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Our Illinois 4-H Story

4-H friends are life-long friends; tell us how you met your best friend through 4-H

"I hear that train a-comin," and it's being led by a group of former 4-H members who found each other on the University of Illinois campus years after spending a summer together as 4-H counselors.

David and Daniel Fulton, twin sons of U of I Extension staff Sherry and John Fulton, first met Grady and Kelly Ryan, another set of twin 4-H members from Dewitt County, at 4-H Memorial Camp in Monticello.

Once the Fulton twins started college at U of I, they created a student group, "The Pickin' Illini," devoted to folk and bluegrass music. That's when the Ryan boys showed back up in the Fultons' lives.

"Once again, 4-H started this whole wonderful thing," said Sherry Fulton. Read more about their story.

4-H friendships are everywhere and treasured more with each passing year. We'd like to hear your story of the people you found through 4-H. Send your stories to We'll add them to our "That's 4-H" campaign and share them with others.


Judy Mae Bingman, University of Illinois Extension Marketing and Communications Manager

Judy uses powerful words and photography to tell the Extension story. She is a skilled communication strategist and storyteller with demonstrated success in building teams and creating strong organizational brand identities that deepen Extension’s impact among key audiences, build brand loyalty, strengthen employee talent, and expand public engagement. She is a frequent conference presenter at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference and helps Extension staff across the nation tell compelling stories.