‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌
4-H Newsletter April 2020
Updates for this month!

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

  • Pick your projects! Make sure you are enrolled in 4honline for the year and have any projects you are considering doing for a 4-H show this summer selected by April 15 (remember, you can enroll in a project without committing to showing it at a fair - great for guidance in exploring topics that you're interested in for learning at home).
  • Order project guides from the National 4-H Store and get them faster. They have a sale on all curriculum items in April, plus shipping is free through April 4. The State 4-H warehouse has closed due to COVID-19 and we are recommending you order them directly so you can get your project guides sent straight to your home in a timely manner.
  • Online YQCA is just $9 for the month of April! Do your YQCA training online (if applicable). If your youth is in dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, sheep, or goats, they MUST take the new YQCA training. Get it done now so you don't have to worry about it later.
  • Congratulate our area State 4-H Scholarship winners!
    • Champaign County: Mallory Ames, Lauren Brademas, Delaney Smith, Eiralys Unzicker, Elowyn Unzicker, Evan Unzicker, Dylan Zwilling.
    • Iroquois County: Erin Anderson, Karlie Wilken.

Updates to dates for events will be on our Unit website. Please check there when in doubt!

Plus all this:

Check out our list of things you CAN do!

Thanks to COVID-19, we are constantly being told things we can't do and getting lists of events that have been canceled. Here are a few things you CAN do, and some online events that are new!

Tune into webinars on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-4 p.m. presented by New Jersey 4-H from Home! . They are offering interactive lessons for Middle Schoolers on varying topics such as healthy living, STEM, civic engagement, the arts and more. Webinars will happen using Zoom video conferencing.

Follow Illinois 4-H on Facebook to get inspiration from 4-Hers around the state! This week is 4-H Spirit Week.

If you or your family members have ever wondered whether your difficulties, or your child’s difficulties, with attention, planning, or learning are “normal,” the Illinois Neurobiological Assessment Laboratory is offering free digital screenings for a limited time. Find more information on their website.

Check out two different wellness webinar series from Illinois Extension:

  • Nutrition, Wellness, and The Brain is every other Wednesday from 12:15-1pm. Upcoming topics are Childhood Nutrition, Physical Activity, Nutrition and Wellness into Adulthood, and Nutrition, Wellness and Aging. You can register here.
  • The Discover Wellness While at Home series meets every Thursday from 2-3pm. Topics for April are Caregiver Self-Care, Simplify Your Life by Clearing the Clutter, Who Gets Grandma's Pie Plate?, and Being Mindful Through Difficult Times. Register for those here.

Many local libraries have ways for you to borrow ebooks and read them for free on your phone. But did you know that they also have things like language learning software, online courses, movies and audiobooks? Check yours out!

Did you have to skip your spring break trip because your destination was closed? Places like The Field Museum and the Art Institute in Chicago, the St Louis Zoo, and the Smithsonian Institute are all closed but have come up with ways to bring the experience of a visit to your computer. Visit the website of your favorite museum (or one you've always wanted to go to) and explore!

And here are some ideas for getting off the computer and going screen-free!

  • Indoor (or outdoor) camping - set up a tent, get out your sleeping bag, and cook some traditional "camping" food (whatever that means in your family)
  • Giant bubbles!
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle
  • Hold a household scavenger hunt
  • Make a mask (Both Christie Clinic and Carle Hospital are now accepting donated homemade masks from this template)
Updated animal project information.
Animal Care class other forms Who is this done by? Signature needed? Important Dates
Cat QAEC once Vet records - upload yourself to 4-H Online Exibitor and Family n/a n/a
Beef YQCA yearly Beef Weigh-In/ Tattooing
Nomination Form
Beef Super and Extension Staff Done at Weigh-In Beginning of February 
Dairy YQCA yearly n/a n/a n/a n/a
Dog QAEC once Ownership/leasing papers, vet records, upload yourself to 4-H Online Exhibitor and Family not required ASAP
Goat (Dairy and Meat) YQCA yearly Self Nominating, by mail to State and Local Extension Offices Exhibitor and Family Waived in 2020 By May 15, Weigh-in postponed
Horse QAEC once Ownership/leasing papers, upload to 4-H Online for County and by mail for State Exhibitor and Family n/a June 20 for Illinois State Fair Junior Show
Poultry QAEC once n/a n/a n/a n/a
Rabbit QAEC once n/a n/a n/a n/a
Sheep YQCA yearly Self Nominating, by mail to State and Local Extension Offices Exhibitor and Family Waived in 2020 By May 15, Weigh-in postponed
Small Pets (including guinea pigs) QAEC once Vet records - upload yourself to 4-H Online Exhibitor and Family n/a n/a
Swine YQCA yearly Self Nominating, by mail to State and Local Extension Offices Exhibitor and Family n/a Weigh-in postponed




For members enrolled in swine, sheep, or goat:

  • All tattooing and weighing of lambs, goats and swine for both the state and county fairs has been suspended until after May 31st.  This change will mainly affect the premiere/carcass classes.
  • If you are enrolled in a lamb or goat non-premiere (live show), the self-nominating forms were sent via email to you. These must be sent back VIA MAIL by May 15. 

