Tew Elected to Missouri 4-H Foundation Board of Directors

NAFB Allied Industry Council Member Christine Tew credits 4-H as her gateway to agriculture, both as an industry and a future profession.

Now the marketing and communications manager for Valent USA, Tew is excited to continue supporting 4-H through her induction as a new trustee on the board of directors for the Missouri 4-H Foundation Board.

Based in Jefferson City, Missouri, Tew has been working in agricultural for 18 years.

“I really love sharing positive news and connecting people to others and things they care about. Marketing communications allows me to fulfill that for myself as does my connection to 4-H,” Tew said.

Tew is a lifelong 4-Her in one way or another, and she was involved with dairy cattle and poultry judging. She points to the speaking aspects within these activities for her path toward public speaking.

“I started out as a Clover kid, and once I turned eight was able to join 4-H as a full member. 4-H was really the first step into the funnel that led me to the career that I have today,” she reminisced.

“When I look back at 4-H experiences, the ones that stand out are the ones that were outside my comfort zone. You gain confidence in both your speaking abilities and your assessments of the cattle or birds, and it really becomes something that you can have fun with,” Tew remarked.

4-H also brought her closer to family and helped create defining memories that she could carry with her as she blossomed into her inevitable career. As she grew, Tew’s involvement with 4-H grew with her. It continued to push her outside of her comfort zone.

“I did a lot of sewing with my grandmother when I was a child, and so being able to exhibit those pieces through 4-H was a big confidence builder,” she said. “I grew up in a very small rural town, so traveling to major cities for regional affairs was phenomenal.”

Meeting new people from other backgrounds, towns, and regions helped Tew not only build her professional network but also her variety of skills. The 4-H camps were a catalyst for her as she dove into leadership roles, leading a cabin and trying her hand at being a camp counselor.

While attending the University of Missouri, she was part of the 4-H collegiate chapter including serving as chapter president. After graduation, she continued to volunteer and gain connections throughout the agricultural industry.

The Missouri 4-H Foundation asked her to serve in a leadership role, as a trustee charged with supporting opportunities for future generations of 4-Hers. Through fundraising, advocacy and education programs, the Foundation works to expand the opportunities available through 4-H, including STEM programs that go far beyond the traditional farm-based footprint.

“They [4-H] have shaped my network. They recommended new opportunities, professional development, encouragement, and celebrated my wins. Having that support system has made it possible for me to grow as a professional and have the confidence to take risks,” Tew stated.

Allowing others to have a similar launchpad and sense of connection is both a goal of hers and the Missouri 4-H Foundation, Tew said. Being a part of the foundation is a way she works towards that.