‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌
4-H Newsletter May 2020

All 4-H families should have received an email update from the State 4-H office on Monday, May 4.

This update directly impacts the Ford County 4-H Show, the Vermilion County 4-H Show, our unit Public Presentation/Food Demonstration Show, unit Tractor Driving Show, and the Champaign County Dog Show.

Extension's updated event policy provides clarity for summer 4-H shows and exhibitions. All 4-H general projects and 4-H livestock shows and exhibitions scheduled through July 5 will move online to a virtual exhibition platform called FairEntry. Decisions about 4-H shows schedules for July 6-31 will be announced by June 1. This solution provides clarity for Extension staff, 4-H members, and volunteers that will allow them to move forward with plans for summer events, scheduled to begin in just over a month.

The FAQ sheet for families is available here.

The State 4-H event announcement is here and provides additional information about how the decision was reached and what a virtual fair will provide for our 4-H community.

We will send out more information about what will be required for specific projects as it becomes available. There is a statewide meeting later this week that will focus on livestock.

Updates for this month!
house with clovers 

Join the Clover Hunt!

Join the hunt for clovers! Show your support for 4-H and provide an enjoyable activity for the community by placing a clover in a location that can be seen by people passing by (for example: front window, mailbox, garage door, front porch, etc). When you find a clover snap a photo or simply count how many you find.  Post about your findings on our Facebook page. Encourage family, friends, and neighbors to put up clovers as well! Thanks to the Champaign Shamrocks for starting the trend!

Not sure what is going on? We are making updates weekly on our Unit website. Please check there when in doubt!


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

  • Fair Entry is under construction. Fair Entry did not open May 1 due to necessary updates to allow for a virtual show. They began this process before any decisions were made. 4-H members will upload photos and other materials to the virtual platform as evidence of the skills and knowledge gained while working on their projects. The system allows judges to review each project and provide vital learning feedback for exhibitors. The virtual system also allows judges to select the top exhibits, including those that qualify for exhibition at the Illinois State Fair. We will send more information when it is available about how families will make their entries. Deadlines will be extended.
  • Goodbye, Amy! Amy Cain, the Champaign County EPC, left us in mid-April after 2.5 years for another job on campus. We will miss her and wish her well!
  • Welcome, Cara!
Smiling woman in blue sweater with shoulder length brown hair. 
Cara is the new Iroquois County EPC. 

Cara Thiems, a former 11 year 4-H member is excited to bring a background in helping youth grow and achieve personal success in diverse settings and programs to Iroquois County. Cara’s 4-H days were spent on her family’s corn, soybean, and purebred Berkshire swine operations in Southern Illinois. Now she resides in Central Illinois where she and her husband operate a diversified livestock operation and row crop farm. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Agriculture Leadership Education. Previously you could see her working with youth in a classroom setting teaching high school agriculture courses. She is excited and hopeful to help youth in your communities ignite creativity, work as part of a team, make good choices, and make the best better.

Reminder: All 4-H staff is working from home.

All 4-H staff are (still) working from home. We have all been working from home since March 18. This means we are not in the office to answer the phone. If you need us, the best way to reach us is via email, or by calling the Champaign Extension office at 217-333-7672 (this is the only one of the three office phones that can be answered remotely), or our direct Skype numbers.

2020 Summer Show Updates

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, and postponed until June 24. This will be conducted virtually. All youth enrolled in those projects will be contacted with details.

Tractor Driving has a show for all four counties as well. Details about what that will look like in a virtual setting will be shared with all youth enrolled in the project.

Dog Training classes and the Dog Obedience Shows will all be conducted in a virtual format as well. We will contact all Youth enrolled in the dog project about virtual participation in these.


The handbooks for each county show are on our website. However, please note that these have NOT yet been updated to reflect the move to virtual.

Ford County Handbook: scheduled for June 14-20, now virtual
Vermilion County Handbook: scheduled for June 24-28, now virtual
Iroquois County Handbook: scheduled for July 14-20
Champaign County Handbook: scheduled for July 22-August 1

State Fair 4-H Day: scheduled for Friday, August 14


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(only for Vermilion and Iroquois, Champaign and Ford do NOT need paperwork at the county level) 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) None 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:

  • 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.




