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Application Instructions

Application Section descriptions and examples

PDF Application Form Download and complete using ADOBE PDF and send applicaiton by mail

Electronic Application Form Complete cover page fields and upload content in browser using online form

 

 

State Awards Application Instructions

All applicants must be 14-19 years old prior to October 1 of the current 4-H year. This material will be made available in alternate formats upon request.

The Application Form must be used at the state level to select project and activity award winners. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Use the most current application and instructions. Failure to follow instructions will result in deduction of points and possible disqualification.

  1. Montana 4-H Application Form: This form process is required for the application of a state awards in all project areas in which an individual is enrolled as well as for Agriculture, Citizenship, Healthy Living, and Leadership. You will need to submit a separate Award Application for each award project area. Competing for state awards is optional and is not required of any 4-H member. The decision is yours. Tips for completing the application and other state awards resources are available from Brett Schomer, bschomer@montana.edu or on the main state awards page
  2. Format Requirements: The application must be typed and printed or uploaded to the online form.  Applicants must:
    • Follow required number of pages (below)
    • Use Font size 12
    • Use 1 or 1.15 spacing
    • Use Font Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman 
    • Use NO less than 1" margins
    • If you do not type, it is acceptable for someone else to type the form from a handwritten version or use type to text software.
    • Edit written work for spelling and grammar.

Applications will be judged on content on the page, however, applicants must adhere to the above format requirements in order to receive full points on any given section. We can't evaluate what you have done if we can't read or make sense of your application. Alot of grammar and spelling mistakes, smaller than 12 font size and narrow margins makes an application very difficult to read and understand.

  1. Number of Pages Required: DO NOT ADD EXTRA PAGES to your application and use only the front of each 
    • Cover page (1)
    • Project Goals page (1)
    • Communication Summary page (1)
    • Learning page (1)
    • Leadership page (1)
    • Citizenship/Community Service page (1)
    • Photo pages (2)
    • 4-H story (maximum 3 pages)
    • A creative work is also required, but does not have a page limit. Applications which exceed the defined number of pages will result in deduction of points and possible Your awards application is not a scrapbook. Do not include ribbons, newspaper clippings, or pages from your project books.
  1. Record Books: Your record books will not be used in selecting state award winners. However, your county agent and 4-H volunteer must certify that your record book is up to date by signing cover page of the award application before you will be considered for an award. 
  2. Instructions for Completing Summary Pages: Include your three most recent years work, both in 4-H and contributions you have made in non-4-H activities. Please focus your award application around your most recent experiences that demonstrate excellence in the program area in which you are applying. However, if you fail to show at least three years of relevant experience in the project area point will be deducted.

Mark the level of participation in all sections with the appropriate designations: L(local-club); C(county); M(multi-county); S(state); R(region/multi-state); N(national); I(international). Show numbers of people reached or involved where appropriate.

  1. Photo Pages: Include two pages (one side only) of pictures showing your work in the 4-H project area during the two Application will receive a deduction in points if more than two pages are used for photos, or more than one side of a page is used. Pictures can be black and white, color, or digitally scanned. Pictures should have short captions explaining what is being shown.

Action photographs are best, select those which show you doing things with others, working on your project, working on community service projects, or telling others about 4-H. The best pictures illustrate involvement, leadership, and citizenship within the awards programs for which you are applying.

  1. Your 4-H Story: The 4-H story should be like a final chapter of a book because it ties together, summarizes and highlights the important things you have learned and accomplished in the project area. A good 4-H story talks about your triumphs and setbacks, the challenges and opportunities, any obstacles you experienced and how you overcame Your 4-H story should give evidence of leadership, growth in the project and in 4-H, degree of involvement, cooperation, honesty, responsibility and good judgment. Include a maximum of three pages for this part of the application.
  2. Creative Work: A creative work of your choice will be evaluated as a part of the application process for state awards. It must pertain directly to the award area you are applying for and is This creative work can be a written story (different from your 4-H story already shared as a part of this application), a video, a presentation, a website, a video, a portfolio, a product or some other work to display the learning and work completed in the award area. Creative works of all forms should not exceed 6-8 minutes of viewing or listening. If you submit a product please provide a 1 page description of this product.

Keep in mind that a selection committee will be evaluating state award applications on a limited time frame. Brief, exciting creative works will make a bigger impact than lengthy presentations. The creative work has the potential to tell the judges what they can’t get form any other section of this application. Make sure you take full advantage of this opportunity. Exceeding specified time and page limits will result in deduction of points and possible disqualification of the application.

  1. Photo: Please submit a head & shoulder photo (school photos work great) with your application. This photo will not be used by the state awards selection committee, but for award recognition. 
  2. Submitting Application:

OPTION 1: Complete online form for written work. You may mail creative work if necessary.

