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.
Hoskin has volunteered her time to the agricultural education community for more than 20 years. As owner of Dark and Delicious Hoskin Family Sheep, she has utilized her expertise to educate youth about the sheep industry. This recipient of the Carson Valley Chapter Honorary FFA Degree has volunteered her time at the Nevada state FFA livestock judging career development event (CDE) and the Nevada Junior Livestock Show for fifteen years. She has also helped with the state horse judging, dairy judging and job interview CDE. Hoskin is a valuable volunteer for state and local 4-H programs, and served six years as the sheep superintendent at the Nevada State Fair.
The Carson Valley FFA chapter is fortunate to have the assistance of Hoskin. She has served as a chaperone for students attending the Washington Leadership Conference, Made for Excellence, and Advanced Leadership Development conferences as well as the state FFA convention. She also helps FFA members with fundraising and community service activities.
Brashears is a retired agricultural instructor who continues to let his passion for the profession lead him to assist in improving the state’s agricultural education community. Brashears has served as the Executive Director for the Oklahoma FFA Foundation since 2004. During this time, he has been very influential, almost tripling the amount of scholarship funds available through the foundation. Brashear has also worked to increase Oklahoma trust funds through a Star Partnership Program that he began in 2005. He has also maintained a legislative banquet at the state FFA convention to show Oklahoma legislators that they are appreciated.
Along with his work with the state FFA foundation to increase funds for the agricultural education community, Brashears has also been very involved in the lives of the students. He has willingly found funding to award FFA members who win career development events, proficiency awards, and public speaking events. He works closely with the Oklahoma Agricultural Education Teachers Association and the Oklahoma FFA Association to assure that students have the opportunity to attend various conferences and events. He has maintained scholarship funding for students to attend Washington Leadership Conference, and he has received help from numerous sponsors to send students to FFA leadership camp.
Along with his work for the professional organizations and students in the Oklahoma agricultural education community, Brashears has also been honored with much recognition and many awards. While he was an agriculture instructor, he served as officer in several professional organizations. Because of his loyalty and service to the profession, he has also received his honorary chapter, state and American FFA degrees.
Nelson serves as president of the CHS Foundation, whose mission is to invest in the future of rural America, agriculture and cooperative business through education and leadership development. Nelson has kept the CHS Foundation’s mission strong by supporting FFA programs in ten states. The foundation has sponsored FFA star programs, state officer programs, state conventions, career development events, and state fairs in Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. CHS Foundation also sponsors several programs as special projects of the National FFA Foundation.
Nelson is a recipient of the Minnesota Honorary State FFA Degree and has been inducted into the Minnesota Hall of Fame, along with other CHS Foundation employees. He has encouraged CHS Foundation representatives to serve on the National FFA Foundation’s Executive Sponsors’ Board, and has mentored the Minnesota FFA Foundation’s executive director.
"The CHS Foundation has provided support for a variety of agricultural leadership programs and agricultural literacy projects," said Tom Appel, past president of the Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators. "Their leadership on various agricultural education boards is virtually unmatched by any other company."
Kruse has demonstrated a long commitment to Missouri agricultural education programs. He is a recipient of the Honorary State and American FFA degrees, and has been recognized as the Agricultural Leader of the Year for the Missouri Agricultural Industries Council. Kruse currently serves as president of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation and previously served as director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. As director, Kruse established the Missouri Agribusiness Academy, FFA Chapter BOAC grants, supervised agricultural experience programs reduced interest loans, and funding for FFA division awards at the Missouri State Fair.
Kruse has served as the president of the Missouri Farm Bureau since 1992. Under Kruse’s leadership the Missouri Farm Bureau has become a valuable partner of agricultural education programs across the state. Missouri Farm Bureau has set up a program to provide FFA chapters membership in Farm Bureau, and has sponsored a statewide public speaking contest, and the Missouri agricultural education directory.
"One major reason Missouri Agricultural Education is strong is because of the Missouri Farm Bureau and its president, Charles Kruse," said agricultural educator Pam Proffitt. "For many years, Mr. Kruse has been an outstanding supporter of the FFA, taking a personal interest in the FFA and the young people it serves."
During his seven years as Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Commissioner Bronson has worked to improve agricultural education opportunities. In 2001, he developed a program that would better develop the ability of agriculture teachers and administrators to improve their programs. The program gives participants the chance to travel throughout the state visiting numerous agricultural entities. Commissioner Bronson has also worked alongside the state FFA association to develop more leadership-building opportunities for state officers. He gives officers the opportunity to learn about the industry around the state through a one week internship and the chance to produce a professional video for state convention sessions. He is also very generous with donations to FFA youth development programs each year.
Along with his focus on student success, Commissioner Bronson has worked closely with Florida’s Team Ag Ed. In 2007, he developed a place in his office for a new member who would be dedicated to staying connected with agricultural educators in order to stay up-to-date and give assistance when needed. He has also developed a website focusing on agricultural education that is updated frequently and offers information for students interested in agricultural education as well as information for teachers.
Commissioner Bronson has been a great advocate for agricultural education in Florida. His hard work and dedication has been rewarded through the numerous awards and recognition he has received over the years. He has received an Honorary American FFA degree, as well as various other service awards and honors.
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While working at Virginia Tech as a Professor of Agricultural Education and Vocational-Technical Education, Dr. Hillison worked to make FFA history come alive. He established a room that was dedicated to historical memorabilia of the Virginia FFA Association and the National FFA Organization. Working with agricultural education students was one thing about which Dr. Hillison was very passionate. He served as advisor for the Agricultural Education Society for thirty years, and he worked to get over $500,000 in endowments for scholarships to be given to agricultural education students.
Since retirement, Dr. Hillison does all he can to support the increase in student success by planning, organizing and volunteering for various Virginia FFA activities. Brian Alexander, Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators President says, "Even though Dr. Hillison is enjoying retirement, he is still an important part of the agricultural education family in the state of Virginia." He continues to maintain membership in the National Association of Agricultural Educators, and he has attended many national conventions.
During his years as a professor, Dr. Hillison served his professional associations by taking on leadership positions and assisting with events. He has assisted young agriculture instructors in becoming better teachers by planning and presenting a number of workshops and conferences. Dr. Hillison has led this great profession through the passion he exhibits for agricultural education even after retirement.