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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 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award close on Nov. 17, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET. 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.

2020 Award Recipient

The Honourable Lyle Vanclief, Ontario

The Hon. Lyle VancliefSince the age of 12, Mr. Vanclief has embodied 4-H’s values, dedicating himself to hands-on learning as a 4-H member, and then 4-H club leader, as well as in his service to various organizations in his community of Prince Edward County, Ontario. His leadership in the agriculture sector, in crop sciences and as a farmer, led him to a career as an elected official, serving as a Member of Parliament for Prince Edward-Hastings from 1988 to 2004. During this time, Mr. Vanclief notably held the role of Minister of Agriculture from 1997 to 2003.

In their tireless commitment to upholding 4-H youth leadership, Mr. Vanclief and his wife, Sharon, established the Canadian 4-H Foundation’s Lyle and Sharon Vanclief Leadership Endowment Fund, which supports the annual attendance of ten 4-H youth members to the US National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C.

As part of his distinguished career, Mr. Vanclief has also been named a Distinguished Agrologist by the Ontario Institute of Agrologists, a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, and was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2010.

Read the full award announcement

4-H Canada will present the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award at the 4-H Canada Leadership Awards on February 22, 2021. The recipient will be recognized alongside other notable award recipients, including the L.E.A.D. Scholarship RecipientsNational Volunteer Leader of the Year, and Honourary Member.

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Past Recipients

Gord Bamford, Alberta - 2020

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, Manitoba - 2019

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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