Contests and Events
Each year, Delaware 4-H hosts a variety of exciting contests and events that let members get hands on with opportunities in animal science, leadership, arts, and more!
Select an event below to view details!
Think you know a lot about poultry? Why not test your knowledge in an avian bowl contest?
Held annually during the Delaware State Fair, the Delaware 4-H Avian Bowl is a quiz bowl style competition. Teams of up to four individuals compete against each other answering questions related to rearing, nutrition, breeds, of various poultry species, waterfowl and pet birds and all things egg related. Specific study sections are released each year to help youth focus their learning.
This contest is Sponsored by The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. (the winning State essay competes in the National contest!)
Topic: "Immunity: Threats to Bee Colonies and Methods to Defend Against the Threats"
Honey bee colonies have developed many ways to stay healthy. Their immune responses range from behaviors such as grooming to using materials such as propolis, a plant-derived substance bees coat on the interior of a hive for antimicrobial purposes. Even the gut of the honey bee contains beneficial bacteria to help the bee stay healthy!
In your essay, name at least two threats (a parasite such as Varroa, a pathogen such as a virus, a predator such as a bear, etc.) to honey bee colonies and then discuss the methods colonies use to defend against the threats. If possible, include at least one picture you have taken from Feb. 2020-Feb. 2021 that illustrates how colonies manage to stay healthy against a variety of threats.
Entries are due to the State 4-H Office by Monday, March 15, 2021.
Entries should be submitted via email to email@example.com
This event allows 4-H’ers to showcase their sewing skills, consumer skills, or both as they participate in three areas of competition. 4-H’ers can participate in one portion, two portions or all portions of the showcase. 4-H’ers must be present the day of the showcase to interview with the judge for the Clothing Construction Contest and Ready to Wear Contest. 4-H’ers are not required to be present if they are only exhibiting sewing projects.
Express your interest by completing and submitting the Intent to Participate Form (udel.edu/0010405) by April 3, 2023.
Prepare for the Clothing Showcase Contests using the resources provided below
Submit your Clothing Showcase materials to Your Respective County 4-H Office before the deadline of April 17, 2023, close of business (4:30pm).
Attend the Clothing Showcase at New Castle Building, Delaware State Fairgrounds on April 23, 2023. Doors open at 1:30pm. Showcase will begin at 4:30pm.
Clothing Construction Information
A 4-H member will model a garment or outfit they have sewn. 4-H’er will interview with a judge about the construction and selection of pattern and fabric. Construction, fit, and overall look will be considered. Participants will model in the showcase portion of the event. Garments will be evaluated according to sewing level and according to project guidelines.
Ready to Wear Information
A 4-H member will bring an outfit of Ready to Wear clothing to model before a judge for fit and selection of accessories. Participants will interview with the judge to justify why the garment is needed in their wardrobe and the selection process. 4-H’er must be present for the evaluation session and showcase portion on the day of the Clothing Showcase. Purchase is not required to participate.
Sewing Contest Exhibit Information
4-H members can sew items based on the list provided below of exhibit categories that can be entered into the Delaware State Fair. Items will be evaluated on construction techniques and displayed at the Clothing Showcase event. 4-H’ers are limited to one entry per category. Items must be delivered to Your Respective County 4-H Office by April 17th, close of business (4:30pm). 4-H’ers entering only this portion of this event are not required to attend the event, but are encouraged to be there to see their exhibits on display.
2020 Clothing Showcase Training Session
A video of the 2020 Clothing Showcase Training Session: youtube.com/watch?v=GUw7eRaeokE
The Clover Quest Trail Challenge
Ride/Drive the First State with Delaware 4-H Horse Program
General Information and Eligibility:
The challenge begins June 1, 2021 and is finished on August 15, 2021
You must be a currently enrolled Delaware 4-H member in good standing and should be enrolled in a horse project. Both hours/miles in the saddle and hours/miles spent driving horses can be counted. 4-H leaders/adults may participate. If adults are competing on a team, the team must contain at least (1) 4-H member.
