A Western Hills High School Future Farmers of America member won a grant from the Kentucky FFA Foundation to continue to grow her farm-to-fork business.
Olivia Moore, a rising junior at WHHS and the daughter of Myron and Pamela Moore,presented her Supervised Agricultural Experience project, which started as a small garden three years ago and now includes a greenhouse, at the State FFA Convention earlier this year. Moore’s business, Moore Goodness, sells boxes with 10 pounds of produce for $15.
Moore first submitted a video and then went through a Shark Tank-style process as she presented her work to a panel of judges at the convention. Moore Goodness was selected for a $5,000 Venture Capital Grant. She said she will use it to make a 35-foot-by-36-foot greenhouse, which will help lengthen her growing season. The greenhouse she currently uses is 9 feet by 10 feet. She also heard some advice to explore marketing for her business and will continue to update the Kentucky FFA Foundation in the future. As of now, she mostly takes orders through Facebook posts.
In Moore’s family, it’s a tradition to be in FFA. Her mother, father and older sister were in the program while in high school.
“I knew that it was something that had value to it,” Moore said.
Moore was one of five Kentucky students who received a grant for SAE projects. The grants were made possible by Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn’s donation to the Kentucky FFA Foundation, a press release from the organization said.
“I don’t know of another youth organization that prepares a student to be career-ready like FFA,” said Darrell Billings, who was on the panel of judges and a member of the Kentucky FFA Foundation board of trustees, via the press release. “These kids leave high school understanding how to keep records, borrow money, get a return — it’s a real tribute to the way ag ed is set up in Kentucky and the way FFA rewards those kids who work hard.”
As someone who grew up on a family farm, Moore said she had some knowledge about taking care of a garden, but Moore Goodness gave her the opportunity to learn more about maintaining a greenhouse. Her vegetables include corn, squash, potatoes and tomatoes.
Moore Goodness is Moore’s own entrepreneurship. She said she is working to expand to spring and fall growing seasons, as she is currently focused on summer crops. Moore just purchased 60 mum plants to finish growing and sell in the fall. She is also in the process of becoming Kentucky Proud-verified.
Moore said that she plans to stay in an agriculture-related field after high school, but she is not sure of her college major. She wants to be a “source for reliable agriculture.” Not enough attention is given to agriculture in today’s world, she said.
“It’s more important than ever to advocate for agriculture,” Moore said.