- While her Moore Goodness business began through a high school project, the gardening seeds were planted at a young age for Olivia Moore.
- Moore credits FFA for not only helping her business because of the agricultural experiences and communication skills that she has gained, but also by allowing her to come out of her shell.
By Jacob Perkins
One Kentucky student has created a business that not only provides fresh produce, but also will benefit from a $5,000 grant from Kentucky FFA.
Olivia Moore, a junior at Western Hills High School in Franklin County, founded Moore Goodness, a farm-to-fork produce operation, for her supervised agricultural experience (SAE). SAE is a learning experience that a student involved in FFA is required to participate in as a way to enhance what is learned in the classroom.
While the Moore Goodness business may have begun through a high school project, the gardening seeds were planted at a young age for Moore.
“It started with a small family garden and I realized that I had a passion for gardening and just watching things grow,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to carry that over into high school as I began with FFA.”
Moore credits FFA for not only helping her business because of the agricultural experiences and communication skills that she has gained, but also by allowing her to come out of her shell. It was not an easy task, being a former private school student entering her first year at a new school.
“I was pretty shy coming into high school,” she said. “I just didn’t have a good outlet to do what I wanted to … and FFA was such an incredible outlet for me. … I’ve had so many opportunities and FFA has helped me grow not only as a leader, but also as a person.”
One of these opportunities presented itself through the Kentucky State FFA Convention in Lexington this past June. Moore competed in a Shark Tank style competition and was awarded a $5,000 Venture Capital Grant from the Kentucky FFA Foundation for her work with Moore Goodness. With that grant, she plans to invest in a larger greenhouse to better control the growth environment for her plants.
She has been researching the different routes that she can take when it comes to the expansion project. She has received feedback from local greenhouse vendors and greenhouse owners and plans to have the new greenhouse in operation sometime between late-October and mid-November.
With a larger greenhouse Moore can continue to serve her customer base of just under 100 people by being able to provide more produce boxes, a product that she began selling in the summer of 2018.
“I noticed that I had a lot of people interested in (the produce boxes), and they were generating a lot of activity within the community,” she said. “I’ve sold about 60 of those this year. They’ve really taken off and I’ve had a lot of success with those.”
The success of the produce boxes has helped Moore Goodness turn a profit of around $800 so far this year, money that Moore is putting to good use.
“Since I am currently very focused on expanding my business, most of what I profit turns back around to go into my project,” she said. “Although I do try to put some aside to save for future education.”
Moore Goodness was recently named a Kentucky Proud business by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Moore has worked hard for this recognition and hopes that with it comes business and customer growth. Being a Kentucky Proud business will allow her community to continue to see that her business is a trustworthy source to buy produce.
“Receiving this certification was definitely a huge milestone for me and my entrepreneurship,” said. Moore. “I love being an outlet for fresh produce in my community and operating a business that is so centered around being and buying local.”
As far as life after high school, Moore is keeping her options open. She knows that she would like to continue her education and is considering the University of Kentucky and an agricultural communications degree. However, she isn’t quite sure what Moore Goodness will look like long-term.
“I think once I have a greenhouse, … that will give me a better idea of what I want to do with the business moving forward,” she said. “I think as I continue to work more at it, once I see the direction I want to take with the business and which aspects that I want to focus in on more, that will probably help me decide if this is really what I want to make as my job or just use as a springboard for what I will be doing.”
To view the produce and other projects that Moore has going on, including bundled corn and mums, visit the Moore Goodness Facebook page.