4-H helps young entrepreneurs
Show Pigs from the Farm
Show Pigs from the Farm Ė The Eaton Family. Photo courtesy Robin Schamber, Sublette County 4-H.
Prestonís Lawn Care
Prestonís Lawn Care - Preston Dickerson. Photo courtesy Robin Schamber, Sublette County 4-H.
"No Worries Animal Care" - Brookely Schamber. Robin Schamber, Sublette County 4-H.
For more information contact: Sublette County Extension Office, 307-367-4380.
Start-up business ventures teach business skills to 4-H youth
by Robin Schamber, Sublette County 4-H
October 1, 2009
Sublette County 4-H taught some local youth valuable life skills through a unique business education program recently. Funded through the generous support of the Daniels Fund, this new Sublette County program provided an excellent opportunity for local youth to launch their own business.
Earlier this spring, Sublette County 4-H hosted a Youth Business Ventures Contest that was open to all youth ages 8-18 in Sublette County. Three individuals and one family of energetic and enterprising youth from the Pinedale area prepared business plans and competed in a contest to earn cash to begin their entrepreneurial endeavors. Each youth presented a written plan and participated in a personal interview with the business venture committee made up of successful local business men and women in the community.
Each of the young entrepreneurs was awarded start up funds for their business ranging from $390.00-$1000.00. Each of these young entrepreneurs showcased their business to the community on Tuesday, September 29th at Rocky Mountain Bank in Pinedale.
Show Pigs from the Farm Ė The Eaton Family
"Show Pigs from the Farm", a family business made up of 4-H members, Joshua (14) Mariah (13), Emmilee (11), Cooper (10), and twins Cady and McKayla (7) were able to begin their endeavor thanks to the funds they received from the local contest in the spring. These youth earned $1000.00 from the contest and used the money to purchase Bonni, (they call her Tundra), a one-year-old Purebred York sow, from a show pig farm in Arkansas. Bonni had won awards in shows in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio this year and was due to farrow in August.
The Eaton family also presented their plan at the State 4-H Business Venture contest in late June and earned money to purchase a farrowing crate for Bonni. Bonni (Tundra) had a perfect labor and gave birth to 10 piglets (all live births and all have lived). They nursed well and were weaned at four weeks. With the help of their father, Bruce, the kids gave the piglets their shots, performed castrations, trimmed eye teeth, docked tails, and notched ears. The family plans to keep 5 or 6 of these gilts and sell all the other piglets in this litter. They will be artificially inseminating four sows they currently own (2 Purebred Yorks, 1 Purebred Duroc, and 1 Blue Butt) late this month and will have farrowing dates in late January 2010.They are hoping to have about 35 show pigs (mostly Blue Butt but some Durocs and maybe a Hamp or two) to sell to 4-H members here in our county in late April 2010.
According to parents, Kelly and Bruce, "our family had really been wanting to start a show pig business, and these contests really helped us financially to get started. We are so very grateful! The kids have learned so much about life, love, business, and finances through this business. It has been a wonderful blessing to them and to our family."
All the kids have a role in the business and each has grown immensely thanks to the project. Joshua says, "having a show pig business is a lot of work, but it is teaching us the importance of responsibility, and it is a good way for us to save for college." Mariah really enjoys having all the piglets to play with, looks forward to the growth of their business and also says she has" learned responsibility and self-discipline as I have taken care of our pigs."
Eleven-year-old Emillee remarks, "it is a lot of fun! I have learned compassion for others and respect for animals" while Cooper and twins, Cady and McKayla just love holding and kissing the piglets, but also admit it is a lot of work. For all of the family, it has been an exciting and rewarding venture in addition to all the other activities they participate in such as striving to make good grades, playing musical instruments, participating in activities such as Scouting, 4-H, Dance, and Church activities, haying, and taking care of the other farm animals.
The Eaton children are currently preparing their facilities for farrowing this winter and are in need of building supplies. They would greatly appreciate donations from anyone who may have left over building supplies such as; rolled insulation, Tyvek home wrap, Hardy Board, Walk-in Door and Frame, Bags of Redi-Mix Cement and any left-over Lumber- plywood, 2x4's, 2x6's.
