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Our Illinois 4-H Story 

Across the state, 4-H members and volunteers are impacting their communities. They are creating innovative solutions to complex problems. They are compassionate for those in need, respectful of those who came before, and generous with their time, talents and resources. They are the faces of Illinois 4-H. Read their stories here.

4-H provides hope, food to Southern Illinois
Edwards County 4-H members answered the call to help their neighbors, just when it is needed most. 

Fishing and 4-H: details lead to mastery

It’s no secret that some people are simply better at fishing than others. Nice equipment is helpful, but only in the hands of someone who knows how to use it. A $150 graphite fishing rod is a great tool, but it won’t catch a fish if the knot tied to the hook unravels because it was poorly tied by the fisherman.

Outdoor recreation and risk sensibility
Let me start by making a very low-risk assumption that if you’re reading this, you do not need any more convincing that outdoor recreation is good for every single part of your body. It’s good for the 4 H’s of 4-H: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health.

Just Follow that Stick
The spring rains had our family cooped up for several days. Little League practice was cancelled, and the stingray bike I had been riding in circles in the empty garage now had a flat tire. Eight years old; nowhere to go; nothing to do. As I sat there dejected, my mom entered the garage just as the sun came shining through the clouds.

A Message from Illinois 4-H
One thing we can count on during uncertain times is our 4-H values. Now, more than ever, Illinois youth need their 4-H family. Together, youth and adults can use this time to demonstrate values like independence, belonging, generosity and mastery. The lessons Illinois youth learn today will shape them as leaders for a lifetime. While using our virtual platforms, we can work together to model perseverance throughout Illinois communities and beyond. 

4-H Friendships Live On

A group of alumni enjoy 4-H so much, they’re still meeting, 90 years after the oldest began her 4-H journey. At 98 years young, Cathryn Frisby and her fellow Country Couples members still meet monthly. The seniors meet for a meal and guest speaker on topics ranging from honeybees to exercises for seniors.

Find Your New Best Friend at 4-H Camp
There's something about fresh air, campfires, starry nights, and lake water that brings out the best in humanity. It's summer, and that means time for 4-H camp.

10 Things For Which 4-H Members Give Thanks
We asked 4-H members and leaders the things for which they were thankful. Their answers make us smile during this time of Thanksgiving.

Mission: Feeding a Growing World
When your survival depends on feeding a growing world population, who better to call than a 4-H alum who has spent his professional career working to maximize crop outputs on every acre.

Cheers to the Green & White
October 1 starts the biggest week in 4-H, National 4-H Week. 4-H membership is 6 million strong across the country, with more than 25 million alumni.

Life Lessons Are Everywhere
BRANDT believes so much in the future of agriculture, the Illinois Ag company put the icons of the two greatest youth development organizations, 4-H and FFA, on the hood of its race car.

Google and 4-H ... and Russell
Google made quite a splash at the Illinois State Fair. But, as good as that announcement was, it only got better when a 4-H member named Russell took center stage. 

Failures Don't Have to Be Failures
I hope that our kids continue to find the bravery within to pursue their dreams and use their failures as opportunities to reinvent their course of action.

Remember What Matters at the 4-H Show
It’s about respecting your competitor and respecting the rules of the game and knowing the minute you stop either one, you’ve lost.

5 Lessons Every 4-H Members Know
Lessons come wrapped in all types of boxes. Here are five lessons every 4-H member knows.

4-H Teen is author, developer, philanthropist
Some members do 4-H projects, then there is Anthony Warmack's version of a 4-H project. For years, he has made environmental sciences his passion.

Raise Your Hand
As part of the Raise Your Hand call to action through June 30, 4-H is asking the millions of 4‑H alumni across the nation, including 4-H alums in Illinois to 'Raise Your Hand' and pay it forward in support of providing the hands-on learning that empowers kids across America.

We're Listening
We've kept 4-H a secret much too long. Effective organizational communication is a two-way street. We know we must learn to listen more and talk less if we want to develop meaningful relationships with clients.

A Champion for Illinois 4-H
A woman of remarkable grace and dedication, Lila Jeanne tirelessly campaigns with her time, talent, energy and financial resources to the advancement of Illinois 4-H, 4-H Memorial Camp, 4-H House, University of Illinois, and Illini Sports, said Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation executive director.

When 4-H Really Matters
Life Changing. It isn't a term I use lightly or often. It loses its power when used carelessly, yet today, today, I can use no other word to describe Josiah's 4-H journey than life-changing.Josiah just won the Illinois State 4-H Air Rifle Shoot held Saturday in Bloomington, but that isn't why his life is changed. His life is changed because of 4-H, one simple year of 4-H.

Volunteers are Key
You wouldn't think it would work. The shooting sports program is one of the fastest growing projects in Illinois 4-H. There's just one hitch; in order to participate, youth must take the project as part of a 4-H club experience. And, to be a 4-H shooting sports club, a club needs at least two certified instructors.To be certified, adults must attend a full weekend training, and for most, at their own $125 expense. They go through background checks and reference checks. Once approved, they spend countless hours in all types of weather giving their time to bring the sport to youth. See why it really shouldn't work?