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University of Illinois Extension

Four New Members Named to Board of Illinois 4-H Foundation

September 24, 2013

Four new members have been named to the Illinois 4-H Foundation board. Jerry Hicks and Karl Barnhart, both from Sangamon County, Jessie Crews of Clark County, and Sharon Tenhouse of Adams County have each been appointed to a three-year term.

Jerry Hicks is co-owner of Agrivest, Inc., in Springfield. He grew up in Lee County where he was a member of 4-H for 10 years. He earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science from the University of Illinois, was an agricultural 4-H advisor with the Extension service, and later served as a regional livestock specialist. Jerry was a 4-H leader for 23 years and has received the Illinois Friend of 4-H award. Jerry and his wife Jill (also a U of I alumna) have three children who were all 10-year members of 4-H as well.

"From my first 4-H project, I learned to organize my thoughts and make a presentation," said Jerry. "This is a life skill I am still using today."

Karl Barnhart is the chief marketing officer of BRANDT in Springfield. Karl grew up on a family farm in western Pennsylvania, then lived and worked in New York City for 21 years. After moving to Illinois to work at BRANDT, Karl said he chose to serve on the foundation board in order to give back to the agriculture industry and the communities that BRANDT serves.

"Though it is rooted firmly in American agriculture, 4-H is so much more than showing livestock for farm kids," said Karl. "It's enduring life lessons. It's positive values. And it's having the confidence to succeed no matter what life throws at you. I'm proud to be a small part of such a positive, life-changing organization."

Jessie Crews has provided leadership to 4-H members, volunteers, and local 4-H programs for more than 25 years. She currently works as the youth development educator in Clark, Crawford, and Edgar counties. Jessie has served as chairperson of the Illinois 4-H youth development team and president of the Illinois Extension Professionals for Youth Education, and she was given the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

"As an Illinois youth development educator, I'm excited to serve on the board and be a liaison between 4-H staff and the board members who graciously give of their expertise to the 4-H program," said Jessie. "Great things are happening in the Illinois 4-H program, and I am happy to be a part of it."

Sharon Tenhouse is a retired teacher who served in the public schools for 34 years, teaching elementary, pre-kindergarten and pre-kindergarten special education students. Sharon earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Illinois, and is a 4-H House alumna. She has been a 4-H leader and Extension volunteer for 40 years, and was honored as a member of the 2013 Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame.

Sharon hopes to continue to expand 4-H opportunities in Illinois, saying, "My experiences as a 4-H member helped develop my communication and leadership skills and a strong sense of responsibility to my community."

The Illinois 4-H Foundation, chartered in 1954, provides grants to 4-H clubs throughout the state and to county 4-H programs. It funds delegates who represent Illinois at national conferences and supports the state 4-H judging teams that earn the right to compete nationally. It provides registration subsidies so 4-H members with limited resources can attend camps and leadership conferences. The foundation's scholarship program offers merit-based scholarships to Illinois 4-H'ers as they pursue a college education. For more information about the foundation or to make a gift to the foundation, visit www.4hfoundation.illinois.edu.

For more information about the Illinois 4-H Foundation, contact Angie Barnard at (217) 333-0333 or by emailing abarnard@illinois.edu.


Leanne Lucas

College of ACES

332Q Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building

Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

1304 W. Pennsylvania Ave.

Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-2862

Source: Leanne Lucas, Academic Hourly, llucas@illinois.edu

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