Olivia Vandusen, a junior and an FFA member at Manchester Valley High School, has been awarded a $1,000 Farm Credit SAE grant. Her application was selected from among 5,968 applications nationwide.
Students are required to complete a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) as part of being enrolled in an agricultural course. SAE projects allow them to apply knowledge learned in the classroom to out-of-school experiences and provide an opportunity for students to explore career opportunities and gain skills relevant to career aspirations.
Olivia is currently enrolled in the third course, Animal and Plant Biotechnology, of the four-course Agriscience - Animal completer at Manchester Valley. She has already completed the Introduction to Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) and Animal Science sources. She also serves as an officer of the MVHS FFA Chapter.
Olivia has spent the last two years completing an SAE project which involves training and showing her dog, Sugar. She has trained Sugar to respond to basic commands and to complete agility courses. She has entered and shown Sugar in the Agility Course Tests one and two and received the best scores in the class. She plans to continue working with this SAE project and work with Sugar on more extensive training.
Olivia will use the grant for a new poultry SAE project. With the grant she will purchase, hatch, raise, and sell Pekin and Indian Runner ducks. Before purchasing duck eggs, she will be refurnishing the barn at her home to be ready for the ducks and purchasing supplies needed for the project. Without the grant, Olivia would not be able to provide a habitat for the ducks and would not have the equipment needed for the project.