In the third grade, Conner followed his sister Michaela into 4-H. Charlene leads his 4-H chapter, the Country Crusaders, and can't say enough about what 4-H gives to children.
Rhiannon Branch was a member of the 2013 national championship team and is a member of the Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team. "Every goal I've ever achieved can be linked back to 4-H," she said.
It speaks well of a state program when one of it's former longtime employees is honored for the magic they did for generations of 4-H members. Illinois can be proud.
The following message came from a middle school teacher in Northern Illinois where Illinois 4-H has teamed with National 4-H Council to provide grant-funded 4-H robotics special interest clubs. She has seen the change in one young boy's life because of our valuable program.
Check out our overnight conference for 7th and 8th graders. Open to all 4-H members AND THEIR FRIENDS.
Go right now to http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state4h/events/juniorleadership2015.cfm to register!
Robots will take over the ARC this Saturday during the sixth annual Illinois State 4-H BoxBot Robotics Competition. Approximately 300 students within 45 teams from across the state will exhibit their robots and compete against each other.
In addition to the student competitors, University students from the colleges of Engineering and ACES will man booths and present their own projects in the STEM field, according to Smith. The Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab, which focuses on innovation, fabrication and design, will also be there with a 3-D printer.
"I hear that train a-comin," and it's being led by a group of former 4-H members who found each other on the University of Illinois campus years after spending a summer together as 4-H counselors. David and Daniel Fulton, twin sons of U of I Extension staff Sherry and John Fulton, first met Grady and Kelly Ryan, another set of twin 4-H members from Dewitt County, at 4-H Memorial Camp in Monticello. Once the Fulton twins started college at U of I, they created a student group, "The Pickin' Illini," devoted to folk and bluegrass music.
As we fill our bellies this Thanksgiving holiday, some 4-H youth will have a greater appreciation for the food set before them.
The 4-H Hunger Ambassadors in Milan held a Hunger Banquet, but not everyone filled their plates. In fact, many didn't even get a seat at the table.
It's easy to tell friends and family about 4-H. Now, imagine you're a teenager and you're telling your story at the Illinois State Capitol. This spring, 49 4-H members did just that. The youth were specifically trained, either through the Speaking for Illinois 4-H educational program or as members of the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team. For four days, they visited all 178 offices of the members of the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois Senate, sharing their personal 4-H stories with many of the individual legislators.
It's what every good carpenter knows; "measure twice, cut once." Now, 4-H members in DeWitt County know the benefit of careful planning after attending a woodworking workshop which taught basic carpentry skills, such as using a scroll saw, chop saw, band saw, belt sander, planer, drill and air nail gun. Working cooperatively with Lowe's Home Improvement stores and the Clinton FFA, each member completed, from scratch, a squirrel feeder. The 4-H motto for the day was "measure twice, cut once." They also learned the benefit of taking their time when sanding and staining.
When a tornado hit Washington, Ill., 4-H families across the state were quick to respond, due, in large part, to the work of the Extension staff in Woodford County. Through the efforts of 4-H clubs, families and friends, $10,000 in gift cards have been donated to help the families who lost homes. "It has been humbling to witness the outpouring of support coming from across the state during these past three months," said Cathy Blunier, Extension youth educator. "Please know that the families send heartfelt appreciation for all that has been done to assist them during this time."
Kids love to figure things out. Nearly 140 kids stretched their minds and investigative skills at the University of Illinois Extension 4-H Clover Clinic held at Illinois Central College in East Peoria. They gained new skills from more than 30 interactive workshops, such as ballroom dancing, origami, DNA extraction, farm animals, and robotics. The goal was to inspire kids to explore their interests and be engaged in their communities. One of the workshops showed how to make ice cream using liquid nitrogen.
How do you get kids interested in horticulture? In Montgomery County, you show them plants that eat things. 4-H members learned how and why carnivorous plants eat insects. Andrew Holsinger, U of I Extension horticulture educator, provided the hands-on instruction. When the county's classroom teachers heard about the program, the phones began ringing in the Montgomery County office. Now, more than 600 youth in 25 classrooms in the county know more about the life of carnivorous plants, and might just think it's cool to one day be a botanist.
What do you do with a shoe that you aren't wearing anymore? If you're a 4-H member in Kendall County, chances are you've turned it into a garden planter. With instruction from 17-year-old 4-H Member Cydney Olah, youth took shoes from an area resale store and created a garden planter. Look for more photos on their Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/extensiondkk .
Led by Illinois 4-H members, the Fish Farm Challenge activity is part of the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, presented by Monsanto, which aims to make agri-science relevant and fun for youth.
Ten Illinois 4-H teens were honored as Illinois 4-H Key Award winners for their leadership, community service and mentoring activities throughout their 4-H career. The award is sponsored by the H. Richard and Sarah F. McFarland Endowed 4-H Youth Leadership Development Support Fund from the Illinois 4-H Foundation. Winners include Codie Geisz, 18, of Elizabeth in JoDaviess County; Dena Harridge, 19, of Mt.
You never know where the inspiration for a career will come. For 16-year-old Susannah Hall, it came from the 4-H knitting project she taught herself by reading a how-to book at the library. Susannah is a 5-year member of the Ft. Sumpter 4-H Club. She recently taught other 4-H members and parents in Edgar County the basics of knitting, and each participant successfully completed a drink cup cover.
The pilot program for the 4-H Teens as Teachers grant has wrapped up, and the results prove the concept of using teens to teach peers is solid for both the participants and the teen mentors. The following testimonials speak to the impact for 4-H Teen Teachers.
- "What I have gained most from my camp experiences is the idea that I am working for something bigger than myself.
Kendall County 4-H Federation members gave back to their community by supporting local food bank organizations, including the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) in Geneva. The group helped pack 651 "backpacks" which will provide for 11,718 meals for hungry residents in the region. The 4-H Federation also conducted the annual Bowl-A-Thon fundraiser and collected $3,000 for the Kendall County Food Pantry. A $1 donation can purchase up to $6 of food via the NIFB; thus the 4-H donation may result in $18,000 in food for local neighbors in need.
"We have five sons adopted form China. Jason came home in 2010 at age 6 ½ with an unrepaired single ventricle heart, skeletal (28 pounds), horrific scars on his arms and legs and scared of EVERYTHING, but especially any kind of ANIMAL. In China, he LITERALLY tried to climb on my head at the sight of a kitten or puppy.
It's one thing to show livestock; it's another to understand the science behind raising livestock which will produce well and provide wholesome product for consumers. That's the vision which led DeWitt County 4-H volunteers Larry Martin and Doug North to host a livestock clinic which attracted youth from nine counties. "We wanted to host a clinic that focused not just on showing, but on the overall health, nutrition, condition, and care of the animal," Larry said. A judging contest helped youth understand the traits important when selecting replacement cattle for their herd.
Twenty-five teams of middle-school students from DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties displayed their technical, creative and teamwork skills during the 4-H Robotics Box Bot Showcase in Elgin on Saturday, March 22. Throughout the afternoon, 4-H members showcased their Lego Mindstorm robots in creativity, table performance, and technical categories. They also completed a teamwork challenge without their Bots. The event was led by 4-H Robotics Team "got robot?," which competes at the FIRST Tech Challenge level, and was hosted by U of I Extension at Abbott Middle School in Elgin.