Bradley Weaver has been honored by the Georgia House of Representatives for his receipt of the FFA's 2012 American Star in Agribusiness Award, one of the organization's highest honors.
Each year, four finalists are selected for this award from thousands of recipients of the American Future Farmers of America (FFA) Degree, an FFA award given to a select group of individuals for their years of excellence and leadership. After Weaver—a business management major at the University of North Georgia—was chosen as the 2012 American Star winner in October, Rep. Kevin Tanner wrote a resolution honoring Weaver's achievement that was read aloud and passed with Weaver present.
"This is a huge accomplishment, as Bradley is joining a very elite group of individuals of Georgia and the country," Tanner said. "Georgia has had five winners in the history of this program, with the last one occurring in 1985. Our region is a very agricultural area, and we are very proud to see Bradley continuing his fine example as a Future Farmer of America."
This month, Weaver will be representing the Farm Bureau in Washington, D.C., as he discusses various farm bills with U.S. senators.
Weaver's road to the FFA American Star in Agribusiness award began in 1995, when at the age of five he began raising money for college. After planting and harvesting his first field of pumpkins, he sold them to fall tourists from a roadside stand. His business grew, and he began to expand his business to include other seasons, such as trees for Christmas and flowers for spring and summer.
He now owns several businesses, including Bradley's Pumpkins, Bradley's Daffodils, and the most recent, Bradley's Pick-Your-Own-Blueberries. Weaver is also a strong supporter of local horticultural heritage, and has assembled a large collection of heirloom seeds and plants from local gardeners.
"The discovery of pre-Civil War flora on my own farm, along with encouragement from one of my former advisors at UNG, Dr. Karrie Fadroski, led to my interest in the Georgia Appalachian Studies Center and a seed swap program called Southern Seed Legacy," Weaver said.
All of Weaver's flowers and produce are grown on his family's 70-acre farm in Dawson County. He also offers educational field trips and free gardening seminars while running a year-round, full-service landscaping business.
Weaver's current goals include assisting a long-time client in developing Stone Creek Farms, "a prototype 135-acre self-sustaining farm in Lumpkin County," to its greatest potential. He also plans on continuing to diversify his products each year, and to use the profits to invest in the company and give back to the community. After earning his degree, he plans to continue promoting and growing the five businesses he has nested in his home county of Dawson.