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Medford FFA members earn SAE grants

By Janet Kubat Willette
jkubat@agrinews.com

Date Modified: 02/06/2014 12:09 PM

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FARIBAULT, Minn. — Two Medford FFA members earned grant dollars from the National FFA Foundation to invest in their supervised agricultural experiences.

Hank Schultz, 14, a Faribault High School freshman, and Sarah Manderfeld, 16, a Medford High School sophomore, each received a $1,000 SAE grant.

The SAE grant is designed to help FFA members create and enhance their supervised agricultural experience. The duo are the fourth or fifth students from the Medford FFA to receive the award, said FFA adviser and agricultural education teacher Tim Larson.

The National FFA Foundation says 690 applications were received this year.

All the grants start at $1,000, Larson said.

Past winners from Medford include an FFA member who wanted to expand her rabbit project and market rabbit meat to consumers and a girl who wanted to expand her duck project to hatching and selling ducks. This year, four students from the Medford FFA applied for the grant.

Schultz applied for the supervised agricultural experience grant in November at the urging of his FFA adviser, Chris Ovrebo. Ovrebo and Larson are co-advisers. He found out just before Christmas that he'd received a $1,000 SAE grant to purchase equipment for his beef herd.

Schultz wants to purchase a mineral feeder and a hay feeder. He wants a hay saver, a feeder that prevents cattle from wasting so much hay. A mineral feeder runs about $70 to $100, Schultz said. A hay feeder, about $600 to $700.

He's waiting for the check to arrive before he goes shopping.

After learning of the award, he needed to write a thank-you note to the award sponsor, a gentleman at RaboAgFinance.

He submitted that and now is waiting for the grant dollars. The new equipment will replace a homemade feeder and the old corn crib now used to feed hay to the cattle.

Manderfeld will use the money to improve the living environment for her goat herd. Her Doggenburg goats, a dairy breed, are housed in a single-car garage. She hopes to replace windows, install a sliding door and update the garage door.

Her family has about 30 goats, including 15 does they milk twice daily from fall until spring. The milk is made into soap. They also may begin making goat cheese. Her parents are Byron and Susan Manderfeld.

Manderfeld started with goats in 2008, and she wants to continue to grow her herd. She hopes to purchase some Nigerian Dwarf goats. Aside from being really small and cute, the goats are known for their sweet-tasting milk that is high in butterfat, Manderfeld said.

Schultz also wants to grow his herd. His goal is to have five cows by the time he's a senior. He said he'll probably stick with Red Angus as his maternal breed.

Schultz has five head, including Daisy, an Angus; Raspberry, a Red Angus he received through the Minnesota Youth Beef Experience Program; and Bella, a Red Angus heifer he purchased at the Minnesota Beef Expo this year. Daisy is due to have her third calf in March or April and Raspberry is due to have her first calf about the same time. Daisy's first two calves have been bulls.

Both Bella and Raspberry are from Jim and Ruth Rahman Red Angus and Greg and Kathy Sheehan Red Angus. Schultz showed both at the Minnesota Beef Expo. Raspberry placed fourth in her class; Bella, fifth.

Aside from showing at the Minnesota Beef Expo, Schultz also shows at the Rice County Fair and the Minnesota State Fair. He is a member of the Big Woods 4-H Club. He showed his first steer when he was in fourth grade.

He and his older sister, Madeline, belong to the Medford FFA chapter because Faribault Schools don't offer agricultural education or FFA. They attend once monthly FFA meetings and participate in Medford's summer ag program. Seven students from Faribault participate in the program this year, Larson said.

In addition to showing cattle and building his beef herd, Schultz and his siblings, Madeline and Cal, show Boer goats.

They purchase one goat each year. He has shown goats since he was in third grade. They attend goat shows in the summer, the county fair and the state fair. The goats travel well in a goat box that their father, Jeff, built. Cal had the Reserve Champion market goat at the state fair in 2013, Hank won in 2012 and Madeline won the FFA show in 2011, said their mother, Kathryn.