Competition Overview

The Dean’s Awards mark the culmination of a 4-H’ers career, recognizing youth who have participated and excelled in a broad spectrum of activities and experiences over a sustained period of time.  The contest is designed to encourage participation and achievement by 4-H youth in areas fundamental to the mission of 4-H, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.  It recognizes youth for achievement and experience in agricultural and environmental science, citizenship, leadership, and/or family and consumer science.

Project Procedure

  • Carry out project work in one of five areas (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Citizenship, Communication and the Arts, Family and Consumer Sciences, or Leadership)
  • Submit a cumulative portfolio (covering the 4-H’ers entire career) in one of the five project areas listed above.
    • The portfolio may be handwritten or typed in black ink.
    • The original work must be done by the 4-H member.
    • Portfolios will be judged, and the top 5 high-scoring individuals from each of the five Dean’s Awards projects will proceed to interviews as finalists.
  • If you are selected as a finalist, based on your portfolio, you will participate in an interview session with experts, scientists, and/or educators during State 4-H Council.

Registration & Portfolio Submission

To register for the Dean’s Awards project, participants must upload their portfolio into 4-H Enrollment electronically, similar to Project Achievement portfolios. We will enter finalists selected to interview into Event Registration for State 4-H Council with the attribute “Dean’s Awards” selected. The deadline to register and submit portfolios for the Dean’s Awards is in early May (contact your County Extension Agent for specific details).

Announcement of finalists selected to interview, based on high portfolio scores, will occur in late May.

Interviews for finalists will be held during State 4-H Council on Friday, June 21, 2019. An interview schedule will be sent to counties following portfolio submissions and announcement of finalists. The schedule will also be posted online.


  • Participant must be an active ninth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grader during the current year.
  • No previous winner in a Dean’s Award project is eligible to compete in any of the five Dean’s Awards areas. Previous state winners in other projects and events of 4-H are eligible for competition in the Dean’s Awards projects.
  • Each county may submit as many applicants and entries in the Dean’s Awards projects competition as they wish.
  • A 4-H’er is eligible to enter only one area of Dean’s Awards competition in one year.

Awards & Recognition

First, second, and third place in each area will receive a medallion to commemorate their achievement.

First place winners in each category will receive Master 4 H’er Status, a $500 scholarship, and recognition on 4-H Day at the Capitol.

An award will be presented in each of the following five areas:

  • Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Citizenship
  • William “Bill” Edwards 4-H Dean’s Award for Communications and the Arts
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • James Harris 4-H Dean’s Award for Leadership


For more information contact:

Jason Estep