Jacob Gordon, of Norwood Public Schools, just received news that he’s been awarded a special state FFA grant. Gordon, who applied for the grant earlier this fall, said he was pleased, although also “kind of surprised” to hear the news.
Gordon is a junior at Norwood High School, and also president of the newly established Norwood FFA chapter. He is also the president of his 4-H club and has participated in 4-H the last nine years.
Gordon was one of 188 students from across the state who submitted an application for the Colorado FFA grant. Then, he was one of 63 students to be awarded.
One other student from Norwood High School applied for the same grant through the state; Three other students also applied for a similar type of grant from the national FFA organization. Some applications are still being processed.
“We are still waiting to hear back on these applications,” said Catherine Kolbet, the school’s FFA sponsor and agriculture teacher.
As part of the application process, Gordon had to write six different essays related to his FFA work. Kolbet said the questions were about his “supervised agricultural experience” (SAE), the defining piece of a student’s FFA study. Gordon also had to define his personal goals, discuss his career goals, include a budget for his cattle herd and describe how he planned to spend the grant money if he received it.
Now, Gordon can carry out his plan. He’ll use the funds to purchase a heifer — a Black Galloway heifer. He said a ranch from Montana will deliver her, after he receives his grant money in January.
This spring, he will breed the new Black Galloway, with the rest of his cows, to a bull from Snyder Ranches.
Currently, he has five of his own cows, which are Angus or Hereford. The new heifer, he said, will help him to grow his herd and vary his genetics.
He said he likes the characteristics of the Black Galloway cows.
“Their ratio of feed to gain is high,” he told The Norwood Post in an interview Monday.
Gordon said in the future he’d like to build his herd to at least 100 cows. He expects that will take him 10 to 15 years to do so. Ideally, he’d like to stay in the Norwood area and carry on the agricultural-based life his family has passed down to him.
Already, he has his own brand; he said it’s a “lazy quarter-circle JR.”
Kolbet said she was proud of all the kids’ work in going for the grants.
“This opportunity to be granted $1,500 for an SAE was something that Jacob was interested in from as soon as he learned about it,” she said. “He took the initiative to work on his application on his own time outside of class. While I supported Jacob in the process of filling out the application, Jacob being selected to receive this grant is a reflection of his dedication to building his cattle herd.”