Brenda Eubanks Burnette Takes Home Citrus Achievement Award

Daniel CooperAwards, Events

A large contingent of family and friends congratulated Brenda Eubanks Burnette as she was presented with the Citrus Achievement Award trophy.
Photos by Josh McGill

One of the highlights of the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference is the presentation of the Citrus Achievement Award trophy. This year’s winner, Brenda Eubanks Burnette, was presented with the trophy during the event’s industry luncheon.

Burnette received several standing ovations as she was presented with the award. Frank Giles, editor-in-chief of AgNet Media, said it was refreshing to step back from the challenges of HLB and celebrate the heritage of the state’s signature crop, which Burnette has helped preserve through her roles with the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame, Miss Florida Citrus Pageant, Citrus Archives and other activities.

Brenda Eubanks Burnette (right) won the Florida Citrus Queen pageant in 1981. Here she is joined by Alana Scheuerer, the current Miss Florida Citrus.

“Brenda reminds us how this industry got here, its long history and why we fight to beat HLB once and for all,” Giles said.

Matt Joyner, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, said he could think of no better choice for this year’s award.

“We were glad that you were crowned Florida Citrus Queen and have become such a vital part of this industry over the years,” Joyner said. “We owe a great debt of gratitude for all you have done to promote this industry and preserve the legacy of this industry. It is important we remember our past to guide us in the future. You have been a tremendous part of that. This award could not be more deserving.”

“It has been an absolute honor to not just be Miss Florida Citrus, but also to have Brenda as a wonderful role model for me and all the citrus queens before me,” noted current Miss Florida Citrus Alana Scheuerer.

Burnette said she was appreciative and humbled by the award and said her work collecting Florida citrus stories is not over.

“Our past is our future. I feel it is very important given the contraction of our industry that we preserve that past,” she said. “Especially with so many people moving to our state, it is important they know how important citrus has been to our history.”

AgNet Media expresses special thanks to TJ BioTech for sponsoring the Citrus Achievement Award and Florida Citrus Mutual for hosting the award presentation.

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