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December 2020 4-H Alumni News

  Tina Veal

Greetings from Illinois 4-H! 

As we reflect on this past year, we faced new challenges, created new ideas, and participated in new ways of delivering 4-H youth development programming through Illinois 4-H. We launched the expansion of the Illinois 4-H Alumni Association to engage alumni with our 4-H youth development program, and YOU have risen to the challenge to give back!

Illinois 4-H also is pleased to partner with the national 4-H campaign, Opportunity4all. We believe in welcoming young people from all beliefs and backgrounds and empowering them to create positive change in their communities.  

This year has been an exciting time to be part of the 4-H program and create a destiny to empower youth, engage alumni volunteers, and continue to build on the program we believe in. I look forward to opportunities to engage with you, our 4-H alumni, and continue to "make the best better."

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


Illinois 4-H Thriving Through Adversity

Illinois 4-H has risen to the challenge through times of COVID to continue to impact youth across the State of Illinois.  

Innovating Through Diversity

"When meeting in person was not possible, it would have been easy to cancel events. But in Illinois 4-H, we continue to innovate and adapt to our youth's changing needs, said Lisa Diaz, Assistant Dean & Director. Illinois 4-H successfully moved over 450 4-H shows and competitions to a virtual format to provide youth an exhibit opportunity. 

Illinois 4-H Youth Development staff, in partnership with 4-H alumni and industry partners, collaborated to create a new online resource to support 4-H project learning, called 4-H Spark Sheets. These 4-H Spark Sheets were developed for all ninety-one 4-H project areas to help 4-H members find and nurture their spark, try something new, or be inspired to keep learning as much as possible or explore a career opportunity. View the new 4-H Spark Sheet resource online.

Another new resource created for Illinois youth and families is an online resource called "4-H At Home". This resource will be utilized to introduce 4-H to new youth or for families to have hands-on educational activities to try at home. Illinois 4-H is empowering and preparing all Illinois youth for success by providing opportunities to learn, practice, and demonstrate skills needed for home, career, and global citizenship.


Save the Date: 4-H Alumni Trivia Night February 4


We are thrilled to announce our first 4-H Alumni event! We hope you will save the date for a fun evening of networking with 4-H alumni for a virtual trivia night. Trivia night will be hosted by Hambone Entertainment, and trivia questions will cover a wide range of knowledge, including history, sports, pop culture, and of course, 4-H! Teams will be randomly assigned at the event to encourage new connections. Watch for more information to come. 

Date:  February 4, 2021
Time:  7:00 p.m.
Cost:  $10/per person

Registration will launch in early January 2021. 


Opportunity4All: Talent is everywhere. Opportunity is Not.

Illinois 4-H is proud to participate in the nationwide 4-H campaign to provide an opportunity for all kids.
Learn more.


Youth Leading Change to Strengthen Communities

4-H members have put the 4-H pledge "our hands to larger service" into action as they put their knowledge and skills into practice to meet their communities' needs.  

Clinton County youth compiled a 40 minute "Project Cheer" video featuring a variety of performances and demonstrations shared with a local nursing home so residents could watch. At the same time, they were confined to their rooms during the stay at home order

Will County youth from the New Lenox Explorer's 4-H Club harvested their vegetables from their club garden and donated them to their local food pantry.

Kendall County youth and volunteers were created a group called the Yorkville Area Mask Makers, which grew to more than 425 members on Facebook. This group sewed thousands of masks for healthcare workers, first responders, nursing homes, and other front-line workers. They adjusted their designs using feedback from front-line workers, which led to creating a mask with a holding button band. Charlotte Wyncoop, a 4-H volunteer, led two online sessions to teach mask sewing workshops that taught participants how to sew the two different mask styles.



Farmland Gift to Impact 4-H and Child Development

Illinois 4-H and the University of Illinois have been a part of Nann Armstrong’s heritage for multiple generations. With a recent gift of farmland, Armstrong ensured her family’s legacy will continue to impact current and future generations of 4-H members and students in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) Department of Human Development and Family Studies. 

Read More



4-H Alumni Profile:  Mr. Dan Kelley

Name:  Dan Kelley
4-H County:  McLean County
Years in 4-H:  10 years
Post Secondary Education:  B.S. '70 Agriculture, Illinois State University
Career: Owner/Operator, Farmer

Favorite 4-H Projects:  Dairy & Crops

How did 4-H contribute to your leadership skills today?
Public Speaking, organizational skills, parlimentary procedure, and leadership are all skills I first developed in 4-H.

Did 4-H instill a career path for you?
I suppose I could say I started farming when I joined 4-H as a 10 year old but I have farmed full time since I graduated college in 1970.

What advice do you have for someone who is interested in your career path?
Farming today is a capital intensive business.  Get a very good understanding of finance, marketing, and general business skills and no matter whether it is farming or any career choose your friends and mentors wisely.

What advice would you give a current 4-H member?
The years go by fast so take advantage of he opportunities you have.  And from my 4-H leader Clarence Ropp - "Win without boasting, lose without whining."

Why should young people join 4-H today?
4-H provides lots of opportunities to develop basic skills and knowledge.  A young person can take one project from a wide variety of options from livestock and crops to rockets and robotics.  There is literally something for everyone but the real value is learning by doing and making the best better.

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


  4-H Alumni News
  4-H Alumni News
Share Your 4-H News

Do you have news to share with the Illinois 4-H Alumni Association?  Moved - New Address? Did you get a new job?  Married?  Promotion?  New Baby?  A recent death of a 4-H alum?  We would love to hear your updates and stay connected!

Share your 4-H News


We hope you stay connected to us!

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