2019 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Winners

YEC 2019 Award Winners L/R Cassie Strickler, Kiah Kussman, Destiny Hammer, Halle Hartner, Hunter Hartner, Jena Kunc, Dylan White

Belleville, KS – Republic County Economic Development, in association with the Network Kansas E-Community Partnership, hosted the 3rd Annual Republic County Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Monday, March 5th at the Republic County Junior/Senior High School.  Twenty-nine teams made up of 66 students competed from Republic County and Pike Valley Junior/Senior High schools. 

Over one hundred fifty people were in attendance for the tradeshow and awards portion. Students were judged on three items: three-page executive summary, four-minute presentations, and tradeshow booths. The winner of the local competition earns an automatic bid for the State YEC at KSU April 30th, 2019. Other students can apply for a bid to state through a wildcard selection process.

Also on display were twenty-two art projects by RCHS and PVHS art students who created a piece that featured a Republic County entrepreneur. This was possible thanks to a Network Kansas grant for $250 for supplies to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week back in November.

Dan Douglas of Belleville Hometown Lumber was the featured local entrepreneur speaker.  Dan gave the students insight into his uncommon path into entrepreneurship. The students heard about the hard work, planning, relationships, and risk it takes to buy and grow a business. They learned about opportunities in the trade skills in the county and were encouraged to visit with Dan about their business ideas.

Republic County Economic Development was able to help Hometown Lumber with revolving loan funds, business planning assistance, expansion resources, and destination business workshops along the way. 


1st Place – $750 

Hartner Catering
Halle and Hunter Hartner – RCHS 

*Automatic qualifier for the State YEC competition at KSU*
Hartner Catering Company’s mission is to provide catered food services to your personal needs and preferences… We offer customizable catering services to our clients… Our services will increase community and business events, offering services to a 60-mile radius.

2nd Place – $500

The Bomb Lip Balm
Cassie Strickler – PVHS 

The Bomb Lip Balm is a local, all-natural, and affordable chapstick business. Not only do we sell our products to individual customers, but we also offer custom labels for businesses, fundraisers or events such as weddings… The Bomb Lip Balm production is all based in Courtland, KS. Our chapstick will be available in local businesses and gas stations, as well as at local events such as sports games

3rd Place – $250 

Best Marketing Award – $150 
Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth

Otter Creek Farms
Jena Kunc, Dylan White – RCHS 

Otter Creek Farms was a business idea that was never taken seriously. But in 2018, we decided to make our dream a reality. In March of 2018 we began to purchase chickens, goats and produce fresh fruits and vegetables to sell to the community. Otter Creek Farms plans to expand greatly in the next 10 years. When visiting the future farm, you will be able to: visit our petting zoo, take hayrack rides, find your way out of a corn maze, play children’s games, shop at the farmers market, gift shop, and candy store, along with picking your own pumpkin from our 1.5 acre pumpkin patch. 

Follow them on Facebook  – www.facebook.com/Otter-Creek-Farms-2184912681759919/

4th Place – $50 Belleville Chamber Bucks

Slumberland & Storytime Care
Kiah Kussman, Destiny Hammer PVHS

Slumberland and Storytime Care will provide a loving, affordable, unique Daycare experience for your child while you work long night hours or need an evening off. Slumberland and story time care will allow your kids to be able to have a fun, artistic, relaxing night while you get to enjoy yourself or work without having to worry about your kids.