With funding cuts announced all the time, the good news for Peoria County residents is that they may not notice any changes at the 4-H fair Aug. 1-3.



4-H is a youth development program for ages 8 to 18 which assists children in learning skills they can use throughout their life.


With funding cuts announced all the time, the good news for Peoria County residents is that they may not notice any changes at the 4-H fair Aug. 1-3.

4-H is a youth development program for ages 8 to 18 which assists children in learning skills they can use throughout their life.

The University of Illinois Extension was reorganized in recent years to work as a unit of Peoria, Tazewell, Fulton and Mason counties, instead of just Peoria County.

In that process, the extension was streamlined, according to Earl Allen, county extension director of the unit.

With only one county director for the unit instead of one per county, the revenue streams are more diversified, Allen said.

“We budget conservatively to deal with volatile funding,” he added.

To help with costs in recent years is a $20 annual enrollment fee per child.

What may at one time have been thought of as a more agriculturally based, the program features all kinds of interests from robotics, photography, sewing and much more.

“If you can think of it, you can probably find a 4-H program,” said Judy Schmidt, extension educator.

While there are not any 4-H clubs in Chillicothe, there are three in Dunlap.

Clubs typically meet monthly and have officers. “It’s one of the ways they gain leadership skills,” said Schmidt.

They can host guest speakers, go on a tour of a local business, sometimes perform a community service and find recreation.

An education portion may be someone speaking or demonstrating something they are interested in or need knowledge of for their end-of-the-year project.

Sixteen clubs comprising 500 children participate in the county.

That project is the culmination of their year, and is shown at the 4-H fair or 4-H Show as it is known in Peoria County.

Any changes made to the 4-H Show this year, Allen said, is for programming considerations to enhance the event rather than funding.