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Texas A&M-Kingsville hosts Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Short Course

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KINGSVILLE — High school students from across Texas visited the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus for the Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Short Course June 21-24.


The course at the university, in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, was one of three Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Short Course in the state. Nearly 20 students enrolled in the course at Texas A&M-Kingsville.


While on campus, the students toured facilities, learned about the University’s unique Veterinary Technology Program specializing in large breed animals and participated in live evaluations by Texas A&M-Kingsville faculty. They also traveled to nearby locations in Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley.


The application for the course is open to students in all 254 counties in Texas and students go through a competitive application process during which they are required to answer a series of essay questions pertaining to their involvement in the agricultural industry. Applicants must also submit a two-minute video detailing why they feel that they should be selected as a Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador.


“Our goal with this program is to teach them all about livestock and agriculture and for them to advocate for the livestock and agriculture industry,” said Kyle McManus, County Extension Agent for Nueces County and Texas A&M-Kingsville alumnus.


“I have a passion about bringing youth and exposing them to what Kingsville and South Texas has to offer,” he said.


“We have access to some large ranches around here. The dynamic is very different than the smaller ranches in Central and North Texas. The kids get exposed to a lot of diversity in terms of the programs they can get into the agriculture industry here,” McManus said.


Luke Sanders, a Texas 4-H member from College Station, said he was interested in the program to gain experience in the livestock industry.


“Texas A&M-Kingsville is really unique,” Sanders said. “I didn’t know it was such a large place. This place is a bit smaller than A&M in College Station, but it has plenty of opportunities and has really cool facilities as well.”


The Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Program is designed to offer high school-aged students the opportunity to develop and practice advanced leadership skills related to serving as an advocate for animal agriculture. They are also charged with the task of mentoring other youth within agriculture and 4-H throughout their time as an Ambassador. After participating in this program, students are prepared to enter the university setting and serve in various advocacy roles as a result of the instruction and experiences offered to them.


“At the end of the day, our primary goal is to grow and develop the next generation of leaders by providing them with the tools needed to become knowledgeable, educated and well-spoken advocates for the agricultural industry,” said Kelley Ranly, Graduate Student Assistant for the Texas Youth Livestock and Agriculture program with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.


Category: Ag/Env & Wildlife Sci , General Univ

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