The Green and White Network

The Green and White Network

Feb 25
Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation Executive Director

I have had the opportunity to spend this week in beautiful, warm Tucson for the 2016 National 4-H Leadership Meeting. State 4-H Program Leaders and 4-H Foundation Executive Directors are in attendance. 47 states are represented. Over 150 individuals. The passion for 4-H is overflowing!  These are people that bleed green and white.

None of us are structured the same, offer the exact same programs, raise gifts in the same fashion, or offer the same amount of programmatic support back to our state 4-H  programs, but we all DO believe in the same mission: Learning By Doing. We are all excited by the growth of 4-H and the new and innovative programs offered, but we realize that our greatest failure would be to stay the same! We are constantly challenging why we are doing what do, how we are executing it, and if we are meeting the identified issues of youth nationally at the same time that we are addressing our statewide concerns.

We have identified what we see as priorities for 4-H nationally that we ALL have a role in helping to move forward.
·    Inclusivity
·    Developing Staff
·    Volunteer Development
·    Positional and Branding
·    Alignment and Unity

While in addition to discussion around the above five points, there have been valuable sessions around donor retention, sponsorships, and 4-H branding and marketing. Some of my most valued time is spent networking with other state 4-H Foundations, whether they “look” just like Illinois or not. So many new ideas and best practices are gained over breakfast, breaks or dinner. There has not been a year where I haven’t left reenergized and feeling proud about Illinois 4-H and the Illinois 4-H Foundation, while also realizing there is always room to do better.  After all, shouldn’t we alI continue to make sure we are “learning by doing!"

Barnard Conference