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Click here to see this online
4-H Newsletter March 2020
Updates for this month!

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

  • Make sure you are enrolled in 4honline for the year.
  • If your youth is in dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, sheep, or goats, they MUST take the new YQCA training
  • We are one of the pilot areas in Illinois for a new online record book and club management system called Zingbooks. Check it out!

Here are more details about those, plus a list of area wide activities that are coming up soon.

Choosing Projects

Don't forget to enroll/re-enroll for the 2019-2020 4-H year! The project enrollment deadline is April 15. 

We have dozens of projects you can choose to take and ways to help you learn! Check out the online project guide here and project resources available @ https://4h.extension.illinois.edu/project-resources. Give us a call at the Extension office if you have questions: 217-442-8615.

Taking an animal project? READ THIS

For members enrolled in dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, sheep, and goats:

  • The YQCA is a new livestock quality assurance program that is replacing PQA which no longer exists. All 4-H exhibitors of these animals will be required to certify in the YQCA program each year starting for the 2020 show season. Attend either a face to face class or certify online via the website http://yqca.org The YQCA program is for youth ages 8-21. The online version is broken into age divisions as follows: juniors 8-11, intermediate 12-14, senior 15-18, and young adults 19-21. This certification is needed each year with test out options of 1-3 years. Youth exhibiting swine at the Illinois State Fair and 4-H fairs are no longer required to be PQA plus certified. The estimated cost for the face-to-face training will be $3 and $12 for the online version. 

    Register here for any of these four local certification trainings:

    • March 14, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. @Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau, Gilman 
    • April 23, 6:30-8:00 p.m. @DACC, Danville
    • May 4, 6:30-8:00 p.m. @Champaign Extension office, Champaign
    • May 7, 6:30-8:00 p.m. @Moyer District Library, Gibson City

For members enrolled in horses, rabbits, poultry, dogs, and cats:

  • Quality Assurance and Ethics training is required for youth in horses, rabbits, poultry, dogs, and cats. You only need to take it once in your lifetime. Those who don’t complete the training will be removed from the animal science project and will not be eligible to exhibit at county fairs. The website is open year-round @ http://web.extension.illinois.edu/qaec/. NOTE: Youth must be logged on to a computer for this program, either a desktop or laptop; not an iPad or iPhone.
New pilot! Zingbooks - Record book

We are excited about a new electronic record book and club management system for 4-H! Zingbooks is now being offered free to all 4-H families and we are one of the pilot areas in Illinois. We encourage you to check it out – you can find a calendar of events across the four-county area, use it for club updates, and most importantly, it has record book templates that include all the components you need to showcase your 4-H year’s work (including what you need for fair projects). Here are detailed instructions on how to sign up your 4-Hers. (Link to public Box file of the PDF: https://uofi.box.com/s/c82rwksrwgarsqs5qq1uvl2fc9xyksgw )

Visit  https://4h.zsuite.org/ to get started on this new platform!

2020 Summer Shows Dates

Is your 4-Her enrolled in a Public Presentation or Food Demonstration project? These two project areas have their own competition for all youth from Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties in April.

  • Public Speaking Contest: Saturday, April 18, 2020, at 9:00 am at Champaign County Extension Office
  • Food Demonstration Contest: Saturday, April 18, 2020, at 1:00 pm at Champaign County Extension Office

Find the schedules for each County fair on our website soon.

Ford County Fair: June 14-20
Vermilion County Fair: June 24-28
Iroquois County Fair: July 14-20
Champaign County Fair: July 22-August 1

State Fair 4-H Day: Friday, August 14

JOANN Clovers for Kids Campaign

“Pay It Fourward”

JOANN stores across the country help 4‑H clubs receive critical resources to bring more hands-on programs to local youth. This year, starting March 1- April 30, visit your local JOANN store and purchase a “Pay It Fourward” tear away at register for either $1 or $4 and help to Inspire a Child’s Creativity through 4‑H. If you donate $4, JOANN will give you a coupon to use on a future purchase.

4‑H Rewards Card

Save 15% with JOANN 4‑H Rewards on in-store and online purchases. JOANN will give a minimum of 5% of eligible transactions to 4‑H.

