News Spotlight
Tri-color background with Four Seasons Gardening text

Explore outdoor, backyard hobbies with spring webinar series

URBANA, Ill. — In a few short months, spring will be sprung. Kick it off by discovering a new outdoor hobby or backyard project to add to the to-do list through Four Seasons Gardening webinars beginning March 19.

University of Illinois Extension horticulture experts will share tips for…

A person standing near a farm field, holding their elbow like it is sore.

AgrAbility strives to help farmers take charge of their health with webinar series

URBANA, Ill. — Experiencing symptoms from chronic pain is a daily occurrence for many. Symptoms such as fatigue, sleeplessness, stress, and fear are often side effects of chronic pain and can be difficult to manage each day. For farmers and farm families, these symptoms can slow progress on and…

Text "Rain Garden Rumble" with illustrations of native plants

Root for your favorite native plant in Rain Garden Rumble playoff

URBANA, Ill. — It’s plant versus plant in the return of the Rain Garden Rumble that pits native flowers against each other in a friendly competition to take home the 2024 title. This March, get to know 28 plants native to Illinois by building a bracket and voting for your favorites in the annual…

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Canned pickles
5% acidity vinegar is key to safe canning
URBANA, Ill. — There’s a long list of home canned foods that use vinegar as an ingredient, including salsa, pickled vegetables, barbeque sauce, and preserved fruits like apple butter and cantaloupe pickles, as well as canned tomatoes as an acidifier. The vinegar increases acidity, thus lowering...
Growing cucumber on vine in the garden.
Want more from your garden? Plant a fall crop of cucumbers
URBANA, Ill. — It’s the middle of summer, and you are looking for a new home project. Did you know it is not too late to plant some vegetable plants? With proper care, many vegetables are easy to grow in a sunny location in your backyard or a container garden on a patio. Take the challenge and...
An Indiana Bat with a metal band on its wing
Illinois landowners can support bats with backyard trees, forests
URBANA, Ill. — Fluttering overhead at night, quiet except for their squeaks, bats can be easily overlooked, but these small mammals play a big role in the ecosystem. Bats are also at risk. Illinois is home to 13 species of bats, and more than half of them are listed as endangered, threatened by...
emmit shows orienteering skills
Youth champions named in 2023 4-H Outdoor Skills Challenge
Urbana, Ill. - The 2023 4-H Outdoor Skills Challenge took youth into the great outdoors as they showcased their expertise and engaged in outdoor adventures throughout the spring and summer. The curriculum-based challenge invited young nature enthusiasts to immerse themselves in nature,...
Two raised bed gardens on top of asphalt lot.
Elevate your expectations with raised bed gardening
URBANA, Ill. — Whether for convenience or accessibility, raised beds are a popular option for growing fruits, vegetables, or ornamental plants. Raised bed structures elevate the soil, and with it comes a variety of advantages for growing plants.  Using raised beds may allow gardening in...
A variety of pollinator-friendly perennial flowers of various colors, sizes, and shapes.
Care for perennial gardens with 3 proven pruning methods
URBANA, Ill. — Pruning perennial flowers takes a garden from looking fair to well-kept. Deadheading, cutting back, and pinching are all pruning techniques that can keep perennial plants looking well cared for and healthy.  Pruning perennials is a complex topic because different plants...
three horses with a purple overlay
Youth demonstrate expert equine knowledge in hippology contest
Urbana, Ill. – In 4-H, learning about horses means much more than learning to ride. Young people with a passion for horses participated in recent statewide educational contests related to the equine industry. 4-H’s educational programs enhance members’ knowledge of horse health, breed...
horse looking on field
Youth test their knowledge of horse health and more in state contest
Urbana, Ill. -- In 4-H, learning about horses means much more than learning to ride. Young people with a passion for horses participated in recent statewide educational contests related to the equine industry. University of Illinois Extension’s 4-H educational programs enhance members’ knowledge...
senior and junior winners pose with banners
Livestock judging helps youth develop areas of expertise
Urbana, Ill. -- Illinois 4-H members headed to the showring for the 2023 State Livestock Judging Contest held at the University of Illinois campus. Instead of leading animals, these young members were acting as judge, evaluating groupings of cattle, hogs, and sheep against a standard for breed...
Silhouette of a woman and a horse
Youth gain persuasive speaking skills in equine contest
Urbana, Ill. – The Illinois 4-H Horse Speaking contest helps youth gain self-confidence, courage and persuasiveness; share ideas with others; and develop the ability to speak in public to inform others about horse-related subjects and the 4-H Horse project. This year’s contest was held April 22...
Farmer and AgrAbility client services rep assessing farm equipment.
Illinois AgrAbility ready to serve farmers across the state
URBANA, Ill. — Farmers have always been the backbone of America. The state of Illinois includes 72,650 farms that cumulatively harvest over 27 million acres and are operated by 118,000 producers. The work involved is not only the farmer’s livelihood but rather their way of life. ...

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