The 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.
Each recipient received a plaque and a cash award to attend the annual conference in Orlando. The Forrest T. Jones & Company sponsors this award.
Stewart's Meat Market
Dorothy and Butch Carlson
GreenStone Farm Credit Services
East Lansing, Michigan
C.M. Brewer Mississippi FFA Center
Minnesota Ag Ed Leadership Council
St. Paul, Minnesota
Penn State Pesticide Education Coordinator
Dr. Kerry Hoffman
University Park, Pennsylvania
A small family owned meat market, Stewart's Meats, has supported students and teachers of local school districts for many years. Dorothy and Butch are long time supporters of Western Washington FFA and 4-H programs. They have purchased countless livestock Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects that students raised at local livestock shows and have opened their business to students to learn the skills of meat grading and livestock judging Butch has also been active in judging FFA Career Development Events on both the district and state level. The Carlson's provide work SAE experience to students though employment at their market or at the feedlot. The market annually provides scholarships to the Yelm Community Schools, with a portion of the donation specifically targeted for a FFA or 4-H student.
The support given to the Oklahoma Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association (OVATA) has been invaluable. DJ's Fundraising annually sponsors the printing of the state agricultural education teachers and staff directory, allowing Oklahoma agriculture the ability to contact their colleagues throughout the state.
In addition, DJ's sponsors many meal functions during regional and state meetings of OVATA as well as the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech Summer Conference. Perhaps the biggest impact on the OVATA DJ's has had is in it's sponsorship of the NAAE Outstanding Teacher Award. To encourage more applicants from the state for the award, DJ's provides $500 and a new pair of boots to the five state district winners, as well as an additional $500 to the overall state Outstanding Teacher winner.
Plonski, the first Executive Director of the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC), provided a vital level of leadership to create a number of MAELC programs and initiatives. Under Plonksi's guidance, millions of dollars of funding was acquired for Minnesota agricultural education organizations, scholarship programs, and the creation of Minnesota's first urban agricultural high school.
Before becoming the director of MAELC, Plonski worked as the Agricultural Committee Administrator for the Minnesota House of Representatives. In that role, Plonski assisted in legislation to secure funding for Minnesota Farm Business Management Programs, support for FFA programs as well as funding and support for the Minnesota Extension Service.
GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Michigan's largest agricultural lender is an active supporter not only of the Michigan FFA, but also the Michigan Association of Agricultural Educators (MAAE).
GreenStone was the major sponsor of the Michigan State FFA Convention. Their support allowed for improved video production for the convention. Previous to sponsorship of the state convention, GreenStone sponsored curriculum material that was made available to all agriscience programs in the state as well as purchasing copies of National FFA leadership material for local FFA chapters.
Jim Schiller, CEO of GreenStone, has been recognized for his contribution to agricultural education by receiving the Honorary State FFA degree from the Michigan FFA Association. In addition, Schiller has served on the Michigan FFA Foundation Board and is currently Board Chairman.
GreenStone's support extends to the MAAE, sponsoring a luncheon at the state association meeting and give aways at the regional National Association of Agricultural Educators meeting.
Involved in vocational organizations for the past 35 years, Jim Bowers is committed to helping students succeed. As director of the C.M. Brewer FFA Center, Mr. Bowers is in charge of the operation and maintenance of the 10-acre facility that is used extensively throughout the year by the Mississippi FFA. The Mississippi FFA utilizes the camp for leadership conferences, retreats, association business meetings, as well as state and regional FFA officer training. The center can house up to 78 people for overnight stays and over 200 for daily meetings.
In addition to running the FFA Center, Mr. Bowers also serves as the secretary of the Mississippi FFA Foundation, helping to develop ideas and programs that solicit funding for agricultural education programs throughout Mississippi.
A former high school agriculture instructor, Dr. Hoffman knows what it takes to be an active agricultural educator. This has helped her be an active supporter of the Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators (PAAE) and the Pennsylvania FFA Association.
In 1994, Hoffman was asked to temporarily assume the role of the Pennsylvania FFA Foundation Secretary on a temporary basis. Nearly a decade later, Hoffman still serves as the secretary, working with dedicated volunteers to raise thousand of dollars to support activities for the 8,000 students involved in the Pennsylvania FFA.
In her current
position as the Pesticide Education Coordinator at Penn State, Hoffman
continues to support teachers by developing educational curriculum
that is utilized by not only Pennsylvania agriculture teachers,
but also by Ag In the Classroom instructors across the country,
and teachers in three Canadian providences.