Jumpstart Mini Grant Recipients

Congratulations to our winners of the AgChoice Farm Credit jumpstart mini grant. The grant program awarded five $2,500 grants to youth ages 16 to 21 with a farming or agriculture-related business. Ten additional honorable mention winners were also recognized. Learn more about our grant recipients below.

Meet our $2,500 startup grant recipients

Questions about the grant program? Contact Raechel Sattazahn at rsattazahn@agchoice.com or 1-800-998-5557. 


Kristen Houser

Kristen Houser, Spring Mills, PA

Kristen Houser has a passion for pigs. She grew up raising and showing swine through 4-H and is continuing that passion by raising swine to sell for market purposes. Kristen developed a business plan for her operation and will direct market pigs to consumers. She has a long-term goal of diversifying her business with additional species. Kristen will use the grant to purchase supplies for her operation.

Caleb Radel

Caleb Radel, Duncannon, PA

Caleb Radel is the fourth generation on his family farm. Since the fall of 2020, Caleb expanded the swine operation and began selling pork direct to consumers through farmer’s markets, an on-farm stand and online. He plans to soon start shipping pork across the country and add beef and chicken as part of his meat subscription boxes. Caleb will use the grant funds to purchase two bred Hereford cows to build his beef herd.

Sarah Radel

Sarah Radel, Duncannon, PA

Sarah Radel recently finished her freshman year at Montana State University studying agriculture business and education. During the summers, Sarah will raise pastured poultry to contribute to her family farm. She will start with day old chicks and raise them to full-grown meat chickens, selling fresh chicken at farmer’s markets and an on-farm stand. Frozen chickens will also be available for sale during the fall and winter months. Sarah plans to use the grant to help fund mobile pens for the pasture.

Adria Russell, Alexandria, PA

Adria Russell has an interest in dairy genetics with a future goal of becoming an embryologist and building a genetics business. Through Russell Ridge Genetics, she plans to conduct in vitro fertilization (IVF) services and offer calves and embryos for sale directly to clients or through auctions. Adria will use the grant funds for IVF sessions and implantation costs of embryos. One of her future goals includes having a barn to house animals to conduct embryology work.

Gage Whitehill, Spring Mills, PA

Gage Whitehill launched a custom combining business in 2021 using his grandfather’s 1980s combine. He started with combining corn at a neighbor’s farm last fall and looks forward to expanding his business this fall. Gage plans to use the grant to pay for combine maintenance and parts and potentially purchase a new head to harvest small grains to grow his business.

The Honorable Mention Winners

Each honorable mention winner will receive a $1,000 grant.

Max Barkman

Rockwood, PA

Destany Chilson

Rome, PA

Connor Fohringer

Mifflinburg, PA

Caleb McMillen

Sugar Grove, PA

Kaleb Michael

Orangeville, PA

Brayden Mickley

Biglerville, PA

Allison Schmuck

Somerset, PA

Kacie Sisson

Girard, PA

Brent Sokol

Orangeville, PA

Kyle Stahl

Mill Hall, PA