August 17, 2018- The American Youth Horse Council (AYHC) board of directors elected new officers to guide the organization for the next two years. Newly elected officers include President - Marla Lowder, Alaska; Vice-President – Debbie Manring, Ohio; Secretary – Hayley Eberle – Oklahoma; Treasurer – Dr. Dean Jousan; Mississippi. Former president, Dr. Jenifer Nadeau will move into the Past President advisory role.
President – Marla Lowder
Marla Lowder was raised in Idaho on a dairy farm the youngest of 11 children and grew up participating in 4-H horse projects. Marla earned a bachelor degree in Parks and Recreation with an emphasis in youth camps and a minor in Horse Training from Utah State University. She received a Master’s degree in Agriculture Education with an emphasis in adult education from University of Idaho. Marla is the Interim Alaska State 4-H Program Leader at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks where she oversees the State Horse Development Committee and helped them implement their first State Horse Contest in 2007. Her two passions in life are youth and horses. She loves the motto of the American Youth Horse Council and honestly believes that “Kids + Horses = Magic”.
Vice President – Debbie Manring
Debbie Manring has been a 4-H volunteer, youth leader and coach for Horse Bowl, Hippology and Horse Judging teams for over 25 years. She was selected as the 2009 AYHC National Youth Horse Leader of the Year and received the 2017 AYHC Distinguished Service Award. Debbie was an approved Ohio 4-H Horse Show Judge for over 12 years and remains an active volunteer/judge for state events. Additionally, she has been a volunteer/judge for Horse Bowl and Hippology contests at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and Eastern Nationals 4-H Horse Round-Up Horse Bowl contest since 2002. She recently retired from a 41-year career as a nurse and now has more time for volunteer activities. She enjoys spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren and also enjoys backpacking.
Secretary – Hayley Eberle
Originally from Georgia, Hayley became involved with horses at a very early age. Having competed in several equestrian disciplines from speed events to hunt seat classes, she became successful and desired to be involved in the equestrian industry. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Hayley earned a bachelor's degree in horse science with a minor in business administration while also competing in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association shows and on the horse judging team. To gain experience with event management and horse associations while still in college, she spent much of her free time working equestrian events such as American Stock Horse Association Shows and American Quarter Horse Association events. Since early 2013, Hayley has been employed with the National Reining Horse Association. She currently manages the Sire & Dam program, NRHA Professional Committee, and alliances all while fulfilling marketing responsibilities. Hayley works with NRHA staff to help coordinate and promote many different youth activities such as Ride A Reiner’s and the NRHA Collegiate Judging Contest.
Treasurer – Dr. Dean Jousan
A native of Joaquin, Texas, Dean Jousan grew up showing livestock through 4-H and FFA. He received his BS in Animal Sciences from Texas A&M University in 2000, his MS in Animal Sciences with a focus on reproductive physiology from Virginia Tech University in 2002, and his PhD in Animal Sciences with an emphasis in Animal Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Florida in 2006. Dean joined the faculty in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at Mississippi State University as the Extension 4-H Livestock Specialist in September 2006. As a former 4-H’er, Dean realizes the positive impact youth programs can have on the lives of young people. Providing avenues for youth to connect with horses at an early age is critical. Taken together, the experiences, knowledge, and skills gained using horses enable youth to develop connections with leaders in the equine industry where they become invested for a lifetime.