There are few people who have the passion to encourage the next generation of industry leaders like Bonnie Desmond, FCLD, Pinellas County Parks. Through her activities with FNGLA’s Pinellas Chapter and the Pinellas County Farm Bureau, Desmond inspires her peers to assure Florida’s nursery and landscape industry has the ‘new blood’ needed to flourish well into the future.
One of these ways is to work with Florida FFA which develops student potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education. The State FFA Degree is the highest honorary award presented by the Florida FFA Organization. It recognizes those individuals who greatly contribute to the advancement of agriculture education and provide outstanding service to the FFA program.
Desmond has been involved with FFA since 2005 when Pinellas Technical Education Center Horticulture Director Greg Charles learned of an opportunity to interact with horticulture students from across Florida. FFA’s Career Development Events (CDEs) in Floriculture and Nursery & Landscape were looking for a home and FNGLA was the perfect place.
FNGLA’s Pinellas Chapter stepped up with Charles at the helm, hosting the annual competition for 350 of Florida’s best horticulture students in areas such as plant identification, pest management, landscape estimating, floriculture pricing and plant propagation. Desmond eventually assumed the reigns.
With a dedicated team of industry members from FNGLA’s Pinellas Chapter – and beyond – this group worked with Desmond to maintain the program as one of the premier CDEs presented through FFA.
Charles was awarded his Honorary FFA Degree in 2010. On the 10th anniversary of his award, it is so fitting Desmond is honored to receive the same award.
Congratulations to Bonnie Desmond for this well-deserved recognition!