Palmetto High School FFA chapter recognized as one of ‘Florida’s Finest’

Palmetto FFA students pose for a photo at a recent state convention
Palmetto FFA students pose for a photo at a recent state convention PHOTO PROVIDED

The Palmetto High School FFA chapter was recognized as one of Florida’s Finest Chapters during the 88th Florida FFA Convention last week.

Ten FFA members represented the chapter during the convention. In addition to the recognition as one of the state’s finest chapters, members attended workshops on topics ranging from enhancing membership services to retired FFA jackets and to adjusting feed rations for swine and steers.

The state recognition is based on membership, community service and completion of goals. The Palmetto chapter is submitting an application to the National FFA Chapter to become recognized and ranked nationally.

The convention also honored two local community members for supporting young agriculture. Gary Reeder, the Manatee County Farm Bureau president, and Buddy Keen, from Keen Farm and Grove Service, were both honored during the seventh general session of the Florida FFA convention.

Both Reeder and Keen are Palmetto High graduates. Reeder opens his farm for students to learn about irrigation and Keen is a supporter of a the Manatee County Ag-Venture program for third-grade students.

Two recent Palmetto High School graduates were also honored on the last day of the convention and earned state degrees, the highest honor awarded at the state level. Jackie Berkey and Caleb Summeralls walked across the stage after many years of determination and hard work.

Jackie Berkey was the 2015-2016 Palmetto FFA President. She plans to become an agriculture teacher. has started her next step of making her dreams come true.

“This workshop is just the beginning of my career, I want to earn my teaching degree in agriculture and return to Palmetto High to give back to the community that gave so much to me,” Berkey said in a statement.