University of Illinois Extension welcomed Katie Smith to its 4-H team.
Smith has been hired as the extra help 4-H extension program coordinator for Bureau, La Salle, Marshall, and Putnam counties.
While she is new to this position, she is not new to 4-H in the four-county area. She was an 11-year member of the Walnut Winner’s 4-H club, and an active member in the Bureau County 4-H Federation throughout high school. She understands firsthand how valuable 4-H experiences are to youth in rural areas; however, she also wants to provide opportunities that show 4-H is for everyone.
This is a new, pilot position for local 4-H programs. Smith was hired to help grow local dederation (teen leadership) clubs, recruit new Cloverbud (ages 5-7) members, help new members navigate the 4-H system, and provide support to leaders and clubs. She will work with the other 4-H team members and use strategic planning to fulfill these responsibilities alongside her own personal ideas stemming from her own 4-H experiences. With an ever-changing and growing 4-H program, she is needed as a resource and support to sustain established clubs and members.
On a personal note, Smith attended Sauk Valley Community College before transferring to Illinois State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in May 2021 in agriculture communications and leadership and animal industry management. In her free time, she enjoys shopping, doing yoga, and making crafts.
Some of her favorite 4-H project areas include sewing, cooking and horticulture — but after taking 15-20 projects to the fair each year, she has experienced a little bit of everything. Smith is looking forward to meeting all the clubs and sharing activities to help members be more prepared for the fair.
For more information about 4-H in your county, visit https://extension.illinois.edu/blmp
The mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you have questions or need more information, call Beth Dellatori, 4-H youth development educator at the University of Illinois Extension- Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit Office at 815-224-0889.