Outstanding Cooperation Awards

FTJThe Outstanding Cooperation Award is presented to organizations, agribusinesses, industry or individuals that have provided exemplary service to agricultural education at the national level. This year’s award recipients contributed their time, their talents, and in some case their finances to ensure the success of agricultural education.

All Outstanding Cooperation Award winner photos from 2012 NAAE Convention
(For news releases, see individual entries below)

Region I
Region II
Region III
Region IV
Region V Walt Warren, Gregory Poole Equipment Company
Region VI

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Region I
Marshall Judy
Central Welding Supply
Nooksack, Washington

news release


Judy has been a great attribute to the high school and secondary agricultural education programs in Whatcom, Skagit, and Island county schools.  As an experienced welder, he is an excellent resource for teachers and students.  He often performs safety demonstrations and presentations and travels to various high schools and colleges in the area to troubleshoot and help set up new welding equipment.  He also trains teachers on how to properly use welding equipment and troubleshoot any issues themselves.  In addition, he has served as the chairman of the Advisory Committee at Bellingham Technical College since 1994.

Judy has volunteered many hours with both the Nooksack Valley High School agriculture program and at Bellingham Technical College.  At NVHS, he has served as a mentor for senior projects, helped with the local fair, chaperoned FFA events, and has played a large role in supporting the FFA trapshooting team.  Since welding is his passion, he helped start and maintain the local American Welding Society chapter at NVHS.  He also provides support for the continuation of the Tech Prep Accreditation of Whatcom County Schools, which helps agricultural educators improve the learning process for their students in the classroom and shop.

Judy has received much recognition from the Nooksack Valley FFA and Bellingham Technical College for his support over the years.  For the past eight years, he has been named an Outstanding Chapter Supporter and received his Honorary FFA degree in 2004.  At Bellingham, he received the Outstanding Advisory Committee Member award in 2002, the Appreciation for Support award in the Welding Technology Department in 2003, and the Welding Program Support award in 2011. 

“As he has seen the value of such associations, Mr. Judy will continue to support and encourage agricultural educators in any way that he can, whether it is through fundraising, making connections in the industry for students, or assisting with professional development,” said Rhonda Juergens, agriculture teacher at Nooksack Valley High School.  “Marshall is an outstanding and compassionate individual.”

      

Region II
Ron Hays
Radio Oklahoma Ag News Network
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

news release

Dale DeWitt

The son of an agriculture teacher, Hays has always had a passion for agriculture.  He grew up raising pigs, sheep and various crops.  As a young man, he developed a passion for public speaking as well. 

Hays is very involved in the agriculture community on many different levels. Currently serving as the Director of Farm Programming at Radio Oklahoma Network, he uses various forms of media to inform a  broad audience about the importance of agriculture.  Radio, television, websites, e-mail, newsletters and Twitter allow Hays to be the voice of Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, rural communities, agribusinesses, and 4H and FFA student organizations. 

Each year, Hays attends the National FFA Convention and covers the accomplishments of Oklahoma FFA members.  While at the convention, he also serves as a speech and proficiency awards judge.  Hays also produces the Stars Over Oklahoma presentation for the Oklahoma State FFA Convention each year.   

As a professional, Hays has served the Oklahoma agriculture community well.  He is a past president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.  He has been recognized as a National Farm Broadcaster of the Year and is a three-time winner of the Oscars in Agriculture.  Hays has also been inducted into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

 

“When it comes to media attention for Oklahoma FFA members and chapters, our go-to-guy is Ron Hays,” said Mike Robison, Oklahoma State Agricultural Education staff member.  “We could not ask for anyone better.  He delivers for us year after year.”

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Region III
Robert Johnson
MinnTex Citrus Inc.

Monticello, Iowa

news release

Steve DeWitt

MinnTex Citrus, Inc., has been a family owned and operated business for over 20 years, specializing in fruit, cheese, and sausage fundraising. The company has helped numerous FFA chapters in the midwestern United States raise funds for a variety of trips and experiences.  The company offers a variety of products, including Texas and Florida citrus, California navel oranges, Washington apples and pears, cheese, sausage, and three different assortments of nuts.

