Units are provided with 4-H Award Medals in various areas to present to 4-H youth in their area(s) that excel in specific 4-H curriculum areas and Achievement. These award medals are provided to the Extension units by generous donations from the Illinois 4-H Foundation. Current award categories include:
If selected on the Extension unit level and youth meet the age requirements, they may apply for State 4-H Awards in these categories, including trips to National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Dairy Conference. Award selection begins in January (for state level) – applications are generally due the first week in January to the State 4-H Office. Applications must be verified through and sent to state selection by the local Extension unit office. To apply for State 4-H Award trips to National 4-H Congress, a member must be 15-18 years of age on September 1 of the current 4-H year. To apply for a dairy award trip to National 4-H Dairy Conference, members must be 15-18 years of age by January 1 of the year in which they submit their application.
The Illinois 4-H program also offers additional award programs for members. Current applications and programs are noted below. Most of these applications must also be submitted via your local Extension Unit office. Watch the deadlines carefully and check with your local Extension office for any earlier deadlines they may set.
A new award is being introduced during the 2009 – 2010 4-H year - the University of Illinois Extension 4-H Key Award. This state recognition is for older 4-H members and rewards those who exhibit outstanding 4-H leadership, community service, and service as a mentor. A member may receive this recognition once during their 4-H career.
Applicants must be 4-H members, 16 to 18 years of age by September 1 of the 4-H year in which they are applying. (Applications are due in March, so members must be 16-18 years of age by the previous September 1). Each Extension unit may submit a maximum of three applications for award consideration each year. A maximum of 30 4-H members will receive the Illinois 4-H Key Award annually. Awards are presented at the Illini Summer Academies in June. Local Extension offices must submit applications to the State 4-H Office, postmarked no later than March 1.
Open to 4-H members 17 and above by December 1. Applications must be submitted by local Extension offices to the State 4-H Office by January 3, 2014. Each county may submit two applications to the state level. The two-tier awards program includes plaques for the top ten scoring members and invitations to the 3-day intense Premier 20 Youth Leadership Conference in April.
The Energy Education Council (formerly the Illinois Electrification Council) will provide one plaque to each county recognizing one 4-H member's outstanding achievements in electricity. Selection criteria includes the following: 1) Member should have constructed and displayed an electricial exhibit; 2) 4-H member electric project records may be reviewed; and 3) Member award is to be presented at an Extension unit recognition program. 4-H members can receive this award only once. Some Extension units may require special applications be submitted for this recognition; check with your local Extension office if interested.
The Illinois Holstein-Friesian Association provides certificates and medals to members for their participation in the 4-H program. Members must be enrolled in the Dairy project and exhibit Holstein dairy animals at the county 4-H show. Some Extension units may require an application be submitted for this recognition; check with your local Extension office if interested.
The Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA) provides a $200 cash award each year to an outstanding member enrolled in the 4-H Veterinary Science project. Members must have been enrolled in the Vet Science project for a minimum of three years to apply for this award. The application is due July 1 of each year. The winning member may be invited to the ISVMA annual meeting in the fall of the year to be recognized at their event.