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University of Illinois Extension serving Clark, Crawford and Edgar Counties

Main Office (Clark County)
15493 N State Hwy 1
Marshall, IL 62441
Phone: 217-826-5422
FAX: 217-826-8631
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

Branch Office (Crawford County)
301 S Cross St
Suite 290
Robinson, IL 62454
Phone: 618-546-1549
FAX: 618-544-3222
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

Branch Office (Edgar County)
210 W Washington
Paris, IL 61944
Phone: 217-465-8585
FAX: 217-463-1192
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

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Thank you for visiting our website. University of Illinois Extension is the link between the University and all of our friends and neighbors in Clark, Crawford and Edgar counties. Extension staff offer practical, research-based education to help area residents improve their lives and communities through learning partnerships that put knowledge to work. Please contact us at your nearest Extension office with questions or to learn more about these educational or leadership opportunities. We also encourage you to add our site to your favorites list.

Today's Features

County agricultural fairs contribute to local economies in Illinois Your trip to the county fair last summer was about more than just funnel cakes, Ferris wheels, and a grand champion steer named “Ted.” You – and thousands of other fair-goers – helped contribute to your local and state economy. The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs (IAFF) partnered with University of Illinois Extension to perform an economic impact study for the 2014 Illinois agricultural fairs. The study showed total expenditures of fair attendees was estimated to be approximately $170 million; $90 million in transactions occurred directly within the local economy and supported more than 1,000 jobs. The Illinois Department of Agriculture appropriated $5.1 million for county fairs in 2015. Assuming a significant portion of the budget will be allotted to agricultural fairs, it is estimated the state could see a return almost 18 times greater than their investment. There were 104 fairs held in Illinois in 2014, and the study was conducted at 15 fairs across the state – five in the northern zone, five in the central zone, and five in the southern zone. Nearly 5,000 fair attendees completed surveys that were collected by 4-H youth under the supervision of Extension staff. Alex Norr, a graduate student from the U of I Department of Urban and Regional Planning, conducted 33 key informant interviews of local fair board members, local fair sponsors, and fair participants. Beyond the economic impact, the study revealed the contributions fairs make to the culture, unity, and tradition of the communities they serve. These benefits include family-friendly activities, education about agriculture, opportunities for local organizations to get involved, fundraising for local groups, and unique entertainment opportunities. Norr also prepared a report, The 2014 Economic Impact of Illinois Agricultural Fairs, with supervision from Extension’s Community and Economic Development (CED) and 4-H Youth Development staff. The report was presented at the 2015 IAAF convention in mid-January. The project’s primary investigator, CED Educator Carrie McKillip, said, “This project has illustrated the best of what Extension can contribute to its partners. By providing an avenue for campus-based learning through the Department of Urban and Regional Planning as well as a learning experience for 4-H youth across the state, we were able to provide research-based information to a valued partner.” For more information, contact Carrie McKillip,, or 309.342.5108.

The winter series of University of Illinois Extension's Four Seasons Gardening program, focusing on environmental stewardship & backyard food production, is ready to get underway. The first session is titled, Super Sempervivums (hen & chicks & houseleeks)! These easy to grow plants that feature fat leaves for storing water, can be used in containers, baskets, living wreaths & more. The Sempervivum program will be offered on Tuesday, February 3 at 1:30 PM in two locations - University of Illinois Extension, Edgar County & University of Illinois Extension, Crawford County. Beekeeping will be the focus of the second Four Seasons Gardening Series. Beekeeping is a growing & rewarding hobby that can be enjoyed by most backyard gardeners. "Beekeeping for the Backyard Gardener" will be offered on Tuesday, February 17 at 1:30 PM at the University of Illinois Extension, Edgar County & Crawford County offices. An evening session on Thursday, February 19 at 6:30 PM at the Martinsville Public Library will also be offered. The final winter program will be Edible Indoor Gardens. Learn to grow your own fresh herbs, salad greens and more any time of the year. This program will be offered on Tuesday, March 3 at 1:30 PM at both the Edgar County & Crawford County Extension Offices. All programs are open to the public & are free to attend. Please contact Rusty Nave, Ag & Natural Resource Program Coordinator, at 217-826-5422 for more details or to register.

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Information and Resources for You

4-H Youth Development Commercial Agriculture Community and Economic Development Consumer Economics Family Life Horticulture Leadership and Local Government Local Food Systems and Small Farms Nutrition and Wellness Schools Online

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