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Distinguished Alumni Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the outstanding leadership and contributions of 4-H alumni to our communities, country, and world.


Nominations for the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award are now open. For more information, please read the award overview.

Selection Criteria

The award recipient will be selected by a panel of reviewers based on these criteria:

  • Demonstrated leadership and contributions to their field and the world.
  • Being an outstanding role model of 4-H values (critical thinking, service, loyalty, and healthy living) and support for future generations.
  • Experience as a 4-H youth member. The nominee does not currently need to be involved with 4-H.

2021 Recipient

A true embodiment of the 4-H mission and values, Sage Watson is being recognized for the positive change she effects in the world as an elite athlete, mentor, philanthropist, and changemaker.

Watson, a two-time Olympian, credits her agricultural background for her work ethic and fierce determination. She says growing up on a cattle ranch in southern Alberta taught her how to work hard toward her goals. As a youth, she joined her local 4-H beef club, and went on to become a District Grand Champion for her steer. Watson was also a finalist in several regional public speaking finals, chaired a variety of committees, and was elected to her club’s executive. She attributes her confidence in speaking at schools and events, and interacting with the media, to her time in 4-H.

From rural Alberta to the world stage, Watson is one of Canada’s most beloved track and field athletes, easily recognized by the trademark red lipstick she wears in competition. An NCAA Champion, one of her proudest accomplishments is balancing athletics and academics at the University of Arizona, where she graduated at the top of her class with a degree in Business Marketing.

Read the award announcement.

Past Recipients

The Honourable Lyle Vanclief, 2020

The Hon. Lyle Vanclief

The Honourable Lyle Vanclief was presented with the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2021 4-H Leadership Awards held virtually on Feb. 22, 2021. Read the award announcement.

Gord Bamford, 2019

Gord Bamford

Gord Bamford was presented with the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2020 4-H Leadership Awards in Ottawa, ON on Feb. 10, 2020. Read the award announcement.

Elaine Froese, 2018

Elaine Froese received the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award

Elaine Froese was presented the first-ever Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2019 4-H Leadership Awards in Saskatoon, SK on Jan. 31, 2019. Read the award announcement.


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