Custom 4‑H Fabric

Purchase a variety of custom 4‑H fabric at JOANN Stores nationwide or online and visit the JOANN website for unique 4‑H inspired crafting ideas. For each fabric sold, 4.5% will go toward creating more hands-on programs for kids in local communities. Share your creations on social media with #JOANNLOVES4H!

Free showing of Silo

Silo is the first-ever feature film about a grain entrapment. Vermilion County Farm Bureau and Danville Area Community College - with the financial support of several area businesses - are pleased to be able to present a free screening of the movie on Sunday, March 8. It will begin at 3:00 pm at the Fischer Theatre in downtown Danville.

A discussion about grain bin entrapments, led by the Illinois Fire Service Institute, will follow the movie.

The film runs for 70 minutes. It would be ideal for farm families and first responders to attend.

Swine Clinic
Click the picture to go to the registration link. 

Annual Iroquois County Swine Clinic

It is time again for the Annual Iroquois County Swine Clinic! This year brings the same top-notch training from industry professionals on topics such as picking the best show pig to showmanship skills and best practices. New this year will be the YQCA certification training directly following the clinic form 10:30 am-12 pm. Please see below for clinic details and if you are interested in staying for the YQCA training, please check yes in registration.

Register here!

Swine Clinic and YQCA Training, Saturday, March 14, Clinic: 9 – 10 am, YQCA: 10:30 am – 12 pm

Farm Bureau, 1381 S. Crescent St., Gilman, IL 60938


Illini Summer Academies

Illini Summer Academies

June 21 – 26 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Imagine getting to work alongside university professors while you’re still in HIGH SCHOOL! Imagine getting to hang out on a college campus. Imagine spending five days with kids your age from all across Illinois. That’s what happens at Illini Summer Academies, so stop imagining it and just do it!

This conference runs June 21-26 at the University of Illinois campus. Explore one of 13 different programs during the week. Illini Summer Academies is supported through the Illinois 4-H Foundation and intended to serve youth living in Illinois.

  • Learn more @ illinois.edu/illini4H. Registration opens March 16 and closes April 17.
  • Apply for a scholarship @ illinois.edu/illini4Hscholarship before April 1. The scholarship covers the $260 base cost of the conference. Any academy cost is the responsibility of the attendee.
  • Space for each academy is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Many academies reach capacity before the registration closes, so don’t wait. Academies and costs include:
    • AGRICULTURAL LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNICATION. Department: Ag Leadership, Education, and Communication. College: Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. Cost TBD.
    • ANIMAL SCIENCES. Department: Animal Sciences. College: Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences. Cost: $370.
    • BEEKEEPING. Department: Entomology. College: Liberal Arts and Sciences. Cost: TBD
    • CHEMISTRY AROUND US. Department: Chemistry. College: Liberal Arts and Sciences. Cost: $280.
    • ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING. Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering. College: Engineering. Cost: $485.
    • GAME DESIGN: STORYTELLING AND FABRICATION. Champaign-Urbana Fab Lab. Cost: $335.
    • HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY STUDIES. Department: Human Development and Family Studies. College: Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. Cost: $295.
    • JOURNEY FROM FARM TO TABLE. Department: Food Science and Human Nutrition. College: Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences. Cost $360.
    • MEAT JUDGING & EVALUATION. Department: Animal Sciences. College: Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences. Cost: $310.
    • SUSTAINABLE SUMMER. Department: Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. College: Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. Cost: $310.
    • MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY. School: Molecular & Cellular Biology. College: Liberal Arts & Sciences. Cost: $385. No repeat students from last year.
    • VETERINARY MEDICINE. Graduate College: Veterinary Medicine. Cost: $375. Open to youth who have completed 10th No repeat students from last year.
    • WORK HARD, PLAY HARD. College: Applied Health Sciences. Cost: $280.

March 21 | 9 AM – 4 PM | 4-H Memorial Camp @ Monticello

Register online @ go.illinois.edu/4Hsewing

4-H Memorial Camp needs new cabin curtains … LOTS OF THEM! If you know how to sew and have taken at least one year of 4-H sewing, we have a great community service project that is fun and will make a big difference! We need 50 youth volunteers to help cut, pin, sew, and hang 126 curtains in the log cabins used by 1,500 campers each summer. The camp will provide all the materials, patterns, and lunch! We have a few sewing machines available, but more are needed. Members may bring one parent or guardian to help. Come help and enjoy the perfect camp lunch of hot dogs, baked beans, veggies, chips, and cookies!



