Econ student, alum finalists for award

December 29, 2020

Danielle YoungblutAg business senior Danielle Youngblut, along with Iowa State alum Ray Schmidt, are two Story County finalists for the statewide second annual "Grow Your Future Award." The two both got their start as student entrepreneurs. 

Youngblut's business, Gravel Road Sunflowers, started as a "quarantine project" and blossomed into a sunflower business.

"It just brought a little bit more happiness to me," Youngblut said. "It gave me a project that I could work on, it gave me goals that I could focus on and it also brought me a lot of people directly to my business that I interacted with and socialize with."

Ray SchmidtSchmidt also started his entrepreneurial pursuits in 2013 as an Iowa State student when he started Patches O Pumpkins — a student-run pumpkin company in Ames which delivers pumpkins to university organizations and events.

"It's really a humbling experience. Especially when I'm getting messages from people I haven't talked to in years," Schmidt said. "I don't even know if I know that many people, so it was really cool to have that much support from friends, family and people that just thought it was a good idea."

The Iowa Farm Bureau created the "Grow Your Future Award" to support young agricultural entrepreneurs. The winner will win $7,500 cash prize, second place will receive $5,000 and third place will receive $2,500.

Read the Ames Tribune story.