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University of Illinois Extension serving Lake and McHenry Counties

Main Office (Lake County)
100 South US Highway 45
Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone: 847-223-8627
FAX: 847-223-9288
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

Branch Office (McHenry County)
1102 McConnell Road
PO Box 1430
Woodstock, IL 60098
Phone: 815-338-3737
FAX: 815-338-4755
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

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Thank you for visiting our website! Unit 3 Vision is to become “Highly Visible and The Leading Local Institution” in Lake and McHenry County where people come to hear and receive research-based education and information in the following areas to make a difference in their lives, homes and communities: 4-H Youth Development Program--Nutrition (SNAP- Ed) Program--Horticulture (Master Gardeners) Program--Local Foods/Small Farms Program

Today's Features

Fair Food: a matchless category of food where you can find just about anything from candy bars to PB&J sandwiches deep fried, on a stick, and/or wrapped in bacon. Now, eating healthy at a venue with corn dogs, onion blossoms, and fried cheese curds at every corner may sound like an oxy-moron, but healthy options do exist. Simply looking for key words on the menu boards such as grilled opposed to fried, or air-popped opposed to kettle popped can save you a great deal of added calories and saturated fat. When browsing the fair grounds, look for options like roasted corn on the cob, just ask them not to dip it in a large pail of butter. Instead add fresh seasoning like chili powder or pepper. Have a sweet tooth? Forgo the funnel cake, which depending on size could have approximately 800 calories and 45 grams of fat. Choose apples with caramel dip instead. Even cotton candy would be a better choice despite it's high sugar content. When in doubt, eat a healthy snack before arriving at the fair, and if you simply cannot abstain from getting your favorite deep-fried snickers bar or maple-bacon funnel cake, split these items with a friend or two. That way you still satisfy your craving without the feeling of over-doing-it. Enjoy your time eating well at Illinois' County Fairs all summer long.

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Tell your story through photography! Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs encourages young photographers to submit photographs for the 4th annual Cream of the Crop Photo Contest. The contest encourages young photographers to share their vision of agriculture in our state. Enter online by July 7. Winners will be picked in three age categories: 8-10, 11-14 and 15-18. You may submit up to two entries. Learn more @ and look under the Resource Center on the right side of the screen. The photo contest is part of the Ag Invest program and offers an opportunity for Illinois students to submit photos that depict their vision of agriculture in our state. Contest winners will be featured in the Ag Invest marketing materials and at the 2016 Illinois State Fair.

Big changes for Illinois 4-H Dog Contest. The state 4-H Dog Contest will be held Saturday, Aug. 27 & Sunday, Aug. 28 at the Dog Training Club of Champaign. The club is located at 2210 E. Ford Harris Road. Obedience classes will be held on Saturday, with check in beginning at 8 a.m. Showmanship classes will be held on Sunday. The show is open to 4-H members only. Members must have a “qualifying score” in their county show in order to compete at state.

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Come to a place where healthy, fresh, and local meet! Who wouldn’t feel good about spending their hard earned money here? Not only are you supporting local agricultural business, which means a lower carbon footprint, but you can take home the most incredibly fresh produce. Plus, with special events such as listening to local bands, making balloon animals, and watching live cooking demonstrations, there’s something for the entire family to enjoy. Find a farmer's market near you!

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During the summer months in Illinois, we see the kick-off to local Farmers Markets, our gardens flourishing with juicy tomatoes, and incredible sales on seasonal produce in our supermarkets. However, despite the simple access to delicious fruits and vegetables, consuming the recommended 5 a day can still be a challenge. A diet consisting of 5 servings of fruits or vegetables per day is associated with many health benefits, such as low blood pressure, reduced risk of heart attack or stroke, and you may find it easier to manage your weight. Choose your favorite fruits and veggies to prepare, but don't be afraid to try something new this summer, like grilled eggplant or black currant preserves. Tips for eating more Vegetables: • Stock up on frozen vegetables for quick and easy cooking in the microwave. • Add additional vegetables to your pasta sauces, pizza, or casseroles. • Ever heard of salad in a jar? • Pre-chop all of your vegetables and place them in a see-through container in your refrigerator for easy access. • Plan a meal around a vegetable as the star of the entrée. • Sneak veggies into your fruit smoothie, such as kale, spinach, or cucumber. • Make vegetables be the first thing you put on your dinner plate. Tips for eating more Fruit: • Keep a fruit bowl on your counter so it is always in sight. • Top your cereal, oatmeal, or low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit in the morning. • Always have a bag of dried fruit in your purse or desk drawer for a healthy snack. • Make your own frozen juice bars using 100% fruit juice. • Experiment using fruit in a savory dinner entree, such as grilled chicken topped with a mango salsa. Remember: Whether it is fresh, frozen, canned, or dried, all varieties of fruits and vegetables can be included in your 5 a day! Check out for more tips on how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your day. See a full list of summer seasonal produce.

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U of I Extension Master Gardeners of McHenry County and McHenry County College Present GARDEN WALK!~A Little Inspiration, A Little Perspiration Beautifying McHenry County One Garden At A Time~ Garden Walk 2016 travels through west/central McHenry County, showcasing both urban and rural gardens and leading guests through some of the most unique spots in the county. Come with us to explore secret gardens, organic and sustainable gardens, and Certified Wildlife Habitats. At each site, visitors will learn how inspiration and perspiration have transformed ordinary properties into extraordinary examples of horticultural excellence. The GARDEN WALK will take place, Saturday, July 9,2016, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the McHenry County College.

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Information and Resources for You

4-H Youth Development Consumer Economics Family Life Horticulture Local Food Systems and Small Farms Nutrition and Wellness