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

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.


2023 Recipient

Jon Montgomery

Olympic Champion and renowned TV host of The Amazing Race Canada, Jon Montgomery is a proud second-generation 4-H’er. His involvement in the 4-H movement began in his hometown of Russell, MB, where he was a youth member of the Russell 4-H Beef Club for four years.

A proud alum, Jon has continued to live and breathe 4-H values throughout his career as an elite athlete, philanthropist, and national TV host. Jon embodies leadership skills, pride in his rural roots, drive to achieve world-class goals, and a ‘can-do’ attitude that parallels 4-H Canada’s ‘Learn To Do By Doing’ motto. These 4-H values have taken him far, including the top of the podium in the sport of skeleton at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. In 2013 he made his television debut on The Amazing Race Canada and remains the beloved host today.

A household name in Canada and around the world, Jon frequently uses his platforms as a motivational speaker on topics close to his heart, including leadership, teamwork, and healthy living. A strong advocate for agriculture, Jon has been a fixture at important ag-related events around the country, including Manitoba AgDays and the GrowCanada Conference.

In 2023, 4-H Canada was proud to have Jon host the virtual 2023 4-H Canada Leadership Awards, where he led the celebration of 4-H youth, leaders, and supporters around the country. In a subsequent interview with The Pledge, 4-H Canada’s alumni magazine, Jon stated, “Life is about teamwork and collaboration, and 4-H teaches that. When you’re working with other kids towards a common goal, you’re caring about the people around you – that’s what we need more of in this world.”

Jon is a true example of 4-H Canada’s mission to support youth as caring, contributing leaders within their club, community, and the world, and we are honoured to present him with the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Past Recipients


Ken Keis, Ph.D.


Ken Keis was presented with the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2023 4-H Leadership Awards held virtually on Feb. 28, 2023.


Sage Watson


Sage Watson was presented with the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2022 4-H Leadership Awards held virtually on Feb. 23, 2022.


The Honourable 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.


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.


Elaine Froese


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

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