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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida FFA Association selected four student members as finalists for the highly coveted Star Chapter Degree, within the “Stars of Florida” award recognition program. This program symbolizes the highest competitive recognition for FFA members and their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program(s). Finalist shared their SAE’s virtually and a winner was named. 

The Florida FFA Association is pleased to announce the 2020 State Star Chapter winner is:

Julia Heijkoop, South Sumter Senior FFA

Long before, South Sumter FFA member, Julia Heijkoop zipped up her first FFA jacket, dairy farming has been her way of life. She has grown up spending time on Milk-A-Way and K&H dairies where her father is part owner in the two operations. Upon joining the FFA, and formally beginning her Supervised Agricultural Experience, her responsibilities as an employee of both farms increased to meet her skill level. She started with tasks like washing down floors and helping bring in the groups of cows. Heijkoop says, “Although these are entry level jobs, they allowed me to gain an understanding of cow traffic at the farm and working in close proximity of the cows. My roles have evolved to bringing in the groups of cows on my own, checking the Springer cows and looking for signs of cows having trouble calving, assisting the herdsmen with herd health checks and treatment protocols.”  Heijkoop feels that one of the most important jobs is advocacy. She has created a social media presence for the farms and uses this platform to highlight daily farm activities and inform consumers of the wholesomeness of dairy. Heijkoope says, “If I don’t shine a positive light on what the dairy industry is doing, sharing how we care for our cattle and what we do for the environment, another account will take the opportunity to spread false narratives.”  Heijkoops advisors are Tim Edwards, Morgan Wilson and Patty Wells. Congratulations Julia on being named the 2020 State Star Chapter Degree Winner!


Extraordinary times lead extraordinary people to do extraordinary things. This summer, thousands of FFA members, advisors, administrators, alumni, parents and industry partners will gather online in a new, exciting, and innovative experience to celebrate another record-breaking year. More than ever, our viewers will be inspired and motivated to take pride in our industry, serve our communities, and become leaders of the next generation.

During the celebration, FFA members and guests will experience motivational speakers and award presentations while virtually meeting Florida FFA’s outstanding officers, members, and supporters.


The Florida FFA Association is a premier youth, leadership organization with nearly 30,000 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.

The Florida FFA Association is a resource and support organization that does not select, control, supervise or approve local chapter or individual member activities except as expressly provided for in the Florida FFA Association Constitution and Bylaws.

The Florida FFA Association affirms its belief in the value of all human beings and seeks diversity in its membership, leadership and staff as an equal opportunity employer.


Agricultural education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resource systems.


FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

For more information about Florida FFA and agricultural education, visit


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