If you register after the challenge begins, you may only accumulate hours/miles from that date forward, back hours/miles will not be accepted.
Participation Division- For those that want to participate, but not competitively, there is a participation only option. Hours/mileage accumulated will not be considered for end of challenge award recognition. For example- those members who only take a riding lesson once a week.
Individual Division- For those that want to participate competitively. Hours/mileage accumulated will considered for end of challenge award recognition.
Team Division- A full team consists of 4 members, teams of three may also compete. Teams must include at least 1 4-H member. A family unit can be considered a team. Clubs may participate as a team and clubs may submit multiple teams. If participating as a team, select a team name and a team captain. The team captain will be responsible for submitting the team log by the submission deadline.
4-H members are eligible to compete in both the individual and team divisions simultaneously.
Training/Conditioning and recreational hours/mileage count. Hours/mileage logged during any form of competition do not count. Both hours riding and hours driving may count towards this challenge. Teams do not have to ride together. Your miles and hours can be logged separately. When riding, please keep safety measures such as riding helmets, proper footwear, trail etiquette and social distancing protocols in mind.
Extend Your Knowledge:
Consider reviewing the following free web based resources about trail riding safety and trail etiquette:
Tips for Staying Safe on Roads and Trails Webcast - Dr. Betsy Greene, University of Vermont
Top Placing individuals and teams will be recognized.
All participants will receive a participation certificate at the end of the challenge no matter your accrued hours, mileage or participation level.
Entry is made online via a Google Form. For those competing as a team, submit one (1) completed team entry form via an online Google Form with team captain identified.
Entry will not be considered eligible for awards until your entry form and log form have been received. Mileage and team captain log sheets must be turned in no later than August 23, 2021
Submit mileage/time logs to Susan Garey firstname.lastname@example.org
Mileage deadlines: Individuals will report their hours and miles using the provided log form by August 23, 2021. Team members should report their hours and miles to the team captain regularly throughout the challenge.
*Reminder: You do not have to ride together as a team. Miles can be logged separately.*
It is not a requirement to use the apps mentioned below however, here are some apps that you may find helpful in logging your mileage:
Map My Ride
Horse Riding Tracker
We encourage you to take pictures, post on social media and use the hashtags #de4h, #DE4HHorse and #de4hCloverQuest
Get out and enjoy our beautiful state from horseback!
The Delaware 4-H State Consumer Bowl Contest is conducted annually to support learning in all 4-H financial and consumer education projects. 4-Hers who want to participate in this contest should enroll in the Financial Champions and Consumer Savvy project areas. Teams of 2-4 people will showcase their knowledge at the Delaware State Fair in July.
4-H CLub Leaders will enter their Teams under their 4-H Club name using the online entry system found on the Delaware State Fair's Exhibitor page.
Detailed information to prepare for the contest is available at State 4-H Consumer Bowl Guide.
Normally held in early April at the Delaware State Fairgrounds, the Spring Dairy Show is open to youth and adult exhibitors from the Delmarva Peninsula. This event gives youth an opportunity to get early experience exhibiting their project animal(s). Entries are typically due in March.
In a 4-H Demonstration Contest or Illustrated Talks, 4-H youth members demonstrate individually or with another member as a team entry. A topic is chosen from a 4-H project. Props and visual aids are required, as well as handmade posters or presentations using software. A successful demonstration will show the audience and judges several steps in a process, such preparing a cooked dish, grooming an animal, etc. Demonstrations are followed by a question and answer period with the judges where the contestant(s) can cite further resources or expertise.
Demonstration resources are listed below:
- Demonstration Guidelines and Rules with Scoresheet
- Helpful Hints for 4-H Demonstrations
- County Demonstration Winners
Delaware 4-H Equine Art Contest
The annual Equine Art Contest provides 4-H Youth an outlet to express their creative talents each spring. Entries must include the image of a horse or horses, ponies, donkeys or mules.
