Virginia Tech® home

4-H Competitions

4-H Competition Philosophy

4-H programming with youth is guided by an experiential learning process that includes goal setting, cognition, practice, and performance. The performance stage is when members demonstrate what they have learned through various 4-H activities and events, including competitions. Competition can be an individual event against a standard (Danish System), an individual event against peers (Standard System), or team vs. team competitions.

When planned and conducted appropriately, competition experiences enhance positive youth development and prepare youth with positive competitive knowledge, skills, attitudes, and aspirations that can lead to success through life.

Team competitions provide opportunities for youth to develop the interpersonal, leadership and cooperative skills necessary to be successful in the interdependent, global society of the 21st century.

Youth must be developmentally ready to handle competitions. Being recognized for performance in comparison to others can be a strong motivator for many older youth, but a deterrent to younger youth.

  • Contest Guide
  • Tip Sheet
  • Score Sheet
  • Presentation Categories
    • Animal Science- Dairy/Livestock/Poultry/Horse/Camelid/Domestic  Food or  Fiber Animal
    • Animal Science- Pets
    • Careers, Entrepreneurship & Economic Education
    • Citizenship and Leadership
    • Food Demonstration (includes food preparation)
    • Food Knowledge
    • Home, Family & Personal Management
    • Natural Resources & Environmental Education
    • Nutrition, Health, and/or Fitness
    • Outdoor Adventure,  Sports, & Recreation
    • Communications & Performing Arts
    • Plants, Soils & Entomology
    • Shooting Education
    • Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM Topics)
    • Visual, Creative & Constructive Arts