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‘Who-done-it’ uncovered during 4-H livestock conference

Friday, April 7, 2017
Photo of girl with dirt

Illinois 4-H livestock project members solved a mystery haunting their imaginary 4-H barnyard at the recent Youth Livestock Conference held Feb. 11 – 12 in Champaign. Each new skill gained during the training provided a clue to the 2-day “who-done-it” mystery.

Nearly 75 4-H members in seventh through ninth grades gained new livestock management skills, such as dissection, embryo preservation, blood typing, electrophoresis, DNA isolation, and bacteriology.

In addition, youth learned valuable animal ethics and advocacy priorities in order to become better livestock stewards, said Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H Animal Science Educator. The teens participated in mock courtroom debates as they wove through the difficult issues on the table, Jennings said.

The Illinois 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team, a group of 22 older 4-H members and recent alums with a passion and mastery of livestock knowledge, taught all the educational sessions, as well as key leadership and team-building activities. “These young people are trained to speak up and advocate for the 4-H program and the Illinois livestock industry,” Jennings said, “and the teen participants really gained from this peer-to-peer training.”

Mindy Bunselmeyer, Illinois FFA executive director, addressed the teens to discuss future careers within the global agriculture setting.

The conference is supported financially by the Illinois 4-H Foundation, 1st Farm Credit and Farm Credit Illinois.