URBANA, Ill. -Illinois 4-H challenges youth to try new things, experiment in project areas that interest them and explore opportunities around the state and country. The 4-H Experience Award, sponsored by the Illinois 4-H Foundation, recognizes youth who excel in that challenge. Local 4-H members receiving recognition include Alaina Smith, Chase Smith Riley Smith, and Shealee Swisher.

“We celebrate youth whose 4-H experiences have expanded outside their home county to the state, national, or international level,” said Lisa Diaz, University of Illinois Extension assistant dean and Illinois 4-H director.

Alaina Smith is a member of Randolph County 4-H, Ruma Roadrunners 4-H Club, This past year, she exhibited in three livestock shows, livestock judging and a livestock quiz bowl. She also enjoys photography, first aid and horticulture. Alaina would like to be an author.

Chase Smith is a member of Randolph County 4-H, Ruma Roadrunners 4-H Club, He enjoys everything 4-H has to offer, especially livestock judging and showing. He contributes to 4-H Federation and values the friends he has made there.

Riley Smith is a member of Randolph County 4-H, Ruma Roadrunners 4-H Club, 4-H Federation and Speaking for Illinois 4-H. He has a passion for working with livestock and participates in livestock judging, livestock quiz bowl, and master showmanship. He also participates in the youth cooking schools and helps with the Charter Oak Corn Fest. Riley plans to study Agriculture at Kaskaskia College, then transfer to Murray State University to get a degree in Agriculture Education.

Shealee Swisher is a member of Jackson County 4-H, Jackson County Wranglers 4-H Club, Campbell Hill Cherokees and 4-H Federation. Shealee considers Legislative Connection one of her most memorable 4-H experiences. By sharing her story, she plays a small role in helping 4-H continue for years to come. Shealee has her own business, Loving the Farm. In the future, she plans to continue her business and also become an early childhood education teacher.

Youth earning the two highest levels, diamond and emerald, are recognized at the state level. The individual winners in each category include:

Diamond Level Community service Award

Elaine Miller, Hamilton County

Diamond Level Leadership Award

Emma Hawkinson, Knox County; Ariana Ramos, Grundy County; Kaylee Ramos, Grundy County; Matthew Rich, LaSalle County; Mia Truhlar, Grundy County.

Diamond Level Project Learning Award

Kaylie Adams, Union County; Kimberly Adams, Union County; Dale Cain, Knox County; Remington Curry, Pope County; Avery Edler, Will County; Dalton Engel, Knox County; Palin Goebel, Grundy County; Zita Goebel, Grundy County; Savannah Meadows, Massac County; Vivienne Pratt, Livingston County; Elizabeth Rich, Shelby County; Jordyn Swinford, Pope County; Maelin Walker, Union County.

Emerald Level Community Service Award

Courtney Lynn, Danielle Lynn, Maddi Jo Maxwell, Kate Miller and Camryn Parker of Hamilton County.

Emerald Level Leadership Award

Marie Barnickel, Lee County; Elizabeth Berberich, DuPage County; Lauren Brademas, Champaign County; Brayden Caraynoff-Huber, Kendall County; Amie Case, Mariah Conaway, Mercer County; Lee County; Taylor Crouch, Macon County; Anna Curley, McDonough County; Erin Curley, McDonough County; Sarah Darnell, Hamilton County; Jillian Donkle, Grundy County; Katelyn Engel, Knox County; Caleb Grover, Christian County; Braylee Gilmore, Macoupin County; Julian Heidrich, Kendall County; Sofie Heidrich, Kendall County; Alexandria Helling, Macoupin County; Logan Helling, Macoupin County; Kate Henkel, Woodford County; Emma Hughes, Montgomery County; Michael Hoxie, Grundy County; Anthony Joiner, Macoupin County; Saralynn Joiner, Macoupin County; Anthony Kreke, Effingham County; Libby Larking, Livingston County; Anabelle Lee, Coles County; Mindy Leek, Pulaski County; Lauren Mohr, McLean County; Katherine Mueller, Peoria County; Lydia Oker, Kendall County; Caitlyn Richards, Hamilton County; Josh Rossi, Grundy County; Delaney Smith, Champaign County; Shealee Swisher, Jackson County; Ciera Terry, Pulaski County; Sara Timm, Marion County; Jacob Truhlar, Grundy County; Nalia Warmack, Grundy County; Ava Winternheimer, Hamilton County; Rachel Wolff, Macoupin County;

Emerald Level Project Learning Award

Hannah Barger, Pope County; Callysta Borders, Union County; Abagayle Britton, Pulaski County; Kevin Britton, Pulaski County; Morgan Crouch, Macon County; Tyler Deien, Clinton County; Ashton Dillow, Pulaski County; Alexander Ford, DuPage County; Alexander Ford, DuPage County; Elizabeth Franzen, Kendall County; Justin Irwin, Boone County; Lillian Kennedy, Ogle County; Erin Kistner; Montgomery County; Kendall Knodle, Montgomery Country; Kierstan Lampe, Clinton County; Hannah Maher, Knox County; Gabriel Pauline, Macoupin; Garrett Pratt, Livingston; Emily Reppy, Kendall County; Sydney Reppy, Kendall County; Hannah Rossi, Grundy County; Leah Rossi, Grundy County; Sarah Rossi, Grundy County; Abigail Rozanas, Boone County; Alaina Smith, Randolph; Chase Smith, Randolph County; Riley Smith, Randolph County; Blake Twenhafel, Clinton County; Eiralys Unzicker; Elowyn Unzicker; Evan Unzicker; Shiloh Willis; Lucas Wolff; Dylan Zwilling.

For Further Information Contact:

Source: Angie Barnard, Director, Illinois 4-H Foundation, 217-333-9295

Source: Dr. Lisa Diaz, Assistant Dean & Director 4-H Youth Development, 217-333-0910

News Writer: Katie Duitsman, Illinois 4-H Leadership & Recognition Specialist, 217-333-0910