Change is in the air...

Change is in the air...

Oct 29
Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation Executive Director

When the temperatures change and the leaves transform into beautiful color, it is the sign of new opportunities. The youngest members of my family are quite excited for their newest opportunity - finally becoming Cloverbud 4-H members.  My 5 and 7 year olds see their mom leave our home every day to be a “4-H worker” and, for them, going to their first 4-H meeting this week signals new friends, new experiences, and new fun!  I couldn’t be more proud and full of anticipation of what their 4-H years may mean to them!

The Illinois 4-H program is experiencing a few changes, as well. The start of the new 4-H program year moved from September 1 to October 1 this year. Illinois youth, ages 5-18, all over the state began their new 4-H year with plans of learning new things, trying something that they wouldn’t normally do, spending time with people that maybe their paths wouldn’t cross if it wasn’t for 4-H. It was an exciting change that allowed Illinois 4-H to launch their new year while celebrating National 4-H Week!

As young adults across the state start to select and purchase animals for the 2016 Illinois State Fair, fair officials announced that junior livestock shows will be expanded to include individuals age 8-21.  Previously, junior livestock shows were limited to individuals age 10-18. It is important to note that participation age for junior livestock shows will now be open to all 4-H members for the 2015-2016 program year.

For my family, harvest has concluded and we are grateful for the bounty it has provided. Much like the agricultural growing year, the new 4-H year will bring exciting growth for youth and a harvest of personal experiences! I look forward to seeing what’s in store for my two Cloverbuds, as well as the thousands of other Illinois 4-Hers.

Angie and her kids
Angie Barnard, Executive Director Illinois 4-H Foundation, with her daughter Brecke and son Alex, new Cloverbud 4-H members.