Ayden Jowers is the Arkansas 4-H First Vice President and 
hopes to become a large animal veterinarian or work within 
an ag-based organization. Submitted Photo.
Ayden Jowers is the Arkansas 4-H First Vice President and hopes to become a large animal veterinarian or work within an ag-based organization. Submitted Photo.

Ayden Jowers says farming and 4-H are shaping his future 

GRAVETTE, ARK. – There are two things Ayden Jowers considers a part of his family heritage – farming and 4-H.

The 17-year-old from Gravette, Ark., is proud to be a fourth-generation 4-H member and a multi-generation farmer. Thanks to 4-H, he has become an advocate for youth and agriculture as first vice president of the 2022-2023 Arkansas 4-H Officer Team.

“I just enjoy being involved in agriculture; agriculture makes the world turn,” Ayden, the son of Greg and Nicole Jowers, said. “Only 1.5 percent of Americans feed the entire U.S. population, and then some. Agriculture keeps me on the ground but lets me know that I’m a part of something as well; this is something I want to uphold.”

Ayden said his family’s Gravette, Ark., farm is primarily utilized to produce food for their family.

“It really started as a hobby,” Ayden said. “Where we went, the farm went. On my dad’s side, they only ate what they produced, and my mom grew up on an experiment station, so my family has always been farmers.”

While their farm might not be large, Ayden said the experience is shaping his future.

“Farmers provide the necessitates, even your shirt. I want to have an impact, be it the one producing the product or representing those producers,” he said. “Representation is important for that 1.5 percent of Americans who keep everyone happy.”

Ayden has been involved in 4-H since he was a Clover Kid and is currently a member of the Gravette Gleamers 4-H Club.

“It’s not something you do; it’s bred into you,” he said. “It’s something in you that gives you a subconscious need to do something like that. I felt my responsibility was to uphold this great tradition so that I, and my future children, can continue improving my community.”

The Jowers family moved from Louisiana three years ago. Ayden said his new Arkansas club was welcoming and helped to lay the groundwork for his bid for state office, starting at the local level.

“It’s a three-year process to show that you are dedicated to this position,” Ayden said. “I feel like I’m on the right track to making the best out of the time I still have in 4-H. I was able to transition very smoothly, and I was able to do that three-year process. I couldn’t have done it if it weren’t for my two agents, Janice Shofner and Jessica Street. They were fundamental in getting me here.”

In addition to a family connection to 4-H, Ayden believes in the organization’s mission. 

“I see what I can do to make a difference in my community. Not only in my small community but throughout arkansas.”

— Ayden Jowers

“I love to inform people and make sure people are better off,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of miscommunications about 4-H. When you join 4-H, it’s about life skills, from sewing to farming, raising animals, public speaking to life sciences. It gives you an opportunity to do whatever you’re good at and to excel in it. It gives you an opportunity to be a jack of all trades and be a master of the ones you choose. I started with animals but went on to do public speaking, but I also have my roots with my agriculture base.”

Through 4-H, Ayden has developed a strong sense of leadership.

“I see what I can do to make a difference in my community,” he said. “Not only in my small community but throughout Arkansas. My position has given me the ability to talk with the governor, people with Farm Bureau, and other organizations that keep me in touch. I can be a part of developing my 4-H, my community and state for the future and be a positive change.”

He has been selected to serve as a “student council” member for U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.).

“4-H has taken me to so many places in just a short time,” Ayden said. “Where else can a 17-year-old with no connections meet people of high status and be an influence?”

Ayden began exhibiting livestock in the fifth grade, showing Boer goats.

“I originally wanted to have sheep, but when I got home and told my mom, she was like, ‘No,’” Ayden recalled. “I picked the next best option, and that was goats; they were small, and I was small. As luck would have it, Mom knew some people who could get me started.”

Ayden brought his herd to Arkansas, but since he has gotten older, he thought it was time to move up and add cattle.

At the recent Benton County Fair, he participated in the Pasture to Plate class, earning first place on-foot and second for rate of gain and overall reserve champion with his steer. The competition actually started long before the fair.

“We raise it and will do scan times where we will meet up and have them scanned,” Ayden explained. “Based off their tailhead and the width of their barrel, it will tell us their target weight. With my steer, it meant he was going to hit 1,500 pounds before he was ready to be (processed). Our job, as the exhibitors, was to document the timestamps of progress, how much we feed them, vet trips, and all of the other things you did as an animal owner. That was all converted into a book. The main goals are to keep a good record book, show them, the rate of gain and their carcass. It gives recognition to the end product and the time it took to get to that end product.

“It shows you how good you are as a facilitator of an animal and the work you put into it. When you show, someone can just hand you a lead, but this shows you took the time to raise it properly and that you are the caretaker.”

Sticking to the family’s tradition of producing their own food, award-winning Simmental will be beef in the family’s freezer.

Ayden plans to continue his involvement in agriculture after he finishes his education and begins his career.

“I might not be a big producer, but I will be a small cog in the greater machine that gets us to the final product,” he said. “Hopefully, in my future as a veterinarian, I can take care of these animals before they go to slaughter, or be a representative for agriculture, giving a better representation of the industry through an organization.”


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