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Orlando, Fla. – John Burnsed of the Baker County Sr. FFA Chapter was honored as the “best of the best” as State Star in Agricultural Placement for the Supervised Agricultural Experience Program. Burnsed was honored at the 84th Annual State FFA Convention.

Burnsed’s home sits on 40 acres in rural Baxter, Fla. A portion of the land wasn’t being used, so he and his father thought they should put it to use.

“Me and my dad thought maybe we could make this golf course, and we can give the youth something to do out there that would be productive,” he said.

He said the 9-hole golf course they built is unique because it’s the only course within 40 miles.

Burnsed is enrolled at Florida A&M University. Six years from now, he said he hopes to have a doctorate degree in pharmacy. Along with the pharmaceutical courses, he wants to take golf course management and environmental courses.

“I will return and keep working on this golf course to make it more and more environmentally friendly and keep it open,” he said. “It’s something that I really enjoy doing.”

He said that the ideas that surprise you could turn out to get you an award. Burnsed’s advisor was hesitant of the golf course idea at first.

“Nothing is out of bounds,” he said. “Nothing is out of your reach.”

Students must apply for the State Star awards 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 finalists for the State Star in Agricultural Placement were Marisa Crowhurst of the Pine Ridge FFA Chapter, Laura-Kaitlyn Boatright of the Suwannee FFA Chapter and Drew Land of the Suwannee FFA Chapter. The award is sponsored by William E. Hamm & Associates, Inc., and Richard and Yolanda Joyner.

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.


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