Time to Get Going on those 4-H Goals
Last year at this time, I wrote a blog about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for the new year. Remember, S.M.A.R.T. goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound. Hopefully, every 4-H member has taken some time in the last few months to create those 2021-22 goals and list them in Section 1 of their 4-H Project Report.
How far have you progressed in your efforts to achieve those goals? Have you planned actionable steps to get them accomplished by the end of May? If so, congratulations! You can stop reading now. If not, what follows are some suggestions to get than plan in place.
Take a look at the calendar
It pays to plan ahead by using your calendar and saving dates for important 4-H events. Highlight registration deadlines, check-in dates and actual event dates to make sure nothing gets missed and you don’t over schedule yourself. Those of us who love organization might even use a color-coded system to categorize calendar reminders. Think green for 4-H events and maybe yellow or red for deadlines. Keep reading for some suggested events to include in your calendar.
Central Florida Fair
If you are showing livestock, you have likely already registered your project animal(s). However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t important dates to record. There are still record books to complete, posters to make, meetings to attend, check-in dates/times and of course the actual show dates. Be sure to work with your animal as well – don’t leave showmanship to chance. It is always evident in the show ring who put in the time during the months before the fair.
If you are planning to enter projects in the (non-livestock) exhibit building, that registration will open on or around December 1st in 4Honline. Projects will be submitted in late February so there is no time like the present to be taking photographs and thinking about your tri-fold member exhibit topic.
County Events Day
It is our plan to be back in-person this year! There may still be an opportunity to submit pre-recorded video presentations for those that cannot attend, but for most of you there are several ways to participate. In the exhibit categories (Section 2 of your Project Report) you can enter photography, posters, member project exhibits and even electronic gameboards. The presentation categories (also Section 2) include public speaking, demonstrations/illustrated talks, and the share the fun talent show. Several of these categories send winners on to district and state competitions. County Events Day is scheduled for April 9th, and you should expect registration to open in late January or early February. Start thinking now about what you plan to enter!
I pledge my hands to larger service… This is a very important part of your 4-H experience and if your club does not already have a service project in-place, perhaps you could suggest one at the next meeting? The holidays are a great time to support food and gift drives, and this is an easy way to be generous in your community. Think springtime for some type of work service effort like a park or neighborhood clean-up.
In closing, the June 6th deadline for record books, standards of excellence and 4-H activity scholarship applications will be here before you know it. Start planning today to achieve your goals and make this your best 4-H year yet.
For questions about any of these activities or events please email us at orange4H@ifas.ufl.edu