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Country Lifestyle | July 18, 2020

The Future of Ag is Looking Bright

FFA Fair Ag Livestock Sheep

While smartphones, social media, and passing trends captivate teens the world over, Savannah White takes a different approach. Thanks to her parents, opportunities at school, and sheer determination, this high schooler’s future is wide open. We had a chance to meet with Savannah and get some photos of her with her many animals.

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Growing up on 40-acres just outside a small Oregon town, Savannah is proud to be country. This dynamo speaks three languages (with a fourth in the works), tackles several 4-H projects every year, loves being part of FFA (Future Farmers of America), and is always looking forward to whatever is next.

“I do hope to go to college for the business side of agriculture,” she said when asked about her ambitions after high school. “I think FFA and 4-H could help me get a scholarship and the experience I need to get into any field I choose.”

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But for right now, she’s happy raising sheep, chickens, and rabbits for 4-H, and tending her garden and flowerbed as part of her horticulture and floriculture projects. As if that wasn’t enough, she’s the greenhouse manager at her school, and has added drawing to her list of 4-H static projects.

“I have always liked drawing,” she said. “I draw almost every day. Once I found out that I could be judged on my drawings, I thought that would be great. I have also started doing some animation.”

When she’s not drawing, she happily cares for her paint and quarter horse mix named Tuffy, And from the stories Savannah’s family tells, she’s been riding since she was able to walk.

“Maybe even earlier than that,” she laughed. “I’ve had him since I was eight. We do trail riding together. I always look forward to showing him.”

Savannah also looks forward to learning about agriculture and life sciences from her mom, Angela White, who teaches the subject at her high school. Her mom is also the FFA advisor, which is one of the many reasons Savannah joined.  

“I like FFA,” Savannah said. “You get to travel with the team, go to conferences, and expand your interests.”

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When she isn’t spending time with her animals or in the garden, you’ll find Savannah working.

“I cut and bale hay,” she said with an air of pride.

She plans to find a pickup truck with the money she’s earning and keep it running with some mechanical training from her dad. But that dream of an F-150 is a year or so away. Right now, her concern is getting her lamb up to weight and selling it.

Without an official fair this summer, it was looking like an impossibility. But folks in counties throughout the Northwest have stepped up to help kids in 4-H sell their livestock and make a difference. In Lane County, Lane Youth Ranchers, along with Lane County Youth Auction, are helping 4-H and FFA student livestock producers sell 2020 market animals to the local community. All you need to do is pre-register to be a part of the event on July 15, 2020.

“It’s really neat,” Savannah said. “ They make sure our animals are bought. And some can even be donated to food pantries.”

Coastal Doubles Donations

Even if you don’t get to buy an animal, you can still make a donation. Coastal will match 100% of donations dollar-for-dollar up to a maximum of $6,000. Get all the details and get pre-registered at laneyouthranchers.com.

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