Community Services is another example of the family spirit within the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.
Supporting higher education
Since our inception in 1982, more than 350 scholarships have been awarded by the Association. Although each year varies depending on the number of applicants, FSGA awards various scholarships as well as six special $1,000.00 scholarships including the Brenda St. Martin Memorial Scholarship, the Steve Dukes Memorial Scholarship, the Marty Sewell Memorial Scholarship, the Rodney Hutto Memorial Scholarship, the Eddie and Trenda Jones Memorial Scholarship, and the O.M. Griffin Memorial Scholarship. We also award four $1,000 Ambassador Scholarships annually. FSGA also helps to fund a program with the University of South Florida’s Department of Education to provide scholarships to deserving children of migrant workers. FSGA also sponsors special awards during the State of Florida FFA Convention.
Fund raising through the Best Flat Contest
Most of the scholarship money is raised at the Best Flat Contest each year at the Florida Strawberry Festival. Growers pick their best flat for independent judging. After the selection is made based on a criteria of color, shape, size, uniformity and of course taste, the top three flats are auctioned off during the plant, swine and steer sales. Thanks to many wonderful community supporterss the Best Flat competition raises thousands of dollars annually to fund scholarships. If you would like more information on how to participate in the Best Flat Contest, please contact the FSGA office at 813-752-6822.
Ag-Venture is a “hands-on” learning experience designed to teach 3rd graders in Florida about the importance of agriculture and to help them develop an understanding and appreciation of how their food is produced. As the students arrive at the field trip, they are divided into groups and given a bright colored “cowboy” hat or bandana. The hats and bandanas not only keep track of the different groups (each group has a different color hat), but the youngsters love them, and they set the stage for an “AG” day! At the FSGA station we show our Jammer video to approximately 3,000 students each year, and afterwards they make their own peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich. Both are a great hit with the kids.
Florida Strawberry Festival Display
Come see our 10,000 square foot display at the Florida Strawberry Festival every Spring in Plant City, The “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World”. Learn how strawberries are produced and the equipment used. Have a question about growing Florida strawberries? We have grower volunteers at our “Ask the Farmer” section of our display.