Join the Jamaica Flatlanders 4-H Club for a Tractor Driving Clinic on Sunday, March 22 at 2 p.m. at the Vermilion County Fairgrounds. All 4-H members enrolled in the tractor project or interested in finding out more about the project are encouraged to attend.

The clinic will prepare 4-H members for the Unit 4-H Tractor Driving Contest at the Vermilion County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, June 24 and the State Tractor Driving Contest.  

Topics will include: safety, part identification, and members will get a chance to practice driving a course that will be similar to the unit contest. All 4-H members are welcome to attend!

Dog Training Orientation

Champaign County: 4-H & K9 Crusaders Club will have their dog training orientation on Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Dog Training Club of C-U.

Vermilion County: Wednesday, March 25 at 6pm at the Vermilion County Extension office.

Iroquois County: Tuesday, April 7 at the Ford-Iroquois County Extension office.

Ford County: TBA in April

4-H members who are already enrolled in the dog project or members that are interested in finding out more should attend. Note: Dogs do not attend the orientation.

4-H Members that enroll in the dog project have two exhibit opportunities:

  • Show at their County 4-H Dog Show
  • Exhibit a display in the General Projects Show

Note: Members enrolled in Dog that choose to exhibit a live animal and participate in the County 4-H Dog Show must attend dog obedience classes taught by a qualified instructor and accomplish the level of competency expected by the instructor to participate in the County 4-H Dog Show.

Welding Camp at DACC

Welding Tech Camp—Ages 13-18

4-H members can register via mail BEFORE registration opens to the general public on April 1. Space is limited to 15 students. Please use the attached form if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity!

Beginner—Level 1
June 8-12 from 8-noon, Cost: $125

Level II
July 20-24 from 8-Noon, Cost: $125

Enjoy this unique experience as you get hands-on experience in this high-demand technology field. You’ll experience first-hand what it’s like to be a welder in the state-of-the-art welding lab at DACC. Learn how to use the manual lathe to bend and shape metal. Take home all of your creations.  This camp is perfect for 4-H students wanting to submit a welding project for the fair. All necessary criteria will be met. Held in the Technology Center. If you have questions or need assistance with registration, please call DACC at 217-554-1667.



The Iroquois Rabbit Breeders Association will be hosting their annual 4-H rabbit workshop Saturday, April 11, 1-3 pm at Crescent City Grade School Gym, 600 South St, Crescent City, IL 60928. 

Register here!

There will be talks and demonstrations that will teach members some of the basics of raising rabbits. Any questions that you may have about the project can be answered at the workshop, and specific topics will include:

  • Equipment needs,
  • Breeds of rabbits,
  • Feed and care of rabbits,
  • Tattooing,
  • Showing rabbits at the fair

At the conclusion of the workshop, there will be a rabbit giveaway.  All first-year rabbit project 4-H members are eligible to participate in the giveaway.  Rabbits donated will be given to 4-Hers (beginning with local county 4-H members) who don’t yet have any rabbits. 

Although this workshop is focused on 1st-year members, all youth interested in rabbits are welcome to attend.  Even if you are not enrolled in rabbits, but think you may be interested, please feel free to come.  Everyone is welcome!

Please direct any questions about the program to Darrel Clatterbuck, Iroquois County Fair Rabbit Superintendent, at dmclatt@hotmail.com 


Science is cool, and now it pays! A $50 cash prize will be awarded to the top food science project in each county by the Chicagoland Food Science Foundation. Be sure to enroll in one of the four food science projects and learn more about the foundation. Look for more information this summer.

Public Presentation Contest

4-H members in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties who are enrolled in the communication project, Public Presentations, are invited to take part in the Public Presentations Contest Saturday, April 18, 2020. It will be held at the Champaign County Extension office, Champaign. Check-in starts at 9 AM and presentations will begin at 9:30 AM.  Presentations will be judged for ribbon placings as well as awards for class overall winners.  Selections will also be made for county representatives to advance to the state 4-H public presentation contest on August 14. Members may choose to present in more than 1 class.  4-H members can register online, or contact their local office to make their entries. CLICK HERE TO MAKE ENTRIES. (Only Public Presentation and Food Demonstrations are available in FairEntry at this time.) Entries must be made by Friday, April 10

PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS GUIDELINES - Advanced guides and judges scoring sheets.  

Food Demonstration Contest

4-H members in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties who are enrolled in a Foods Project are invited to take part in the Foods Demonstrations Saturday, April 18, 2020. It will be held at the Champaign County Extension office, Champaign. Check-in starts at 1 PM and presentations will begin at 1:30 PM. Demonstrations will be judged for ribbon placings as well as awards for class overall winners.  
Members may choose to present in more than 1 class. 4-H members can register online, or contact their local office to make their entries. CLICK HERE TO MAKE ENTRIES. (Only Public Presentation and Food Demonstrations are available in FairEntry at this time.) Entries must be made by Friday, April 10

Refer to the Food Demonstration Guide found on the Champaign County 4-H Extension Website - 4-H in Champaign County – Show Information.




Saturday, April 18, 2020, from 1-4 pm CST
Edgar County Fairgrounds, 319 E. Elliott Street, Paris, IL

Guest Speaker, Stock Show University Professor
BAILEY BERGHERM of Terre Haute, Indiana

Open to any 4-H'er in the surrounding area. Learn proper showing, clipping and
fitting techniques. Participants are encouraged to bring their goats to
participate in hands-on showing and clipping. Cost is $10 per person.
Register online at go.illinois.edu/goatclinic or call 217-465-8585.


Let's go fishing!

Let's go fishing!

May 2 – 3 | 4-H Memorial Camp, Monticello

Learn more @ go.illinois.edu/4Hfishcamp

With the lake fully stocked, 4-H Fish Camp is back at 4-H Memorial Camp near Monticello. Fishing begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 2 and lasts until 2 p.m. Sunday, May 3. Learn how to catch largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and channel catfish. Learn about fishing tips, lures, bait, equipment, knots, fish behavior, fish management, and fish cleaning. Each group registered will be assigned their own log cabin for lodging with single bunks. Participants must bring their own bedding and toiletries.

A fee of $50 per person covers the complete program, lodging, boat, bait, and three buffet meals, including Saturday lunch and supper and a Sunday brunch. You’ll also have fresh fish fillets to take home! Pre-registration and payment are required.  To register, contact 4-H Memorial Camp at (217) 762-2741 or send an email to Curt Sinclair at sinclair@illinois.edu.



May 9
McLean County Fairgrounds | Bloomington

The state’s robotics clubs are encouraged to register for the 2020 Robotics Competition May 9 at the McLean County Fairgrounds. The entry fee is $20 per team and due at registration.


May 9 | 1:15 PM
St. Louis, Missouri

Illinois and Missouri 4-H members, parents, volunteers, and alumni will gather at Busch Stadium on Saturday, May 9 for the 19th annual 4-H Day with the Cardinals.  The Cardinals will play the New York Mets in an afternoon game. Tickets for the game are $28 each and include a specially designed t-shirt featuring the 4-H Clover on the back and the Cardinals emblem on the front.

Families who purchase tickets will have the opportunity to participate in a parade around the Busch Stadium outfield.  Pre-game ceremonies will include a recitation of the 4-H pledge and ceremonial first pitches by an Illinois and Missouri 4-H member. As an added bonus, the Cardinals giveaway item for the game is an adult mystery player alternate blue jersey. The first 30,000 fans age 16 and older will receive either a Mikolas, DeJong or Flaherty jersey.

Tickets for the event must be ordered through the Missouri 4-H Online system and paid for with a debit/credit card.

  1. Go to illinois.edu/4HCardinals2020 before March 23 or earlier because they sell out quickly!
  2. Click the “Tickets” down arrow.
  3. Select “Non 4-H Member Instructions” (meaning we are not MISSOURI 4-H MEMBERS)
  4. Don’t use your Illinois 4-H online profile.

You can also register for fun prizes and opportunities, such as throwing out the first pitch, autographed baseballs, and tickets to other Cardinal baseball games. For information about ticket or t-shirt orders, contact Rhonda Shafer, at shafferr@missouri.edu or 636 528-4613. For information about the parade, game day activities: contact Dave Hileman at hilemand@missouri.edu or 636-583-5141.