Since 1983, over 13 million dollars has been raised through MinnTex FFA fruit sales to support agricultural education programs.  The company also provides financial support for agricultural education in Iowa, including the Iowa FFA Teacher Summer Conference, the Iowa State Agricultural Education and Studies Departmental Banquet, and various regional meetings.  MinnTex sponsors two FFA proficiency awards, the Experience in Action contest, and the Agri-Science award at the annual Iowa FFA Leadership Conference.  The company was also a Sharing with Pride executive partner in the construction of the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, Iowa.

 

Johnson is a long-time supporter of the FFA. He is currently a member of the Iowa FFA Alumni chapter.  Teachers use him as a resource in their classrooms as well.  Johnson uses his small business background to help students understand citrus production, sales, and money management from a real-life standpoint.                       

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Region IV
B. Allen Talbert
Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

news release

Talbert serves as the host of the Indiana Association of Agricultural Educators email list serve. The list serve is an invaluable tool for agriculture teachers to communicate and share information across the state. Talbert takes his responsibility to the next level by also managing the United States Agriculture Education list serve which serves all states, NAAE and stakeholders. Not only does he take care of email list serves, but Talbert was the creator of www.indianaaged.org, an agricultural education resource for Indiana. This is a central location for IAAE, NAAE, FFA, and curriculum information.

For seventeen years, Talbert has also served as an agricultural education instructor and advisor at Purdue University for undergraduate and graduate agricultural education majors. Talbert works with each student to determine the best student teaching placement across the state of Indiana. Along with student teaching placement, Talbert maintains the Agriculture Teaching Opening and Placement website for job openings. He also advises the IAAE-Purdue organization for agricultural education students and the Purdue Young Farmers.

Talbert is a founding and current member of the STAR Academy Advisory Board. STAR was Indiana’s first urban high school agriculture program. There are now a total of six urban programs in Indiana.

 

“Dr. Talbert is an invaluable asset to Indiana Association of Agricultural Educators,” said Travis Scherer, an agriscience teacher in Wolcott, Ind.

 

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Region V
Walt Warren
Gregory Poole Equipment Company
Raleigh, North Carolina

news release

Walt Warren

Through his position with Gregory Poole Equipment, Warren has been a long-time supporter of agricultural education in North Carolina. The company has a “Think Big” scholarship program that provides training and experiences for students to become certified Caterpillar heavy equipment mechanics, and Warren visits agricultural education programs throughout the state to inform students about this and other employment opportunities in the large-scale machinery industry.

Warren and Gregory Poole Equipment have also participated in the North Carolina FFA State Convention career show for many years, and host various agricultural education groups at their many facilities for meetings and tours. The company is also a North Carolina Agricultural Teachers Association awards banquet sponsor, state FFA Convention sponsor, and sponsors the North Carolina Eastern Region Agricultural Education Calendar. This sponsorship provides support to help with the recruitment of quality agriculture teachers in eastern North Carolina.

Warren is also instrumental in soliciting other supporters for the North Carolina Agricultural Teachers Association Awards Banquet, like Carolina Tractor and Caterpillar.

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Region VI
Travis Park
Cornell Agricultural Education Outreach
Ithaca, New York

news release

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau

The Agricultural Education Outreach program at Cornell was created 15 years ago to provide appreciation and understanding of agriculture to students in New York. The AEO primarily connects with students through participation in schools, and helping teachers in their professional development to challenge learners to achieve their greatest potential.

In order to support new agriculture teachers, the AEO coordinates a mentoring program that pairs new teachers with more seasoned agriculture teachers as mentors. This support supplies teachers with curriculum and lesson plans, classroom instruction techniques, and ideas to promote FFA and student leadership. Through the National FFA Organization and USDA, AEO was able to secure $47,500 in grants for alternative energy education at 14 schools, giving teachers, new and old an opportunity to keep abreast of current agriculture topics. 

The AEO has also provided nearly 18,000 hours in leadership training for students, reaching nearly 6,000 individuals annually. One of these training events is the Fall Leaders Conference in October. Agricultural educators and their FFA chapter presidents and vice presidents are invited to network with each other, share ideas and collaborate. The conference includes current agricultural education issue discussions and facilitated networking sessions for students.

 

“Without the Cornell Agricultural Education Outreach, agricultural education in the state of New York would not be what it is today, especially the professional development of agriculture teachers,” said Tara Berescik, an agriculture instructor in New York and nominator of the Cornell Agricultural Education Outreach.

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