Happy New Year

By Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant

What makes a “Happy New Year” for you?

Are any of these items on your New Year’s list?

  • Money
  • Good Health
  • Friends
  • Creative Challenges
  • Travel
  • Fun


Getting involved with the 4-H program can get you and your family started on your way to a very Happy New Year.


  • Money– while there are both expenses and rewards in 4-H there are certainly opportunities to make money. 4-H projects can focus on learning entrepreneurial skills as well as money management. Livestock projects not only teach responsibility, they can be a young person’s first opportunity to purchase an animal, feed, etc. and then sell it at the livestock auction at the fair. Thanks to our wonderful auction supporters, if they didn’t overspend on the initial purchase of the animal, they can make a profit! If not, like any 4-H project, you can count it as a gain in rich experiences!


  • Good Health– depends on a lot of things, and some of them are out of our control, but the 4-H program has many ways to improve our overall health. 4-H members can learn how to make nutritious meals at home, grow fresh fruits and vegetables in the garden and become more physically active. These are all topics addressed in various 4-H projects that can involve the whole family and may result in a healthier year for everyone!


  • Friends– making new friends is always exciting for young and old alike and can really make a happy new year for everyone. 4-H is designed to bring young people ages 5-18 together to share fun and educational projects and activities through 4-H Club work and county-wide activities as well as through competitive events. 4-H leaders and parents also make new friends at these activities and there’s nothing better than working a shift in the 4-H Kitchen to develop new connections, as well as appreciation for all food service industries!



  • Creative Challenges– abound in 4-H for the whole family! This is an easy way to create a happy new year. No matter what project area you are interested in, there are projects and workshops to spark creativity and expand your skills. How about photography, home environment projects, foods, sewing and quilting, refinishing projects, child care, theatre arts, heritage, entomology, or wildlife projects? Did I miss something you might be interested in? If so, call the Nebraska Extension Office near you (listed in the blue pages of the phone book) to ask about other creative projects.


  • Travel – is often listed on a New Year’s “to do” list. For many 4-H families, 4-H travels may include attending meetings or going to nearby workshops. However, these travels may be expanded by going to 4-H Camp, competing out of town at 4-H shooting sports events or livestock shows or county, Fremont or State Fair competitions. Some families even take vacations with 4-H projects in mind. See where your 4-H involvement can take you this year!


  • Fun – should be included in all of the previously listed items. The 4-H program is all about fun, active learning and service. If you’re looking for fun, look no further than 4-H. Starting a new 4-H Club with at least five members from 3 or more families is a great way to get the fun started in your family. Contact your local Nebraska Extension office for help in making 2016 a very happy New 4-H Year!


About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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