Agricultural teachers play an essential and selfless role in the communities they serve. As they prepare future generations for successful careers, many also devote countless hours and often their own resources to make a difference.
To shed light on the contributions of Ohio’s leading agricultural teachers, Nationwide, the No. 1 insurer of farms and ranches in the U.S¹., is honoring 10 exceptional teachers as finalists for its Golden Owl Award.
In partnership with the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Ohio FFA, Nationwide collected nearly 400 nominations from local students, fellow teachers, parents and community members from August to December 2020.
Ohio’s 2020-2021 Golden Owl Award finalists:
- Don Hammersmith – Ayersville High School
- Mike Hoffman – Wynford High School
- Shari Anderson – Marysville High School
- Kari Roberts – Talawanda-Butler Tech High School
- Andrew DeLong – Chief Logan High School
- Ryan Sell – Archbold High School
- Ryan Rosselot – Western Brown High School
- Abbey VanTyne – Norwayne High School
- Pamela Schultz – Fayette High School
- Mark Hoffman – Hillsdale High School
Each finalist will receive an individualized plaque and a $500 donation to their school’s agricultural program and will be entered into a final selection stage for the chance to be crowned as Ohio’s Ag Educator of the Year. In addition to the Ag Educator of the Year designation, the grand-prize winner will also receive a $3,000 Nationwide-funded donation to their school’s agriculture program and the coveted Golden Owl Award trophy.
“Similar to Nationwide’s mission of delivering extraordinary care, teachers across the country go above and beyond to bring new educational opportunities for their students and help them pursue their passions,” said Nationwide Agribusiness President Brad Liggett. “We created the Golden Owl Award in 2018 to honor the contributions of teachers, highlight the growing need for their services, and supply additional resources to help boost their programs and provide students with optimal learning experiences.”
In the award’s second year, Nationwide broadened the program from two states to five, recognizing the efforts of 31 agricultural teachers across California, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania with the 2019-2020 Golden Owl Award. As a result of the positive response from the communities that Golden Owl Award nominees make a difference in, Nationwide expanded the 2020-2021 Golden Owl Award even further to include Indiana and New York.
“We’re proud to recognize hardworking teachers in seven states for their dedication to preparing future generations for success,” said Liggett.
Nationwide is also investing $5,000 in each participating state’s FFA organization, including the Ohio FFA, to further support aspiring agriculture professionals.
The Golden Owl Award is the result of partnerships between Nationwide, the California FFA, California Farm Bureau, Illinois FFA, Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers, Farm Credit Illinois, Indiana FFA, Farm Credit Mid-America, the Iowa FFA Foundation, New York FFA, New York Farm Bureau, Ohio FFA, Ohio Farm Bureau, Pennsylvania FFA, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Compeer Financial.