Orlando, Fla. – The winner of the State Star Farmer is Catherine Bowman of the Santa Fe FFA Chapter. Bowman was recognized at the 84th Annual Florida FFA State Convention.
Bowman has a diverse and well-rounded Supervised Agricultural Experience project. From working with her goat production and equine science SAEs to her forage production and armyworm agriscience research project. Bowman recognizes that agriculture is hard work and time consuming, but extremely rewarding.
With her goat production operation, Bowman has increased her herd size from six to 170 and continues to show her goats across the country at shows in New York, South Carolina and Kentucky. She strives to make her goats more “meaty” for her buyers and those who also show her goats.
But Bowman enjoys her equine science SAE the most.
“I have been riding horses since I was 7,” she said. “I love showing hunter jumpers, and one day I want to do the big Grand Prix jumper shows. I just love everything about the equine lifestyle.”
In addition to showing her horses, Bowman also trains younger horses.
With her forage production SAE, Bowman works on an 80-acre hayfield farm cutting coastal Bermuda grass for square and round bales.
Bowman’s armyworm research project has saved 10 local farmers a combined $617,000 in fertilizer and crop loss costs. By predicting the reproduction cycle of the armyworms in costal hay, Bowman was able to help farmers cut potential crop loss costs by establishing an effective method to kill the worms before they could harm the crops. She plans on reaching more farmers through her local extension agent.
With the knowledge Bowman has gained, she hopes to one day share it with her children and “keep the farm in the family.”
Bowman plans on attending Santa Fe College in Gainesville, with the potential to transfer to the University of Florida to attend veterinary school.
Students must apply for the State Star Farmer award by submitting applications to the Florida FFA Association. Candidates are then visited by a panel of judges who select one star in each degree category: Discovery, Greenhand, Placement, Agribusiness, Agriscience and Farmer
Other candidates for the State Star Farmer were Morgan Edwards of the South Sumter FFA Chapter, Benjamin Glass of the Suwannee FFA Chapter, and Michael Holder of the Williston FFA Chapter. This award is sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Florida.
About the Florida FFA State Convention
The annual state FFA convention is truly a week that absolutely everybody should experience. FFA members come together to celebrate the achievements won by the past and present generations of agriculturalists, while continuing to develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success. Honoring past and present accomplishments, FFA members, along with advisors, alumni, parents and supporters, will be inspired and motivated to take pride in our industry, serve our communities, and become leaders for the future.
About the Florida FFA Association
The Florida FFA Association is a premier youth, leadership organization with 16,000 middle and high school student members – as part of over 300 local FFA chapters across the state. FFA members participate in nearly 50 leadership and career development events each year. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.