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Youth challenged to design life blueprint

Inspiration from the writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. guided Illinois 4-H members at the Teen Leadership Conference held January 13-14 at the Decatur Conference Center. Nearly 100 teens across Illinois attended the conference to improve their community advocacy, college readiness, communication, and personal development skills.

“In 4-H, we know that leadership is not about a title or a designation,” said Lisa Diaz, University of Illinois Extension assistant dean and 4-H director. “It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration.”



Livestock Skillathon team takes third

An Illinois team earned third place at the National 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest held Monday, Nov. 13 during the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky.

The team finished second in the quality assurance division which included questions related to animal handling, breeding, marketing, feeding, and carcass evaluation, said Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H animal science educator. It also placed fifth in evaluation and seventh in meats, breeds, and equipment identification.

Illinois crowned reserve national champion

The Illinois 4-H livestock judging team claimed the reserve championship at the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest held Tuesday, Nov. 14 during the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky.

The team earned first in the cattle and oral reasons divisions, fourth in sheep, and 16th in swine to lead them to the second place overall finish against 30 competing teams.

Illinois finishes fourth in national 4-H horse judging contest

An Illinois teen placed fifth overall at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup Judging Contest held Nov. 4 at the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville, Ky. Cali Pontnack of Morgan County competed against 90 national competitors.

The teen took third place in the conformation division of the contest, ninth in performance, and 11th in reasons. Teammate Rylee McKinney of Shelby County missed a top ten performance division rating by three points. Shelby County 4-H member Hallie Horsman also competed.

Illinois wins National 4-H Horse Bowl

A team of Illinois 4-H members won the Eastern National 4-H Roundup Horse Bowl championship held Nov. 4 in Louisville, Ky. The win was a continuation of success for the 4-H members who also earned first place team at the All American Quarter Horse Congress Horse Bowl held in October.

Members of the team include Kiersten Pratt of Bureau County, and Brenna Berns, Megan Poole, Kaiti Collins, and Natalie Shaw, all members of Carroll County 4-H. Bryan Hollewell of Milledgeville coached the team.

Who doesn’t like a road trip!

More than 200 teens packed cars and busses for a rally on the University of Illinois campus to commemorate the beginning of the 4-H year. New in 2017, the event was a celebration of the importance teen members are to 4-H, said Alvarez Dixon, U of I Extension 4-H youth development specialist. “We want to engage youth so they see all the opportunities available to them,” Dixon said. “We know that teens are tempted to drop out of 4-H in their early adolescence, so this event provided a chance for us to show them all the reasons they should stay in 4-H.”

4-H Foundation accepts $60,000 gift

Dakota Access Pipeline, LLC donated $60,000 to the Illinois 4-H Foundation to fund 4-H youth development programs in 12 Illinois counties. Pipeline officials presented the 4-H donation, along with a $60,000 check to the Illinois FFA Foundation, Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville.

The funds will be used to benefit 4-H youth programs in the 12 Illinois counties the pipeline traverses. Those counties are Adams, Bond, Brown, Fayette, Hancock, Macoupin, Marion, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Schuyler, and Scott counties.

4-H, FFA each to receive $60,000

The Illinois FFA Foundation and Illinois 4-H Foundation will each receive donations of $60,000 from Dakota Access Pipeline, LLC. The funds will be used to benefit local youth in the 12 Illinois counties the pipeline traverses, as well as those across the state through conference sponsorships and curriculum support. The foundations are hosting a joint check presentation Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Jacksonville High School, 1211 North Diamond St., Jacksonville.

Illinois places 6th in national dairy contest

The Illinois team took sixth place in the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest held recently during the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.

Members of the national team included Jared Dickman, Lanark; Connor Erbsen, Lanark; Dawn Irwin, Beason; and Lauren Robison, Mulberry Grove.

The team earned third place in Ayrshire and Guernsey breeds and fifth in Holsteins. Individually out of 86 competitors, Erbsen placed 13th overall and Irwin placed 18th overall, with both earning the All-American status for the contest.


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