News Spotlight
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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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Red automated tractor driving through roadway near field.
Automated agricultural machinery requires new approaches to ensure safety
URBANA, Ill. — From self-driving tractors to weeding robots and AI-powered data collection, automated machinery is revolutionizing agricultural production. While these technological advancements can greatly improve productivity, they also raise new questions about safety measures and regulations...
Level 1 champs pose after win
Youth robotics competition builds conservationist mindset
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. ­– Youth from 30 teams across Illinois demonstrated their learning, celebrated their accomplishments, and interacted with others who share an interest in robotics at the 4-H Hyrdobot Robotics Competition held at the Interstate Center on the McLean County Fairgrounds on May 13...
Aaron Hager standing in soybean field surrounded by the weed waterhemp
Tank-mixing herbicides may not be enough to avoid herbicide resistance
URBANA, Ill. — Eight years ago, University of Illinois and USDA-ARS scientists turned weed control on its head. More and more herbicide resistant weeds were popping up, and the pest plants were getting harder to kill. It was clear farmers could no longer rely on the same chemicals year after...
Colorful mural on the Hello Peoria Building
Art and culture: A path to progress and community development
URBANA, Ill. — Artists, arts organizations and collectives, and arts activities, in general, can play a valuable role in economic and social development, as well as in the long-term sustainability of communities. Creating artistic spaces fosters connections across sectors to improve physical and...
two blooming pinguicula plants in containers
Bugged by houseplant pests? Give carnivorous plants a try
URBANA, Ill. – During the chilly, dreary winter months, I enjoy my green houseplants that add a bright spot in my office and living space. So when I was visiting a new specialty plant shop this fall, I had to add a new plant friend, “Ping,” to my collection. If you have ever dealt with...
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Take proactive steps to improve overall economic well-being
URBANA, Ill. – In these times, many people feel overwhelmed by financial worries and feel uncomfortable talking about it. Whatever the circumstances, there are ways to get through these tough economic times, relieve stress and anxiety and regain control of finances. Gain the financial...
the first and second place winners pose with their catches
Youth show off their best catches in statewide competition
Urbana, IL – Youth from across Illinois headed into the great outdoors to participate in the statewide 4-H Hooks Us Together Virtual Fishing Crappie Challenge in April. While competition is the focus, participating youth take away much more from the experience. “When a kid cares...
youth holding the harness of a cow
Teens leaders dedicated to feeding a nation
Urbana, Ill. – Eleven Illinois teens have a new way to develop their skills as future leaders that are dedicated to feeding a nation through the Illinois 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team. ...
Screen capture of a website showing a red blooming flower next to a digital map showing its location in the Red Oak Rain Garden
Virtual map provides a tool for rain garden stewardship
URBANA, Ill. – When caring for a rain garden, one of the most helpful tools may not be a rake or a pruner, but a map. The Red Oak Rain Garden interactive map shows the layout of the garden’s native plant placement. This makes maintenance easier and also helps visitors learn about the...
contest participants pose by signs
Youth excellence shines at 4-H public speaking contest
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. –  4-H excels in preparing youth to speak well and confidently, and it is a skill that serves members for a lifetime. Youth from across the state recently came together to put their public speaking skills to the test during the Illinois 4-H State Public Speaking Contest held at...
bright purple flowers with yellow center
Plant top annuals of 2023 to create craveable container gardens
URBANA, Ill. – Experienced container gardeners likely know that successful containers have good drainage, appropriate sun exposure, and proper potting media. Get a jump on new annual arrivals each year, discover the best performers, and be the envy of your neighborhood this summer by building...

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