Teen Leader event May 6

The Illinois Youth Leadership Team invites teens from across the state to attend a virtual event to Explore 4-H - State and National leadership opportunities on Wednesday May 6th from 4-6 pm. Teen leaders from the state will be talking about their involvement on state level planning committees, teams and trips. There will be information on where to learn more and how to involved. This virtual webinar and meet and greet event will be an opportunity for teens across the state to connect. This event will also count as a state level event on award applications.

Staff and parents are welcome to attend as well. Link to registration: https://go.illinois.edu/teenleaders

True Leaders in Service - share your stories

The State 4-H office is collecting stories about your projects – please share them. They can be club projects or individual projects.

4-H True Leaders in Service - Community Service & Service Learning Experiences

This April, as part of True Leaders in Service and National Volunteer Appreciation Month, 4-H'ers are putting their pledge into action, "I pledge...my hands to larger service...". This year, more than any other since the National 4-H Day of Service was implemented, our communities and country are in need of service and 4-H members, families and clubs have been stepping up to provide that support. 

We ask that all 4-H members, families, and clubs register the service outreach efforts they have conducted or plan to conduct during the months of March, April and May, that demonstrate their support of their communities. This registration form provides a spot to identify if planned service experiences were or will be conducted as a 4-H club, a 4-H family, or an individual 4-H member service project.

REGISTER YOUR EVENT HERE: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/default.cfm?RegistrationID=22192

Service/Safety Guidelines - The safety and well-being of our 4-H youth and families is always our top priority - it always has been and will continue to be. At this time, 4-H clubs are not allowed to meet in person through May 31, 2020. Planning for service activities can be conducted by 4-H Clubs using a virtual platform just like holding a virtual 4-H club meeting.

4-H Club engagement in service is a valued part of the Illinois Extension 4-H experience for thousands of youth each year and teaches valuable lessons. There is a tremendous need for service to support the physical and mental health of our communities so we do want to provide safe ways in which 4-H clubs and members can provide those services. A box is provided in the registration form for you to check that you WILL adhere to the health and safety guidelines provided. Projects that involve individuals gathering or meeting together are not an option at this time.

Planning Your Service Experience

While the Community Service Categories that are identified in this registration process align with all of our programming outreach areas, we are encouraging 4-H clubs to consider focusing on service that align with:

  • Food Security & Gardening -
    • Purchasing and donating food to the local food pantry
    • Expanding your garden to include fresh vegetables to be donated to the local food pantry (depending on how long the social distancing continues this could meet food pantry shortages of fresh produce during summer months)
  • Global Citizenship, Family Support & Community Improvement - examples could include...
    • Making cards for residents at local Senior Centers
    • Creating yard signs with messages of encouragement to post in post in the yards of local families with small children; individuals in the community who align with the health characteristics that put them in the vulnerable population and are not able to leave their homes; OR individuals who serve in those essential roles (medical staff, police, fire, grocery store, farm store workers, etc.)

NOTE - community projects such as cleaning up a community park are NOT options at this time since many of those areas have been closed to the public and also have the potential of involving group involvement which is not allowed.

  • Health & Nutrition - examples could include...
    • Making face masks
    • Creating healthy recipes to align with foods available at the local food pantry
    • Arranging to have a meal from a local restaurant delivered to families with multiple children where parents are juggling the roles of parent/teacher/remote worker at home trying to create balance therefore individuals who would benefit and appreciate a night off from cooking; individuals who align with one or more of the health characteristics which put them in the vulnerable population; OR individuals who serve in those essential roles (medical staff, police, fire, grocery store, farm store workers, etc.) therefore supporting both local restaurants and also community members.

For resources to help you in your planning – look at what is available under Community Service Resources 

Participate in the Zingbooks pilot project and help shape the future of 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!


Did someone forward you this newsletter? Click here to subscribe!   Unsubscribe