Going & Growing Newsletter

Winter 2012-2013 - Vol. XI - No. 1


This is the time of year when many of us will consider making a resolution to enact some sort of change in our lives. While I would love to start going to the gym or learn a new language, this year my resolution will be to communicate more, whether with family, friends, or new acquaintances. Every year the officer team has a January planning meeting, which will come at the perfect time for me to put this resolution into action by really getting to know the new Vice President and Regional Directors. While most of the people in my current friend circle know about my involvement in NJHA, I also want to start talking to other students, particularly those in my major, Plant Science, about the opportunities of joining NJHA. One of the saddest parts of going to convention and meeting new friends is having to wait an entire year to see them again. If I get the people who go to school and work with me involved, then I can relive the great memories from convention with them, talk about the things we learned together, and share new plant experiences with them throughout the year! I challenge you to join me in making new connections to the people who you live next door to or share a class with. Together, we can all help to keep NJHA going and growing.

Matthew Bond
NJHA President

Over the past two months I have been embracing my new post. Interacting with Youth Coordinators is my favorite part of the job. Many convention-goers were eager to be Youth Coordinators. I find it easy to work with such enthusiastic people.

I started a Quiz Picture program on Facebook as an interactive game to keep Youth Coordinators involved. I post a picture of a plant and participants “comment” their answer. This is slightly similar to the Honors Plant Identification Youth Coordinators experience as competitors. I try to challenge their knowledge by digging up tough samples. Anyone can participate in the fun. Even other Officers join in the game.

I really look forward to NJHA events. The Youth Officer Team winter meeting is scheduled and I am ready! I view the meeting as an NJHA family reunion and opportunity to get some work done. My favorite thing about NJHA is the people I have become acquainted with due to my involvement.

Bethany Brinsfield

When considering which plants to use for attracting birds in winter , thoughts first turn to the hollies. Evergreen hollies are a favorite choice for attracting birds. The colorful berries and thick, dense foliage provide a source of food and cover for our feathered friends, while enhancing the beauty of a yard. If that doesn’t suit you, the deciduous Winterberry Holly may be worth a try. Its brilliant red berries appear in the fall and often last through winter. Just be sure to include some males for pollination. Robins, flickers, bluebirds, and catbirds, among others, enjoy its fruits. If you try the California native Christmasberry Holly, or Toyon, your efforts will likely be rewarded by a number of bluebird visitors, as well as waxwings, mockingbirds, and others. Plentiful berries are also provided by the Barberry, or Berberis. The thorns also provide hiding places from predators, for the birds, and protection for the plant from deer, which is certainly a plus, when considering a budget for landscaping. Something different? Bird lovers should consider adding Redosier Dogwood to the landscape birds may well find berries on the on these plants into the winter months. Not to mention, that this a landscapers dream, with striking red stems and twigs, that stand out beautifully against the white snow. An even more exotic splash in the winter landscape may be provided by the Korean fir. Unfortunately, not a candidate for locales with hot and humid summers, the fir’s strikingly covered cones, provide fruit for many happy birds throughout the winter. Perhaps the Korean Fir- or another one of these beautiful plants- is just what you need to attract birds to your winter garden!

Allie Hopper

Hi, my name is Lexi Gegare and I am your National Secretary. I am a senior at Milton High School in Milton, Wisconsin where I am active in FFA and show choir. I am also involved in 4-H and the Grange. It was so nice to meet so many people from all over the country at the 2012 convention and it was especially fun for me since it was in my home state. If you were unable to attend this past convention, you missed out on a great time. But now it is on the Williamsburg, Virginia and the 2013 convention. The officer team and host committee have already begun preparations for your time in Virginia. This will definitely be a convention you won’t want to miss.

What ways are you sharing your excitement about NJHA with others?? I recently attended the National Grange convention in Boise, Idaho and was able to talk to many youth and adults about NJHA and the relationship our 2 organizations have. Many Grangers are familiar with NJHA, but not sure if there is any participation in their state. So, I challenge you to find a Grange in your area and give a talk about the opportunities with NJHA. They would welcome the chance for a young person to give a presentation to their group. If you need some help finding a Grange or are not sure what to say or just want to tell me how it’s going, I would be glad to hear from you. Also, don’t forget about the NJHA face book page. It’s a great way for all of us to stay connected.

Hope to hear from you soon,

Lexi Gegare
NJHA National Secretary

Hi there, I am Debbie Gegare and I am your National Co-Advisor. I live in Wisconsin with my daughter, mom and 2 cats. We had a great time at convention this year in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. It was neat to see a cranberry bog up close and ride the “Ducks”. We have started to prepare for your 2013 National Convention in Williamsburg, Virginia. I look forward to the Officer team meeting in January as we start another year in NJHA.

We have a great officer team this year and I encourage you to get to know them. They will be working hard to strength the Youth Coordinator program and to get more states involved in NJHA. They will be asking you for articles to make regional newsletters, involvement in discussions on the face book page and participation in national convention duties. Start making your plans for Williamsburg now and plan on getting connected to the Officer Team. We would love to hear from all of you.

Debbie Gegare
NJHA Co-Advisor