Motivation and the use of incentives are essential to positive youth development. 4-H Youth Development programs provide opportunities for creativity in a learn-by-doing environment and encourage youth to become involved in projects and activities. The 4-H Achievement Program is intended to recognize 4-H participants who have outstanding accomplishments and incentivize youth to increase their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Every effort is made to make this 4-H program inclusive to all eligible youth.

4-H Achievement Design:

  • Comprehensive program spanning the entire career of the 4-H’er.
  • Awards points for outside efforts and interests.
  • Encourages growth and development by awarding high points at multi-county, state, and national levels.
  • The program does not require a previous level of achievement to apply for a higher level as long as the 4-H’er meets the minimum point requirements.
  • 4-H’ers can choose to compete for awards and prizes (i.e., Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald) – or achieve levels and be recognized in their counties through Clover Levels 1 through 3.
  • Youth who have obtained a “Bronze,” “Silver,” or “Gold” – retain their title.
  • The new 4-H Achievement Program includes and incorporates the previous “Middle School Leadership Awards.”
  • Previous work completed by the 4-H’er (from past years) may be included in the new Achievement Program.
  • The achievement program is designed to allow 4-H’ers to begin keeping records of their awards, participation, and projects.


The Kentucky 4-H Achievement Program is a cumulative compilation of a 4-H’ers entire 4-H experience and work. 

Achievement Application Materials

    Gold, Silver, Bronze Achievement Rubrics

    • Application Rubric PDF icon.pdf
    • Interview Rubric PDF iconpdf

    Emerald Details and Information

    Emerald 4-H Award Winners are exemplary 4-Hers who have embraced the hands-on, learn-by-doing opportunities available to them through the KY 4-H Youth Development Program, which empowers youth to reach their full potential. An emerald winner is a well-rounded 4-Her who has developed invaluable life skills through varied experiences within the core content curriculum, including strong leadership, citizenship, and communication skills, and is civically engaged. 4-H strives to build contributing, productive, and self-directed members of society, which the emerald winners exemplify. Making the Best Better is a way of life for these young people. They are well suited for and welcome the responsibility of serving as an ambassador for the KY 4-H Foundation and the KY 4-H Youth Development Program. Each year four Emerald 4-H Award Winners are selected by the KY 4-H Foundation.

    • Emerald Cover Letter/ Resume Rubric File.docx
    • Emerald Interview Rubric File.docx
    • Emerald Video Rubric File.docx
    • Video - Include a link to your Emerald Video in your application materials. The video should be 3-5 minutes long and include an introduction, a summary of your JR/SR work, a discussion of how 4-H changed you, and your future aspirations.  Creativity is encouraged, but the video should primarily feature the applicant speaking to the audience (camera)


    Achievement Further Information Materials

    • 4-H Achievement Program Feedback (Please share your suggestions for improving or changing the 4-H Achievement program with your county agent. Suggestions are reviewed on an annual basis and may be incorporated into the updated versions.)

    State Contact: Dr. Kimberly Adams Leger | kladams@uky.edu | (859)257-7179

    Updated 7/20/2022