University of Illinois Extension Welcomes New 4-H Staff!

University of Illinois Extension would like to welcome Katie Smith to the 4-H team. Katie Smith has been hired as the Extra Help- 4-H Extension Program Coordinator for Bureau, La Salle, Marshall, and Putnam Counties. While she is new to this position, she is not new to 4-H in our 4-county area. She was an eleven-year member of the Walnut Winner’s
4-H club, and an active member in the Bureau County 4-H Federation throughout high school. She understands firsthand how valuable 4-H experiences are to youth in rural areas; however, she also wants to provide opportunities that show 4-H is for everyone.

This is a new, pilot position for our local 4-H programs. Katie was hired to help grow local Federation (teen leadership) clubs, recruit new Cloverbud (ages 5-7) members, help new members navigate the 4-H system, and provide support to leaders and clubs.  Katie will work with the other 4-H team members and use strategic planning to fulfill these responsibilities alongside her own personal ideas stemming from her own 4-H experiences. With an ever-changing and growing 4-H program, Katie is needed as a resource and support to sustain established clubs and members.

On a personal note, Katie attended Sauk Valley Community College before transferring to Illinois State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in May 2021 in Agriculture Communications & Leadership and Animal Industry Management. In her free time, she enjoys shopping, doing yoga, and making crafts.

Some of her favorite 4-H project areas include sewing, cooking, and horticulture- but after taking 15-20 projects to the fair each year, she has experienced a little bit of everything. Katie is looking forward to meeting all the clubs and sharing activities to help members be more prepared for the fair.

For more information about 4-H in your county, visit our website at to find your local University of Illinois Extension office and call us today!