March 7, 2014
We are pleased to announce the next Speaking for Illinois 4-H Training scheduled by the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team. It will be in southern Illinois at the Franklin County Extension Office in Benton on Saturday, April 26 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Speaking for Illinois 4-H provides 4-H members ages 14 and above with the skills to provide presentations to county board members, civic groups, and potential donors. On the state level, SFI4-H youth are asked to participate in the 4-H Legislative Connection programs at the state capitol, connecting with state representatives and senators with information on Extension and 4-H programming.
Forms are available on the 4-H contacts portal, as well as the Illinois 4-H website: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state4h/members/leadership_sfi4h.cfm. Members can register from the SFI4-H website page.
Registration will close on Wednesday, April 16. Cost of the training is $10, which includes lunch and all materials.
February 20, 2014
What is citizen science? Cornell University defines Citizen science as "an approach to science that engages citizens–children, youth and adults from all walks of life–in collecting and reporting information that contributes to scientific research. Researchers have the benefit of public engagement in their work, tapping thousands of participants in accomplishing what they could not on their own." As you are well aware, 4-H has placed increased emphasis on exposing youth to more fields of science in recent years and this program will build upon that effort as we offer opportunities for youth to become involved in the world of hands-on research.
With continued financial support from Archer Daniels Midland and training support from the Illinois RiverWatch Network we will again be able to cover the $40 registration fee for youth and adult volunteers willing to be trained and conduct three data collections throughout the coming year. Stream monitoring is the focus of Illinois RiverWatch and offers a hands-on approach for youth to learn about water resources and develop an understanding of this important connection. Our goal in continue to grow our 4-H Citizen Scientist program by adding more trained teams to our list certified stream monitors and actively engage members in collecting data from a specific wadeable stream close to where they live. In addition to covering the registration each county that has a certified 4-H Citizen Scientist Team will receive a 4-H Citizen Scientist Stream Monitoring Tool Kit that contains consumable and non-consumable supplies that a team will need as they conduct their data collections.
Interested 4-H members (7th grade or higher) and adult volunteers should contact their local Extension Office to register. A County/Unit registration form is available on the Portal at:
In addition to their registration participants will be required to download and fill out an Assumption of Risk Form (located on the portal) and return it to their local Extension Office.
4-H Citizen Scientist is one of the learning opportunities that supports the State Plan of Work issue of Protecting and Appreciating Our Environment. For Units that have selected this as a focus area this training opportunity will help address that issue.
The information on the portal includes:
Acknowledgement of Risk Activity: https://my-s.extension.uiuc.edu/documents/579142002140214/4-H%20Citizen%20Scientist%20(2014)%20Acknowledgement_of_Risk_Activity.docx
Thanks for your time and please let me know if you have any questions about the program or need additional clarification. Bill
February 19, 2014
Illinois 4-H has been awarded a $15,000 grant from National 4-H Council, in cooperation with Monsanto, to drive youth awareness of, and interest in agriculture innovation and ag careers. Eighty specially-trained youth in eight states will each impact at least 100 youth from their state as they work with fellow 4-H Teen Teachers and Teen Leaders. Three members of the Illinois 4-H State Youth Leadership Team will receive training at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, then return to train a team of seven other Teen Teachers who will reach out to Illinois youth attending 4-H Memorial Camp this summer. The goal is to reach 1,000 youth in a 30-day period beginning June 5. Extending their knowledge globally, videos of the teens will be produced and shared with 4-H international contacts from the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
4-H Leadership Academies prepare youth 'to become a voice'
Engaging Youth for Positive Change (EYPC) is a transformative process empowering young people to work with local governing bodies to adopt policies that create healthier communities. Illinois 4-H knows just how powerful engaged young people can be. Sheri Merry, University of Illinois Extension youth development educator serving Adams, Hancock, Pike, Brown and Schuyler counties, knew that youth in her communities lacked the skills needed to really be fully engaged. Her answer was the creation of the Youth Leadership Academy. More than 80 high school students, all juniors, participate in the academies. The groups meet monthly and sharpen their skills in communication, self-understanding, self-confidence, and team building. As a result of the skills gained, one of the groups recently determined a need for a Frisbee golf course in Carthage. The group presented its proposal to Kiwanis and gained financial backing for the project. They will present their proposal to the Carthage Park Board in March. "Our whole goal is to prime people to become a voice in their community," Merry said. Learn more online at http://www.whig.com/story/24588793/leadership-academies-prepare-high-school-juniors-to-become-a-voice-in-the-community. Portions reprinted with permission Quincy Herald-Whig.
