By Lisa Hertzberg, LifeSmarts Program Director It’s a busy time for all things LifeSmarts. Online competitions are still open in a few states through this weekend, state competitions are in full-swing (good luck to all of our teams competing this month and next), and we are counting down to nationals (59 days to Philly!). I had the opportunity to attend the Wisconsin state LifeSmarts competition a couple of weeks ago. Seeing my first live competition of the year reminded me just why this program is such a winner. Students were attending from all corners of Wisconsin. Competition was strong, but sportsmanship ruled the day (the two final teams shook hands and congratulated one another while awaiting the judges’ scores on their final activity), and the adult coordinators, volunteers, and coaches supported the teams and cheered for everyone as the students demonstrated their consumer smarts. I was recently explaining the impetus for the LifeSmarts program and I mentioned that LifeSmarts was the “carrot” or fun element to encourage students to learn as much about real-world consumer issues as they could while still in High School. Watching the Wisconsin competitors reminded me that LifeSmarts does exactly that – spices up consumer education and teaches us all something in the process. How did the Wisconsin state competition turn out? As is often the case, the state championship went down to the wire – the top two teams were tied with only the team activity to go. By knowing more about deficiency diseases, the Oconto team bested Westfield by 10 points to win the state title. It was a great day, and it got me jazzed up for Nationals! I hope to see you there.