Danielle Youngblut, a senior in agricultural business and advertising, grew up on a family farm near Jesup, Iowa. Youngblut was immersed in many facets of agriculture including corn, soybean, and sheep production. Her involvement in 4-H and FFA exposed her to the opportunities that agriculture and Iowa State offered. By the time she graduated high school, Iowa State University was the only school she was interested in attending.
Since arriving on campus, Youngblut has been an active participant in many of the Start Something College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) programs. She has participated in the Change-Maker Academy, Student Leadership Team, Student Incubator, and Rural Entrepreneurship Academy. "I decided to get involved with Start Something CALS, because I was interested in starting my own business and this program gives me a good place to start," she explains.
The Change-Maker Academy was how Youngblut was first exposed to Start Something CALS. The Academy enabled her to expand her interests in entrepreneurship and opened up various opportunities. About a year ago, Youngblut first became interested in starting her own business. Today, she is the owner and operator of her first business, Gravel Road Sunflowers. During the past summer, Youngblut continued pursuing her business by participating in the Rural Entrepreneurship Academy.
Gravel Road Sunflowers (GRS) is a unique u-pick experience in Rowley, Iowa. At GRS, guests are given the opportunity to obtain sunflowers by the stem or bucket as well as proper instructions and tools necessary to harvest sunflowers. In addition to sunflower stems, GRS offers a variety of sunflower seeds to be purchased and picture-perfect backdrops. Photographers are able to purchase day passes to pose clients in front of the vibrant flowers.
Youngblut has enjoyed the many opportunities that Start Something CALS has offered her. She appreciates the connections and relationships she has formed with other individuals involved in the program.
We wish her and Gravel Road Sunflowers the best of luck as they continue to grow!