4-H updates and news for April 2020
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April 4-H Newsletter

4-H Families, 

As we are sure you are aware, the situation with COVID-19 is constantly changing and evolving. Currently ALL of our face-to-face programming is suspended state-wide until further notice. That includes 4-H club meetings and activities, workshops, weigh-ins, etc. This was not a decision that was made lightly, but please know it was done with the health and wellbeing of our volunteers and families in mind.

Although we may not be having public office hours at this time, we'd like to remind you that our staff is still working to plan summer and fall programs. Don't hesitate to reach out to them via email with questions or concerns, or just to touch base. We'd also like to encourage you to take a look at this message from the Director of Illinois 4-H, with some suggestions for online 4-H activities. 

We know you may have questions about how this will impact programs. Truthfully, we do too, and it is just too early to tell. Please expect to hear from us regularly as we learn more information regarding the Pandemic and how it will impact our activities in the coming weeks.


Your 4-H Team: Vicki, Cheryl, Kara & Amanda

Illinois 4-H Virtual Fishing Fun-Fest

Between Apr. 17 – May 15,  4-H members enrolled in Fishing 1, 2 or 3, can enter a statewide fishing contest (Fun-Fest) via smartphone. New spinning rod and reel combos will be given away weekly to the longest largemouth bass and channel catfish entered. The simple contest details can be found on the Illinois 4-H Events Page and Illinois 4-H Facebook page. Contact Curt Sinclair at sinclair@illinois.edu with questions. Stay safe and enjoy the sunshine on the lake!

Be a true leader in service

Join 4-H members and clubs across Illinois and the nation on Sat., Apr. 25 as part of True Leaders in Service! 4-H clubs serve their communities all year long however, the month of April has been selected as a time for ALL 4-H clubs to join together to roll up their sleeves in service to local communities. In the current COVID-19 situation, it is important that we all follow CDC and safety guidelines, but there are still ways to serve safely and practice social distancing: write and mail cards to those who are socially isolated, organize a group online to teach and share something from your 4-H project, sew PPE masks to donate locally. If you have ideas for a statewide, COVID-safe service project, this is a great opportunity to plan and promote something for others to participate in. Send your ideas to Illinois4H@illinois.edu.

Make your plans now on how you’ll help others. Find resources at go.illinois.edu/4Hdayofservice. Later in 2020, you can register your projects there! The goal of the 4-H True Leaders in Service day is to encourage 4-H members in every county to make a positive difference. Service projects can be done by individuals, by 4-H clubs, or as a countywide service project. No matter what the project is, this will be a day to make a difference.

Celebrate 4-H Volunteers April 19-25

4-H volunteers are the caring adults who are empowering and preparing youth for success as 4-H members provide service to others and in their communities. 

National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities and be a force that transforms the world. Each year, we shine a light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve, recognizing and thanking volunteers who lend their time, talent and voice to make a difference in their communities.

How strong is your 4-H family spirit?

The Illinois 4-H Foundation welcomes nominations for the 2020 4-H Family Spirit Award. The Illinois 4-H Family Spirit Award recognizes a family with at least three generations and at least 15 different family members (including in-laws) that have either been 4-H members, leaders, or volunteers with at least 100 cumulative years of 4-H membership or volunteerism represented within the family. Selection is based on the total number of family members with 4-H connections, the total number of years of 4-H involvement, the diversity of experiences and recognitions earned by the 4-H members, and the collective impact that family members have made as advocates of their county and state 4-H programs. On-line applications are available at 4hfoundation.illinois.edu/content/family-spirit-award. Nominations are due May 1.

New Statewide Leadership Opportunity: Illinois 4-H Food Advocacy Team

The Illinois 4-H State Office is pleased to announce the launch of a new statewide leadership opportunity for Illinois youth seeking to improve food security and food access in their community. The Illinois 4-H Food Advocacy team is a group of teens and young adults from across the state of Illinois who are recognized for their dynamic leadership and who want to increase their impact on the future of food in Illinois. Team members will influence the annual Illinois 4-H Food Action Summit event and provide support for Food Systems programming in Illinois. Member will also be eligible for state and nationwide opportunities.

If 4-H members are looking for a way to serve their community while strengthening their leadership, communication and advocacy skills, this is the next step. Applications, along with one professional reference, are due to the Illinois State 4-H Office by Saturday, May 2. For more information, please contact Mark Becker (mbbecker@illinois.edu), Illinois 4-H Food Systems Specialist. 

Application Link: https://go.illinois.edu/Illinois4-HFoodAdvocacyTeamApplication

Professional Reference Link: https://go.illinois.edu/Illinois4-HFoodAdvocacyTeamReference

Animal Projects

Some weigh-in/tattooing/tagging dates this Spring were cancelled due to COVID-19. If you have questions about getting your animals nominated for the State Junior Show or how this will imact your local rate-of-gain competition, please contact your 4-H program coordinator directly. 

Several dates for YQCA training had to be cancelled, as well. In response, the YQCA board has lowered the price of online training from $12 to $9 for the month of April. You will need to contact your 4-H program coordinator for specific registration directions in order to take advantage of this temporary price drop. 

QAEC training for those taking horses, rabbits, poultry, dogs and cats for the first time is available online now. You must take this online training on a computer; it is not compatible with tablets, iPads or phones. 

Local Online Resources

Find up-to-date local Illinois Extension information on our website.

Don't forget, your county 4-H has their own Facebook page: 

You can also find 4-H resources on the Illinois 4-H website.