GC FFA member receives SAE grant from WI FFA Foundation

MADISON – A Glenwood City junior is one of a total of 37 Wisconsin FFA members from 27 different chapters that have been awarded $28,950 in Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grants from the Wisconsin FFA Foundation.

Connor Cook was awarded a $700 start-up grant that he will use to begin his business within the llama industry.

“Connor is extremely passionate about his business and work within the llama industry,” said Cook’s agricultural instructor and Glenwood City FFA advisor, Sean VanderWaal. “He has been awarded this grant to begin his own start-up business.”

Other area grant recipients included: Garett Borth of Ellsworth ($1,000, dairy SAE grant); Lindsey Augustine of Ellsworth and Kittrick Singerhouse of Menomonie (each receiving a $700 livestock SAE grant); and Christopher Moskal of Clayton ($400 start-up grant).

The Wisconsin FFA Foundation awarded the 2016-17 SAE grants in five categories: aquaculture, dairy, livestock, organic agriculture and start-up. Successful candidates were chosen based on the level and scope of their SAE in accordance with their age, future goals and plans for the program as well as financial need. Aquaculture SAE grants were sponsored by the Wisconsin Aquaculture Association; Dairy SAE grants were sponsored by the Dairy Business Association, Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, Foremost Farms USA, Nasco, Saputo Cheese USA Inc., We Energies, and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board; Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association is the sponsor of the Livestock SAE grants; Organic Agriculture SAE grants were sponsored by Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, Inc. and Viroqua Food Co-op.; and start-up grants were provided by BlueScope Buildings, Sartori Company and ST Paper LLC.

Through the SAE program, students are able to create their own business or build career skills through an existing operation. They apply concepts learned in the classroom to real-world challenges and work experiences, learning valuable lessons from the outcomes. The program is one component of the agricultural education opportunities available to students throughout Wisconsin.

To apply for a Wisconsin FFA Foundation SAE grant, students must complete a five-page application explaining their SAE program, how much funding they are in need of, the expected use of those funds, and future goals with their SAE as well as FFA and other school activities. Their FFA advisor also must submit a statement about their involvement in the organization and the student’s vision with their SAE.

“It’s always an added joy to announce Wisconsin FFA Foundation Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grant winners at this holiday time of year,” says Jen Bradley, interim executive director of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation. “We are so proud of the work Wisconsin FFA members are accomplishing and the innovative ideas they present to us for their SAE projects. Our generous donors make this all possible and for them, we are continually thankful.”

The Wisconsin FFA Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization, unites individuals, organizations and companies who share a common interest in the advancement of agriculture and community leadership through FFA. You can support today’s FFA members by supporting the programs that have been core tenets of the FFA: proficiency awards, career development events, state FFA degrees, sectional leadership workshops, scholarships, chapter awards, agri-science fair, state FFA convention and state officer support. Learn more about the Wisconsin FFA Foundation and sponsorship opportunities by visiting www.wisconsinffafoundation.org.