SAE grants are designed to help FFA members create or expand their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects. In order to receive a grant, the FFA member is to create and operate an agriculture-related business, work at an agriculture-related business, or conduct an agricultural research experience. Upon completion, FFA members must submit a comprehensive report regarding their career development experience.
A $1,000 SEA grant has been awarded to Jaden Spear of Algona from the Bayer company. Spear is a member of the Algona FFA chapter. Spear says, “It is such a great opportunity.”
Her application was selected from among 1086 applications nationwide. This year 32 different sponsors made 39 different types of SAE grants available.
Jaden Spear’s SAE project is a mobile grooming business. She started this project the summer before her junior year. She took an eight week certification class through Iowa Lakes Community College. Here she learned how to groom the many different breeds of dogs. After completing the certification, Spear had to decide what place of work she wanted to apply this new knowledge. Since she is still in high school, working at an established business with 9:00-5:00 hours would not really work in her schedule. That’s when she started researching mobile businesses.
Mobile grooming is quite popular in states with warmer weather. There was one mobile grooming business Spear found in Ankeny, but it never worked to check this place out. Spear decided to go forth with the mobile grooming and ordered a trailer out of Texas.
The trailer is a complete shop, with a grooming table, wash tub, and drying set up. With the generator she has in the trailer, she has everything she needs to pull right up to your door to groom your dog.
While winter was a bit of a challenge with the wind and cold making some days impossible to have a mobile groom since the tanks would freeze, Spear is looking forward to the warmer weather to get even more dogs in. “The customers have been really great! They are understanding of the weather conditions limiting my trailer usage. I have had such an outpouring of interest. I’m overwhelmed and thankful!” Spear states.
With the $1,000 grant from the Bayer company, Spear put advertising on her trailer to draw more attention to her business. The signage was done by Sign Works in Algona and Spear says, “It looks awesome! Sign Works did a great job!”