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UF/IFAS’ Phil Kaufman to be lauded as Illinois 4-H alumnus

Phillip Kaufman

UF/IFAS veterinary entomology Associate Professor Phil Kaufman will be honored at the 2013 Illinois State 4-H Awards ceremony in Champaign on Sept. 6.

Kaufman is one of three who will receive the Illinois 4-H Alumni Award during the ACES College Connection event. He was a 10-year member of 4-H from Grundy County, Ill. His fellow winners are Brian Basting, an advanced trading commodity research analyst from Bloomington, Ill., and Brian Moeller, a senior vice president with U.S. Bank Food Industries Group.

Kaufman said his interests in entomology and animal agriculture began with 4-H and that he likely would never have been exposed to those career fields had it not been for his 4-H involvement.

He recalled raising rabbits with his brother that had to be hand-watered during sub-zero Illinois winters, and learning to use timed breeding and selected mating to frequently win the category, bringing the siblings both bragging rights and welcome spending money, when the rabbits were sold at the end-of-fair auction.

“I would argue that my career started in 4-H,” he wrote. “When I took my first entomology course at the University of Illinois, I already knew much of the information and that head start made my later decisions that much easier. Additionally, I doubt that I ever would have known that one could become an entomologist or that I even would have had an interest in entomology or animal science, without 4-H.”

As a land-grant university, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign oversees that state’s 4-H program. The Illinois 4-H Foundation and the university’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, or ACES, alumni association is hosting the reception where Kaufman will be honored.