GREENSBURG — Halle Young, of Greensburg, a student at Skyline High School in Pratt, was recently awarded a grant from the Kansas Sheep Association for six commercial ewes to use as a starter flock for her flock. which she keeps at her grandparents’ farm near Sawyer.
"I heard about this starter flock from my ag teacher at Skyline, Anita DeWeese," Young said. "Only two people who entered received the grant."
The application to get a starter flock of sheep was a long process for Young, who had to become a member of the Kansas Sheep Association. The process required her to describe why she felt she was the best fit for the flock and describe the environment where she would be raising her flock. She had to chose a mentor who was not a part of her family, and she choose DeWeese.
Young also had to provide a letter of recommendation from her parents, her ag teacher and a 4-H leader. Grants are often monetary, but this time the award was six ewes, donated by Kansas Sheep Association members who have flocks.
After being notified by the association that she was a winner, Young met a member in St. John to pick up the ewes at the end of July. These ewes will soon have lambs, which Young plans to sell, using the money to cover the cost of her flock and putting the rest toward her college fund. She keeps her new sheep herd at her grandparents’ farm near Sawyer.
"Agriculture has been in my life since I was born," Young said. "I am a fourth-generation farmer/rancher in Pratt County."
Young said her family raises cattle and grows sorghum, wheat and corn. Last year, Young won Grand Champion Beef Showmanship award at the Kiowa County Fair in Greensburg. She already has a small sheep flock that she started with her 4-H project from last year. Adding these new ewes to that small beginning will help grow her agriculture investment.
Young currently serves as the secretary in the Skyline FFA Chapter, which she has been part of for two years. She has been in the Upwards Striver 4-H club (Greensburg) for nine years, currently serving as vice president. Young shows pigs, sheep, goats and cattle, but she said showmanship is one of her favorites.
"Most of all I love showmanship, I love showing all of the species," she said.
Young said she plans on continuing her 4-H and FFA careers throughout high school. She hopes to widen her leadership skills through these programs that have already taught her so much. She will be helping around the family farm and ranch before heading off to college to pursue a nursing degree. She hopes to have her own hobby farm when she is older.