OPTION 2: Mail printed paper copies of your award

If option 2, Mail ORIGINAL application (complete with signatures and head and shoulder photo), photo pages, and creative work to:

4-H Center for Youth Development
ATTN STATE AWARDS COMMITTEE
210 Taylor Hall/MSU,P.O. Box 173580
Bozeman,MT59717

MUSTBEPOSTMARKED and/or SUBMITTED BYMAY 1

****Late applications, faxed, or e-mail copies will not be accepted.***


Application Content Descriptions and Examples

COVER PAGE

Fill out completely with signatures from you, a parent or guardian, your 4-H project leader, and your county agent.

COMMUNICATION SUMMARY / 20 Points

The Communication Summary is broken down into three portions: communication relative to your project (8 points), communication about 4-H in general (8 points), and communication outside of 4-H (4 points). This section’s format may be presented as a list, paragraph, or a combination of the two. Report demonstrations, speeches, letters written, business visitations, and other presentations you have given before groups of people. Be sure to include in this section any media promotion you have done, including radio, newspapers, television, or displays. Show location and scope of your audience. Grouping summary by year within each portion may make the communications summary easier to follow.

Be sure to include any experience that illustrates use of a variety of “communication” skills.

Examples:

2018- Display on "Picking Pigs" for elementary school (180-L)

Gave demonstration on evaluating market sheep (25-L), (30-C), (100-S) Spoke on behalf of our 4-H livestock judging team at MSU Ag Days (200-S)

2019- Presented demonstration on "How to Judge" to head table at Montana's for 4-H Breakfast (20-S)

OR

I believe that promoting 4-H is essential to the survival of the program. This year I assembled and put up a display at our elementary school titled, “Picking Pigs.” I also gave my 4-H demonstration on evaluating market sheep to my 4-H club, church youth group, and at Montana 4-H Congress.

Last year, I spoke on behalf of our 4-H livestock judging team at MSU Ag Days in Bozeman. In 2003, I had the opportunity to give a demonstration on “How to Judge” at the Montanans for 4-H Breakfast for 20 Montana legislators.

PROJECT GOALS / 10 Points

Describe your goals for the award area you are applying. Please list a minimum of three goals per year. Completely describe the challenges and obstacles you encountered through achieving your goals. Discuss if you achieved your goals and how. Explain how your goals were different from year to year. SIMPLY LISTING 3 GOALS PER YEAR WILL NOT RECEIVE FULL POINTS…you must explain your experience achieving or not achieving these goals showing growth over time.

Examples:

2018- Learn and understand the appropriate time to use a flash when photographing

I wanted to improve my skills in photography so I could take better quality pictures. I achieved this goal through practice and instruction. I found that you need to take many bad pictures to get one really good one. Part of this learning experience was understanding when to and not to use a flash. This included lots of trial and error. I found that taking a photo with the flash and then with out of the same subject was the most effective way to learn this skill.

2019- To learn about photography as an art, a science, and a communications tool

I wanted to expand my knowledge of photography beyond just taking pictures. I tried taking pictures of a variety of subjects and found that taking pictures of people in action is what I excel at. Finding your ”eye” in photography can be a very difficult thing. It took me a while to understand the difference between taking snapshots and taking pictures for an artistic purpose. The most important aspect of this is understanding that your photography skills are always evolving and this is necessary to establish your artistic eye.

2020- To sell my photographs at a local craft store

Now that I have learned how to take pictures, I wanted to find a way to share them with others and earn some money at the same time. I am still working on this and have found that it is difficult to making money selling art.

LEARNING / 25 Points

What have you learned as a result of your participation in this project area and how did you learn it? Tell how 4- H helped you learn things about this project area that you didn't know before. Please also include evidence of personal initiative, innovation, and creative problem solving. This information will show that you are trying new ideas and taking advantage of opportunities to learn outside of regular project materials. How have you been able to apply what you have learned before in new or different ways to solve problems or devise creative solutions? It is also important to illustrate how your learning has changed over time. This might be the most difficult section to put together…but don’t neglect what you have learned and how you learned it. The learning experiences are very important to the judges. Be sure to be complete when describing these experiences so the judges can see how much you have learned.

Examples:

2018- Learned basic plant anatomy and how to identify common range plants and range sites as a result of working with local ranchers (L)

2019- Learned correct interview techniques and question phrasing by (L) 2002- How to equip my camera bag for a day in the field (L)

OR

I learned how to equip my camera bag for a day in the field to make sure I am totally prepared to take pictures of grazing sites. In visiting with ranchers in our community, I learned that different interview techniques and question phrasing can affect the responses I got from them. This year, I learned basic plant anatomy and how to identify common range plants and range sites.

