Springfield 12-year-old turns passion for ducks into booming business

Landon Gehrke’s school project has now become a fully functioning business
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 1:23 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2023 at 3:53 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WTOC) - A middle schooler in Effingham County has taken his school project and turned it into a booming business.

Selling a unique product that means a lot to him and just so happens to be one of his favorite animals.

“I’ve always loved Wood Ducks. They’re intriguing because, they’re pretty tough ducks,” explains 12-year-old Landon Gehrke.

But because these tough ducks struggle making their own nests “they were almost extinct a while ago,” Landon says.

An issue this Wood Duck loving 12-year-old decided to do something about.

“Basically, is started out as an agriculture project.”

As part of a school project Landon, with the help of his mom and dad, begin building and selling wood duck boxes.

These boxes help provide a safe place for wood ducks to lay their eggs and protect them from potential predators.

“You put them next to a pond where you see wood ducks typically,” Landon explains.

Helping the species repopulate and a not half bad idea for a school project.

“He sold a few, and we thought, ‘okay we’re done with that project.’ He submitted that and got a great grade, ‘good we’re done,’” or so Landon’s mom Ellen thought.

“I happened to check the order form randomly one day and saw we had a bunch more orders come in.”

So, Landon got back to work.

Although if you ask him it doesn’t really feel like work.

“It’s fun to be able to help a population of an animal and help a local area,” Landon says.

As more orders came, Landon started making some real money. Money he decided to reinvest into a soon to be released apparel line and 10% of that money will go right back to the cause he loves so much.

“We’re going to donate to conservation of wood ducks and other ducks and other animals,” says Landon.

While business is booming for now, his parents say whether or not it continues to grow is far less important than the growing they’ve already seen from their son because of it.

“I hope he learns that he doesn’t have to go out and get a job, he can create a career for himself. I think in our world today if you’re willing to work the sky is the limit,” said Landon’s dad Matt.

A lesson in hard work and following your passion.

“I think it’s important that he chose something he loves, not just let’s build a business to build a business. He chose wood ducks because he loves ducks. That way he can enjoy what he’s doing, be proud of what he’s doing,” said Ellen.

If you’d like to purchase a wood duck box for yourself or just learn more about Landon’s business Ebenezer Creek Outdoors click here.