Peyton Stoddard is a member of the Shelley FFA Chapter where she serves as the Shelley FFA Vice President and the South Upper Snake River District Treasurer. Her Supervised Agricultural Experience is Agriculture Placement in vegetable and flower production where she works on her family’s farm and at the Idaho Falls Farmer’s Market in the summer alongside her parents selling fresh produce and flowers to her local community. At Bloomin’ Acres, the Stoddard’s grow zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, raspberries, and an assortment of flowers to sell during the summer, as well as pumpkins and winter squash to sell during the fall months on their 2-acre farm. Her family has been selling fresh produce at the farmer’s market for 17 years.
“I started working at the Farmer’s Market when I was 10 years old,” said Peyton, “My favorite part of being at the market is that it gives me an opportunity to share my love of agriculture with my community.”
INNOVATION DRIVES GROWTH
At the start of Bloomin’ Acres the focus was on fresh cut flowers, but through the years, attention shifted away from flowers and to produce, which quickly became the sole emphasis of the business. This year, Peyton decided to bring the flowers back to the family farm and sell them at the farmers market alongside their produce.
“I wanted to bring the flowers back because flowers are so fun and bring so much color to the area they’re growing in, as well as our booth at the farmer’s market,” said Peyton, “It was fun to see people’s faces light up as they came to buy flowers.”
Peyton took the initiative and restarted the fresh cut flower business, spending countless hours managing and upkeeping her gladiolus, zinnias, sunflowers, and dahlias. Her hard work quickly paid off. In just six weeks at the farmer’s market, she sold over a thousand flowers, including flowers for a wedding. Through this endeavor, Peyton has gained many skills, expanded her horizons, and also overcame many challenges.
“One of the most difficult parts of being in charge of the flowers was that I had to be very organized and possess a lot of self-discipline in order to make the flowers grow successfully- which is not always easy,” said Peyton, “I have learned a ton of from my SAE project about agriculture and business but the most important lesson I feel like I have learned is how to work hard and have self-discipline. Those skills will help me in whatever field or direction I take in life.”
SERVING HER COMMUNITY
In addition to providing delicious produce and beautiful flowers, Peyton is also teaching her local community members about the importance of agriculture and the role it plays in everyone’s lives.
“A lot of people don’t completely understand how agriculture works and being able to share that with the community is so awesome,” said Peyton, “My SAE project helps my community because the people are able to come and get fresh food from people that they know and they can feel confident that their food is healthy and they know what’s gone into growing that food. I hope people can learn something from me and my family’s farm, other people’s farms, and agriculture.”