Happy New Year!

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Dr. Richard Clark

2018 has come in with a vengeance. At least that’s how it feels with the frigid temperatures, frozen pipes, and flu bug. But this will pass and a new series of wonderful 4-H experiences will get underway.

A number of our Tennessee 4-H members are in Denver, Colorado this week (it is warmer there than in Tennessee) at the Western National Roundup. These state winners will compete in a variety of contests and hopefully, do their personal best in their competitions. Next week, I will highlight their accomplishments.

Believe it or not, the State 4-H Specialists and Regional staff have already begun planning for this year’s 4-H Congress. It will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Murfreesboro, March 18-21. This event is one of the highlights of the 4-H year and focuses on our leadership and citizenship efforts. Having the opportunity to visit the senate and house chambers and interact with our political leaders in always an exciting time.

We are looking forward to returning to UT Martin for Roundup this year, July 23-27. This will begin an every other year rotation with UT Knoxville. This event is the culmination of project efforts, selects state finalists and awards scholarships to the winners. Our All Star conference will take place during Roundup and will provide an opportunity to highlight the wonderful community service efforts of our All Star members.

2018 will continue to bring new curriculum for use at the county level. This will be both in the form of activity sheets and lesson plans tied to state standards and materials focused on each of our state project areas. In addition, portfolios will continue to move towards a digital format with exciting ways for youth to display their project accomplishments.

Finally, I hope you have had a refreshing holiday season and will join me in making 2018 the best year yet for Tennessee 4-H.