Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Program

Our Mission

The Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Program strives to provide high school aged 4-H members the opportunity to develop and practice advanced leadership skills related to mentoring other youth, and to become advocates for animal agriculture.

Our Purpose

Since the founding of Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Program in 2007, a new generation of knowledgeable, well-spoken agriculture advocates have emerged in Texas. Today, the average American is at least three generations removed from the farm. It is essential that the upcoming generation be able to bridge the gap between consumers and farmers. Through collegiate-level training combined with hands-on experience, youth are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to serve as educators of their community, youth volunteers, and stewards of the livestock industry.

Through the Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Program, students engage
in a comprehensive learning experience to gain exposure to the many
facets within and surrounding the livestock industry. The program strives
to create immersive and unique experiences to enlighten students about
potential higher education and career pathways. Ambassadors emerge
from the program with more clarity and understanding of how they will
positively impact the industry and their communities.

Advocacy is the common thread running through the entire experience.
Skilled communicators share research-backed information locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Ambassadors seek and create livestock advocacy engagements through civic clubs, radio stations, newspapers, television, social media, grocery stores, major shows and elected official interactions. Ambassadors recognize the critical need to share the non-fictional story of youth livestock programs and the positive impact of agriculture worldwide with people several generations removed from the farm.

Our Results

Through the creation of the Texas 4-H Livestock, Equine and Poultry Ambassador Programs, a new generation of knowledgeable, educated, and well-spoken youth will emerge in Texas to teach other youth and adults the skills of being good stewards, producers, and exhibitors of poultry, horses and livestock. These young people will begin a new generation of agricultural industry professionals. 

  • 1,354 Ambassadors trained
  • 122,689 hours served
  • 3,172,690 people reached
  • $2,654,059 monetary impact
  • 99.2% college aged Ambassadors enrolled in higher education 

Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Short Course


Ambassadors are exposed to various topics in the livestock industry such as reproduction, nutrition, genetics, and veterinary science. Beyond the classroom, Ambassadors get real-world, hands on experience by visiting renowned ranches and facilities such as the King Ranch, STgenetics, and Quien Sabe Feeders.


  • Prepare youth to serve in leadership capacities in livestock projects and programs across Texas.
  • Prepare youth for higher education, through intensive, science-based instruction and experiences in a university setting.
  • Prepare and provide opportunities for youth to serve in advocacy roles for the livestock industry, 4-H, and the livestock programs.
  • Develop a heightened awareness of career opportunities in the livestock industry and advocacy.

Ambassadors must contribute 40 hours of service in presenting topics in agriculture advocacy, nutrition, daily maintenance and care, showmanship, sportsmanship, preparing new 4-H families for show, and management of poultry projects at a show. Not only that, Ambassadors are charged with creating animal agriculture advocacy engagements through civic clubs, radio stations, newspapers, television, social media, grocery stores, major livestock shows and elected official interactions.

“From working in the meat lab at Texas A&M to garnering industry leading knowledge from the most unique agriculturists on the West Coast, each relationship along the way has granted me varying perspectives. In turn, this has allowed me to have a more sustainable voice for all in agriculture. My time and relationships built with the people throughout the entirety of the Ambassador Program has made me the richest person in the world.”  - Cooper Ford, Former Livestock Ambassador 

Career Development
In 2010, in a research study, students were tested on his/her livestock production knowledge before and after the short course. The exam was 100 questions, multiple choice and short answer. The average before was 49% and elevated to an outstanding 75% at the conclusion of the course. Further investigating knowledge gained, students received a livestock production expertise instrument administered pre and post course.

Positive reports of student achievement from our partner universities have become the norm. Ambassadors are leading student organizations, serving in critical student worker positions, staff for elected officials, national champions in competitive events, serving as ambassadors for his/her university, coordinating educational programs and mentoring new students.

Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Course Offerings


Short Course - Texas A&M University-Kingsville

This course offers an agricultural experience in the heart of Texas ranch country. Ambassadors enjoy learning about livestock production with an emphasis in land and wildlife management. TAMUK professors and staff lead students through engaging curriculum tailored to agricultural systems unique to South Texas. South Texas also delivers impactful lessons in reproduction, nutrition, selection and marketing of livestock. Ambassadors gained critical insight into labor and immigration challenges as it relates to agriculture. The short course at Texas A&M University - Kingsville has truly strengthened the Texas 4-H Ambassador Program by adding geographic reach and diversity to our group of young leaders.

Short Course - Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University has delivered a truly rigorous short course since 2010. This course is for Ambassadors interested in a deep dive into animal science. Of all the courses offered, Texas A&M provides the most in-depth introduction into reproductive technologies and nutrition. Talented professors guide students through complex principles and push young minds out of their comfort zones. Ambassador candidates start the course harvesting hogs and are challenged throughout the course to expand their minds to understand the impacts of production agriculture beyond the showring.

Short Course - West Texas A&M University/Texas Tech University

The South Plains and Panhandle of Texas offer an incredible opportunity to engage enlightening and impressive agricultural systems. Massive cattle feeding operations and dairy provide students insight into how farmers and ranchers harness all available technology to maximize production and quality. Future meat scientists gravitate to this course. Texas Tech provides unique access to the faculty responsible for their success as a national leader in meat science. West Texas A&M strengthens the experience by adding an unmatched cattle harvest experience that showcases a world-class meat science laboratory. Ambassador candidates capture a crucial understanding of growth enhancing technologies, animal welfare, cattle feeding and environmental impact. Therefore, they will have the capacity and network to educate and share information with a public that desperately needs to hear the truth.

Texas 4-H Advocacy Academy

The Texas 4-H Advocacy Academy is confronting the challenge of a lack of agricultural literacy and misinformation by an increasing number of Texans. The second phase of the program hosted at the Texas Capitol gives Ambassadors the opportunity hear from industry leaders in agricultural policy, law, agricultural environmental impact, labor challenges, and eminent domain. However, the central feature of the course are three independent media trainings where students are challenged to advocate on agricultural issues. Educational partners provide the elite training providing Ambassadors honest feedback to improve communication skills. Ambassadors emerge with a better understanding of the political process, credible threats, and effective advocacy strategies to implement each of our young leaders.


Domestic and International Agricultural Experiences

In the third phase of the program, Ambassadors have the opportunity to travel and see first-hand challenges, characteristics and diverse atmospheres associated with national and international agriculture in places like Argentina, Uruguay, Australia, California, Oregon, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Kentucky. Through visits to progressive and established farms and ranches as well as industry facilities and universities, Ambassadors gain a greater understanding of varying agricultural practices globally. Consequently, these experiences increase awareness of global agriculture and international trade. Upon reflection, Ambassadors reported meaningful changes in their world views and solidified interest in pursuing a degree in agriculture.

Current Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassadors

Hours Reporting Link

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