LEADERSHIP / 20 Points

Leadership is broken down into three portions: leadership dealing with your project (8 points), general 4-H leadership (8 points), and leadership outside of 4-H (4 points). This section’s format may be presented as a list, paragraph, or a combination of the two. Show how your leadership has increased over the years. For example, how you have gone from assisting and being part of a team to taking initiative and implementing projects or programs.

Give examples of ways you have shown leadership, demonstrated cooperation and assistance to others, and worked as a member of and led a team. This information will help show that you are going beyond the minimal requirements, helping others in your club and community, and sharing what you have learned in your project area. Leadership should be above and beyond regular club work.

Examples for Project Leadership:

2018- Shared my knowledge of horses by conducting a "Safety around Horses" activity for 1st graders in my community as part of fun day at the local elementary school (27-L)

2019- Presented a workshop on the principles of judging horse conformation for 4-H youth in my county participating in the horse project (35-C)

2020- Served as a youth representative on the county horse committee sharing my youth perspective (19-C)

CITIZENSHIP/COMMUNITY SERVICE / 20 Points

Citizenship/Community Service is broken down into three portions: citizenship dealing with your project (8 points), general 4-H citizenship (8 points), and citizenship outside of 4-H (4 points). This section’s format may be presented as a list, paragraph, or a combination of the two. As a result of your work in this program area, how has your community benefited or improved? What community resources have you used in your project area?

How have you worked cooperatively with other community programs or agencies to apply your skills and talents? What have you learned about the global community in which we all live? What are some exceptional examples of what you have done both within 4-H and outside 4-H? How have you performed in a citizenship capacity?

Examples of Citizenship/Community Service Outside of 4-H:

2018- Volunteer work 3 hrs a week at hospital (L)

2019- Organized local high school students to proved rides for Senior citizens in the community to vote (10-L)

2020- Helped plant and care for seedlings at museum, returning each week to fertilize the new plants (30-L)

YOUR 4-H STORY / 25 Points

Tell about what you have done in 4-H during the past years that seem the most important to you. Give some details about your projects—some of the difficulties you had, some of the most important things you learned. Tell how you helped your club, what you did to help others, how you helped at 4-H events, how you presented a positive image of 4-H. Tell how 4-H has helped you and your family.

Write in a narrative form.

This is your chance to tell the reviewers what your project area has done for you and what you have done with it. Don’t repeat everything you have listed on the summary pages.

PHOTO PAGES / 5 Points

Include two pages (one side only) of pictures showing your work in the 4-H project area during the past year. Pictures can be black and white, color, or digitally scanned. Pictures should have short captions explaining what is being shown. Action photographs are best, select those which show you doing things with others, working on your project, working on community service projects, or telling others about 4-H. The best pictures illustrate involvement, leadership, and citizenship within the awards programs for which you are applying. Don’t try to fit too many pictures on one page. The reviewers are looking for what you have done not quantity of pictures. Use the pictures to illustrate your learning, leadership, communication, citizenship etc.

CREATIVE WORK / 25 Points

Creative work must pertain directly to the award area you are applying for. This creative work can be a written story, a video, a computer presentation, a homepage, an audio recording, a portfolio, or some other work to display the learning and work completed in the award area. You may choose to include a short narrative explaining what you have chosen as your creative work.

Creative works of all forms should not exceed 6-8 minutes of viewing or listening time. Written material should follow the same formatting requirements of the applicaiton. 

Keep in mind that a selection committee will be evaluating state award applications on a limited time frame. Brief, exciting creative works will make a bigger impact than lengthy presentations. The clearer your work is the more impact it will have. The reviewers judge only what they can see or hear so be sure the creative work is not confusing or incomplete.

Evaluation of the Award Application

Montana 4-H Award applications will be judged using the following criteria: See full Judging sheet for more detail on criteria. 

Communication

20 Points

Project Goals

10 Points

Learning

25 Points

Leadership

20 Points

Citizenship

20 Points

Your 4-H Story

25 Points

Photo Pages

5 Points

Creative Work

25 Points

Total:

150 Points

 

 

 

Download the PDF Form cover page and open in Adobe PDF Reader or other Adobe software to fill in form fields. Print and attach required pages to submit complete application. Fillable form fields will not appear in browser view. You must download the form and open in reader or pro. 

 

 

Use online form to complete your cover page and upload content to complete your application. Application approval by MSU Extension agent or program coordinator and club leader/4-H volunteer will be completed by automatic email. You must enter the correct email address of these two people to complete your applicaiton online.