One of the neatest things about a National FFA Convention & Expo was seeing past and present FFA members come together to discuss the future. In many of the booths, you could find old jackets from when owners, managers, and employees of the company were part of the program. One booth, in particular, shared that their product actually had its beginnings as an FFA senior sales project: Show FresH2O.
We first heard about Show FresH2O on a livestock-showing podcast. When another exhibitor loaned me some Show FresH2O to use on a show calf that wouldn’t drink, he immediately took a sip, and I was sold.
After running into Dr. Todd Banner at the FFA convention, he shared some of his encouragement for FFA students to take that idea and pursue it. Even though Banner’s project didn’t immediately hit the shelves while he was an FFA student, he ended up revisiting the idea later after attending graduate school and working as a professional in the industry.
Now, the product is in the process of being patented, and Banner is working to help FFA youth’s livestock projects to reach their potential while inspiring youth to pursue their interests.
When transporting livestock to the show ring, it’s not always possible to haul water from home. People don’t tend to like the smell or taste of chlorinated water and neither do many animals, and in many places you’ll be showing in towns that use chlorine in their water systems. That chlorination often reduces water consumption in livestock and rumen digestion in show cattle.
Interestingly, when our calf was given the option between water hauled from home, filtered water, and treated water with Show FresH2O, he chose the treated water every time.
Banner’s project is an example of just how far FFA members can take their SAE. The program offers entrepreneurship proficiency awards for those who are looking to complete SAE’s related to ownership of an agribusiness or agriculture-related enterprise.