National 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer Recognition


Tennessee 4-H Foundation Volunteer Fund (State) and National 4-H Council (U.S. Regional and National Sponsor)


The purpose of this award is to recognize two outstanding 4-H volunteers, annually. Two volunteers from Tennessee are selected (2 categories:  Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Volunteer of the Year).  These selected volunteers’ applications will then be forwarded for regional and national consideration.  One volunteer will be selected from each Cooperative Extension Region (Northeast, South, North Central, West) in each of the two categories (8 total). Each region will have its own Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Volunteer of the Year. The eight regional honorees become nominees for the national award, and one candidate in each category will be named the national Honoree.


  1. The Volunteer of the Year Award (VOY) is for currently serving 4-H volunteers who have served as 4-H volunteers less than 10 years at the local, county, district or state level.
  2. The Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award (OLV) is for current or former 4-H volunteers who have served 10 or more years at the local, county, district or state level.


  1. Nomination Packets must be submitted by a County Extension Agent to Daniel Sarver, 4-H Extension Volunteer Specialist (
  2. A completed nomination will consist of a nomination resume of the applicant’s 4- H and relevant community volunteer experiences and three (3) letters of recommendation.  A packet missing any of the four components (resume and 3 letters of recommendation) will be eliminated.
  3. Letters of recommendation should be no longer than 2 pages in length, in 12-point font with 1-inch margins. Letters of Recommendation should be written by individuals who can best describe the nominee’s qualifications for the award such as a 4-H youth participant, another volunteer, etc.


  1. Each County 4-H program may select nominees for each category (VOY & OLV), and submit it for state award consideration.
  2. Applications should follow the “Application Template.”
  3. A Selection Committee will select two state winners, one for each category (VOY & OLV).
  4. The state winners will be recognized at Tennessee 4-H Congress and will receive a plaque.
  5. Regional and National winners will be announced by National 4-H Council.
  6. Council will send each regional Honoree a personalized plaque and donate $200 in the Honoree’s name to a local 4-H Program of the Honoree’s choosing.
  7. National Honorees will receive a plaque or similar symbol representative of their achievement. Additionally, Council will donate $1,000 in the Honoree’s name to a local 4-H program of their choosing.
  8. Awardees should be prepared to provide information in subsequent years regarding the impact of their awards on their community.