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4-H Newsletter August 2020

Here is an excerpt from the July 1 update about the status of August in-person activites:

Effective August 1, in-person events for groups of up to 10 people may resume, with group limits expanding up to 25 on August 16. All program participants and staff will be required to practice social distancing measures, including wearing a face covering. All 4-H general project and 4-H livestock shows and exhibitions scheduled through August 31 will move online to FairEntry. All overnight camps are also canceled through the end of August.

Not sure what is going on? We are updating our Unit website regularly. Please check there when in doubt!

Updates for this month!

The top things for August you need to know for 4-H:

  • All counties' results are now available! Those results can be found here
  • Want to know when you will see results from the State 4-H General Project Show? Results for state judging will be sent to counties to share with families. Week 1 judging results will be sent to counties approximately Aug. 17, Week 2  results on Aug 24, and Week 3 results on Aug. 31. Unfortunately, families will not be able to view judge’s comments until all three weeks of state judging are complete.
  • Congratulations to our 4-H Hall of Fame inductees! Andy Hughes from Champaign County, Connie Loschen from Ford County, Larry Haigh from Iroquois County, and Nancy Boose from Vermilion County will all join the 2020 Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame class.
  • CFIV 4-H members join the Youth Leadership Team. We would like to congratulate Delaney Smith from Champaign County and Naomi Dolan from Vermilion Couty for being selected for the State Youth Leadership Team!
  • Be sure that you are using the most up to date version of your club's record books. The secretary book and treasurer book are both very important documents for your club. These must be turned in at the end of the 4-H year.



End of the Year Award Time Is Approaching
4-H award ribbon

Whether you are a first-year 4-H member or a longtime member, it’s time to focus on pulling together information for your 4-H award applications. Even younger members can submit the 4-H Experience Application and be eligible for 4-H recognition. Older members can submit both the 4-H Experience Application and the Illinois 4-H Scholarship Application to be eligible for state recognition, scholarships, and/or trips.


The Illinois 4-H Experience Award Application focuses on all of those events and activities that you have experienced during the 4-H year in four areas: Participation, Community Service, Leadership, and Project Learning. Depending upon the type and number of experiences you can report on, members can receive recognition on the Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond or Emerald Clover Award level. Your family calendar, 4-H notes or county summary, checkmarks, and a few written details are all that’s needed for even the youngest members to submit this application. This application can be found @ https://4h.extension.illinois.edu/members/awards.


The Illinois 4-H Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship to award outstanding work in project areas. Five $1,000 scholarships will be awarded in each of the following categories: Animal Science, Civic Engagement/Global Living, Creative Performing Arts & Communication, Food Systems,  Healthy Living/ Nutrition, Leadership, Natural Resources & Environmental Science, Personal Growth and STEM/Robotics. The deadline to apply is November 1. Apply online @ go.illinois.edu/4Hscholarships .


Each 4-H member has a story to tell and are eligible for our 4-H awards program – tell YOUR stories and see where they take you!

Club Recognition Award

Is your 4-H Club doing outstanding work in the areas of Community Service, Leadership or Project Mastery?. If so, you should apply for the Illinois 4-H Club Award! Clubs receiving this award will receive a $75 cash incentive and an award certificate. This is also a great tool to set goals and plan for the upcoming 4-H year. This application can be found @ https://4h.extension.illinois.edu/members/awards.


Important Change to Record Books

Our unit will be utilizing the Experience Award application to replace record books this year. Unfortunately, the changes we asked for from Zingbooks weren’t made due to all of the issues they faced during the migration from a normal work setting. The coders and staff at Zingbooks are working on those changes, but it won’t be ready for us to use in the 2019-2020 records/awards season. 4-H members who have adopted Zingbooks can continue to put items there, just know that is not the way we are going to go for this year.

4-H Award Training Opportunities

Illinois 4-H State Awards Training Webinar

The State 4-H Office will be hosting a Zoom call to go over how to fill out the state 4-H awards at 7 PM on September 2. You can register for this webinar here


County 4-H Award Q & A Webinar

Our unit will be hosting a Q & A session about county awards at 6 PM on Monday, August 17. We will be going over changes and updates as well as where to find information on our website. Add the Zoom call to your calendar (this link will connect you to the call when it is live).

State Livestock Judging Contest Results
Youth standing in group 
Pictured is the 2019 team; which includes many members that participated in the 2020 contest. 
State Livestock Judging Contest Results

In the senior division, Champaign County placed 5th as a team. Brooke Beyers was 10th overall individual. Other team members were Addison Bartlow, Luke Zimmerman, Taylor Dietz, Anna Crites.

In the junior division, Champaign teams placed 5th, 7th, and 13th. Lane Beyers was 4th overall individual, Olivia Shike was 7th overall individual. Other team members include Claire Zorns, Hunter Shike, Brenna Bartlow, Bailey Bunting, Braden Bartlow, Brecke Barnard, Alex Barnard, Kolby Dietz, Andrew Todd, Cole Zorns.

4-H STEM Opportunity

National 4-H Council is inviting all 4-H CS Pathway teens, which includes all IL 4-H teens, to register for a free kit. They encourage teams of at least two teens and an adult adviser to receive training, plan, and host their own STEM Challenge events in their community in the month October. In exchange for free kits and training, teens will share a report on the impact of their events.

