Catherine Hodge- Sunroom Succulents

In my Sunroom Succulents SAE, I grow and sell succulents and custom succulent arrangements. If a customer has a dish that they would like filled with succulents, I design and plant it. I am working to expand my business through propagation. I became interested in these chubby little plants over quarantine in March of 2020. I had always wanted to get into houseplants but had never had the time. My local greenhouse was the only place I could go safely. I bought my first succulent there, was bitten by a mealybug (pest that eats succulents), and began collecting them. When my personal collection became too large, I decided to start selling them. I also applied for and earned an SAE grant in December of 2020 to expand my succulent business. I am planning to build a small, portable greenhouse in a cabinet to take with me to college. Currently, I operate out of my sunroom, and I landscape around my home as rent for this space.

Jacob Beadles - Kastleview Farm

For my SAE, I work with my flock of Suffolk sheep and prepare them for the show at the county fair. This is a task that requires year-round diligence. Starting in late December and early January, my responsibilities are to work with the 14 ewes in my flock as they lamb. As they are each born, I record how the birthing process went (Ex. - were there issues in birthing, or was everything normal). On average, about 14-16 lambs are born annually. After about a day, I notch their ears (similar to pigs), using a special method that has been used on my farm for many years, and band their tails. After this, the lambs and their mother are released back into the pasture to mature for a few months. From the end of April to the beginning of May, I select lambs that I wish to take to the fair. By this time, the lambs have been weaned for about two months, and have a coat of wool. From here, I begin to work with the lambs on a halter. This will happen nearly every day until fair. Also, about twice a week, I will get my lambs up on a stand, and fit their wool. This process begins with currying, which is brushing debris from the wool. Next, I card, which means I will take a special brush and fluff their wool up. Finally, I trim the wool with a pair of hand shears. I also spend a mentionable amount of time caring for my ewes. This project relates directly to this award area because I own and manage my own flock while simultaneously working for my family sheep farm, Kastleview Farms. 

Megan Arnold - Arnold Acres Pickles

My SAE involves processing both animals and plants for human consumption. For the animal portion of the processing, I butcher and break down both chickens and rabbits. For the plant processing, I am responsible for harvesting radishes and cucumbers from my garden, cleaning and cutting them, sterilizing jars, making brine, and packing jars with vegetables and brine. My interest in this processing SAE arose from less of a fascination and more of a necessity. My father had purchased ten roosters at the beginning of the year in 2021, and by the end of summer, they had grown to a desired weight for processing. At this time, it was then necessary to break the chickens down so that they could be used for human consumption. In a similar way, the rabbits butchered came out of a litter born in my rabbitry, and they were not of show quality. With the pickling, I needed a way to store the large numbers of cucumbers and radishes coming out of my garden and keep them from spoiling. 

Sydnee Boswell - Boswell Horse Farm

My SAE involves me owning, raising, and training my quarter horses. I show two quarter horses in 4-H and open shows. I was inspired to start my SAE project because of my family, especially my sister, Whitney Boswell. I have always grown up around horses but I have watched my sister raise and show them. Even though I couldn't show I was still in the barn every chance I could get, even if that was helping Whitney brush a horse or getting to ride one myself. I train my horses myself and do not pay a trainer to do it for me. This is why my animals have appreciated in value so much and why it means so much to me. I have continued my SAE project because I enjoy the challenge that it gives me. My project fits into this SAE category because it is about responsibility, leadership, learning about how to take good care of animals, and succeeding in the goals I set for myself. To me this isn't just an SAE project it is more of a family tradition.