University of Illinois Extension has evaluated the available information to provide guidance about events sponsored by Illinois Extension for the month of July. Because we can only make decisions based on conditions as they exist today and not based on projected conditions at a certain point in the future, we have decided to continue our focus on virtual events into July. This means that all events slated for July, including 4-H livestock and general shows, will be moved to a virtual format.

Our focus continues to be on managing the safety of event participants and the communities where these events take place. Our updated event policy follows guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the University of Illinois.

Here is some information that Illinois 4-H has gathered about how 4-H shows and exhibitions will be impacted by this plan.

  1. 4-H members WILL have an opportunity to exhibit their project work and finish their 4-H year. The state 4-H office has invested in an online system that will allow members to submit documentation, such as photos of their project, and provide an explanation about their work. This will serve as their exhibit. It works through the 4-H FairEntry program we’re already using.
  2. Information on exhibit requirements for the new online judging format, along with instructions for entering can be found in a forthcoming email from Shelby.
  3. Although this system doesn’t allow for in-person, real-time discussion, judges will provide vital learning feedback for exhibitors.
  4. We will continue our same award and recognition system, including the selection of state fair delegates. Should the state fair be canceled, the exhibits nominated will again be judged through the online system used for the virtual county exhibitions.
  5. After consultation with the national 4-H program, extension of 4-H membership eligibility will not be offered to members currently in their final year of eligibility. We encourage all our completion members to take advantage of the online system.
  6. Because of the planning time and resources involved in each of our 4-H events, we are not able to postpone and stack all events for a later time in the summer. It is also uncertain at this time when large group gatherings will be allowed and considered safe according to public health guidelines.

Training documents and other materials to help you showcase your 4-H projects in the FairEntry system this year will be provided. Please follow our check your e-mail and follow our Facebook page.

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