What is 4-H?

In 4-H, you learn by doing and you usually have a pretty great time while you're doing it! Want to know more about what your 4-H experience might look like?

  • Create and build things. Whether you're inspired by robots and drones or photography and recipe cards, our programs give you the tools and the opportunities to create, imagine, and build. 
  • Travel and see the world around you. In 4-H, you can travel across the state and around the world if that's what you're in to. Dream big and discover the world through our programs. 
  • Explore careers that interest you. In 4-H, career exploration is more than just reading about possible jobs, it involves rolling up your sleeves and trying it on for size. 
  • Make new friends. From clubs to camps to field trips, in 4-H you'll meet new people and experience new social and cultural events. It's pretty easy to form lasting friendships when they're based on shared interests and experiences. 
  • Teach and inspire kids. 4-H helps prepare youth for roles as leaders in their classrooms, communities, and future careers. We'll help you develop the skills you need to work with youth in your community and help them launch their own 4-H journey. 
  • Help others. A core aspect of 4-H is learning to serve with and for those around us. 4-H clubs create opportunities for members to find meaningful ways to impact the people and neighborhoods they live in. 
  • Meet cool people and earn cool prizes. Who wouldn't love the chance to meet and learn from some of the best athletes, actors, scientists, and artists in their fields? Our network of professional contacts is deep and wide - you never know who might show up at a 4-H event!

4-H is a place where you can find where you belong. It's where you decide what matters to you and learn about things that interest you. And, it's the place where you serve in the community where you live.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Interested in learning more about 4-H but not sure where to start? Complete this interest survey to find the 4-H group that's just right for you. If you're already a member, you'll find everything you're looking for in the links below.

County 4-H Programs


  1. Social distancing required, face coverings required indoors
  2. Gathering size limited to the lesser of 10 people indoors/25 people outdoors or 50% of space capacity
  3. All offices will be closed to the public except for prearranged appointments.

Updated November 2, 2020

There are complete guidelines on the Club Leaders page about in person events.

Updated August 31, 2020


All County Virtual Show deadlines have passed.

Updated July 21, 2020


July 1 update about the status of August in-person activites:

Effective August 1, in-person events for groups of up to 10 people may resume, with group limits expanding up to 25 on August 16. All program participants and staff will be required to practice social distancing measures, including wearing a face covering. All 4-H general project and 4-H livestock shows and exhibitions scheduled through August 31 will move online to FairEntry. All overnight camps are also canceled through the end of August.

Updated July 1, 2020

For virtual show information, please visit our Virtual Show page. You will find directions, requirements and helpful tips there.


All 4-H Shows in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties are being held virtually this summer. You can read the announcement from Illinois Extension here and the announcement sent to impacted 4-H families 4-H families here.

Updated 6/1/2020.

Livestock deadlines have shifted as follows:

  • YQCA and QAEC must be completed by June 10.
  • Nomination forms for the State Junior Show are due June 10. Signatures are NOT required.
  • Horse Papers for the State Junior Show are due June 20.
  • State fair entries must be made by July 15. Forms here.

Updated May 29, 2020.

Currently, Ford County 4-H Show, the Vermilion County 4-H Show, our unit Public Presentation Show, and the Champaign County Dog Show and Clothing & Textile Show are virtual. A decision will be made at the state level on June 1 for all events after July 5, which includes the Iroquois County Fair and all other Champaign County events.

Updated May 15, 2020.

All in-person events sponsored by Illinois Extension through July 5 have been cancelled or transitioned to an online delivery format. For programs scheduled for July 6 and after, an updated announcement will be provided if or when conditions change and as the governor and Illinois Department of Public Health provide new guidance. Decisions about events beyond July 6 will be publicly communicated by the first day of the month before.

  • May 4: events through July 5 canceled or transitioned to an online format
  • June 1: decision shared regarding July 6 –July 31 events
  • July 1: decision shared regarding August 1-15 events
  • July 15: decision shared regarding August 16-31 events
  • August 1: decision shared regarding September 1-30 events

All 4-H families should have received an email update from the State 4-H office on Monday, May 4.

This update directly impacts the Ford County 4-H Show, the Vermilion County 4-H Show, our unit Public Presentation/Food Demonstration Show, unit Tractor Driving Show, and the Champaign County Dog Show and Clothing/Textile Show.

Extension's updated event policy provides clarity for summer 4-H shows and exhibitions. All 4-H general projects and 4-H livestock shows and exhibitions scheduled through July 5 will move online to a virtual exhibition platform called FairEntry. Decisions about 4-H shows schedules for July 6-31 will be announced by June 1. This solution provides clarity for Extension staff, 4-H members, and volunteers that will allow them to move forward with plans for summer events, scheduled to begin in just over a month.

The FAQ sheet for families is available here.

The State 4-H event announcement is here and provides additional information about how the decision was reached and what a virtual fair will provide for our 4-H community.

Updated May 4, 2020.

Fair Entry will not be opening on May 1 due to a website update. State staff are updating and building a virtual show platform, SHOULD we need it. This is not official, and NO decision has been made about summer, they’re just trying to be proactive. We will email all families as soon as it is up and running and anticipate extending the deadline to make your entries. Updated April 30, 2020.

No new updates, April 27, 2020.

Read the press release from Extension about summer planning.

Read the email from State 4-H, sent on April 17, 2020. This contains the most recent information we have received.

Updated April 20, 2020.

Many Livestock deadlines have been changed. Please see the section below to find out if your project area has been impacted.

Updated April 1, 2020.

The Public Presentation and Food Demonstration Shows, originally scheduled for April 18, have been postponed, with a new tentative date of June 24.

Updated March 31, 2020.

All in-person activities are canceled through May 31 due to COVID-19.

Find local resources here. Find more from Extension across the state here.

Updated March 23, 2020.

All in-person activities are canceled through May 31 due to COVID-19.

Find local resources here. Find more from Extension across the state here.