Learn more about 4-H news and events for this month.
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 Michaela Castens

There are a lot of exciting upcoming opportunities for our 4-H families. Check in on the Extension events page, and be sure to connect with us by following us on Facebook. Information is also updated on the 4-H website on a regular basis. 

We are still accepting names for the HCE Penpal program and the radio spots. If you want to participate in either program, please let me know. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me at (618) 443-4364 or mes379@illinois.edu.

- Michaela Castens, Randolph County 4-H Extension Program Coordinator


2021 Randolph County 4-H Fair Dates


Below are the dates, times, and locations for the 2021 fair.  

Horse Show

 June 5

9 a.m.

Shawnee Arena & Stables, Alto Pass

Small Animal Show

 June 12

9 a.m.

Randolph County Fairgrounds

Livestock Weigh In

 June 13

6 p.m.

Perry County Fairgrounds

Livestock Show

 June 14

8 a.m.

Perry County Fairgrounds

Tractor Driving

 June 15

11 a.m.

Perry County Fairgrounds

Livestock Social/Auction

 June 15

4:30 p.m.

Perry County Fairgrounds

Swine Premier

 June 16

9:30 a.m.

Wenneman's Meat Market

Randolph Co. General Show

 June 30

6 p.m.

Sparta Community Building


Spark your interest as you plan for fair season

 child holding sparkler

Projects help 4-H members find and nurture their spark. When you try something for the first time, you may be inspired to keep learning as much as possible about it. Fair season is right around the corner. Explore all of the 4-H spark sheets to get some inspiration for your projects at: https://go.illinois.edu/4Hspark


Illinois 4-H is being asked for help with an important research project!

Bee on a purple flower, iPollinate Citizen Scientist 

I-Pollinate is a citizen science initiative and will be offering $100 to each of 54 small “study” gardens established by Illinois 4-H members this spring if they agree to report back on-line their observations of which annual, ornamental flowers pollinators prefer on their gardens. The task at hand though is to spread these gardens out statewide – so only one garden per county will be allowed until all 54 are registered.  Leaders can apply for funding by completing a training and registering their garden. These are small garden plots with specific plants  – literally only 4’ x 6’ in size.  

Data collection won’t start until National Pollinator Week during the week of June 21. Along with the $100 reimbursement for supplies and materials, 4-H members completing the reporting observations will receive an I-Pollinator Certificate; permanent sign for their garden; and an honorary pin! This is a great idea for a future entomology project display!

This project is designed by Dr. Alex Harmon-Threatt at U of I with the support of the Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Extension. More information can be found on the I-Pollinate website


Crop Scouting Competition

 youth looking at crops in field

The Illinois Crop Scouting Competition is a one-day contest and will be held at the Crop Sciences Research &  Ed. Center in Savoy, IL on August 4, 2021.

Student teams of 2-5 high-school-aged youth (grades 9-12) with an adult coach will rotate through 10 outdoor stations at the University of Illinois South Farm fields to test their skills hands-on with topics such as identifying weeds, insects, and diseases, identifying the growth stages of corn and soybean plants, assessing abiotic injury, pesticide application, and integrated pest management.

Event details can be found at:  https://extension.illinois.edu/global/illinois-crop-scouting-competition       


Travel Abroad with 4-H

Multi-story ornamental building in Japan 

Are you curious about daily life, culture, and youth programs in other countries? Travel abroad with 4‐H and experience foreign countries for a month‐long cultural immersion experience. Delegates live with volunteer host families and engage in experiential learning about a new way of life.

TRAVEL PERIOD: 4 –8 weeks (dates vary by program June‐August 2022)

REQUIREMENTS: Youth ages 12‐18 (some programs 15‐18)

Cost: $2700‐5000* Based on previous years (price varies by year, program and length of stay)

RECRUITMENT PERIOD: September‐November


Costa Rica · Japan · Korea · Norway · Finland · Romania · Taiwan · Argentina                                  

*Country availability changes each year

Visit https://www.states4hexchange.org/ or contact Miriam Rosenbohm at rosenbohm07@comcast.net or Elisha Hughes at ehugh2@illinois.edu


Champion Equity-Related Work in Your Community!

 True Leaders in Service Institute September 10-12

From September 10-12 and on October 9, 2021 the True Leaders in Equity Institute will prepare up to 20 teams to be change agents to create more welcoming and inclusive environments in 4-H. 

At the Institute, your team will gain a deeper understanding of equity and inclusion, choose an issue to focus on, develop new skills, create an action plan for when you return home!