Montgomery County youth learn that some plants have tasty appetites
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.
4-H members donate books to replenish books destroyed by black mold
4-H members from Coles, Cumberland, Moultrie, Douglas and Shelby counties, donated more than 20 boxes of books to the Meridian Elementary School in Mounds after state officials found toxic black mold in the school. The school serves 450 children from kindergarten through eighth grade. All of the books in the library had to be destroyed.
Try 2 Understand 4-H Robotics Club teaches 'gracious professionalism'
February is a busy month for robotics clubs. Decatur's Try 2 Understand 4-H Robotics Club added even more to their busy plates by cohosting the FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying tournament. Throughout the day, competitors showed cooperative, yet competitive qualities. From the Decatur Herald-Review: "One of the basic guiding principles for the robotics program is 'gracious professionalism.' Though it is a competition, teams are expected to value the contribution of each member on their own team and the other teams with good sportsmanship and cooperation. Try 2 Understand members have helped other teams with spare parts and programming." Also representing 4-H during the competition was the Decatur 4-H RoboChucks team. It's a great story one may read online at: http://herald-review.com/news/local/education/robotics-competition-builds-on-goals-fun/article_cec80c4f-cef7-5c23-a39e-b5822cc9263a.html
Straight-aiming 4-H shooting sports members capture top archery prizes
Three Christian County 4-H Shooting Stars members took the top awards in the 2014 Illinois Valley Youth Archery Championship at Wolf Hollow Archery in Chillicothe. Peter Girup, Mt. Auburn, was named overall male grand champion after winning the freestyle division, and Elliece Kuhnert, Taylorville, was named overall female grand champion after topping the female bow hunter division. Blaine Kuhnert, Taylorville, also captured the male bow hunter division championship. The trio qualified for the invitation-only meet which had 44 competitors from across the state based on exceptional results in previous contests.
Mason County 4-H Federation lights up the community
4-H supporters know that 4-H lights up so many lives, but the Mason County 4-H Federation took that challenge and, literally, lit up the Mason County Fairgrounds with a holiday light display. Joli Pierson, U of I Extension 4-H program coordinator, said the members wanted to give something back to their county to thank them for supporting 4-H throughout the year. Their design was a lighten clover 12 feet wide and 18 feet tall. Volunteers braved unseasonably warm, then unseasonably cold weather to string 800 feet of 2400 LED energy-saving bulbs on the frame with the help of a lift truck and 16-foot ladder.
February 17, 2014
It is estimated that one in five Illinois children, about 745,300 children under the age of 18, face hunger and food insecurity on a recurring basis. To respond to this reality, Illinois 4-H is continuing to address this hunger challenge through the 4-H Feeding and Growing Our Communities program. Building upon their success in 2013, along with a new source of funding from the Illinois 4-H Foundation, Illinois 4-H Club members are encouraged to accept the challenge of addressing hunger in their community. We want to engage 4-H members, volunteers, families and whole communities in joining forces to be part of the solution for alleviating hunger within Illinois communities. Program information for staff is posted to the Portal under Groups/4-H Contacts/Feeding and Growing Our Communities and includes:
Feeding and Growing Our Communities Overview – background information about the opportunity and useful websites.
2014 Illinois Challenge Grant Application – application form for use by 4-H clubs and extension staff in applying for funding.
