Welcome Kayla Wells to Camden County

Originally from Aurora, IL, Kayla grew up as an active member of 4-H clubs. She focused her projects on horse showing, judging, horse bowl and hippology. That foundation led her to attend Blackhawk College East (Kewanee, IL) where she received her Associate’s Degree in Equine Science. She went on to complete her undergraduate degree in Agriculture Media & Communications at West Texas A&M University (Canyon, TX). At both schools, Kayla competed in Western Horsemanship on their equestrian teams and judged on their horse judging teams. Kayla then received her Master’s Degree in Agriculture Extension & Education from New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM) while assistant coaching their collegiate horse judging team. Throughout her 4-H, collegiate and professional career, she has won 19 world/national championships in horse judging and equestrian, played an active role in teaching/coaching 4-H youth in horse projects, led NMSU’s horse judging team to a top 10 finish at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and American Quarter Horse World Show and planned state 4-H horse contests in New Mexico. Her personal interests include showing and training all around horses for AQHA events, judging horse shows professionally and teaching clinics. Kayla is passionate about developing youth through 4-H programs, camps, schools and clinics. She is excited about her recent addition to Camden County’s Extension team and hopes to continue to grow the county’s 4-H programs.

2016 Missouri 4-H Equine Tour

Fifty Missouri 4-H horse project teens spent six days exploring the equine careers and industry in the Lexington, Kentucky area May 23-29, on the tenth annual Missouri 4-H Equine Tour.  The 2016 tour had a strong emphasis on the thoroughbred racing industry beginning with a daybreak viewing of race horses breezing at Keeneland, visiting the premier thoroughbred farms of Clairborne, Gainesway, and Judemont; a thoroughbred rehabilitation facility, New Vocations; and viewing the races at Churchill Downs.   The tour also included visits to outstanding Icelandic, Saddlebred, and Quarter Horse farms.

Participants gained information about equine education programs at the Universities of Missouri and Kentucky, Midway University, North American Racing Academy and Kentucky Horseshoeing School.  The tour visited equine related health facilities at Kentucky Equine Research, KESMARC, Park Equine Hospital and observed a surgery at the Lexington Equine Surgery facility.   Many presenters during the tour were former 4-H members including the editor of The Horse, staff at the United States Equestrian Federation and KEEP.  A visit to the Kentucky Horse Park gave participants opportunities to view multiple equine competitions and explore the world renowned equine exhibits.  The 4-H slogan, ‘Learn by Doing’, was evident with the visit to the Ride on St. Louis as the group learned about equine assisted therapy and completed a community service project.

Jayden Stewart, Camden County 4-H Member, participated in the 2016 Missouri 4-H Equine Tour.  Jayden was this year’s recipient of the Jonna Kay Witherow 4-H Equine Scholarship.

“This tour has proven invaluable for our 4-H youth who have an equine passion looking 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.  This tour has a four-year plan visiting a different destination annually to learn more of the indigenous equine industry with the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas 2017 destinations.  Our staff strongly believes that this tour provides Missouri 4-H youth with a valuable exploration into a multi-million-dollar industry and how they can find their niche in the horse world.” states Debbie Davis, 4-H Youth Specialist.  Additional Equine Tour University of Missouri Extension staff are Marci Crosby, Shane Potter, Amanda Davis, Karen Branstetter and retired staff member, Carol Parmenter.  For additional information:  davisdd@missouri.edu or 816-539-3765, Clinton County University of Missouri Extension.

4-H News

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

October 2016 (PDF)
June 2016 (PDF)
May 2016 (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 806 members and adult volunteers enrolled in 4-H clubs. Contact Sam Lower, 417-532-7126 or lowers@missouri.edu, for more information.

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Stay current with Camden County 4-H activities, upcoming events, announcements and registration deadlines by following our Facebook page.

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.