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Hot day, hot competition at state 4-H livestock judging contest

With a heat index exceeding 105 degrees Monday, it might have been easy to get distracted during this year’s Illinois 4-H State Livestock Judging Contest. Despite the heat, 175 4-H members showed up to the University of Illinois campus physically and mentally prepared to tackle eight classes of live-animal evaluation, as well as question classes and three sets of oral reasons.

4-H provides $275,000 in scholarships annually

The future is waiting, and Illinois 4-H is helping young people arrive empowered and prepared for success in the future of their choosing.

Each year, Illinois 4-H members receive more than $225,000 in college scholarships from local Extension 4-H Foundations and partners across the state. In addition, the Illinois 4-H Foundation awards another $50,000 more in college scholarship to young people whose 4-H accomplishments have earned them top awards.

Close placings determine State 4-H Horse Judging champions

Only five points separated the top six finishers in the 2018 Illinois 4-H State Horse Judging Contest held April 28 at Black Hawk College in Galva.

Ford County 4-H member Katie Quinley, 16, of Sibley, earned 386 out of 400 points in the contest to take the title. Just two points behind the top finisher, 13-year-old Hannah Maher of Knox County earned second place.

‘When I grow up'

When you imagine kids with robots, you may think they all want engineering careers. You would be wrong.

The 4-H robotics experience teaches youth to program and build robots … and more. Illinois 4-H robotics programs are preparing leaders for many professions. Just ask any of the 300 youth who attended the State 4-H Robotics Competition held April 21 in Springfield.

Ogle County teen wins again

Once wasn’t enough for Brenna Berns. The Ogle County 4-H member took the top honors in the Illinois 4-H State Horse Hippology Contest for the second straight year. The contest was held April 21 on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. She place second in the 2016 contest.

 “The primary objective of these contests is to provide an opportunity for youth to demonstrate their knowledge of equine-related subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail,” said Debra Hagstrom, University of Illinois Extension equine specialist.

Logan County teen claims State 4-H Horse Bowl championship

Ruthie Ruhl won the junior division of the 2017 Illinois 4-H State Horse Bowl Contest. A year later, the teen returned to capture the championship in the senior division. The Logan County 4-H member credits 4-H with preparing her to share her knowledge of the equine industry.

“Through the program, I have been able to share my knowledge with the younger equestrians,” Ruhl said, “and make new friends along the way.”

Million-meal milestone ensures families have food to eat

Across the state, one event at a time, Illinois 4-H members and volunteers are dedicating energy, time, and money to creating more food-secure communities where they live. On April 4, Illinois 4-H will pass a major milestone, providing more than one million meals to families as part of the 4-H Feeding & Growing Our Communities initiative.

The efforts began humbly in November 2013, said Bill Million, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development specialist. 4-H members evaluate the hunger issues in their local communities and develop strategies to meet the challenges.

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