Awards

Outstanding Cooperation Awards

Each recipient received a plaque and a cash award to attend the annual conference in Las Vegas. The Forrest T. Jones & Company sponsors this award.

Region I
Waitley Associates
President Rick Waitley
Meridian, Idaho
Region IV
Curriculum Materials Service
Director Will Waidelich
Columbus, Ohio
Region II
Oklahoma Ford Dealers Ad. Assocation
President James Hodge
Idabel, Oklahoma
Region V
Florida FFA Foundation, Inc.
Executive Director Gary Bartley
Haines City, Florida
Region III
Regent Emeritus - University of Minnesota
Dr. Stanley Sahlstrom
St. Coud, Minnesota
Region VI
Dr. Kerry Hoffman Richards

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Region I
The Region I winner was Rick Waitley from Waitley Associates in Meridian, Idaho.

Rick Waitley, President of Waitley Associates, proudly serves agricultural education, the community, and national organizations. At the local level, Rick serves the Idaho Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association in many ways. He is the state director for the Idaho Ag in the Classroom Program and executive director for the Idaho FFA Foundation. He is also president of the Leadership Idaho Agriculture Foundation, a leadership program for agriculture business, production, and education people. This is a 4-week class that travels across Idaho. Besides serving on local education boards, Rick spends time fundraising for these organizations. Rick implemented the "Loose Change Campaign," which benefits the Idaho FFA Foundation.

At the national level, Rick Waitley dedicates time to help with the newsroom during the national FFA convention. He represents the Idaho agricultural educators association and food producers by lobbying agriculture and education issues.

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Region II
The Region II winner was James Hodge from the Oklahoma Ford Dealers Advertising Association in Idabel, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Ford Dealers Advertising Association is an annual sponsor and supporter of the Oklahoma FFA Organization. For the last seven years, this association has been the title sponsor of the annual State FFA Convention donating $17,000 per year. The sponsorship funds the state FFA chorus and various posters and full-color advertisements.

Starting in 2001, the Oklahoma Ford Dealers Association announced that a new Ford truck would be given away at the 2002 Oklahoma FFA Convention. The only people eligible for this truck were FFA chapters competing for the National FFA Gold Emblem Chapter Award. This exciting opportunity increased the number of applications from 18 to 73 in one year! Due to this great success, the Oklahoma Ford Dealers Association is giving another new truck for the 2003 State FFA Convention.

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Region III
The Region III winner was Dr. Stanley Sahlstrom from the University of Minnesota in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Dr. Stanley Sahlstrom has been a close friend of Minnesota's Agricultural Education Programs for many years, starting as a high school agriculture teacher and FFA advocate in 1942. As the years moved on, his career moved to higher education, and in 1965, he became the Provost at the University of Minnesota – Crookston where he expanded the college with more than 24 agriculture-related programs. Dr. Sahlstrom has also been a regular attendee and speaker at the Minnesota Association of Agriculture Educators (MAAE) summer and winter conferences. In 2001, Dr. Sahlstrom was appointed by the governor to serve on the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council where he met with key Minnesota legislators and policy makers to advocate funding for agricultural education programs.

John Hobert, past MAAE president commented, "As an early and outspoken advocate for the establishment of Minnesota's first urban agricultural high school, Dr. Sahlstrom's support has been critical in successfully advocating for agricultural education programs at the highest levels of Minnesota government."

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Region IV
The Region IV winner was Dr. Will Waidelich, Director of the Curriculum Materials Service at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Will Waidelich has led the Ohio State University's Curriculum Materials Service to support agricultural education in Ohio and throughout the United States. Will dedicates time and financial resources to support the Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators (OAAE) and NAAE. Will believes in supporting the professional associations because he values the leadership the associations provide to the agricultural education profession statewide and nationwide.

For many years, the Curriculum Materials Service has been a sponsor for the printing of the newsletters of the Ohio association of agricultural educators and the National Association of Agricultural Educators. In some years, they have sponsored the printing of the NAAE convention program and annual report. In addition, CMS has provided door prizes and auction items valued at thousands of dollars. In some years, the annual sponsorship from CMS to OAAE and NAAE combined is over $27,000 in just one year.

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Region V
The Region V winner was Gary Bartley from the Florida FFA Foundation in Haines City, Florida.

Gary Bartley has donated countless hours to enhance the agricultural education profession through the years as a supporter of agricultural education and the FFA. In fact, during his career, he has traveled over one million miles on behalf of agricultural education.

Gary's journey began in 1975 when he was appointed as the executive secretary of the Florida FFA Foundation. During his four-year term, he helped raise membership from 14,000 to 16,500 members. In addition, the Florida FFA expanded its Career Development Events, proficiency awards, and other specialty programs to become one of the largest in the nation. Gary was promoted to full-time executive director of the Florida FFA Foundation in 1979. Since then, he has increased special project funding from $14,000 in 1979 to $185,000 in 2002. This is a great increase, not only in dollars, but also in positive publicity for agricultural education and the FFA.

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Region VI

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