When a teacher goes above and beyond, they deserve to be recognized. From July 1, 2019, through Nov. 16, 2019, any student, parent, fellow teacher, or other supporters can nominate their favorite ag educator for a chance to be recognized as one of the best in the state.
Nationwide recently recognized the contributions of 17 Iowa and Ohio agriculture teachers with the 2018-2019 inaugural Golden Owl Award. Nationwide established the award to honor teachers and support them with additional resources to assist their continued educational efforts in preparing the next generation for successful agricultural careers.
As a result of the positive response from the communities that Golden Owl Award nominees make a difference in, Nationwide expanded the campaign to include Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, and Ohio.
The 2018-2019 Iowa Ag Educator of the Year has already seen a 30-student increase in his agricultural shop class for next fall — at a high school with just over 300 students. Recipient Brad Taylor, a teacher at Roland-Story High School in Story City, Iowa, credits this growth to the recognition he received through the Golden Owl Award.
“I think it’s important to be a role model for the students that we have in our classes so they understand what the opportunities are for their futures,” said Taylor. “This award symbolizes the hard work that individuals have put into agriculture education to help students realize what their full potential is.”
Twenty-six finalists across the four states will receive an individualized plaque and $500 to support their agriculture programs. One finalist from each state will be crowned as his/her state’s Ag Educator of the Year and will receive the Golden Owl Award trophy and $3,000 to help fund future educational efforts.
“We’re proud to recognize outstanding teachers for their dedication to agricultural education in their farming communities,” said Brad Liggett, president of agribusiness for Nationwide. “This award symbolizes the hard work that individual teachers have put into agricultural education to help students pursue their passion for farming.”
The Golden Owl Award raises awareness of the importance of agricultural education and the tremendous contributions of teachers. Nationwide aims to bring attention to the growing need for agricultural educators. This effort is the result of a partnership between Nationwide, the Ohio FFA, Ohio Farm Bureau, Pennsylvania FFA, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Illinois FFA, Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers, Compeer Financial, Farm Credit Illinois, and the Iowa FFA Foundation. For more information, visit www.goldenowlaward.com.