Agricultural teachers play an essential and selfless role as they work to prepare future generations for successful careers. After recognizing six exceptional California teachers as finalists through the Golden Owl Award, the California FFA, in partnership with Nationwide and the California Farm Bureau, selected Elizabeth Ammon, agricultural teacher at Lassen High School, as California’s 2021-2022 “Ag Educator of the Year.”
Ammon was formally recognized as the Golden Owl Award grand prize winner during the California FFA State Leadership Conference in Sacramento in late March. In addition to the title of California’s Ag Educator of the Year, Ammon received the coveted Golden Owl Award trophy and a $3,000 Nationwide-funded donation to further Lassen High School’s agricultural education efforts.
Each Golden Owl Award finalist was also presented with an individualized plaque in front of attendees at the California FFA State Leadership Conference and received a $500 donation to support future educational efforts. The finalists included:
o Anthony Drumonde, Livingston High School
o Kelly Miller, Arcata High School
o Natalie Schuessler, North High School
o Miguel Guerra, Ernest Righetti High School
o Mary Martineau, Ramona High School
Nominations described Ammon as hardworking, dedicated and well respected within the agricultural education community. One student nomination read, “One of my biggest sources of motivation in my life is my agriculture advisor, Mrs. Ammon. She has never failed to make students feel like they have a place to call home in this wonderful organization. Devoting her time to ensure that every student in our agriculture department has an equally amazing experience in FFA, Mrs. Ammon is both a mentor and a guide who we can always count on. From helping students purchase animals, opening her classroom to students’ projects and making late night home visits are what makes Mrs. Ammon an outstanding teacher.”
As the number one insurer of farms and ranches in the United States1, Nationwide established the Golden Owl Award with its state partners to shed light on the contributions of California’s leading agricultural teachers and provide additional resources to support their programs.
“The Golden Owl Award seeks to thank agricultural teachers for the extraordinary care they bring to their work as they go above and beyond in educating America’s youth and future leaders,” said Nationwide’s agribusiness president, Brad Liggett. “We are proud to honor their contributions, highlight the growing need for their services, and supply additional resources to help benefit their programs and students.”
In conjunction with the Golden Owl Award, Nationwide is also donating $5,000 to the California FFA to further support the personal and professional growth of students, teachers and advisors alike.
The Golden Owl Award is the result of partnerships between Nationwide, the California FFA, and the California Farm Bureau.
1 Source: A.M. Best Market Share Report 2020
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