Lifetime Achievement Awards

NAAE awards the Lifetime Achievement Award to individuals who have contributed to the advancement of agricultural education on a regional or national level.

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Region I
Dr. John Mundt
Boise, ID

Dr. John Mundt

With more than 40 years in agricultural education, Mundt has made a difference as a high school agriculture teacher, state supervisor, and teacher educator. In the thirteen years Mundt taught at Meridian High School, the enrollment in the agricultural education program rose by 100 percent. More than 60 of his students earned their state FFA degree, he trained 24 state-winning career development teams, and eight students achieved state FFA office. One of his proudest accomplishments is having ten of his former students become outstanding agricultural educators themselves.

In the early 1980s, as the state supervisor for agricultural education, Mundt oversaw secondary agriculture programs throughout Idaho. He traveled across the state overseeing classroom instruction, supervised agricultural experience programs, and FFA chapters. As the state FFA advisor, he initiated the Idaho FFA Legislative Breakfast, as well as the annual goodwill tour for state FFA officers. After serving for six years as state supervisor, Mundt transitioned joined the department of Agricultural and Extension Education as a teacher educator at the University of Idaho.

Mundt has been very active in professional organizations throughout his career, participating in several organizations on the state and national levels. He has also provided leadership to these organizations, including serving as president of the National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association (now NAAE), and as vice president of the National Association of Supervisors of Agricultural Education. Mundt has been recognized for his dedication to the profession, receiving the NVATA Outstanding Young Member Award and being voted as the most inspirational teacher in the state by his peers in Idaho.  After retiring in 2003, Mundt received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Agriculture, as well as the Alumni Distinguished Service Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho.

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Region II
Floyd Jenkins
New Orleans, LA

Jenkins taught at Booker T. Washington High School for 34 years, focusing his instruction in the subjects of horticulture and aquaculture.  His students were given the opportunity, under his instruction, to master agribusiness management practices through hands-on school to work programs.

During his career, Jenkins has been recognized as Orleans Public School Teacher of the Year three times, has received the NAAE 30-Minute Club Award, and the Southern University and A&M Living Legend Award. He served as president of the Louisiana Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association and wrote national curriculum for biotechnology and aquaculture classes.  He has worked as an adjunct instructor at Nunez Community College, where he assisted in the development of the Louisiana Nature and Science Center trail in the city of New Orleans.

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Region III
Dr. Richard Carter
Ames, IA

Dr. Richard Carter

Carter was hired as an assistant professor at Iowa State in agricultural education in 1979.  He remained there for nearly 30 years, serving as department head, and later as the Director of the Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer, and the Director of Distance Education in the College of Agriculture.  He was named Professor Emeritus in 2004.

During his career in higher education, Carter received numerous awards, chaired more than 25 graduate student committees and conducted five major research projects.  He acquired more than $800,000 in grants, most of which supported distance education, and he has devoted most of his life to educating others in the field of leadership development.  He has made significant contributions to Iowa agriculture and the lives of countless students.

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Region IV
Charles Arensmeier
Okemos, MI

Charles Arensmeier

Arensmeier began teaching agriculture in Missouri in 1962, which began a more than 40 year dedication to agricultural education and FFA. After eight years of teaching, he traveled Michigan to start his graduate work at Michigan State University. Arensmeier became the supervisor for agricultural education with the Michigan Department of Education, also serving as the executive secretary/treasurer of the Michigan FFA Association, and the coordinator for Michigan career and technical education organizations; positions he held for 23 years. He then became a consultant for agricultural education at Michigan State University where he supervised agriscience student teachers and coordinated the beginning agriscience teachers program. Even in retirement, Arensmeier continues to provide services to Michigan FFA.

“After retiring in 2004, I organized the Michigan FFA chapter history and developed the history page on the Michigan FFA website,” said Arensmeier. “I currently update the file as new additions become available during the year.”

Throughout his lifetime association with agricultural education, Arensmeier has strived to develop professionally through membership, leadership and service in professional associations. He is a life member of NAAE and the Michigan FFA Alumni. He has also participated in the National Association of State Supervisors of Agricultural Education (NASAE), the National FFA Alumni, and the Michigan Association of Agricultural Educators (MAAE). He served as the executive director of MAAE from 1998-2004.

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Region V
Raymond Helton
Sevierville, TN

Raymond Helton

 As a teenager, Helton was an active member of the Sevierian FFA Chapter and served as a regional officer for the Tennessee FFA Association. In 1965, after graduating from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, he was hired as an agricultural educator by his former agriculture instructor, Mr. W.S. Coe, who had become principal at Sevier County High School. From that time on, Helton strived to go the extra mile for his students. This led to his students dedicating yearbooks to him and also naming him the greatest homeroom teacher. However, Helton was proudest of his students’ success winning career development event contests, proficiency awards and receiving state and American FFA degrees.

Over the years, Helton has taken an active role in professional organizations related to agricultural education. He was a member of Tennessee Association of Agricultural Educators and NAAE. Helton also joined the Sevier County Education Assocation, the Tennessee Education Association and the National Education Association. As a part-time farmer, Helton became a member of the Sevier Farmers Co-op and later served on their board of directors. His involvement in the Sevier County Fair Association helped revitalize the fair at a time when it was nearly phased out. He is active in the Tennessee Cattleman’s Association and currently serves as the Sevier County Farm Bureau President.

Helton remains committed to making a difference in the lives of young people by lending a hand during the Sevier County Fair livestock shows. Elementary students also have a chance to benefit from his involvement. Helton is an active participant in the fourth grade farm/city day and teaches students about their rural heritage during Heritage Day at Pigeon Forge Elementary School.

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Region VI
Dr. William Camp
Ithaca, NY

Dr. William Camp

As an agricultural educator in the 1970s in Georgia, Camp’s middle school FFA chapter with 129 members represented the largest single-teacher chapter in the state at that time. He served as the vocational supervisor at South Cobb High School in Austell, Ga., before moving into the university level. Camp taught teaching methods and program planning at Purdue University as an assistant professor before transferring to Virginia Tech in 1980.

When Camp began at Virginia Tech, he led major revisions in the agricultural teacher education program and instituted a master’s-level teacher licensure program in agricultural education. For more than two decades, he was responsible for the majority of the inservice programming for agricultural educators in Virginia, including some of the earliest presentations on computer applications. In 1983, Camp created ‘bulletin boards,’ which were the early forms of websites, for agricultural educators to share lesson plans. He was also responsible for instituting the state-wide listserv for Virginia agricultural educators and was the first webmaster for the Virginia FFA.

In 2003, Cornell University welcomed Camp to help rebuild their teacher education program in agriculture. With Camp’s leadership, not only has the program been revived, but he has continued to provide service to the profession. In 2008, Camp was named an American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) fellow and has received numerous awards for journal articles and research papers. He has served on the board of directors for the National Council for Agricultural Education, was founding president of the Academy for Career and Technical Teacher Education, and has served in several other national leadership roles. Camp is also well known throughout the profession for conducting the national supply and demand study of agricultural educators from 1984-2001.

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