Morgan Dutton loves horses, especially her pets, Ole and Snitch. The Kidder County High School senior, who aspires to be a veterinarian, shows the two quarter horses at 4-H events and open shows across the state.
In addition to showing horses, the 4-H member competes in horse demonstration, horse bowl, horse judging and hippology — the study of horses. She recently secured a spot in the national competition in the latter two events, taking sixth place, individually, in both.
While she’s crazy about horses, Dutton also is passionate about goats, which she also shows. The Steele farm girl says her favorite and “best-behaved” goat is named Lucky, who is, indeed, lucky to be a part of the Dutton family.
“My mom wanted goats, and my dad showed up late to a game where someone was talking about goats they had for sale,” she said. “So we ended up with two goats.”
The 17-year-old says she appreciates the experiences 4-H provides her in relation to her future career, as well the opportunity to help other members grow.
“As I’ve gone through 4-H, I’ve had the opportunity to help others — to teach them about horses and help them grow through horse projects,” she said. “I sold some of my goats to 4-H members in the area, and I get to show them how to clip, feed and hold their goats and get them ready to show.”
Dutton, who works part time as a veterinary assistant at the Steele Veterinary Clinic — which she says has made her more “solid” in her career choice — is this week’s Teen of the Week.
“When I think about Morgan, the word ‘determined’ comes to mind. She is a young woman who seems to know who she is and where she wants to go. I admire her determination, grit and strong sense of self,” wrote Jennifer Kallenbach, Dutton’s social studies teacher, in a letter of recommendation. “I look forward to seeing where the future leads her. Whatever path she chooses, she will make an impact on this world.”
The horse lover plans to attend North Dakota State University next fall to study animal or equine science, prior to pursuing a doctorate in veterinary medicine. She aspires to, one day, open an equine veterinary clinic.
“I’ve always kind of wanted to be a vet. I think I based my decision on my love of animals and science. I figured my best bet would be the vet world,” she said.
The straight-A student, who will be graduating at the top of her senior class of 33, has taken numerous college-credit courses, as well as completed advanced coursework.
One of her favorite extracurricular activities is band, in which she plays the flute. For her excellence in playing the instrument, as well as her leadership skills, she was selected to participate in a month-long trip to Europe this summer, through the Northern Ambassadors of Music.
“The trip is to promote music and how it can unify people across language barriers,” she said, noting she’ll be accompanied by students from around the state.
Dutton, the daughter of Carol and Troy, is school president and state secretary of the Technology Student Association, which promotes technological literacy, leadership and problem solving.
“Technology is going to be super important in the future, so I think it’s important to develop those skills,” she said.
FFA, volleyball, choir, student council, yearbook and numerous academic competitions are other activities that keep the teen on the go. She also volunteers in the community, assisting with food and blood drives, cleanup day and Meals on Wheels.
In her spare time, she enjoys riding horses, watching “Criminal Minds,” latch hooking, making bracelets and reading.