Head here to apply by June 30th.  Download the FAQs here.


We want to hear how you are impacting your community!

I pledge my hands to larger service written on green background 

Register your service outreach efforts (or outreach plans!) for the months of MarchApril, May and June that demonstrate support of your communities.  Register here.


New 4-H Bass Fishing SPIN Club curriculum ready to go!

 Fish on a line with the words Bass Fishing SPIN Club

To the first 20 adult volunteer 4-H leaders that respond…..start up a new 4-H Bass Fishing SPIN Club, and you will receive a kit of supplies that will allow you to complete all six of the fun activity lessons in this new curriculum! Each kit will supply up to ten 4-H youth with the learning supplies they need. 

Want to look at the curriculum first?   Find it on the Illinois 4-H Project page website at:   https://4h.extension.illinois.edu/members/projects/nature-fishing-and-wildlife   

Contact Curt Sinclair at sinclair@illinois.edu to submit a request!   


Schleich Toy Contest

claymation toys 

What do you think would happen if the toy company Schleich got together with 4-H to create the most fantastic animal tale of all time? Find out with the “Create Your Story” contest, launching NOW! Join in the fun by creating a story only YOU can imagine.

The top 10 stories will go to a vote and the top two will be part of an interactive “create your own adventure” video premiering this fall! Find out more here: https://bit.ly/3taqrEV


Youth Photography Challenge

 photo reel of images

Calling all youth photographers! The Capture What’s Great in Midwest States 4-H Photography Challenge is all about exploring what makes your town, county, state or the Midwest great! Highlight something that stands out about your town, county, state or travels to another Midwest state. There are a lot of hidden gems around the Midwest, so get out and capture them! Submissions are due June 30. Learn more: z.umn.edu/Midwest-states-photo-challenge.


Experience the fun of summer camp with your kids!

Girl in a lake ~ are you ready for family fun that makes a splash? 

4-H Family Camp | Experience the fun of summer camp right along with your kids!

Enjoy your own family cabin for a three-day, two-night retreat right in central Illinois. While at camp your family can swim, boat, shoot archery, climb the rock wall, make arts & crafts, fish, take hayrack rides, participate in S.T.E.M. activities, hike, make s’mores over a campfire, and so much more!

Ready to camp?  Sign up for the June 6-8, June 18-20 or July 9-11 sessions at 4-H Memorial Camp in Monticello, IL.


4-H international

 two international students sitting together

Host a student from Japan or South Korea this summer through States’ 4-H International! Expand your family’s cultural understanding, learn about new foods and customs, and possibly learn a new language all while sharing your own.


  • Students are enrolled in public high school and arrive in the USA in August.
  • Your family and exchange student will be supported by local and state coordinators.

STUDENT DETAILS: Visit the Illinois states 4-H International Exchange for details about the student coming this summer.  https://www.facebook.com/Illinois4hexchange

SCHEDULE: Hosting takes place mid-July through mid-August.

WHO CAN APPLY: Anyone who wants to welcome a high school student into their family and is able to provide the student meals and a bed.

Contact the State Coordinator for more information: Miriam Rosenbohm, (309) 339-8282


Mark Your Calendar!

  • May 31                               DEADLINE: State 4-H Public Speaking Contest Submissions Due
  • June 4                                 State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest
  • June 5                                 4-H Shooting Sports Leader Training at 4-H Memorial Camp
  • June 5                                 State Public Speaking Contest
  • June 6-8                              4-H Family Camp Session #1
  • June 18-20                          4-H Family Camp Session #2
  • June 21                               State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest
  • June 27 – July 1                  Illini Summer Academies (Virtual)
  • July 1-3                               Camp Corral Family Camp
  • July 9-11                             4-H Family Camp Session #3
  • July 11- 23, 2021                Discovering STEM in ACES is a two-week virtual experience
  • July 24                                4-H Shooting Sports Leader Training at Camp Gardner in Hull
  • July 25 – August 1              ISF Junior Horse Show
  • July – August                      In-Bound Exchange Program Summer 2021
  • September 18                     Archery State Shoot at Peking Archers, Pekin, IL
  • September 25                     Shotgun State Shoot at Brittany Shooting Park, Bunker Hill
  • October 2                           Rifle State Shoot at Central Illinois Precision Shooters, Bloomington, IL
  • October 3                           Pistol State Shoot at Central Illinois Precision Shooters, Bloomington, IL

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