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Click here to see this online
September 2021 4-H Alumni News
  Tina Veal

Greetings from Illinois 4-H! 

The summer months have been an excellent opportunity to reconnect with our Illinois 4-H family through county fairs, state fair, and many other events. It has been a pleasure to meet many 4-H families, volunteers, and 4-H alumni at the Illinois State Fair and the Farm Progress Show. We heard so many wonderful stories of how 4-H continues to impact lives and see 4-H youth learning and growing through the Illinois 4-H program.  4-H is continuing to empower youth and prepare them for success!

As we begin a new 4-H year, Illinois 4-H is looking forward to reengaging with youth and adults and is looking forward to these opportunities as we continue to follow COVID guidelines to keep everyone safe.  

I hope you enjoy learning about some new initiatives with Illinois 4-H & the Illinois 4-H Alumni Association in this newsletter edition. This summer, we have launched a new alumni apparel store and continued to identify 4-H alumni to join the IL 4-H Alumni Association. We look forward to more opportunities for you to engage with us in the future. 

Tina Veal
4-H Alumni & Constituent Engagement Manager
Illinois 4-H


New 4-H Alumni Apparel Now Available 

The Illinois 4-H Alumni Association has launched a new 4-H Grown alumni apparel line of clothing! From t-shirts to sweatshirts, quarter-zips, polos, and more! Join us to showcase your 4-H alumni pride!   https://go.illinois.edu/4halumnistore 


Reconnecting with you!

We had so much fun reconnecting with you at Springfield's Illinois State Fair and the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL! We were thrilled to meet and greet many of you during these events and hear your 4-H stories!  

We hosted a photo booth, "4-H Grown," and captured many memories with your 4-H families at the Illinois State Fair! You can view or download photos on our Facebook page.  

Do you know someone that needs to register for the IL 4-H Alumni Association? Please share this link with them today:  https://go.illinois.edu/4halum. We look forward to seeing you again soon!



Dr. Janice Seitz Named to 2021 National 4-H Hall of Fame

Former Illinois 4-H Director Janice Seitz of Springfield has been selected as an elite inductee to the National 4-H Hall of Fame. The decorated educator will be honored during a special ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 12 in Washington, D.C.
Seitz held 4-H leadership roles across the country and is known for her passion, dedication, enthusiasm, and love of empowering with youth, says Lisa Diaz, University of Illinois Extension 4-H program leader.
Growing up on a small farm in a Mennonite community near Paulding, Ohio, Seitz attended her first 4-H club meeting from a bassinet; her mother served as club leader of the Clever Clovers 4-H Club.
4-H was an integral part of Jan's life. She says she learned life skills by giving talks and demonstrations, decorating booths at the county and state fairs, building 4-H floats, attending 4-H camp, and attending the Ohio State Teen Conference, where she performed as part of a quartet that won the regional talent competition.
In 1997, Jan began her role as the assistant dean and director of 4-H for Illinois Extension. Under her leadership, youth participation in 4-H increased from 209,000 to more than 412,000 youth and adult volunteers.
She created the 4-H Legislative Connection where youth engaged with Illinois lawmakers. She gained support for increased funding for 4-H Extension youth development staff, and an endowment with the Illinois 4-H Foundation focused on character development projects bears her name.
Seitz’s professional 4-H involvement extended beyond Illinois. She chaired a taskforce responsible for protecting the 4-H name and emblem, co-chaired the national committee which hosted the 4-H centennial festivities, and led the team which presented the National 4-H Centennial Report to the U.S. Speaker of the House, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and congressional members. She served two terms on the National 4-H Foundation Board of Directors and four years on the National 4-H Congress Board of Directors.
Congratulations, Jan and thank you for everything you have done to shape Illinois 4-H!

4-H Green Communities Tree Planting

Illinois 4-H and the Association of IL Soil & Water Conservation Districts Forestry Committee are partnering to raise awareness of the benefits of trees to our environment and our youth.

4-H youth enrolled in projects related to environmental sciences will receive educational resources throughout the year and be invited to participate in a statewide tree planting event in 2022.

The goal is to have current year 4-H youth mentored by a 4-H alumni plant 650 container trees on publicly owned properties in every county in Illinois.  But to do this, we need your help!

The 4-H Green Communities Tree Program operates on 4-H donations to match forestry grant funds.  Please donate through the Illinois 4-H Foundation today.   Even a small $10 donation will plant one tree!   Thank you!

https://4hfoundation.illinois.edu/giving - Give to the 4-H Environmental Fund
Questions?  Please contact Curt Sinclair, sinclair@illinois.edu, Extension Specialist, Environmental Education & 4-H Shooting Sports


4-H Allows Me to Be...

