ice fishing dangers thin ice

Jake’s family farm had two ponds full of bluegill, and he had always wanted to learn how to catch them through the ice. His friend, Carmen, had been taught how to ice fish by her uncle from Wisconsin a couple years before, so they decided on a Saturday afternoon adventure to try their luck.

Walking up to the first pond, Carmen stopped Jake for a moment. 

4-H member making mask
4-H member Ava Anderson looked for the positive of COVID-19 and help
Tree Stand Safety

It wasn’t that long ago a teenage boy was working a part-time job at a family-owned tree nursery when he was privy to a conversation between the business owners about the loss of young trees due to whitetail deer browsing and antler rubbing.    The boy’s interest peaked on the opportunity to learn how to archery hunt during the upcoming fall season.   No one had every showed him how to hunt, but he’d been reading, practicing his shot, and was willing to learn as he went.    The nursery owners welcomed his enthusiasm and granted him permission.

photo of 4H members

Edwards County 4-H members answered the call to help their neighbors, just when it is needed most. 

Prior to the stay-at-home order in March, 22 4-H members and 15 volunteers met at the Country Financial Hall in Albion and packed meals for the area food banks. One in four Illinois children experience hunger. With several families facing unexpected layoffs and job losses, the 10,152 meals the 4-H members provided are making a difference in these communities, says Mark Becker, University of Illinois Extension 4-H food system specialist. 

One thing we can count on during uncertain times is our 4-H values.

Now, more than ever, Illinois youth need their 4-H family. Together, youth and adults can use this time to demonstrate values like independence, belonging, generosity and mastery. The lessons Illinois youth learn today will shape them as leaders for a lifetime. While using our virtual platforms, we can work together to model perseverance throughout Illinois communities and beyond. 

I wish I could promise you that the fair is going to work out the way you want. I wish I could tell you that you'll have the success you worked for. I wish I could tell you that you'll be recognized for your hard work, your kindness, your dedication, your grit. I wish I could tell you that others who didn't work as hard won't stand ahead of you in the ring, won't get the bigger trophy or the prettier ribbon.

Now, go back and read that again, except this time, instead of "the fair," substitute "your life."

On Purpose. With Purpose.
There is a difference.

Many of us do great things with purpose. We are amazing employees. We conquer difficult tasks. We study with purpose, work with purpose, live with purpose, but how much of what we do with purpose is on purpose? There is a difference.

On purpose means there was a conscious choice, a deliberate decision with mindful clarity to do something, to be something. On purpose actions are driven by choice. How many of the great things you do are by your choice?

hereford cow drawing

As we look toward a summer filled with 4-H shows, we encourage you to remember this:

It's never about winning; it's about being part of something more than yourself.

It's never about being perfect; it's about being your personal best.

It's never about beating someone else; it's about beating your last effort.

It's never about losing; it's about learning what you can to keep from losing the next time.

It's never quitting, never giving in or giving up, never selling out or selling yourself short.