Farm Tractor Driving Contest
The Farm Tractor Driving Contest is designed to give 4-H members the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of tractor maintenance and skill in operation, and compete with other 4-Hers; a written test, tools/tractor parts ID, two-wheeled manure spreader, and a four-wheeled trailer event. Safety will be stressed throughout the contest.
- Delaware FFA Safe Tractor Equipment Operating Information
- Farm Tractor Parts Identification
Lawn Tractor Contest
This event is designed to give 4-H members an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the areas of lawn care, business management, and lawn and garden tractor (less than 20 Hp) operation, maintenance and safety while competing with other 4-Hers. Safety is stressed throughout the contest.
The 4-H Favorite Foods contest is a contest open to all 4-H members currently taking any foods, bread, food preservation or Exploring 4-H project. The reasons for holding this activity are:
- Increase knowledge of the importance of good nutrition and create an interest in improving food standards.
- Help 4-H club members improve skills in food preparation and display.
- Encourage originality, creativity, initiative and poise in the 4-H member.
- Develop wholesome attitude, character and personality traits. Member prepares dish at home and brings it and a place setting to the contest site.
Age divisions include
- Cloverbud: Ages 5-7 (note special requirements)
- Junior: Ages 11-13
- Beginner: Ages 8-10
- Senior: Ages 14-19
2022 Delaware 4-H Hippology Contest
The annual 4-H Hippology Contest's objectives are:
- To provide youth with the opportunity to blend the knowledge and skills acquired in horse judging, horse bowl, demonstrations and public speaking, showing and practical horse experience into one activity.
- To encourage youth to continue expanding their understanding, knowledge and participation in equine science.
- To recognize youth for their total involvement in and comprehensive knowledge of the horse industry.
- To teach good sportsmanship through a friendly and competitive environment.
The annual 4-H Horse Bowl Contest encourages youth to work in teams to demonstrate their equine knowledge about all aspects of horsemanship, including but not limited to healthcare, nutrition, tack, equipment and ownership responsibilities. Teams are comprised of 2 to 4 youth that compete in a double elimination quiz-show style format. Team entry age is based on the age of the oldest participant in the group.
Annual Delaware 4-H Horse Show
Quillen Covered Arena
Delaware State Fairgrounds
US Route 13, Harrington, DE
Judging Contests are designed to support the learning that is taking place in a project area. 4-H members learn to compare and become familiar with project equipment and terminology. Judging teaches critical thinking and decision-making skills. These skills are valuable to young people as well as adults as they must make decisions every day. Youth who excel in county contests may advance to compete at the Delaware State Fair.
- Textiles and Clothing Judging Leader's Guide
- Dairy Judging Leaders’ Guide
- Horse Judging Leaders' Guide
- Livestock Judging Leaders' Guide
- Poultry Judging Leaders' Guide
- Wood Science Judging Leaders' Guide
- Foods and Nutrition Judging Leaders' Guide
- Horticulture Judging Leaders' Guide
- Photography Judging Leaders' Guide
- Wildlife Habitat Judging Leaders' Guide
Resources for Judging Contests
Art & Conservation Statement Competition: Junior Duck Stamp Program
What is the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program?
“The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is a dynamic art- and science-based curriculum that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program encourages students to explore their natural world, invites them to investigate biology and wildlife management principles and challenges them to express and share what they have learned with others.” – USFWS JDSP Website
Youth participate in an artwork competition featuring a JDSP-approved waterfowl species. The winning artwork from the national art contest will serve as the design for the Junior Duck Stamp!
Drop off and Pick up Instructions
- Any entry can be mailed to the State 4-H Office prior to the deadline date. Entries will be returned to participants in padded mailers labeled “fragile” via USPS first-class mail.
