By: Nationwide Insurance
As the number one farm insurer in the United States1, Nationwide is bringing attention to the importance of agricultural education and the tremendous contributions of teachers. In partnership with the California Farm Bureau Federation and California FFA, Nationwide expanded the Golden Owl Award® to California. Now through February 1, 2020, students, parents, fellow teachers or other supporters are encouraged to nominate their favorite agricultural teacher for a chance to be recognized as one of the best in the state. To nominate your favorite agricultural teacher, visit www.goldenowlaward.com.
So, what’s in it for the teachers? Six finalists across California, one from each of the six regions, will receive an individualized plaque and $500. One finalist will be crowned California FFA State Star Advisor and receive the coveted Golden Owl Award trophy and $3,000.
“Nationwide is proud to recognize outstanding teachers for their dedication to agricultural education in their 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 leadership and farming.”
Nationwide recognized the contributions of 17 Iowa and Ohio agricultural teachers during the 2018-2019 inaugural Golden Owl Award program. Following the recognition, the Iowa Educator of the Year, Brad Taylor of Roland-Story High School, quickly saw a 30-student increase in his agricultural shop class for the fall semester – at a high school with just over 300 students.
“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,” Taylor said. “This award symbolizes the hard work that individuals have put into agricultural education to help students realize what their full potential is.”
As a result of the positive response from the communities in which Golden Owl Award nominees make a difference, the 2019-2020 Golden Owl Award program was expanded from two states to five: California, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania. This effort is the result of a partnership between Nationwide, the California FFA, California Farm Bureau, Illinois FFA, Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers, Farm Credit Illinois, the Iowa FFA Foundation, Ohio FFA, Ohio Farm Bureau, Pennsylvania FFA, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Compeer Financial.
Nationwide is accepting nominations for California’s top agricultural teachers until February 1, 2020. Finalists will be announced in March 2020 and the California FFA State Star Advisor of the Year will be announced in April 2020 at the State FFA Leadership Conference. For more information or to nominate your favorite agricultural teacher, visit www.goldenowlaward.com.
1 Source: 2018 SNL Financial Report. Based on statutory data.