Leigh Ann Skurupey has joined the North Dakota State University Extension Service as a 4-H youth development specialist in the Center for 4-H Youth Development.
She will coordinate all of the state 4-H youth development educational programs and events related to animal and equine science. She also will support county-based and area educational opportunities in this field and the county/area staff who develop, deliver and evaluate these programs.
This includes working with other staff to provide leadership for animal science-related camping experiences at the North Dakota 4-H Camp near Washburn. In addition, Skurupey will support a significant number of volunteers and members of the animal industry who support youth in learning life skills through project work related to animals.
Before joining NDSU Extension, she served as an instructor for several multiple species-based courses and was the coach for the University of Florida horse judging team. While at the University of Florida, she hosted more than 30 clinics/workshops and Extension activities and events, and gained experience with 4-H and FFA activities.
“Her interest and experiences with both animal and equine science will be valuable,” says Brad Cogdill, Center for 4-H Youth Development chair. “More than 2,000 youth enroll in animal science and equine projects in the North Dakota 4-H program. Many of these youth will pursue post-secondary educational opportunities and will become part of North Dakota’s workforce and leaders in the state.”
Skurupey recently completed her doctorate of philosophy at the University of Florida, Gainesville, in animal science, with a minor in soils and water science. She earned a master of science degree in animal science at the University of Florida in 2012 and her bachelor of science degree at Colorado State University in 2010, with a dual major in animal and equine science and a minor in business administration.
“With a passion for youth and animal agriculture, I am extremely excited for this opportunity, and even more importantly, the privilege to continue to help our youth influence our industry,” Skurupey says. “As if the impact of 4-H on youth and their communities isn’t reason enough, my enthusiastic homecoming to my native state is driven by my desire to support the field of professionals and incredible volunteers I have the honor to work with.
“The 4-H community is often one of the hardest working group of youth development professionals, and working alongside them is not only a thrill, it is truly inspiring,” she adds. “Without these individuals, the positive impact on North Dakota’s agricultural industry would not be possible, for our youth is our future. I look forward to the collaborative and supportive culture here and feel blessed for the opportunity to make an impact through an organization for which I have so much respect.”
Skurupey has an office in NDSU’s Animal Sciences Department in Hultz Hall. She can be reached at 701-231-6658 or [email protected]