- Arrangements can also be made with the State 4-H office for “drop off” or “pick up” of entries. This will give anyone the opportunity to avoid taking a chance with their artwork being sent via USPS. Email email@example.com for details.
Delaware 4‐H Legislative Day promotes Delaware 4‐H. It is an educational opportunity to learn about Delaware’s government and an opportunity to express appreciation to our legislators for their continued support of 4‐H.
(Check or Cash Only)
Youth will participate in various workshops, such as:
- Legislative Hall Session with Legislator
- Public Archives Workshop
- Tour of Legislative Hall
- Superior Court Workshop
- A Balancing Act: Delaware and the Constitution
- “Stories of the Green” Walking Tour
In an effort to promote litter awareness and the work of the 4-H program, all clubs are encouraged to design and paint a litter barrel to place out in their community. Each participating club should complete a county entry form. So get your brushes out artists, and work with your other 4-H club members to design a barrel with a creative theme to promote litter awareness for the month of May.
The National 4-H Dairy Conference provides an educational program for better understanding of the operations involved in the production, processing, marketing, and use of dairy products for educational and career development.
4-H Public Speaking contests begin at the county level. 4-H members select a topic, research facts, and present timed speeches, graduated in length as required by their age division. 4-H contestants are judged on a variety of criteria. The contestant with the highest score in each age category advances to the state-level contest held during the Delaware State Fair in July.
Public Speaking resources are listed below:
- Delaware 4-H Public Speaking – General Rules
- Delaware 4-H Public Speaking Score Sheets by Age Division:
- Public Speaking Worksheet (A planning guide)
4-H Public Speaking Examples
4-H Public Speaking Examples: youtube.com/watch?v=pPHsAlLQklw
The Rate of Gain contest awards the 4-H and FFA members whose market animals had the best average pounds per day gained from weigh-in at tagging in May until weigh-in at the Delaware State Fair. This event is open to all enrolled traditional age Delaware 4-H or Future Farmers of America (FFA) members. The 4-H and FFA Rate of Gain Educational Contest is sponsored by the Delaware Farm Bureau.
The State 4-H Talent Show is held during the Delaware State Fair.
Selection of acts will be made on a first-come, first-served basis based upon when an entry is submitted. Shortly after the June 1st entry deadline, you will receive a confirmation email and a talent details form that needs to be completed and returned.
Presentations will be by both Individuals and Groups. 4-H members may only participate in ONE OF THESE CATEGORIES, NOT BOTH.
For GROUP acts, register under the 4-H Club name.
For INDIVIDUAL presentations, there will be two age categories. Age is determined as of January 1 of the current year.
- Beginner (ages 8-12 years old)
- Senior (ages 13-19 years old)
Cloverbud members are permitted to participate but cannot compete. Green participation ribbons will be awarded to all Cloverbud members.
All talent show acts will be limited to a 2-minute maximum set-up time. Talent acts must not exceed 5 minutes.
All equipment needed for the talent presentation is the responsibility of the performer.
Delaware Youth Dairy Futurity
All Breed Summer Calves
Co-Chairs: John Hickey & Charmayne Busker
To participate in the Futurity for Summer Calves, a calf must be nominated by May 1. All calves, born June 1 to August 31 of the prior year inclusive, of any dairy breed are eligible to enter the Delaware Youth Dairy Futurity. Calves MUST be exhibited by a Delaware State Fair Junior Dairy Exhibitor. Leased animals are eligible and an exhibitor must be named on the last entry on May 1.
- John Hickey: firstname.lastname@example.org — 410-708-3054
- Charmayne Busker: email@example.com — 302-398-4764
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) is a national quality assurance education and certification program. The program focuses on animal well being, proper medication and drug use, recordkeeping and life skill development related to livestock projects. This certification is required on an annual basis in order to enter and exhibit a market goat, market hog, market lamb and a market steer at the Delaware State Fair.
The Delaware State Fair is a terrific opportunity to showcase all you have done in the 4-H program.