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Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction (L.E.A.D.)

L.E.A.D. – Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction – recognize outstanding 4-H’ers who show 4-H values in the way they live their lives. The awards honour youth who have become exceptional leaders through their 4-H experience, and who share the best of themselves with their community.

Four L.E.A.D. recipients are selected each year, one for each of 4-H Canada’s Leadership Development pillars.

Each L.E.A.D. recipient receives:

  • A $20,000 scholarship for higher education ($5,000 annually for up to four years)
  • An all-expenses-paid trip to attend the 4-H Leadership Awards
  • Ongoing mentorship from an expert in their field of study
  • The opportunity to be a 4-H L.E.A.D. spokesperson

L.E.A.D. scholarship applications open March 1, 2021.

Applications for this scholarship closed May 31. Recipients will be announced October 2020.

Read the application guidelines for this scholarship.

Meet the 2019 L.E.A.D. Recipients

News release: 4-H Canada Announces Four Recipients of Prestigious L.E.A.D. Scholarship

I have been involved with 4-H since before I was even a member. My mom would often haul me along to meetings that she led, so 4-H has always been a part of my life. I have been involved with many projects including Light Horse, Beef, Mounted Shooting, Veterinary Sciences, Young Horse, and Junior Leader. During my years in 4-H, I have taken on many executive positions in my club ranging from Reporter, to Vice President, and President. At the District level, I have served as a Reporter to the newspaper; and at the Provincial level, I have served as an Advisory Council Member, helping connect the members' views to the board.

Through 4-H, I have seized many opportunities to travel across the country, and most recently, the world. I have attended the Citizenship Congress trip in Ottawa twice, I have travelled to Truro, Nova Scotia to compete in the 4-H Canada Science Fair, to Hastings, Ontario on a Club to Club Exchange, and recently to the United Kingdom through the Going Global Exchange program. All these trips have been amazing and have allowed me to learn about 4-H all over the country and world.

Hello, I’m Josiah Lodewyk from Lincoln County, Ontario. I have been involved in 4-H from the age of 10, have completed multiple clubs, and shown projects in competitive show-rings including The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. I have also held the leadership roles of Vice President and President of 4-H clubs during my years of involvement.

Through my years in 4-H, I have had the opportunity to nurture my interest in agriculture and gain applicable knowledge and experience in this field. My developing fascination with agriculture led me to launch two agricultural businesses in my high school years.

In 2015, I launched and operated a small business called Tasty Turkeys where I raised and sold alternatively grown organic Thanksgiving turkeys. In order to utilize sustainable grazing techniques and improve efficiency, I constructed a moveable turkey shelter and a gravity-fed feeding and watering system. In the fall of 2016, I also operated an organic garlic business for two years and supplied the public with local, organic garlic.

Due to the absence of electricity and running water on the farm where I operated my businesses, I was given the opportunity to discover and utilize my passion for innovation and problem solving, which played a large role in my career choice.

This fall, I will be attending the University of Waterloo where I am enrolled in the Systems Design Engineering co-op program. I look forward to continued discovery and innovation in my future studies.

Hi! I’m Riley Callahan from Carleton County in northwestern New Brunswick, and I have been a member of the River Valley 4-H Club for ten years. I have been honoured to attend multiple district, provincial and national 4-H events, and I look forward to enjoying more 4-H opportunities.

I have played multiple sports throughout my life and have participated in many other extracurricular activities. I have been an active volunteer in my village by coaching soccer and helping at many local events. I strive to create positive youth development in my community by helping youth stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I have an avid interest in environment, science and agriculture. My future goal is to tackle environmental issues that prevent the less fortunate from having a healthy lifestyle, through my education and experiences.

I will be attending the University of New Brunswick in the Faculty of Civil Engineering with a specialization in Water and Environmental Engineering.

Hello, my name is Courtney Taylor. I grew up on a commercial cow-calf operation near Warner,

Alberta. Growing up with cattle, horses, sheep and the odd pig, I have always been very passionate about the agricultural industry and livestock in particular. At age nine I joined two 4-H clubs, Warner Beef, and Wild N’ Wooly, to exhibit sheep and beef. After four years of sheep and beef, I switched my focus to beef and dairy. I became a member of the Green Acres Dairy 4-H club for three years and rounded out my 4-H career with nine years of beef.

I have been very active in 4-H and by extension, my local community, through our club events. I carried forward this spirit of volunteerism with me to Raymond, where I attended high school and volunteered at the local hospital, mainly in long-term care. Volunteering has allowed me to interact with many different people that I have learned so much from.

This fall, I will be attending the University of Saskatchewan for a Diploma of Agribusiness with the goal of returning to our family ranch and improving our operation through the implementation of new ideas and technologies that I learn about while in school. While attending university, I hope to be active in some of the university’s agricultural clubs and volunteer within Saskatoon.

Past L.E.A.D. Recipients

2018 L.E.A.D. recipients
2017 L.E.A.D. recipients
2016 L.E.A.D. recipients
2015 L.E.A.D. recipients

The L.E.A.D. scholarships are made possible thanks to the generous support of CN