Emily Groat has officially wrapped up her senior year at ABAC as the newly-crowned Ms. ABAC 2023. A Ruskin, Florida nativee, Groat is an agriculture studies major with a minor in agriculture communication. From serving as president of Sigma Alpha sorority to being a leader for the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Emily describes her school year as “one of the busiest, most rewarding years” that she has had at ABAC so far.
She spent the year working with the school’s admission office as the social media coordination and served as an orientation leader for the Stallion Society during the past summer. Entering the new school year’s orientation season, Groat will serve as a Stallion Society member yet again.
“There has never been a dull moment,” Groat said as she recalled the past year.
In addition to her campus involvement, she has enjoyed establishing close relationships with her professors, feeling that they go out of their way to help students.
When Groat first ran for Ms. ABAC in 2020, she just wanted to try a new experience and have fun while doing it. She has competed in pageants in the past, including her FFA pageant in high school. She won the title her junior year of high school, leading her to compete in her local county fair pageant and eventually the Ms. ABAC pageants.
Three years from her first run, her love for ABAC and her role on campus has grown exponentially. Groat’s passion has made her determined to do anything for her campus and its students. Running again in 2023, she had hopes of using her impact as queen to do as much as she could for ABAC in the upcoming year.
Groat was emotional as she was declared the winner of the pageant. “It felt so surreal, I was shocked, honored and speechless. Now, as I have had some time to settle into the idea of being Ms. ABAC 2023, I can truly say I have never been so excited to advocate for something I love.”
She was crowned by Ms. ABAC 2022, Charleigh Harper. Having shared the stage with Harper last year when she was crowned, Groat felt that the moment was even more special.
In addition to being crowned, Groat won the Best Interview Award, given to the conestant who had the highest collective score for the interview portion of the event. She also earned the Miss Congeniality Award, based off the votes from fellow contestants as to who they considered the most supportive participant. Groat earned $500 and three plaques for these titles.
As Ms. ABAC, Groat aims to represent herself and the school well. “I hope to spread a positive image of ABAC and share personal stories of my experiences while recruiting new students at every event I attend.”
So far, she has been able to attend events like the 2023 Farm Stress Summit and the Truck and Tractor Pull on campus. She will be attending the Flordia FFA State Convention, as well as make appearances at the City of Tifton events and Stallion Days. After graduation, Groat plans to obtain a master’s degree in communication. Until then, the campus community can expect to see Groat clad in her regalia as she represents ABAC in the upcoming academic year.