Illinois 4-H State Award Scholarships

This award recognizes youth who have demonstrated and maintained a high standard of 4-H excellence and mastery during their membership tenure.

  • Open to current Illinois 4-H members age 15-19 as of 9/1/2023.
  • Members must have been enrolled in the 4-H program a minimum of two years.

Online application can be found here. Applications are due November 1. Applicants will also need to request reference forms from two references, those can be found here. A tutorial video can be found on the Illinois 4-H YouTube Channel


$1,000 scholarship paid directly to the scholarship recipient upon receipt of proof of enrollment in an approved post-high school educational program. Scholarship monies must be used before the winner’s 24th birthday or the scholarship will be forfeited. Scholarship redemption forms will be provided to winners. Winners are honored at the State 4-H Award Ceremony in the spring.

   Categories include:

  • Animal Science
  • Civic Engagement/Global Living
  • Creating Performing Arts & Communication
  • Gardening, Agriculture & Food Access
  • Healthy Living/Nutrition
  • Leadership
  • Natural Resources & Environmental Science
  • Personal Growth 
  • STEM/Robotics


Superior Young Producer Scholarship

The program is sponsored by the Illinois State Fair. Three $1,000 scholarships are awarded each year in dairy; and nine scholarships are distributed among beef, sheep and swine project members. Contests are held during the Illinois State Fair. Members must compete in 3 to 4 individual segments that include: management test, skill-a-thon, judging contest, and/or meat identification or testing. Contestants must be 14 - 18 years of age to compete.

  • Dairy: August 19, 2023
  • Combined Beef/Sheep/Swine; August 9, 2023
  • The SYPA contest is open to any youth 14 years of age or older (on Jan. 1) who are current Illinois 4-H members who are enrolled in that project.
  • Participants do not have to be exhibiting animals at the Illinois State Fair in order to participate in the SYPA contest.
  • Entries are requested prior to the State Fair Junior Shows and available at the Illinois State Fair website.
  • A participant may receive only one scholarship throughout their career. Further, after receiving a scholarship in any of the specie award areas, the eligible 4-H member may participate in other specie award programs in following years but will be eligible to receive phase awards only.
  • In order to receive a scholarship, the 4-H post-secondary trade school, or advanced educational program.
  • Scholarship monies are paid directly by the Illinois 4-H Foundation to the institution where the student is enrolled. 
  • CME sponsors awards for the Beef, Sheep, and Swine contests.
  • The Land of Lincoln Purebred Livestock Breeders Association and the Illinois State Fair provide award plaques.

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