The top three groups who makes the biggest impact in their community will be awarded a $1000 grant to further their local CS program. Impact can be defined as the largest number of STEM Challenge events implemented, total number of youths reached, or most innovative or creative partnerships. This year registration will be capped at 200 registrants. To get kits shipped in time for a Teen STEM Challenge Unboxing, registration must be complete by August 14th, 2020. Click here to register for your kit.



virtual fair t-shirt design 

Even though the 2020 show season looked different, we would still like to commemorate it. Virtual Show t-shirts are available for members, leaders, and parents to order. The order must be placed by August 14. Please select your county and shirt sizes via the webistration. You can view your county's shirt here

Staff Contact Information

All 4-H staff are (still) working from home. We have been working from home since March 18. This means we are not in the office to answer the phone. If you need us, the best way to reach us is via email, or by calling the Champaign Extension office at 217-333-7672 (this is the only one of the three office phones that can be answered remotely), or our direct Skype numbers.

You can follow our unit on Facebook here.

Just the Help You Need for Your 4-H Club

The Illinois 4-H Website has all of the resources and forms needed to guide 4-H club officers, committees, and members as they plan for the new 4-H program year.

  • Go to illinois.edu/IL4H
  • Click on the Clubs
  • Scroll to Meeting Resources near the bottom of the page
  • Find these helpful documents:
    • Club Meeting Agenda – this fillable form is a useful fill-in-the-blank form your club officers can use as they plan each section of the meeting. This useful from provides them with the meeting structure they can use to identify who from the club should be in charge of each potential item that may be included in a meeting.
    • Club Committee Planning Worksheet – the Committee Planning Worksheet is an excellent tool to give to committee members as they plan club events and activities.
    • Club Yearly Program Plan – this helpful tool guides the club officers and club members as they identify club goals to work toward during the year and brainstorm what programs, events and/or activities to plan for the club to engage members in fun, hands-on learning experiences throughout the program year.
    • More – Don’t forget to download your new secretary book, treasurer book, tips for good club meetings, tips for using the 4-H name, and more other important resources.
From the State 4-H Office
 people watching a robot plant seeds
Progress in a New Sustainable Ag Project

In collaboration with the Illinois 4-H Foundation, Illinois Farm Bureau, and the FarmBot company we are beginning to roll out several pilot sites for the implementation of STEM programming in Ag Education.  This educational program is aimed at developing the critical thinking and STEM-related skills of Illinois youth by bringing them into contact with precision agriculture technology and promoting design-thinking approaches to agriculture’s greatest challenges. See this link for a short interview with Illinois Farm Bureau to learn more about the progress we've made. 


Register to participate in the first 4-H Volunteer Café Conversation on Thursday, August 20; at 7 PM.  We are so excited to be launching this new Illinois 4-H opportunity creating a platform for 4-H Volunteers from across Illinois to meet virtually and discuss topics of interest, share both ideas and challenges. Volunteers will gain access to tools & techniques to support their volunteer efforts, strengthening 4-H club and member learning experiences. We 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! This is what we have planned for our first Illinois 4-H Volunteer Café Conversation.

Here are the Specials of the Day:

  • Welcome to our Volunteer Cafe - A Few Appetizers to Get Us Started (10 minutes)
  • Special of the Day #1 - Successful Member Recruitment Strategies (15 minutes)
  • Special of the Day #2 - Club Programming to Energize Meetings (15 minutes)
  • Wrap Up - Tips & Tools for your Pantry; AND What's on the Menu for Next Time! (10-15 minutes)

Use this registration link to indicate your intent to participate in this new opportunity. Everyone who signs up will receive an email prior to the event with the Zoom Call registration link and additional instructions We look forward to chatting with you soon!



Virtual Shoot logo 
4-H Shooting Sports Fall Update

After a survey of shooting sports discipline instructors; key volunteers; and state shooting sports venues - the decision has been made to move all in-person state shoots to a virtual tournament format for health and safety reasons.   This will allow for smaller, local competitions to be conducted and supervised by certified Level I 4-H discipline instructors who will then report the youth scores centrally through an on-line system.    Only Level I certified instructors may enter scores from 4-H members.

Also, we are happy to announce that our 2020 Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports team members who were scheduled to attend the National 4-H Shoot last June (cancelled due to COVID-19) will be invited to shoot at the same national event in 2021 if they are still age eligible. Our 2020 virtual shoot results and the data from 2019 State Shoots will then be used to fill any gaps in the 2021 Illinois team.

The virtual shoot will run for the months of September – December, 2020.    Registration will be free and have both a Junior (11-13 years) and Senior (14-18 years) division!   Disciplines offered will be compound archery; recurve archery; shotgun (trap); and air rifle.  The rules, registration link, and score submittal link are attached to this email and also posted on the Illinois 4-H website at:   https://4h.extension.illinois.edu/events/illinois-4-h-virtual-shoot-fall-2020

Virtual Shoot registration opens Sept. 1st

There are no current plans to conduct an in-person 4-H Shooting Sports adult certification training in the fall of 2020 at this time. This situation is still pending and is dependent on pandemic management guidelines.


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