Prestonís Lawn Care - Preston Dickerson
Entrepreneur Preston Dickerson has also had a successful start with his new business. Nine year old Preston is the owner and operator of a lawn care business. He created "Prestonís Lawn Care" when he saw a need for busy people to have someone to care for their lawns and yards. Over the summer, Preston has completed 15 jobs for customers seeking lawn care services. Preston has three "regulars" and many that need just one time services. Prestonís goal for the future is to "have more regular customers that would like for me to care for their lawn each week or every other week".
After entering the Youth Business Venture Contest, Preston was able to purchase most of the equipment he needed. He now owns a lawn mower, a grass trimmer, gloves, safety glasses, gas cans and pruning shears. "I researched the equipment that I needed to start my business and when I purchased the equipment I bought at local stores to help support my community," said Preston.
Preston plans to begin marketing for Prestonís Lawn Care again in the spring when new and returning customers will once again be in need of lawn care services. Preston says, "I hope to continue to grow and expand my business in the future until I need to hire someone to work with me". He cares about his customers and works hard to make certain that each customer is satisfied with the work he has done for them. "I love my business and I think it is important to work hard for each of my customers."
No Worries Animal Care - Brookely Schamber
Thirteen-year-old Brookely Schamber has also learned a lot and had a great time getting her business, "No Worries Animal Care", up and running. Knowing how hard it can be for pet and animal owners to find someone to care for their animals while they are away, Brookely thought this could be a great opportunity to do something she enjoys. Her business even offers to go to peopleís homes and feed larger animals while they are away. An avid animal lover, it is her desire to see that every animal gets a bit of special TLC under her care, including lots of play time, petting and brushing.
Brookely was awarded money at the local contest to purchase dog kennels, food and water dishes, pet beds, grooming supplies, pet toys and an animal first aid kit. Brookely also entered the state 4-H Business Ventures Contest and was awarded money to purchase a portable hot water heater that she could set up in her barn to wash dogs before they went home to their owners.
To date, Brookely has had one customer and several inquiry calls. She says, "I have already learned a lot about what it takes to run a business as far advertising and purchasing products and managing money." Brookely also has learned to always expect the unexpected and that caring for animals can be much like caring for toddlers. Indy, a very special dog she watched over a weekend, somehow managed to get out of his wireless boundary and although the dog remained in the yard happily playing with Brookely, the collar was nowhere to be found. After over five hours of looking for him, Brookely finally found the collar in her own dogís bed! From this, Brookely has learned that it is very important to always be watching where the animals are playing and what they are up to. Brookely plans to continue her business and is looking forward to establishing regular customers.
Jake Wash Ė Jake Hathaway
Jake Wash, owned and operated by young entrepreneur, Jake Hathaway, also got off to a great start over the summer. Jake earned nearly $400.00 from the contest this spring to purchase his portable pressure washer which he used to wash parking lots for businesses as well as cars outside Wise Connections this summer. Jake was very resourceful in marketing his car wash to customers at both Rock Rabbit Coffee Shop, as well as Wise Connections. Over the course of the summer, Jake washed around 30 vehicles and three business parking lots.
Like the other young entrepreneurs, Jake quickly learned there is a lot of work and responsibility that comes along with owning your business and that you must be resourceful and adaptable. Jake had to work particularly hard to establish the best location for his signage to advertise his wash and is even considering relocating his business next summer to an area with better pavement and drainage. He also learned that it might be necessary to adjust his pricing schedule as some vehicles were really difficult to get clean and required much more labor. Overall, this was a great learning experience for Jake and he is looking forward to building his business next summer.
Committee members, who helped kick off this wonderful program were Bill Klevin (President Rocky Mountain Bank), Matt Harber (Haymaker Inc.), Jim and Laurie Latta (Farm Bureau and Sublette Community Partnership), and Howard White (Wells Fargo).
For more information on any of the youth or their business, call the Sublette County Extension Office at 307-367-4380.
Photos courtesy Robin Schamber