Missouri 4-H Equine Tour

                                          2017 Equine Tour Group at the Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas.

Fifty-one Missouri 4-H horse project teens explored the western horse industry and related careers in Oklahoma and Texas May 22-28 on the eleventh annual University of Missouri Extension 4-H Equine Career Tour.  Participants gained career insight from some of 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.  The premier ranches visited, Four Sixes and Lazy E, provided understanding of ranch management and internship opportunities. 

The tour visited equine focused 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 Veterinarian School and Reata Equine Hospital.  In addition, Dr. Billy Smith, CEO American Paint Horse Association and Captain Tim Finley shared thoughtful and discerning life and career encouragement.

“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 setup 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 give 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 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 indigenous 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, University of Missouri Extension.  Additional MU Extension tour staff are Shane Potter, Rhonda Shafer, Karen Branstetter, Marci Crosby, and retired staff member, Carol Parmenter.