Kira Gardner Utah FFA Foundation's SAE Spotlight

Posted By: Morgan Atkinson Ag Education Initiative , UNLA News ,

When Kira Gardner’s friend suggested she join FFA (Future Farmers of America) at Viewpoint Middle School, the ninth grader was skeptical, but game. “I thought FFA was just for cowboys and kids who grew up on farms,” she remembered. “I was surprised at how much fun it is. I never thought I would enjoy it so much.”

Kira Gardner recently won a $500 grant from the Utah FFA Foundation to start a floral business and it all started with a suggestion from her floral design teacher Nicole Hopkins. “I’ve always loved getting flowers after a dance recital. I would keep them alive for as long as I could,” Kira said. She found herself looking forward to floral design class and working with flowers. Miss Hopkins encouraged Kira and suggested she join the floriculture team in FFA. “I thought, ‘What if I’m good at this?’ I’m always up for trying something new,” said Kira.

In 2021 she was the youngest participant in the Miss Lehi’s Outstanding Teen competition. “I stood in front of judges and answered questions! Now that I’ve done that, I’m not scared to try new experiences.”

When Kira proposed starting a floral business, Miss Hopkins told her about the Utah FFA Foundation’s SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) For All Grant. Kira had to write an essay, put together a financial plan and goals and meet all the required deadlines. Weeks later Kira and Miss Hopkins found out she’d won the $500 grant for her floral business!

Since then, Kira has made corsages and boutonnieres for friends and community members, sympathy arrangements and monthly floral orders. She also makes floral crowns that she donates to the children at Primary Children’s hospital.

Kira has learned many skills in social media, marketing, customer communication and she has expanded her floral design skills.

Kira is excited about what her future holds in not only FFA but in her floral business. Her favorite thing is teaching people that art can bring joy to others, and she looks forward to continuing her art talents through floral design.