2014 Feeding and Growing Press Release2014 Feeding and Growing Marketing Flyer
4-H Ending Hunger Toolkit – a compiled source of resources, activities, and workshop suggestions to increase awareness of hunger and food insecurity and the Invest An Acre program for farmers and landowners.
Illini Fighting Hunger Community Partner Handbook – a step-by-step resource is provided by the Illini Fighting Hunger organization for groups interested in organizing a meal-packaging event to fight hunger in their community, county or region. Illini Fighting Hunger is a student led volunteer organization serving the UIUC campus and expands their reach into the state. If you are interested in observing and learning more about a meal-packaging event join Chancellor Phyllis Wise on April 5 as the U of I Campus community volunteers gather to assemble 147,000 meals representing 1,000 meals for every year the University of Illinois has been in existence.
How can you get involved? Please communicate this opportunity to all 4-H clubs in your county/unit and challenge them to practice BIG M as they engage as a group to learn about hunger/food insecurity in their community and how they can become part of the solution in alleviating this significant need.
February 14, 2014
A formal press from the college for ExplorACES has been posted to the portal. You may wish to use this abbreviate listing for your newsletters.
Come EXPLORE what college is like at U of I ACES
March 14 & 15, University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana
There' s no better way to learn about U of I's the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) than this year's ExplorACES on March 14 and 15. The two-day event is organized BY STUDENTS FOR STUDENTS. . . that means MORE of what you want and need to know about ACES.
More than 125 exhibits show off U of I's academics, research, and student development. Students can also find out more about study-abroad programs, how to apply for nearly $2 million in scholarships, and where a degree in ACES may lead in the job market.
Are you about to graduate high school? ExplorACES is for you. Are you a transfer student? Then ExplorACES is for you. Are you beginning to think about college? Then ExplorACES is for you. Are you the parent who wants to know more about what U of I has to offer your child? Then, ExplorACES is for you. Are you in college but want to learn more about what's on campus for you? Then, ExplorACES is for you. Get the idea that ExplorACES is for everyone!
More than 2,000 students will attend ExplorACES on Friday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free parking and a free shuttle service to the ACES campus are provided at parking lot E-14, just west of the Assembly Hall. Deciding where to attend college is one of the most important decisions students will ever make. Learn all you can at this FREE and FUN college visit.
February 14, 2014
February 11, 2014
February 11, 2014
REMINDER: The Youth Livestock Auction is now a non-Extension sponsored event, with 4-H members participating by choice.Beginning with last year's fair season, Extension staff are not allowed to take an active role in planning or coordination of the livestock auction.
The organization who sponsors and coordinates the Youth Livestock Auction must seek permission to use the 4-H name and emblem EACH YEAR.
An authorization form must be completed annually (as per "e" on page 2) by the sponsoring organization and submitted to the County Extension Director for approval to use the 4-H name and emblem in its activities and promotions throughout the year. This document also describes the major tasks agreed upon by the sponsoring organization (conduct the event using sound financial practices, issue the checks, acknowledge donors with receipts, and provide liability insurance for the event). This authorization form is kept on file in the county/Unit office since it is an event in the local area.
In the event that the new sponsoring organization refuses to sign the agreement form granting authorization to use the 4-H name and emblem, Extension staff will not be allowed to provide other pertinent information related to 4-H membership, show weights, and show results. (Refer to the Youth Livestock Auction Policy fact sheet for complete details.)
The policy fact sheet and authorization form for livestock auctions can be found on the Portal: 4-H Contacts: Livestock: Youth Livestock Auctions.
Please include this in your fair season preparation plans for 2014.
February 10, 2014
More than 100 seventh and eighth grade youth learned "Saving the World Through Leadership" begins with them taking action in their local club meetings. Rod Stoll, Farm Credit public relations vice president and Illinois 4-H alum, inspired Illinois 4-H members to keep improving, stretch their possibilities, live in genuine gratitude, serve others and keep a young-at-heart attitude at the 2014 Junior Leadership Conference Feb. 7 & 8 in Decatur.