Our 4-H members shared over 500 reasons to join 4-H with us while at the Illinois 4-H General Project Show at the Illinois State Fair! What did 4-H allow you to be? A new 4-H year is beginning; share how to join 4-H with someone you know! View on our Facebook page

Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame Winners Announced
Please join us in celebrating the newest class of the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame inductees!
These individuals contribute their time and talents to work with our young people across the state to help guide them, give them a sense of belonging, and to help them explore their interests. Thank you to these outstanding volunteers! The full ceremony can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/zu9Hqua6XrU
The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2005 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former 4-H staff. Those inducted have a track record of exemplary service to 4-H or outstanding career and community achievement and were nominated by either county University of Illinois Extension staff or by the Illinois 4-H Foundation Board.

Jackson Family named 2021 Family Spirit Award winners
Four generations, 146 years of 4-H membership, 47 years of club leaders, and 111 years of volunteerism. For the Jackson Family of Jefferson County, 4-H is a way of life! The Illinois 4-H Foundation is honored to announce the Jackson Family as the 2021 4-H Family Spirit Award Winner.

The 4-H Family Spirit Award recognizes Illinois families who have benefited from 4-H and continue to advocate for the Illinois 4-H program over multiple generations. In addition to length of 4-H membership, families advocate for the county and state 4-H programs through their community service and philanthropy.

Ida Mae Jackson began the family's 4-H legacy. As a young girl living through the depression, Ida Mae faced many challenges, but her mother and 4-H were constants in her life. For four generations, the values of 4-H and family still guide the Jackson Family.

Ida Mae was an only child and, from the age of 9, was raised by her widowed mother. Together, they worked the farm which remains in the family today. Although opportunities were limited, Ida Mae joined a 4-H club where she learned to sew and preserve food.

She later married Henry Jackson, and the two built a home on the same family farm, raising cattle, swine, chickens, and grain. Their four children were all 10-year members of 4-H in Jefferson County.
Nine grandchildren were born, and all nine were 4-H members. Two of Ida Mae’s seven great-grandchildren are 4-H members. In total, the family has 146 years of 4-H membership and another 111 years as 4-H volunteers.

Though they traveled different paths, 4-H was their compass, a family spokesperson says, and influenced many of their career paths. “The entire family still relies on the skills learned though 4-H, as they promote family and community.”

Thank you to the Jackson Family for shaping generations of 4-H members!


New 4-H STEAM Expo at the Illinois State Fair

Did you know studies have shown that e-sports provides many of the same benefits of other sports like teamwork, communication, strategy, visual-spatial skills, and sportsmanship?

Illinois 4-H teamed up with the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology for the first ever 2021 eSports Competition at the Tech Prairie STEAM Expo on the Illinois State Fairgrounds during the Illinois State Fair.  Illinois 4-H supported both the esports and drone racing competitions. 
The 4-H New Year is almost here and now is a great time to learn more about e-sports and all of our 4-H projects for the 2021-2022! Contact your local Extension office for more information or head to go.illinois.edu/ProjectSelectionGuide to learn more!

4-H Alumni Profile:  Stan Eden

Name: Stan Eden
4-H County:  JoDaviess County, IL
Years in 4-H:  10 years
Post Secondary Education:  B.S. '60 General Agriculture, University of Illinois; M.S. '70 Extension Education, University of Illinois; Advanced Certificate '73 University of Illinois
Career: Retired, Extension Educator, University of Illinois Extension

Favorite 4-H Projects:  Livestock, Crops, Gardening, Photography

How did 4-H contribute to your leadership skills today?
Leadership skills develop as you learn to work with a committee and become an officer and utilize parlimentary procedure!

Did 4-H instill a career path for you?
Yes, during my 4-H career Extension Youth Educators and 4-H leaders provided the inspiration to move forward.

What advice do you have for someone interested in your career path?
Have a passion to work with and help people achieve their goals.  Be a good listener.  Have a philosophy of helping people solve problems and put into practice the skills learned from your education. 

What advice would you give a current 4-H member?
Learn to volunteer in the activities in your 4-H club.  Take advantage of the opportunities to develop leadership skills and know that you have a compassionate 4-H leader who will guide you to "Make the Best Better".

Why should young people join 4-H today?
First and foremost, young people will learn life skills that will last a lifetime.  You will learn how to achieve goals and work with others!  Leadership skills will be learned by participation in 4-H club activities.  Being able to give a talk or demonstration will prepare youth for their life career.

To see more 4-H alumni profiles, visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/il4halumni
To submit your 4-H alumni profile, visit: https://go.illinois.edu/4halumnistory


New Illinois 4-H Clover Connection Video Series

We are thrilled to announce and launch a new 4-H alumni video series called Illinois 4-H Clover Connection. This video series will host 4-H alumni and learn about their experiences in 4-H and how 4-H has impacted their lives. 

We also launched an edition of this during the Illinois State Fair, called "Clovers in Carts" and visited with 4-H alumni that were deeply engaged with the Illinois State Fair.  

We hope you will join us to learn more about these 4-H alumni stories! 



We hope you stay connected to us!

We hope you will engage with us online and help create a network of 4-H alumni.