Mon, 6 February 2023
OFI 1614: From Phenomenal To Sensational Lavender | FFA SAE Edition | Amber Leabo | Deane Bozeman FFA
Amber Leabo is a 2022 National Proficiency Winner in the category of Specialty Crop Production. This comes from years of experimentation on her families farm with her father, trying corn, permanent crops and more, finally ending with lavender. Amber has definitely found her niche growing, marketing and value adding to lavender. She and her family have set the market in Florida with lavender, defying the expertise of officials from the Department of Agriculture who said that lavender couldn't be grown there.
Today, Amber and her family make a myriad of value added lavender products at their home, and Amber sells them each weekend at different farmer's markets. Amber first began with a variety of Lavender called "Phenomenal" but soon discovered that because of all the moisture in Florida the variety was suffering from root rot. She went about trying to fix this problem mechanically by creating a specific potting soil mix that would drain moisture better. Just as she got that to work she discovered the lavender variety, "Sensational" and found out that it was not susceptible to root rot in her climate.
Amber knows everything about lavender, all the way to the name of the person who invented the varieties that she has used. But this is no surprise when you find out that as a junior in high school she has already won a national proficiency. And, she has taken extra classes so that she is actually graduating high school this May, one year early. No wonder she won such a prestigious award!