Learn more about 4-H news and updates for your county!
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 Ramona Girtman, 4-H EPC

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. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me at (618) 993-3304 or girtman@illinois.edu.

Ramona Girtman, Williamson County 4-H Extension Program Coordinator


Williamson County Shooting Sports

 Children holding air rifles

The shooting sports program provides a supportive environment in which young people can enjoy hands-on, learning experiences. It instills a love of outdoor sportsmanship while also teaching safe and responsible handling and use of equipment. This spring, we hope to offer in-person, outdoor meetings at Tombstone Gun Range. The spring classes will consist of shotgun, pistol, and .22 rifle. Stay tuned for updates on the Williamson County 4-H Facebook page


4-H Junior Livestock Conference

livestock animals 

Come join the State 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team and get hands-on experience at this year’s Junior Livestock Conference! This year’s theme is “Making Your Mark” – There are so many ways to Make Your Mark in the livestock industry. Whether you are identifying a disease, branding a steer, developing a new feed ration, or being a leader in the industry – you can Make Your Mark in all things you do! 

In order to hold this event in person, the number of participants has been reduced and the format of the conference has changed to a one-day conference. The conference will be offered on Saturday, April 24 and repeated on Sunday, April 25. Participants will choose one of those dates to attend. Registration is limited to 26 youth each day and spots are on a first come, first served basis. Note that this conference usually reaches capacity before the deadline to register. 

OPEN TO: Youth currently in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades
EVENT DATE OPTIONS: Saturday, April 24, 2021   OR   Sunday, April 25, 2021
LOCATION:  Illiniois Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, IL
DEADLINE TO REGISTER:  April 12, 2021 (Registration will automatically close when capacity is reached, which may be before this deadline.)
Registration Link:  go.illinois.edu/2021JuniorLivestock


Shooting Sports Instructor Training


Illinois 4-H is seeking adult volunteers to train local youth interested in learning about shooting sports.  More than 3,600 4-H members participate in one of the five 4-H shooting sports disciplines. Projects teach the responsible and safe handling of firearms.  The program relies heavily on adult volunteers who are willing to lead in the shooting disciplines and management of the local county programs. To be a certified volunteer, one must complete the National 4-H Shooting Sports training. County Extension staff must approve participants for this training.

4-H Memorial Camp, Monticello, IL
Saturday, June 5, 2021
9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Contact your local Extension Program Coordinator by May 2 to register for this training.

Gardner Camp, Hull, IL
Saturday, July 24, 2021
9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Contact your local Extension Program Coordinator by July 9 to register for this training.


Youth Leadership Team

All hands in 

You see them at state 4-H events in their bright green shirts. Now YOU can become an Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team member.

Eligibility: Age 16 to 19
Length of service: Two years
Apply online: illinois.edu/4HYLT. Look for the “application” at the bottom of the page.
Deadline: March 15, 2021

The State Youth Leadership Team plans and implements the state Jr. Leadership Conference, plans and teaches the Speaking for Illinois 4-H program, and assists (behind the scenes and in front of the audience) for many other statewide events. Team members have the opportunity to serve on statewide planning committees and advisory groups, including the Illinois 4-H Foundation Board of Directors, Illinois Farm Bureau Youth Education Committee, Illini Summer Academies planning committee, and Teen Leadership Conference planning committee. Members also have the first opportunity to attend National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C. each spring.


Illinois 4-H Robotics Challenge

 robotic pieces

2020 brought many unexpected challenges and changes to each of our lives. From attending school from home to keeping each other safe during a global pandemic, each of us has a unique story to tell about the past year, and this year you and your team will be able to tell your stories at the 2021 Illinois 4-H State Robotics Challenge.

This year's challenge will be virtual and will require your team to use the challenges of the last 4 years (2017-2020) to tell your unique story. Register now through April 30: https://go.illinois.edu/4HR2021

For details about the challenge, and other FAQs head here: https://go.illinois.edu/2021CHALLENGE


Community Project Grant Opportunity

girl painting building 

4-H is proud to join the Invisalign® brand in their search for 100 deserving teens dedicated to making a difference in their communities to be recognized as Invisalign® ChangeMakers! Each of these teens will be celebrated at a virtual event and awarded $5,000 cash to fund their service projects or help support their educational or personal goals. All teens ages 13 – 19 can apply now through March 31 by sharing how they’re creating positive change in their communities, schools and world.


Farm Credit Scholarships

 Student writing

4-H members who are Illinois High School Seniors with agricultural career aspirations planning to enroll in an agriculture-based college curriculum next fall can apply for one of 30 $2,000 scholarships. Two under-represented minority student applicants will be recognized as Diversity in Agriculture Scholars. Applications are due March 12. Learn more or apply at Farm Credit Illinois.


4-H Volunteer Cafe Conversations


Register to participate in the 4-H Volunteer Café Conversations Illinois 4-H recently launched a platform for 4-H Volunteers from across Illinois to meet virtually and discuss topics of interest and share both ideas and challenges. Volunteers will gain access to tools and techniques to support their volunteer efforts, strengthening 4-H club and member learning experiences. 4-H will address two topics during each Café Conversation, so come with your ideas, questions, and since this is a Café Conversation, feel free to bring a snack as well! 

  • Register for Thursday, May 20, 2021; 7 PM

Food in Action

 Grocery bag with groceries and Food Action Summit Text

The Illinois 4-H Food Action Summit is where leaders meet to be inspired and share a vision for food security, food access, and food justice in Illinois. University of Illinois researchers, non-profit professionals, food advocates, and civic leaders will be present to lead workshops designed to empower young people with the knowledge, confidence, and resources they need to strengthen their leadership as they work to create food security in their communities. 

Share your ideas, vision, and passion while you network with Food Advocacy Professionals on a shared vision for future food security, food access, and food justice. Registration is now open for this May 15 Zoom event. 


Community Improvement Grants for 4-H Clubs

community grant 

It is time to roll up your sleeves and make a positive impact in your community! Farm Credit Illinois is inviting 4-H Clubs to apply for a $500 grant to assist club members in being positive change agents by making their local communities better places to live. Eligible clubs are those located in one of the counties served by Farm Credit Services Illinois in Extension units in southern & central Illinois. Those interested should apply no later than March 12.


States 4-H International Exchange

 international 4-H

Host a Japanese youth this summer through 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. Your children will build lifelong friendships and will gain new perspectives on their own country too! Hosting takes place from mid-July through mid-August with a recruitment period of January through May or until all placements are made.  Hosting requirements include:

  • Families hosting a youth must have a child the same gender and approximate age (12-18) as the incoming youth.
  • Youth must have a separate bed; a separate room is not required.
  • Host family selection is dependent on the completion of an application and screening process, as well as student availability and personality compatibility.

Apply Today at: https://www.states4hexchange.org/apply/host/


Illinois Summer Academy

this summer was lit text over electrical components image 

Follow your passion. Explore a future career. Learn by doing! Whether it's Electrical & Computer Engineering, Teaching, Business, or something else -- we have a variety of fields to explore!

If you are curious as to what college or career is right for you, plan now to join us and discover new possibilities at the Illini Summer Academies (ISA)! At ISA you can expect a fun and exploratory experience featuring a virtual academy session and a variety of new workshops and fun virtual activities. 

Head to go.illinois.edu/illini4h to view the full list of opportunities. Registration is open now through March 24!



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