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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.”
Not all 4-H horse projects are done from a saddle. 4-H members recently competed for top honors in the Illinois 4-H Horse Speaking Contest held April 22 on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign.
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.
University of Illinois Extension and the College of ACES hope to raise $2 million for agriculture and engineering education for Illinois youth. Why this focus? Because we know . . .
Imagine digging at an archeological site, opening a honeybee hive, or performing African dance. For some Illinois teens, imagination will turn to reality during Illini Summer Academies, set to begin June 24 on the University of Illinois campus.