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Our Illinois 4-H Story

Illinois lawmakers applaud youth telling our 4-H story in Springfield

It's easy to tell friends and family about 4-H. Now, imagine you're a teenager and you're telling your story at the Illinois State Capitol.

This spring, 49 4-H members did just that. The youth were specifically trained, either through the Speaking for Illinois 4-H educational program or as members of the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team.

For four days, they visited all 178 offices of the members of the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois Senate, sharing their personal 4-H stories with many of the individual legislators. Three members, Cameron Jodlowski of Logan County, T'hara Galbreth of Sangamon County, and Maggi Maxstadt of Champaign County, also testified in front of the House of Representatives General Services Appropriation Committee.

Pam Weber, legislative liaison for Extension Partners, shared, "Cameron, T'hara and Maggi were outstanding. I think the entire committee was "speechless!" Chairman Crespo told them not to leave because he wanted his picture taken with them, and when they recessed, the entire membership of the committee flocked to meet them personally, have their photos taken and congratulate them on a job well done!"



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.