Abigail Burton of Stillwater FFA Chapter won the State Star in Agriscience award at the 97th Oklahoma FFA Convention and Expo on May 3.
The State Star in Agriscience represents the best of the best within FFA member-led research in Oklahoma.
Hailing from Stillwater, Oklahoma, Burton has been an active member since her eighth-grade year. She is the 2022-2023 chapter president and served as the 2021-2022 chapter vice president. Last year, Burton qualified for the National FFA Agriscience competition and received third place.
Burton became interested in competing in agriscience when she attended the career development event fair at her local high school. While working in the garden with her family, she made observations and knew she could apply them in agriscience, Burton said.
In one of her projects, Burton researched how different acids would affect the germination rate of strawberry seeds. Strawberry seeds have a naturally low germination rate, which is why using acid to eat away the seed coat to improve germination is important, Burton said.
In addition to research projects, Burton also competes in cattle grading, floriculture judging and showing goats, she said.
Burton plans to use the scholarships she receives for State Star to attend Oklahoma State University to study biology and allied health. After acquiring her bachelor’s at OSU, Burton said she plans to attend a perfusion program in Houston.
The 20 Area Stars each received a plaque and $500 cash award co-sponsored by Masonic Charity Foundation, McDonald’s, The Chickasaw Nation, Blue and Gold Sausage Co., Davis Farms, Sirloin Club of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Farm Bureau.
As Star in Agriscience, Burton and the other State Stars over Oklahoma will each receive $31,855 in scholarships or capital grant funds through a $3.2 million gift from the Carl C. Anderson Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation. The late Carl C. Anderson, after whom the State Star awards are now named, was born in Naples, Oklahoma, in 1911. One of 10 children, he dropped out of high school to earn money and support his family. From those modest beginnings, the Anderson Corp. grew across the country as well as in Canada and South America.
FFA is an integral part of the Agricultural Education division in the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education system. With more than 29,500 members and 366 chapters, the Oklahoma FFA Association is the fifth-largest state FFA association. 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. To learn more about the Oklahoma FFA, visit okffa.org.
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