Larsen's Star in Agri Business highlights zeal for horses
By Carol Stender
Date Modified: 05/30/2012 1:28 PM
OLIVIA — Minnesota FFA's 2012 Star in Agribusiness, Rae Larsen, has a zeal for horses.
The BOLD High School senior's family has been involved with horses ever since her grandfather had one. He passed his interests to son, John, who shared it with his family.
Rae Larsen has built a horse-based business. She buys, sells and trains horses on the family's farm south of Danube.
Larsen has eight clients. Most of the horse she trains board on the farm during summer. Her workday starts at 7:30 a.m. and includes a training session for each horse focused on its individual needs.
Larsen also works with her own horses. The Larsens have 10 head and she has two brood mares among six Appaloosas. She shows at 4-H horse events through her club, the Trailblazers. She also is involved in regional Appaloosa shows in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Larsen has qualified four consecutive years for the world and state show.
She trains both pleasure and game horses. Her game horses have qualified for the world Appaloosa championship.
Larsen's mother, Jane, jokes that Larsen's in the barn more than in the house. Larsen chuckles as she adds that she probably keeps the tack room cleaner than her own bedroom.
Larsen also sells puppies. Several years ago, a client gave her a Great Dane puppy. Larsen got another and now sells their puppies.
She detailed her business when applying for the Star Degree, she said. Judges for the contest, when touring her farm last summer, were shown the training area and tack and learned about the care each horse receives. Larsen discussed the training schedule and paperwork. She talked about the care of equipment.
"Safety is a priority," she said.
All of her hard work paid off at the Minnesota State FFA Convention when her name was called for the Star in Agribusiness.
"I was really anxious before and was walking around the Xcel Center with my adviser, Lance Brune," she said. "He actually knew that I had won, but he kept it a good secret."
Her parents and grand parents attended as did BOLD principal Brian Gauer.
It was all special, she said. It was the culmination to a great year.
Larsen has been chapter president, vice president and reporter and participated on the horse judging team and meats team. The chapter's talent contest took first at the state convention, she added. She was a Chapter Star Greenhand and a member of the parliamentary procedure team and has participated in multiple career development events.
In fall, she plans to attend Ridgewater College for general studies and transfer to a four-year college for agronomy.
Horses will always have a place in her life, she said. She plans to have a small band of brood mares and continue training and showing.