State 4-H Award Winners in the Dairy project are selected to attend the National 4-H Dairy Conference each year. Held in Madison, Wisconsin in conjunction with the World Dairy Exposition, Dairy Conference offers an excellent opportunity for 4-H'ers across the county to explore opportunities in the dairy industry. Illinois currently sends two 4-H winners to this conference each year, with support from the Illinois 4-H Foundation.
National 4-H Dairy Conference offers states an opportunity to send outstanding 4-H youth to this event and provide them with an expanded educational experience through seminars, workshops, and tours, provided by leaders in the dairy industry. Past tours have included ABS Global, Crave Brothers Dairy Farm, National Dairy Shrine, NASCO International, Hoard's Dairyman Magazine, and the Hoard's Farm, among others. Delegates also spend time on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus in workshops and seminars exploring dairy marketing, food science, dairy science, and more.
Throughout the year, over 260,000 University of Illinois Extension 4-H Youth Development participants can receive recognition for their work at the local, county and state level. County nominations for curriculum area winners are sent to the state selection process in January to begin an intense selection process that includes application judging, 4-H story judging and interviews. The process helps judges select the top 4-H members in various curriculum areas. For more information on the Illinois 4-H Award process, click on Recognition, Awards, and Scholarships of the Member section on this website.
National 4-H Dairy Conference is conducted by Cooperative Extension Service staff and dairy industry volunteers on behalf of the Cooperative Extension System of the state land-grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.