Service is a hallmark of the Illinois 4-H program. The Illinois 4-H Foundation annually honors longtime volunteers and former staff members for their selfless dedication to 4-H, the University of Illinois Extension youth development program.
Bill Kuhn, a DeKalb County 4-H volunteer, has been selected to receive the Illinois 4-H Foundation Hall of Fame Award for his service to the Extension youth development program.
Kuhn is the goat and sheep superintendent for the DeKalb County 4-H Fair and serves on the Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction Committee. He started out 16 years ago as the sheep project leader for the Genoa Prairie Gems 4-H Club. For the last eight years he has not only helped the Genoa Prairie Gems but also stepped up to be the sheep and goat superintendent of the fair.
In 2020, 87 individuals received the Foundation Hall of Fame Award, presented during a virtual ceremony Aug. 18. Five of the honorees are being named posthumously.
The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2005 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former 4-H staff. Each inductee receives a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion.
“These volunteers fully embody what 4-H strives to instill in youth,” Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation executive director, said in a news release. “They are caring, dedicated, generous leaders, and the Illinois 4-H Foundation is extremely proud to be able to provide this honor to thank them for their service to this wonderful organization.
Illinois 4-H programs reach nearly 200,000 youth each year through 4-H clubs, camps, educational programs, workshops and conferences held in communities, schools, parks and homes across Illinois. In total, more than 15,000 volunteers fill key leadership and mentoring roles.
“Many volunteers have a tradition of 4-H in their family or were 4-H members themselves,” Barnard said in the release. “More and more, though, adults brand new to the 4-H experience are seeing the value of the life skills development program and volunteering for the first time.”
To volunteer in your community, contact the University of Illinois Extension DeKalb County at 815-758-8194.
“There is a place for everyone in 4-H, whether you have an hour or a lifetime to give,” Barnard said.
The Illinois 4-H Foundation raises private funds that are invested in Illinois 4-H programs that provide meaningful, positive development experiences for Illinois youth to develop leadership, citizenship and life skills. To learn more, visit 4hfoundation.illinois.edu.