Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassadors

bryley reading ag lit book.jpeg thumbnail

Bryley Bourque, of Calcasieu Parish, reads a book about Louisiana agriculture to elementary students. Photo provided by Bryley Bourque

Louisiana 4-H has had state-level leadership opportunities in the areas of food and fitness, executive leadership, shooting sports, STEM, wetlands and fashion. With more than 2,000 students validating over 5,000 livestock animals annually, Louisiana 4-H set out to begin a new program to provide a high school-level, statewide leadership and education opportunity for livestock exhibitors in the program year of 2022-2023. With that goal in mind, the Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassador program was born. This new venture is led by Hannah Devall, the Louisiana 4-H animal science and agriculture literacy specialist, with the help of Ashley Edwards, the LSU AgCenter beef extension specialist, and Tyler Braud, the Louisiana 4-H livestock specialist.

The annual program begins with high school students submitting an application and a video explaining why they want to serve as a Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassador. The applicants are interviewed by a panel of judges from extension and the livestock industry.

In 2022, the top 10 – or 33% of applicants – were selected to serve a one-year term as Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassadors. They were invited to the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge for a three-day training that integrated collegiate level animal science instruction along with leadership development and advocacy training. Guest speakers included LSU animal science professors, LSU AgCenter specialists, and representatives from the Louisiana Egg Commission, Louisiana Farm Bureau, Ranch House Designs, Louisiana Beef Industry Council, LSU College of Agriculture, Louisiana School of Veterinary Medicine and Rouses.

Ambassadors stated that their favorite parts of the training included the animal reproduction and artificial insemination demonstration, animal nutrition, the people and the advisers, learning about the livestock industry, and change theory. Ambassadors also stated that their largest takeaways from the training included etiquette and professionalism, how to market themselves and the livestock industry, learning new ways to advocate, and how to handle difficult situations and understand the perspective of others. Ambassadors noted that they would like to see more information on small ruminants and poultry in future training events.

After completing their training, they returned to their home parishes to attain at least 40 hours of service through activities including agriculture science programming, livestock clinics and assisting in livestock programming efforts. In addition, students have completed two different farm tours with the first tour taking them to Coastal Plains Meat Processing Plant and Little Pecan Cattle Company. The second farm tour took the students to the House of Raeford chicken processing plant as well as the LSU AgCenter Hill Farm Research Station.

Throughout the 2022-2023 term, Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassadors contributed 619 hours at more than 105 events and served more than 13,720 people across Louisiana for an economic contribution valued at $16,298.27. Events included but were not limited to parish, district and state livestock shows; local workshops and clinics; state-level volunteer trainings; and news interviews by TWILA, WBRZ and KTBS.

After completing her first year in the Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassador program, Abby Dunn from Bossier Parish stated, “The Livestock Ambassador program has been very rewarding for me. I have gotten to meet state legislators, network with members of the National Beef Council and Farm Bureau as well as explore different aspects of animal production. These experiences have helped me prepare for a career in the ag industry. I love promoting agriculture and being able to mentor younger 4-H’ers. Watching them develop a passion for animals is the best feeling in the world.”

The Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassador program continues to recruit exhibitors to expand the program for years to come.

"The Livestock Ambassador program has helped better my understanding of all parts of the livestock industry. I feel prepared to promote the livestock industry to others and do my part to play a positive role in food animal production." -- Garrett Lirette, 4-H member, Iberville Parish, and Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassador

group on slaughter floor .JPG thumbnail

Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassadors participated in a hands-on experience harvesting pigs during their training in Louisiana State University’s meat processing facility in Francioni Hall. The pigs were raised at the LSU AgCenter Doyle Chambers Central Research Station, a teaching and research farm. Photo by Hannah Devall

Group Photo.JPG thumbnail

Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassadors join their advisers in front of Knapp Hall during a training event on LSU’s Baton Rouge campus. Participants include, front row from left, Bryley Bourque, Calcasieu Parish; Camille Sonnier, Jefferson Davis Parish; Madeline Mitchell, Natchitoches Parish; and Breck Vincent, West Carrol Parish; middle row, Hannah Devall, Louisiana 4-H animal science and agriculture literacy and awareness specialist; Abby Dunn, Bossier Parish; Shaohannah Martin, Lafayette Parish; Payton Prichard, Bossier Parish; and Tyler Braud, Louisiana 4-H livestock specialist; and back row, Ashley Edwards, LSU AgCenter beef extension specialist; Garrett Lirette, Iberville Parish; Alyssa Keowen, West Baton Rouge Parish; and Isaac Duhon, Vermilion Parish. Photo by Johnny Morgan

madeline mitchelle scraping pork chop.JPG thumbnail

Madeline Mitchell, Natchitoches Parish, cuts a pork chop. Photo by Hannah Devall

madeline reading ag lit book.jpeg thumbnail

Madeline Mitchell, Livestock Ambassador from Natchitoches Parish 4-H, reads a book that showcased the agriculture systems of Louisiana to elementary age students. Photo provided by Madeline Mitchell

3/5/2024 9:13:45 PM
Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture