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View from the Cab: 4-H a big part of summer


4-H projects displayed during last week's Livingston County Fair at Pontiac / CIFN photo.

By: Kent Casson


As we are in the midst of 2022 fair season in Illinois, it is a good time to remind you all about 4-H and what youth are doing this summer.


General projects and livestock can be found at events around the state as kids show their projects. With more than 6 million members, 4-H strives to encourage youth to find their passion and develop life skills like teamwork, leadership and organization which they can use later in life.


4-H is recognized as the country’s biggest youth development organization with projects such as robotics, drones, visual arts, computer science and plants and soils.


Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders who are prepared for a career tomorrow. The organization takes a hands-on approach that gives young people tools, encouragement and guidance before putting them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen.


Research has confirmed the positive impact of 4-H. Young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, twice as likely to make healthier choices, more likely to be civically active and much more likely to participate in STEM programs.


Public outreach for University of Illinois is led by Illinois Extension, which translates research into action plans that allows Illinois businesses, families and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions and adapt to changes and opportunities.


Now that the Livingston County Ag Fair has concluded, you still have plenty of chances to see 4-H projects throughout the area as the McLean County Fair is coming the first week of August at the Interstate Center in Bloomington. This was once billed the largest 4-H show in the nation and is worth seeing. The Cloverleaf Hall building is always full of excitement on judging day with impressive work on display all five days of the fair.


The Woodford County Fair is this week at Eureka at Farm Bureau Park. I have never been there but they tell me there are plenty of shade trees much like Pontiac’s 4-H Park. This is strictly a 4-H show with several projects on display from youth in Woodford County.


We had a fun time as always at last week’s Livingston County Ag Fair. Thanks to everyone for stopping by the dairy barn or my broadcast area to say hello. It may have been warm, but it was an enjoyable time for all of us.

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