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University of Illinois Extension

Win an iPad when you learn about 4-H

August 5, 2014

Four lucky fair visitors will win an iPad, courtesy of Illinois 4-H. The contest is open to youth from 8 to 18 years of age who visit the four locations on the fairgrounds where 4-H members are exhibiting their 4-H projects.

More than 4,000 4-H members will exhibit the efforts of their year-long project study during the Illinois State Fair. The exhibits range from welding and robotics to photography and cows. The aim of the contest is to showcase the work of the 4-H members to the public by having them visit the four areas where they can see that project work first hand.

“4-H is building a better world by developing the talents of youth,” said Denise Oberle, assistant dean and director of Illinois 4-H youth development.  “4-H is producing exceptional leaders, innovative engineers, civic contributors and so many other keys elements of a productive society.

“These youth are solving today’s problems to improve their world,” Oberle said.

To illustrate that work, the 20 windows of the Illinois Building are devoted to highlighting the work of Illinois 4-H members. The window displays are the first leg on the 4-H adventure at the Illinois State Fair.

In Happy Hollow, large 4-H tents house the natural resources, crops, welding and woodworking projects from 4-H members across the state. While there, youth can learn to be nature detectives as they explore the natural world, said Bill Million, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development specialist. Part of the 4-H adventure has youth looking for clues hidden in the water park.

Next on the 4-H adventure is the Exposition Building where nearly 2,500 exhibits will be displayed. Projects include clothing, visual arts, citizenship, leadership, photography, and more than 40 other project areas, including robotics which will be showcased in the contest. At this stop in the contest, youth and their families will see live demonstrations of robotics, designed and programmed entirely by 4-H members.

The fourth stop is located outside the 4-H beef show arena near the 4-H food stand. Every five minutes, current 4-H members will take fairgoers on a short tour of the 4-H livestock barns where they’ll see cattle, goats, sheep and swine animals. More than 1,500 youth will exhibit livestock throughout the state fair.

One may complete the entry form and deposit it at any of the 4-H stops. 4-H volunteers will be on hand from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all four locations. The contest runs four days, Aug. 8 through Aug. 11. Each day, one winner will be drawn to win an iPad.

The contest is part of a year-long campaign to tell the public what 4-H is about. Though the early years of this 100-year organization dealt strictly with rural agricultural production and home economics, today’s 4-H world appeals to a broad range of settings, interests and abilities. Youth in metro areas of the state have the same opportunity as rural youth to join a 4-H club and be a 4-H member.

“We want people to say, ‘Oh, so that’s 4-H’ as they explore all that 4-H has to offer,” said Judy Mae Bingman, media communications specialist for Illinois 4-H. “We hope that when families see all the things 4-H has to offer today’s youth, they’ll want the same for their children.

“4-H is a place where youth belong and are part of a club with other youth who cooperatively decide the things they’ll do, where they’re encouraged to help others in their communities and where they learn more about the things which interest them,” Bingman said.

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