Contests and Events

A collage of 4-H events from summer camp and cow camp to archery contests and public speaking.

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!

County Contests

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:

 

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:

  1. Increase knowledge of the importance of good nutrition and create an interest in improving food standards.
  2. Help 4-H club members improve skills in food preparation and display.
  3. Encourage originality, creativity, initiative and poise in the 4-H member.
  4. 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

 

Resources

 

Results

See all the winners!

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.

 

Judging Guides

 

Resources for Judging Contests

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.

Contest Results

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:

 

View Public Speaking Results

Window Display


Clubs throughout the state work together to design and coordinate window displays to be put out in the community during National 4-H Week in an effort to promote 4-H and recruit new members.  The top three window displays from county competitions are invited to bring their displays to the Delaware State Fair.
 

 

Window Display - County Results

Statewide Contests

Our Archery program is under revision and I'll have more content in the future.


Archery is a popular shooting sport for 4-H Club Members. Statewide events are held throughout the year. 

Clothing Showcase

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.

 

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 the deadline. 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.

Clothing Showcase Training Session

A video of the 2020 Clothing Showcase Training Session: youtube.com/watch?v=GUw7eRaeokE

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.  

General Information:

Delaware 4-H Hippology Contest

 

Delaware 4-H Hippology Contest Preparation

 

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.
     

4-H Hippology Contest Results

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.

Winners Gallery

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! 

 

View the Contest Rules >

 


Drop off and Pick up Instructions
 

Entries must be submitted on or before March 15, 2024.
 

  • Any entry can be mailed to the State 4-H Office (113 Townsend Hall, 531 S. College Avenue, Newark, DE) 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 de4h@udel.edu for details.

 

More info

 

Questions?


Twila Parish-Short, MEd.
4-H Youth Development Agent (Science)
UD Cooperative Extension
twila@udel.edu
302-730-4000

Lifesmarts provides real-world education for students who learn about core consumer topics and develop critical thinking skills.  LifeSmarts aims to create consumer-savvy young people who will be well-equipped for adult life in today’s complex, global marketplace.  Participants focus on five key topic areas:

  • Consumer Rights and Responsibilities 
  • The Environment 
  • Health and Safety 
  • Personal Finance 
  • Technology

To learn more about this contest for high school and middle school students see the Delaware 4-H LifeSmarts Contest Information.

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.

 

Files:

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.

 

Complete Program Details and Entry Form

 

Questions?

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. 

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA)
Certification Information

Animal Science Contests

The Clover Quest Trail Challenge

Ride/Drive the First State with Delaware 4-H Horse Program

 

General Information and Eligibility:

  1. 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.

  2. If you register after the challenge begins, you may only accumulate hours/miles from that date forward, back hours/miles will not be accepted.


Divisions:

  • 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 one 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.

 

Hours/Mileage:

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:

 

Recognition:

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.

 

To Enter: 

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 by the deadline.

 

Submitting Mileage:

Submit mileage/time logs to Susan Garey truehart@udel.edu

Mileage deadlines: Individuals will report their hours and miles using the provided log form by the deadline. 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

  • My Tracks-Google

  • Horse Trail

  • Equi-Trail

  • 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!

Go Ride!

Documents
 

Dairy Expo

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.

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.  

General Information:

Delaware 4-H Hippology Contest

 

Delaware 4-H Hippology Contest Preparation

 

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.
     

4-H Hippology Contest Results

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   

 

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. ​

More information:

 

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.

 

Files:

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.

 

Complete Program Details and Entry Form

 

Questions?

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. 

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA)
Certification Information

Delaware State Fair and 4-H Logo together

The Delaware State Fair is a terrific opportunity to showcase all you have done in the 4-H program.

Learn more

Upcoming events

4-H information by county