For members enrolled in horse:

  • The deadline for submitting papers for the State Junior show has been extended to June 20. Pay attention for additional updates.

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

  • For a limited time (APRIL ONLY) the online certification is just $9. In order to take advantage of this, participants must purchase a coupon as the credit card payment method will not work for this special pricing. Find more information and the forms here.
  • 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. You can 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. 

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.




Dog Training Classes Postponed

All dog obedience classes are postponed until after May 31. More information will be in the May newsletter. 4-H members who are already enrolled in the dog project will receive updates directly.

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

  • Show at their 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.

Choosing Projects
state 4-h project icons

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.

Zingbooks - electronic record books

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

The schedules and handbooks for each county show  are being added to our website this week!

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

State Fair 4-H Day: Friday, August 14

Public Presentation and Food Demonstration projects have their own local show for all youth from Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties. This was originally scheduled for April 18, now tentatively postponed until June 24.

Public Presentation and Food Demonstration Show Postponed

We would like to preserve the live presentations, so we are working towards rescheduling the Public Presentations for Wednesday, June 24. Please note this could change pending the health and safety guidelines for that time.

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 (previously scheduled for 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. Members may choose to present in more than 1 class.

Plus, three youth from each county will advance to the State 4-H Public Presentation Contest in August at the Illinois State Fair. Our contest will be held August 14th . All ages are eligible to compete in any of the four divisions: Formal Speech, Illustrated Speech, Original Works, Oral Interpretation. Youth may participate in this contest AND exhibit a project at the Illinois State Fair. All presentations must be 4 to 6 minutes in length.

PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS GUIDELINES - Advanced guides and judges scoring sheets.  


We are also expecting to host a rescheduled Food Demonstration show Wednesday, June 24. Please note this could change pending the health and safety guidelines for that time.

4-H members in Champaign, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties who are enrolled in any Foods Project are invited to take part in the Foods Demonstrations event. It will be held at the Champaign County Extension office, Champaign. 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. Refer to the Food Demonstration Guide for more information and look at the FOOD DEMONSTRATIONS scoresheet.

Our area's State 4-H Scholarship awardees.
winners of 2020 state 4-H awards

Mallory Ames

  • State Award: Communications

Champaign County | Philo 4-H Friends, Teen Teachers, Federation

Mallory has enhanced her communication skills by participating in the food demonstration and public speaking contests. She made videos to help prepare new 4-H fair exhibitors. In her project work, she learns from professional mentors to build skills in photography, interior design, and stained-glass art. She serves her community as a Federation leader.

“4-H is an opportunity to develop skills in communication, leadership, and execution. It is a great resource to develop relationships with area professionals to assist you in your future endeavors.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: I plan to pursue a dual major in Agricultural Communications and Agricultural Business with a minor in Spanish at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Erin Anderson

  • Legacy of Leadership Scholarship

Iroquois County | Fountain Creek Stitch 'N Do 4-H Club, Fashion Board

Erin’s creativity shines in her 4-H project work, which includes scrapbooking, photography, shopping, communications, and creative writing. She believes the project work and judging interviews have made her better prepared for the transition to college. Working on the fashion board taught her the benefits of working as a team toward a common goal.

 “Through 4-H, I have made lifelong friendships, tried new things, stepped out of my comfort zone, and have grown into a better leader. 4-H has also brought my love of agriculture to new heights. I have learned how to take a loss and accept success with grace and gratitude.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Plans to attend Danville Community College, then transfer to a 4-year university to study agricultural communications


Lauren Brademas

  • Emerald Experience Leadership

Champaign County | All School 4-H Club

Lauren has been a mentor and leader in 4-H. She served as a 4-H Memorial Camp counselor and used those skills to excel as a special needs church camp counselor at Baby Fold Camp. She has attended four church mission trips, helping to repair homes and hearts of those living in difficult situations. Her experience with the Champaign County Young Entrepreneurs program and the 4-H Be the E! project helped her create a business plan for her cake business.

