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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

University of Illinois Extension of Lake County has a part-time position open for a 4-H Community Worker. Click on the link below for the job description and qualifications. To apply: Contact Unit 3 Director, James E. Reaves at 847-223-8627 ext. 15 or

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Stress and Heart Disease. How exactly stress contributes to heart disease, has not yet been fully determined. However, we do know poorly managed and/or chronic stress does influence our risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease. This is likely in part, due to how we manage our response to stress. Both acute and chronic stress not only affects us physiologically, but it also affects our mood, and our behaviors. Furthermore, it often has a cascading effect on our lives and without intentionality in identifying and managing it; it may lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices. For example during a stressful situation, our body’s response may cause our muscles to tense up, leading to a tension headache resulting in decreased productivity at work. Our behavioral response to the decreased productivity, could lead to longer hours spent in the office in the form of skipping lunch, or working longer days. The decision to skip lunch could later cause individuals to overeat, and/or select convenience foods high in both saturated fat and sodium. Furthermore, longer hours spent in the office could lead to less time being physically active and/or time spent away from family and friends. The importance of this is that both physical activity and meaningful relationships have protective benefits to health outcomes and help us better manage our stress. Therefore, the next time you are feeling overwhelmed and out of sorts, ask yourself if it is due to stress? Identify what the stress is and then, how you can positivity manage it. For more on managing stress in the workplace, check out the American Psychological Association website by clicking on the "Link" below.

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Get Healthy; is your robot up to the challenge? The theme for the 2017 Illinois State 4-H Robotics Competition has been announced, and we think your robots will be jumping for joy. … if they do, they might earn points for it! HEALTH BOT 2017 will have a “Healthy Living” theme. You’ll compete as a team of up to 10 members while you design a course and program your robots to complete tasks related to healthy living: jogging, weight lifting, playing soccer, cheering, visiting the library, filling a plate, getting vaccines and helping the needy. We can’t wait to see all the ways your promote HEALTH. All the fun happens Saturday, May 6. The contest has a new location—The Orr Building on the state fairgrounds in Springfield. Find out all the details and WATCH THE VIDEO describing the challenge!

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Need Cash for College? Two scholarships are available to college-bound youth who have been 4-H members for at least five years. Both can be used at a 4-year university, community college, or trade school. Applications are due March 1 and open to high school seniors and college freshmen. The Illinois 4-H Livestock Scholarship is open to members who have demonstrated mastery in the livestock area and plan to continue their education in the area of agriculture. Members must have been involved in the livestock project a minimum of three years. One $1,000 scholarship is awarded each year. The Legacy of Leadership Scholarship is offered to members who have demonstrated overall mastery and leadership in the 4-H program. Eight $1000 scholarships are awarded each year. Scholarship applications are available at Applications are due March 1, 2017. If you’re selected as one of the finalists, you’ll be asked to submit a video of your 4-H accomplishments.

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Preventing Heart Disease - Establish a Game Plan. For the most part, we are creatures of habit. This is why one of the greatest gifts we can give our children, is a lifestyle of healthy habits. When we learn healthy habits early on, it is much easier to continue with those habits throughout our lives. When it comes to change, we have to acknowledge that change is a process and not an event. With any process, we must remember there are phases, or stages of change that will need to take place before we can reach our goal. And sometimes, those stages of change, will need to be repeated several times as we journey towards our health goals. To reach your health goals, begin by evaluating the small daily choices you make every day. You may have the best of intentions when it comes to choosing healthy foods, however like any goal, the stresses of life may get in the way, causing setbacks. Last week we talked about how chronic stress can increase your risk for heart disease, as stress often affects both our mood and behaviors. It is a well-known fact that both food and/or beverages are frequently uses as coping mechanisms when dealing with both positive and negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety, boredom, fear, sadness, worry, and even joy. Understanding ahead of time, and planning for these setbacks, will help you in dealing with the stressors/behaviors that will inevitably come your way and sabotage your wellness goals. In order to increase the likelihood of reaching those goals, and decrease your risk of heart disease, you first should recognize your eating habits and patterns. Keep a Food Journal. When you monitor what you eat and how much you eat, you are learning more than simply what goes into your body. You become aware of what triggers you to eat. Allowing you to answer questions such as “are you eating because you are truly hungry or because you are bored or anxious?” Ultimately, you become aware of the role that eating plays in your life. If you are eating or drinking as a coping strategy, tracking your dietary intake can help you identify this. Then, you can find healthier alternatives to dealing with daily life stressors and increase your likelihood of reaching your goal.

4-H Shooting Sports Spring Adult Certification Training. The spring training for those adults interested in joining the Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports program as a volunteer leader will be held May 5-7, 2017. Adult volunteers are an important part of the Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports program. All 4-H shooting sports clubs must be led by adults who have completed the training and passed the certification test. Instructors are needed in all disciplines of pistol, shotgun, rifle, archery and wildlife, as well as coordinator positions. Cost is $125, and registration is handled through the local office by mid April.

Information and Resources for You

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