Tell the world you’re 4-H proud

Tell the world you’re 4-H proud

May 2
Judy Mae Bingman, 4-H Media & Marketing

The national #4HGrowsHere campaign is reminding the world that 4-H is alive and growing in this country. Many 4-H alums lose contact with their 4-H roots when they start new careers and move to new areas. The campaign is intended to find those former members and spread the word that 4-H is thriving in every community, from rural farms to urban cities.

Illinois made a concentrated effort to expand our 4-H programs to metro areas several years ago. At the time, some worried that we would lose our strong agricultural foundation for 4-H. I hope by now we’ve proved that more means better for everyone.

Illinois 4-H’s efforts in metro areas have allowed us to tell the important agricultural story to a whole new audience who is far removed from where their food is grown. And, those urban supporters have helped strengthened the base of programming for our traditional audiences too, bringing science and technology programs to the new generation of rural American innovators and engineers.

Everyone wins when we grow 4-H. Who can’t get excited about thousands of kids finding out about 4-H for the first time! Remember your first blue ribbon? Don’t you want that same excitement for every kid? (I see your head nodding.)

“Sows, cows and plows” are still important to 4-H because agriculture will always be important to our growing world, and so is robotics, engineering, computers, and videography. It’s not an “either-or” situation. It’s never been “either-or” in 4-H. 4-H has always been where everyone can find their own path to success. Join us in spreading the word. Register your 4-H membership online @

More than 450 youth from 65 teams were on campus April 23 for the state 4-H Robotics Competition. Robotics is the fastest growing 4-H project in the state. Many U of I students served as judges for the contest.