Learn more about 4-H news and events for this month.
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Randolph County 4-H

 Michaela Castens

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. 

We have officially moved into our new office space within the Randolph County Farm Bureau. Erica and I will be staffing the office Monday through Thursday (we will remain closed on Fridays). The address is 1403 N. Hillcrest Drive, Sparta, IL 62286. Our phone number of (618) 443-4364 remains the same. 

A big thanks to everyone that helped at this year's fair. It was one of the best ones yet! Also, we are still accepting names for the HCE Penpal program and the radio spots. If you want to participate in either program, please let me know. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me at (618) 443-4364 or mes379@illinois.edu.

- Michaela Castens, Randolph County 4-H Extension Program Coordinator


Livestock Show and Animal Show Results

pigs looking over fence 

Hard work, quality care, and dedication paid off as our 4-H members showcased their animals at this year's fair. Following the 2020 summer of virtual livestock exhibits, participants were anxious for the return of in-person shows. The events provided an opportunity for youth to display sportsmanship and exude confidence as they showed the "best of the best" during the annual livestock and animal shows.

4-H youth who raise beef, swine, sheep, goats, rabbits, and poultry for their annual projects had the opportunity to participate in the livestock auction. Participants receive the full proceeds from the sale of their livestock, and this was a record-breaking year. Local businesses, families, and other individuals made this year's auction a success, with over $50,000 going directly to local youth. The results of the Randolph County livestock and animal shows are available on our website


General Show Results

 colored pencils

Creativity and skills were on full display as 4-H members shared their annual projects at the general show.  Following the 2020 summer of virtual exhibits, participants were anxious for the return of in-person shows. Members were judged in areas such as visual arts, photography, food and nutrition, floriculture, and much more. 4-H members that receive state delegation will have the opportunity to display their projects at the Illinois State Fair on August 14 in Springfield.  Check out the full list of winners on our website


Food Advocacy Team Applications

food advocacy 

Are you ready to take your leadership to the next level? Applications are now being accepted for the Illinois 4-H Food Advocacy Team. The team dedicated to strengthening you as an advocate for food access for everyone in your community!

The COVID-19 pandemic has made food security a more urgent issue for many families. You can be a part of the solution as you educate yourself on issues of community health, assist in the planning of the annual Food Action Summit, and more.

Apply July 1 - July 23, 2021. Applicants will need one reference. Apply here: https://form.jotform.com/211338226682152  

Learn more about food advocacy at our updated Food Secure Communities page: https://4h.extension.illinois.edu/programs/food-systems/food-secure-communities


Illinois State Fair Volunteers Needed!

 fair logo

We are excited to open the registration for volunteers for the 2021 4-H General Project Show at the Illinois State Fair! The State 4-H Office is looking for volunteer judges and project assistants who are eager to interact with Illinois youth and provide a great state fair experience for them. This event will have face to face judging, and we would love for you to consider assisting us this year.

DATES OF THE FAIR:  August 13-15 (Friday through Sunday)

Location: Orr Building, air-conditioned building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds

Apply online at go.illinois.edu/statefairhelp. Please feel free to sign up for one or up to all three days.

Once you sign up, more information will be forthcoming within the next two to three weeks. If you know of anyone else who may have experience and would like to volunteer, please feel free to share this information with them!


Join the 4-H in Space Mission Command Team!

astronaut in space 

Are you ready to define, develop, and operate a space mission? Participate in a real satellite program and see your experiments launched into space through the Illinois 4-H in Space Mission Command Team!

This is a first in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of STEM history and be a member of this elite planning team! Becoming a member of the MCT is a serious commitment and will require plenty of dedication and time. The 4-H In Space Mission Command Team Application will open accepted on Monday, July 5 and will close on Monday, July 19. Notifications will made Monday, July 26.

Applications are for youth ages 13-18 who are in high school. More details are available at:  https://go.illinois.edu/4hspace  


4-H international

 two international students sitting together

Host a student from Japan or South Korea this summer through States’ 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.


  • Students are enrolled in public high school and arrive in the USA in August.
  • Your family and exchange student will be supported by local and state coordinators.

STUDENT DETAILS: Visit the Illinois states 4-H International Exchange for details about the student coming this summer.  https://www.facebook.com/Illinois4hexchange

SCHEDULE: Hosting takes place mid-July through mid-August.

WHO CAN APPLY: Anyone who wants to welcome a high school student into their family and is able to provide the student meals and a bed.

Contact the State Coordinator for more information: Miriam Rosenbohm, (309) 339-8282


Travel Abroad with 4-H

Multi-story ornamental building in Japan 

Are you curious about daily life, culture, and youth programs in other countries? Travel abroad with 4‐H and experience foreign countries for a month‐long cultural immersion experience. Delegates live with volunteer host families and engage in experiential learning about a new way of life.

TRAVEL PERIOD: 4 –8 weeks (dates vary by program June‐August 2022)

REQUIREMENTS: Youth ages 12‐18 (some programs 15‐18)

Cost: $2700‐5000* Based on previous years (price varies by year, program and length of stay)

RECRUITMENT PERIOD: September‐November


Costa Rica · Japan · Korea · Norway · Finland · Romania · Taiwan · Argentina                                  

*Country availability changes each year

Visit https://www.states4hexchange.org/ or contact Miriam Rosenbohm at rosenbohm07@comcast.net or Elisha Hughes at ehugh2@illinois.edu


Mark Your Calendar!

  • July 9-11                             4-H Family Camp Session #3
  • July 11- 23, 2021                Discovering STEM in ACES is a two-week virtual experience
  • July 17                                4-H Shooting Sports Leader Training in East Alton
  • July 24                                4-H Shooting Sports Leader Training at Camp Gardner in Hull
  • July 25 – August 1              ISF Junior Horse Show
  • July – August                      In-Bound Exchange Program Summer 2021
  • September 18                     Archery State Shoot at Peking Archers, Pekin, IL
  • September 25                     Shotgun State Shoot at Brittany Shooting Park, Bunker Hill
  • October 2                           Rifle State Shoot at Central Illinois Precision Shooters, Bloomington, IL
  • October 3                           Pistol State Shoot at Central Illinois Precision Shooters, Bloomington, IL
  • October 16-17                    Junior Leadership Conference

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