danish system)

    The purpose of standards and seals is to provide recognition for 4-H clubs and groups reaching Missouri 4-H standards of excellence. Standards and seals encourage the following standards:

    • A quality educational program for all members.
    • A safe environment where all young people feel like they belong.
    • An environment where young people have opportunities to connect with caring adults.
    • An environment where young people are actively engaged in exploring and learning about their interests.
    • Opportunities for young people to strive for mastery in subject matter of interests.
    • Opportunities for young people to set goals and be actively involved in the planning, implementing and evaluating the group's program.
    • Opportunities to experience and value service to others and community.
    • A vibrant environment where young people want to participate.

    Young people ages 8 to 18 on Dec. 31 of the program year are eligible for this participation recognition The goal of standards and seals is to provide 4-H clubs with an external, pre-determined target for their group's learning experience. The standards for each seal are outlined in the 4-H Club Secretary Book (PDF).

    • S122, Bronze Charter Seal
    • S125, Silver Charter Seal
    • S128, Gold Charter Seal

    Project work standards of excellence (Danish system)

    Members may elect to have 4-H projects or performance evaluated at local, regional and state shows or events. Exhibits, demonstrations, public speaking, skill-a-thons and project judging are a few examples of these opportunities. The standards for projects are found in project curriculum with consideration given for youth age and ability. Standards of excellence provide members with genuine feedback to gain insight into their abilities and build mastery.

    • Blue/Gold recognition
      Project work demonstrating excellent work in relationship to standards.
    • Red/Silver recognition
      Project work demonstrating superior work in relationship to standards.
    • White/Bronze recognition
      Project work demonstrating average work in relationship to standards.

    Tools for achievement of standards recognition

    View resources

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    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.

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      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.

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        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 forms will be chosen as regional winners.
        • 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 resources

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        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 forms will be chosen as regional winners.
        • 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 resources

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        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.
        • 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 resources

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      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)
      • Complete additional essay questions and prepare a video. More info (DOCX).
      • Submit form and essay questions to your local Extension office by the locally established date.
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      Volunteer recognition

      The Missouri 4-H Foundation recognizes voluneers with several awards.

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    Cooperation

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      4-H Community Service Grants

      Through generous grants from Crader Distributing and Stihldealers.com, as well as DuPont Pioneer, the Missouri 4-H Foundation offers grants of up to $1,000 to match funding for a 4-H Community Service project.

      More information

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      Kids Helping Kids

      Kids Helping Kids is a program devoted to helping 4-H members and their families in times of need by providing small financial grants to 4-H members who have gone through family emergencies like natural disasters, medical emergencies or fires.

      Kids Helping Kids is sponsored by the Missouri State 4-H Council and Missouri 4-H Foundation.

      More info

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      Building Our Communities grant (BOAC)

      The Department of Agriculture program provides $18,000 annually to Missouri 4-H clubs and FFA chapters for projects aimed at developing and advancing Missouri's rural communities.

      More info

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      Missouri 4-H Foundation awards

      The Missouri 4-H Foundation offers awards to 4-H volunteers, families and supporters.

      More info

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      Additional ideas for cooperation

      • Adventure challenge activities
      • 4-H club officer teams
      • County fair herdsmanship
      • County fair sportsmanship