Virtual 4-H shows build alumni relationships

DECATUR, Ill.— Traditional in-person 4-H shows will not be taking place this summer, but 4-H members still have an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge learned in project areas. County shows have transitioned to a virtual format for this year which allows 4-H alumni from across the United States to serve as project judges.

“The exciting part about virtual is being able to pull in DeWitt, Macon and Piatt 4-H alumni from across the United States to log in online and judge projects,” says Lindsey Burden, DeWitt county 4-H program coordinator. “We are very excited about using 4-H alumni to help judge, and hope this will help us build a relationship with them in the future.”

For the July virtual show, 4-H members submit project pictures and a written report online in a digital exhibition platform. Judges log in to view and provide feedback to the members. “We have so many talented 4-Hers who work hard throughout the year,” says Jenna Ward, Macon county 4-H program coordinator. “Whether its raising a pig or creating the perfect coffeecake, I’m glad we are still able to give them some sort of experience to show off that hard work, and get to connect with a judge who can give them feedback and advice so they can grow and excel!”

The 4-H program is provided through University of Illinois Extension and is open to youth ages 8 to 18. Youth learn skills for living by participating in individual or group learning experiences related to more than 200 project areas. More information about Extension and 4-H is available at or find Macon County 4-H on Facebook.