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  • Get Up and Move!
    4-H activities that encourage physical activity to help create healthy individuals, families and communities.
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    Leader news from the State 4-H Office.
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Contact Us

Diane Baker
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development-Metro & Military
University of Illinois Extension
321 W 2nd Avenue
Milan, IL 61264
Phone: 309-756-9978
FAX: 309-756-9987

Tracy Fowler-Pestle
Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
2106 SE Third Street
Aledo, IL 61231
Phone: 309-582-5106
FAX: 309-582-7338

Jennifer Peterson
Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
358 Front Street
Galva, IL 61434
Phone: 309-932-3447
FAX: 309-932-3454

4-H Youth Development

4-H Youth Development

General information can be learned about 4-H youth development on this page. To learn more about a specific county, please click on their web site!

Our Mission: To help youth learn skills for living.

Our Values: Because we value youth and their families, we believe in:

Life-long learning

  • empowers people to voluntarily help themselves and others.
  • stimulates skill development for life long living.
  • builds leadership skills for betterment of self, family and community.
  • improves the quality of life today and for future generations.
  • focuses on individuals and relationships.

Research-based education

  • responds to youth needs.
  • maximizes community assets.
  • promotes collaborations and builds partnerships.
  • fosters individual and community ownership.
  • mobilizes skills and talents of volunteers.
  • teaches life skills through hands on experience.


  • recognizes individual uniqueness.
  • encourages participation regardless of economic, social or familial background, cultural status, religion, age, ability or gender.
  • provides multiple perspectives.
  • identifies the importance of each family regardless of its composition.
  • creates a positive environment for program involvement for all.

4-H Youth Development

University of Illinois Extension's 4-H program prepares today’s youth to be tomorrow's leaders.  into the future. We are one of the few organizations across our communities that have leadership opportunities for youth from elementary through high school.  Programming includes Teens as Teacher, Teen Hunger Ambassadors, Community Club Leadership, Teen Federation, Leadership Squad, QC Teen Leadership Academy, Speaking for Illinois 4-H, Extension Council Teen Representatives, Expansion and Review Committees, encouraging youth to take on leadership opportunities at the local, state and national level, and learning Parliamentary Procedure.  Extending knowledge, changing lives. 

Featured Websites

Additional Websites

  • Livestock E-Quiz
    This site provides youth and adults the opportunity to quiz themselves about dairy, beef, horses, sheep and forages.
  • 4-H Leader Orientation
    New volunteer leaders can learn about 4-H via this web orientation.
  • 4-H Ceremonies
    Discover scripts for common 4-H ceremonies.
  • Becoming 4-H Savvy
    Basic information for volunteers about the ins and outs of 4-H.
  • 4-H Special Interest Club
    A 4-H SPIN club is a special interest club where five or more young people learn about a topic of interest. Topics vary and include interests, such as nature, heritage arts, science, engineering, gardening, technology, and more.
  • Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports
    Illinois 4-H Shootings sports provides experiences for youth in archery, rilfe and shotgun sports.
  • Food Preservation Resources
    Learn how to preserve the taste of summer.

Additional Topics

Nutrition and Wellness Horticulture Community and Economic Development Commercial Agriculture Environment and Energy Stewardship Local Food Systems and Small Farms Family Life En Español