Skip to Content

The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

4-H and FFA are huge part of Hornecker’s life:

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Raised on her family’s sheep operation in the hills of Casper, agriculture has had a massive influence on 16-year-old Emmy Hornecker. 

At just eight years old, Hornecker followed in her older brother’s footsteps and purchased an Angus cow for her first 4-H project, building the foundation for her very own herd and jumpstarting her love of being involved in the program. 

A few years later, Hornecker’s mom and a few family friends started the Young Guns 4-H Club and Hornecker has been heavily involved in all aspects of 4-H ever since, eventually becoming involved in FFA as well. 

Today, Hornecker serves as president of the Casper FFA Chapter and as sentinel of her local 4-H club. 

Preparing for fair

Hornecker notes she has been showing livestock since she first joined 4-H at eight years old. 

This year, she will show one market lamb, one market steer and a breeding heifer in 4-H, as well as an additional market lamb and steer through FFA. 

“Prior to fair, I will be spending a lot of time working the hair of my animals and practicing showing them to ensure they know what to do when we get into the ring at county fair,” she says. 

To gain even more experience, she has attended a few jackpots with her cattle this spring and has a few more on her schedule for the summer. 

“I don’t attend many jackpots with my lambs because I don’t have a lot of time during my busy summers,” she says. “Until fair, I will just continue working their leg wool and getting them good to show.” 

Additionally, Hornecker competes on both a 4-H and FFA livestock judging team. She notes this year, the Casper FFA Chapter was first at state convention and will represent Wyoming at the national convention in October. 

“Right now we are practicing and going to as many of the contests around the state as we can to gain experience and get ready for nationals,” she says. “Other than jackpots and judging contests, I am really just preparing for county and state fair.” 

With this, Hornecker explains her goal for the year is to finish in the top five in both senior 4-H and FFA showmanship with her lambs and cattle, as well as in the top five in the market class with her steers. 

“This show season, I am most looking forward to how I do at the shows I compete in,” she shares. “I really like the steers I have his year, and I’m really excited to see how we get along at our upcoming jackpots and especially at county fair.”

Providing a helping hand

While showing is definitely a highlight of Hornecker’s involvement in both 4-H and FFA, she notes other aspects of the programs such as community service are even more important, and she truly enjoys providing a helping hand to her peers and her community. 

“My favorite part about being involved in 4-H and FFA is all of the people I get to help and all of the people who help me,” she states. “Most of my really good friends are people I have met through my experiences in 4-H and FFA. I love to hang out with them and learn from them, while also sharing my knowledge with younger members and helping them with their projects.”

She adds, “Another goal of mine is to help as many people as I can this summer with their projects, especially the younger kids who might not know exactly how to show or work with their animals.”

Since 4-H and FFA have been such a large part of her world, Hornecker is also a voice of advocacy for the programs, encouraging everyone to get involved. 

“I encourage anyone who is thinking about joining a club or local FFA chapter to join and find out for themselves all of the experiences and opportunities they can receive through these wonderful organizations,” she concludes. 

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

Back to top