2017 Missouri 4-H Equine Tour

Fifty-one Missouri 4-H horse project teens explored the western horse industry and related careers in Oklahoma and Texas May 22 through 28 on the eleventh annual MU Extension 4-H Equine Career Tour. Participants gained career insight from top equine professionals such as champion trainers Chris Cox and Gil Galyean; champion roper Tyson Durfey and wife Shea Fisher, barrel racer and fashion designer; sculptor Marrita Black; and champion barrel racer, Connie Combs. Special tours at two of the nations's premier ranches, The Four Sixes in Texas and Lazy E in Oklahoma, highlighted ranch management and the opportunities available for equine career internships.  The group toured equine higher education programs at North Eastern A & M College Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and Tarleton State University and equine related health visits with Embryologist Brad Stroud DVM, OSU Vetrerinarian School and Reata Equine Hospital.  In addition, Dr. Bily Smith, CEO American Paint Horse Association and Captain Tim Finley shared discerning life and career encouragement.  Additional stops included the Remington Park Horse Racetrack, Oklahoma City National Memorial, Fort Worth Stockyards, Teskys, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

"Having the opportunity to participate in the Missouri 4-H Equine Tour has given me a huge insight into the horse industry.  As a young horse enthusiast, the tour has shown me many different aspects of the horse industry and has opened many doors for my future career path with horses.  The Missouri 4-H Equine Tour has been the cornerstone to my future in the horse industry and has been instrumental in setting up other opportunities such as internships.  It has given me the opportunity to make connections with professionals in the industry across the country that I will use throughout my career.  The tour also gave horse enthused kids in Missouri 4-H the opportunity to meet other kids their age from across the state that share the same love for horses and create friendships that will last a lifetime."  Isaiah Chandler, Jasper County 4-H.

"The Missouri 4-H Equine Tour is an engaging experience that allows youth to explore the different fields of the equine industry, while being paired up with youth from all across the state.  It has allowed me to see behind the scenes and see firsthand a variety of career paths and the impact they have on the industry.  The equine tour is an exciting way to tour all fields and disciplines and meet some of the top professionals in the nation.  It has helped me broaden my horizons to see the different jobs available, meanwhile narrowing down the careers that I find to be the most suitable.  It is a once in a lifetime experience.  I have made friendships that will last a lifetime."  Kat Dixon, Lincoln County 4-H.

"This tour has proven invaluable for Missouri 4-H youth with an equine passion searching for career directions combining their personal skills and equine interests.  We continue to learn from former tour participants how life-changing career decisions have been a direct result of experiences from our Missouri 4-H Equine Tours.  The annual tour has a four-year plan visiting different states and exploring the indegenous equine industry to provide the youth a unique opportunity to broaden their insight into a multi-million-dollar industry.  In 2018, the tour will be traveling to Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado." states Debbie Davis, 4-H Youth Specialist, MU Extension.  Additional MU Extension tour staff are Shane Potter, Rhonda Shafer, Karen Branstetter, Marci Crosby, and retired staff member, Carol Parmenter.  For additional information:  davisdd@missouri.edu or 816-539-3765, MU Extension in Clinton County.

Jayden Stewart and Bailey Murphy, Camden County 4-H Members, participated in the 2017 Missouri 4-H Equine Tour.  Bailey was this year’s recipient of the Jonna Kay Witherow 4-H Equine Scholarship.


4-H News

The Clover Connection is a monthly newsletter for 4-H families and friends. 

April 2018 (PDF)
March 2018 (PDF)
February 2018 (PDF)

Get involved with 4-H

Young people are welcome to join any of the Camden County clubs. They can attend meetings, complete 4-H projects, exhibit their projects in the local fairs and the state fair, participate in local events, state and national trips and events and qualify for college scholarships. Camden County currently has 55 members and 18 adult volunteers enrolled in 4-H clubs. Contact Sam Lower, 417-532-7126 or lowers@missouri.edu, for more information.

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How to join 4-H

University of Missouri Extension 4-H

Empowering young people to reach their full potential

4-H brings young people, ages 5 to 19, and adults together to learn everyday skills through hands-on learning. Working on activities from animal and plant sciences to robotics, 4-H’ers learn problem-solving skills that can make a positive impact upon our community. Through 4-H, young people learn to:

  • meet the diverse challenges of today’s world;
  • build self-confidence;
  • learn responsibility; and
  • make positive decisions.
4-H clubs

4-H clubs are open to ages 8 to 18. Clubs meet monthly for group activities and club business. Each club elects officers and has an approved adult leader who supervises club activities. Club members also enroll in projects in their areas of interest.

With projects on more than 75 topics, 4-H has something to interest every child. Here are just a few of the opportunities 4-H offers—geocaching, robotics, international exchanges, horsemanship, pets, starting a business, arts and crafts, raising animals, woodworking, photography and gardening.

Clover Kids clubs

Clover Kids introduces 5- to 7-year-olds to the 4-H experience. In Clover Kids, children learn how to get along with others, work in groups, explore their interests, while building self-confidence. Clover Kids do not enroll in projects or raise animals, and do not participate in competitive events, contests or shows.

How to join

Joining 4-H is as easy as contacting the extension center. A staff member will explain the enrollment process and membership dues. In addition to dues, some projects may require a small investment to get started, and there may be a fee for materials, trips or other activities.

Young people are welcome to join at any time. The 4-H program year runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. Certain activities may have participation deadlines.


4-H Online enrollment system
Missouri 4-H Clover—A guide to 4-H projects, activities and publications. It is designed to assist volunteers, members and their families select projects and activities, and set goals.

Be a 4-H volunteer

Adult volunteers are essential to 4-H. Adult volunteers serve as club or project leaders, help with county or regional events, chair committees and organize fund raisers. You don't have to be a parent or grandparent of the 4-H member to get involved. All volunteers are screened for child abuse and neglect, as well criminal records, before they are accepted and each year thereafter. As a volunteer, University of Missouri Extension will provide you with training so you will be well-prepared and successful as an adult leader. The orientation includes information on 4-H history and the educational framework, the characteristics of age groups, character development and safety.