“4H has allowed me to figure out what to do with my life!”

Career goals: Lauren hopes to participate in the University of Illinois Facilities and Services pre-apprenticeship program, followed by the Parkland College Highway Construction Program. She’ll also study business at Parkland and U of I.


Delaney Smith

  • Emerald Experience Leadership
  • State Award: Leadership

Champaign County | Champaign County 4-H Livestock Club, Fantastic 4-Hers of Fisher 4-H Club, Teen Teachers

Delaney was a 2019 States’ 4-H International Exchange delegate to Finland. Her family also hosted a Korean delegate. As a Teen Teacher, she plans and delivers educational programs. She is a 4-H Buddy for new members and organized county workshops on horses. She promoted international opportunities at the county and state events.

“4-H is an opportunity to grow and thrive as an individual and then share my passions with others I meet. 4-H has broadened my understanding of the world, grown my confidence as a leader, and allowed me to impact my community in positive ways.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Delaney will study animal science and poultry at the University of Illinois. She hopes to travel and work in the poultry industry.


Eiralys Unzicker

  • Emerald Experience Project Learning

Champaign County | Champaign Shamrocks 4-H Club, Cosmic Coders

Eiralys participated in robotics, computer programming, and food projects and attended the First Lego League. As Eiralys begins her 4-H career, she is enjoying club activities and speaking at the public speaking contest.

“4-H has opened my eyes to see the possibilities in the world, including ideas for future careers.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Eiralys wants to be an actress and a professional Irish dancer.


Elowyn Unzicker

  • Emerald Experience Project Learning

Champaign County | Champaign Shamrocks 4-H Club, Teen Teachers

Elowyn competed in the state speaking contest and exhibited creative writing at the state fair. She is a Teen Teacher and also volunteered at the local park district theater company.

 “4-H is a way for me to experience several aspects of the business world and education.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Elowyn hopes to study art, film, or music and provide voice acting for clients around the world.


Evan Unzicker

  • Emerald Experience Project Learning

Champaign County | Champaign Shamrocks 4-H Club, Cosmic Coders, Teen Teacher

Evan is president of his club and has also competed in the regional and state robotics competitions. He judged at the 2019 contest. He also taught students at Champaign County schools as a 4-H Teen Teacher. In addition to robotics, he exhibits aerospace, computer science, visual arts, and food.

“I like to explore new things. Watching younger kids learn from me made me feel happy.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Evan would like to be a licensed airline pilot.

Karlie Wilken

  • Legacy of Leadership Scholarship

Iroquois County | Ashkum Go-Getters 4-H Club

Karlie has a broad project interest. She excels in floriculture and visual arts at the state fair and also enjoys small pets, sewing, tractors, scrapbooking, and cooking projects. With her club, she helps at blood drives, donates canned goods to the food pantry, shops for youth on the Angel tree, make valentines for nursing home residents, and makes blessing bags for the homeless.

“4-H challenges you in new ways, exposes you to new experiences, allows you to follow your passions, and, most importantly, aids you in serving your community.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Karlie plans to study diagnostic medical sonography at Lewis University and complete clinical at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.


Dylan Zwilling

  • Emerald Experience Project Learning

Champaign County | Fantastic 4-Hers of Fisher 4-H Club, Livestock Judging Club

Dylan enjoys agricultural projects. As part of his tractor project, he job-shadowed at a local mower repair shop. He grows vegetables, which he donates to local food pantries. He serves his community by sending gifts to troops overseas, makes blankets fr St. Jude’s Children Hospitals, sings at the nursing homes, and built benches for a local park.

“4-H means that you can learn and try new things while also being a leader and teaching others. “

EDUCATION & CAREER: Dylan plans to work in the agricultural industry.

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!

Paper Clover Campaign returns in April: It’s never been easier to support 4-H. From April 29 to May 10, you can donate to 4-H at your local Tractor Supply stores as part of the Paper Clover campaign. Money donated at your store stays right in the county where it’s given! Last fall, the campaign raised almost $1 million!

Illini Summer Academies

ISA Registration is postponed due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, we do not know when registration will open.  Sign up to receive updates for Illini Summer Academies Registration

This conference was scheduled to run 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.

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.



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.


If you registered for the May 9 4-H Day with the Cardinals, you will receive a refund from Missouri Extension. For information about ticket or t-shirt orders, contact Rhonda Shafer, at shafferr@missouri.edu or 636-528-4613.

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.