Projects, Contests & Activities

Horticulture Identification and Judging Contest

Rules and Regulations

General Information

The production, marketing, and buying of horticultural crops (fruits & nuts, vegetables & herbs, flowers & indoor plants, and trees & shrubs) requires a detailed knowledge of many subject matter disciplines. The horticulture contest is a training program that teaches individuals to recognize and judge the quality of some of the most important horticultural crops produced and/or consumed in North America. Participants must also be able to answer questions and solve problems on horticultural subjects.

Who Can Participate

15-22 years old and divided into seven (7) divisions.

  1. 4-H Team (ages 15-20) - 3 or 4 individuals
  2. FFA team(s) (ages 15-20) - 3 or 4 individuals
  3. Open Team(s) (ages 15-18) - 3 or 4 individuals
  4. Open Team(s) (ages 19-22) - 3 or 4 individuals
  5. Open Individual (ages 15-18)
  6. Open Individual (ages 19-22)
  7. Honors -- Reserved for individuals who have placed first in a previous Horticulture Contest in any division either as an individual or as a team member.

Project Requirements

The horticulture contest consists of three sections (judging - 80 points, identification - 200 points (250 points for Honors division), and information - 160 points). A list of items for identification, judging, and subject matter for the written test is available in a manual (NJHA HORTICULTURE CONTEST STUDY MANUAL, 2002 edition)and compact disk (CD) available from the NJHA executive secretary. Your state leader may already have copies of this manual.

Special 4-H Rules

  1. Teams of three or four members must compete (no individuals without a team)
  2. Only one 4-H team per state is allowed.
  3. Individuals who have competed in any division of this contest are ineligible to compete in the
    4-H division.
  4. College students who have completed two or more terms or semesters of college; or who have competed in collegiate events of a similar nature or similar subject matter are not eligible to compete in the 4-H division.


Plaques will be presented (if scores are of a sufficient level) as follows:

  1. 4-H Team -- Each member of the top five (5) teams and top 10 individuals.
  2. FFA Team(s) -- Each member of the top five (5) teams and top 10 individuals.
  3. Open Team (15-18) -- Each member of the top five (5) teams and top 10 individuals.
  4. Open Team (19-22) -- Each member of the top five (5) teams and top 10 individuals.
  5. Individual (age 15-18) -- Top 10 individuals.
  6. Individual (age 19-22) -- Top 10 individuals.
  7. Honors -- Top 10 individuals.

Entry Deadline

10:00 p.m. on the opening day of the convention. Entry dates and selection procedures vary from state to state.

For additional information, consult the project chairperson: Greg Stack, 5527 Miller Circle Drive, Matteson, Illinois 60443 Phone: (708) 448-7215. E-mail:

Horticulture Identification and Juding Contest Contents