When Stoll asked the 4-H members what they would take away from the conference, the junior high attendees' answers showed great wisdom and insight from the workshop lessons. "I want to be the leader other people don't want to work to be," wrote one attendee. A few of the other responses included:
"Take a piece of knowledge from those you meet."
Leadership is nothing without listeners."
"Leadership can't be forced on others."
"There's always room to improve."
The conference was taught entirely by members of the Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team, a team of specially-trained 4-H members and young adult alumni. The Illinois 4-H Foundation covered the expense of the adult volunteer chaperones for the event.
For the past 25 years, the Buttercups 4-H Club in Clinton County has made it a tradition to bake bread on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The members have made a wide variety of bread creations including cinnamon rolls, bread in a bag, mini loaves and standard bread. This year's concoction was French bread. "One goal of the club is to be a place where members can learn to make inexpensive projects, as well as test out various project areas," says Diane Sinclair, the Buttercups leader. (Reprinted with permission, Illinois Farmer Today). Read more at: http://www.illinoisfarmertoday.com/feature/recipes/h-ers-establish-tradition-by-baking-bread-on-holiday/article_719f9e84-8a8e-11e3-a65f-0019bb2963f4.html
The Effingham County 4-H Youth Ambassadors (ECYA) hosted an Electronics Recycling Day. ECYA is already known for its prescription drug collection program, P2D2. This time, the collection included old electronics. Working with the 5 R Processors Ltd., the teens helped as the public dropped off their unwanted electronic equipment. They filled one entire semi and still had more for a second load. The group earned $300 for their efforts in this valuable community service project. "It really helped promote 4-H in a positive way," said University of Illinois Extension Program Coordinator Patti Logan.
Extension staff serving Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties know that conversation turns dreams into reality. More than 30 volunteer 4-H leaders from the three-county unit shared successful ideas during a leader training held at The Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville. They were encouraged to learn new ways to engage teens and parents and were thankful that staff from the state office was there to support and guide their efforts.
This week, the Century Ag Shack Traditions 4-H Club of Mounds in Pulaski County was awarded a National ESRI GIS-GPS 4-H Grant Award. The club is creating, painting and hanging barn art quilts on various barns throughout the region, said U of I Extension Youth Educator Patti Faughn. Then, using the geospatial software, they'll be constructing a community map and brochure showing the location of the quilts, as well as explaining the significance of the designs and other geographical attractions of the area. This club is no stranger to science awards; it also received the 2012 National Youth Science Day Innovation Award.
In recent months, other Illinois 4-H clubs have been winners, including the Glenview Middle School 4-H/IMSA Club. The club is a combined in-school and out-of-school initiative that enriches students understanding and application of geospatial technology to assess and improve their local community. They are collecting data at a local park as a continuation of the 2013 National Youth Science Day (NYSD) Maps and Apps activity. They will be presenting their final map and findings to the local park board in the spring.
GEOBOTS is a newly formed group in Randolph County. They will be helping the officials for the Village of Steeleville locate water meters which will greatly impact the community. The focus of this new group is to attract new members, allow for further understanding of data collection and provide the Village of Steeleville with useful information that can be used to assist in local water management. This initiative was also a spinoff of a local NYSD Maps and Apps activity.
Youth can and do make a difference in their communities, and Sparta (Randolph County) Lincoln eighth grader Conner Stewart is among them. Conner sells or donates farm-fresh eggs to a variety of local people and the Sparta Food Pantry through his enterprise, Conner's Cluckers. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of 18 months. His mother Charlene said that was a frightening moment because Conner was not verbal.
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. "4-H projects instill possible future business opportunities," said Charlene. "All credit goes to 4-H for starting this long-term project for Conner five years ago." Conner is happy to help his community with Conner's Cluckers, but he also told his mom that he wanted to help others have hope–that a diagnosis of autism does not mean a person can't be a contributing member of society. Because of his family's support and his own strength, that is precisely what Conner is. (Reprinted with permission, Sparta Ledger)
February 10, 2014