Awards

Outstanding Cooperation Awards

FTJ

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.

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Region I
NORCO, Inc.
Boise, ID

Since 1948, Norco has been providing welding supplies with a mission of “serving you better” to more than 50 locations in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Norco presents community education classes on a variety of topics, including basic metallurgy, oxy-fuel safety, and specific types of welding. This has not only provided for educated community members, but also has been an important source of expert advice for agriculture and technical education programs.

Norco has also sponsored the “Norco Inspirational Award” for more than 25 years, recognizing an outstanding agricultural educator and donating $1000 to their agriculture program. Many schools in the region receive donated welding and safety supplies, gases, equipment, as well as instructional materials from Norco each year. The company also recognizes high school students each year for outstanding shop performance

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Region II
Rep. Dale DeWitt
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Braman, OK

Dale DeWitt

As a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for the past eight years, DeWitt has proved that he supports agricultural education. This comes as no surprise considering that he taught agriculture in Oklahoma for 29 years. During his tenure, DeWitt’s students became state officers and won numerous contests. He had been named outstanding teacher by Oklahoma Agricultural Education Teachers Association and NAAE.

DeWitt has become a vocal advocate for agricultural education, educating other members of the House and Senate about the opportunities available to students and the issues that face the profession. He was instrumental in getting Oklahoma agricultural educators an increase of program assistance money and summer contract pay. DeWitt helped to establish an associate’s degree in general agriculture at the Tonkawa campus of Northern Oklahoma College, and an agricultural education department at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Okla.

While working diligently on issues that have led to his fellow legislators to call him, ‘Mr. Rural,’ DeWitt continues to support the Oklahoma FFA Association and its members. He is a familiar face at the Oklahoma FFA convention and FFA Legislative Day at the Capitol. He also took great pride in being able to introduce the FFA chorus to perform for the Oklahoma legislature. Oklahoma agricultural education is very fortunate for DeWitt’s continued support of the profession and rural life as he serves in the legislature.

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Region III
Steve DeWitt
Iowa Farmer Today
Cedar Rapids, IA

Steve DeWitt

DeWitt is the publisher of the Iowa Farmer Today, a weekly publication focused on informing the public about agriculture.  He founded the newspaper in 1984 during the Midwest Farm Crisis and it is currently serving 70,000 farm owners and operators in Iowa and the bordering states.

He currently serves a president of Iowa FFA Foundation and has been invested in the initiative to build an Enrichment Center that provides 12,000 students with leadership opportunities.  The $17 million center was funded as a result of numerous supporters, but Weis’ fundraising plan with Stine Seed to sell 18,000 bags of corn was the piece that completed the funding puzzle.  His magazine gives a $1,000 scholarship to an agricultural education freshman at Iowa State University every year, the Iowa FFA has awarded him with a Distinguished Service Award, and he has a FFA Honorary American Degree.

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Region IV
George Clark Missouri State Chapter
National Wild Turkey Federation
Mexico, MO

The George Clark Missouri State Chapter of the NWTF understands the importance of agricultural education.  They are a STAR level exhibitor at the Missouri State Fair, where they provide conservation information to high school students.  They have awarded 92 scholarships in the last 15 years to FFA members and they sponsor grants for the funding of everything from trap shooting firearms to wildlife refuges.

Not only is the George Clark NWTF committed to youth, they were also the first group in the state to recognize state NAAE award winners with cash prizes.  They sponsor the state Outstanding Teacher Award and Outstanding Middle/Secondary Program Award, awarding winning teachers with $1,000 annually. 

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Region V
Charlotte Emerson
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

Charlotte Emerson

Emerson works as the Director of Student Development and Recruitment at the University of Florida College of Agriculture.  She has provided numerous services to educators, programs and students; serving as a judge for FFA proficiency competitions, including parliamentary procedure and career development events (CDE) at the local, district, state and national levels, and presenting workshops at conferences for Florida agriculture and career and technical educators.  Emerson was one of three Florida Association of Agricultural Educators (FAAE) members who created the Florida FFA specialty license plate, and she was instrumental in establishing Florida FFA Ag on the Hill Day, an event that brings FFA members to the state capitol to participate in mock Senate sessions and meet agricultural lobbyists.

As a former Florida agriculture teacher, Emerson received numerous awards, including the NAAE Outstanding Middle/Secondary Program in 2005, Florida FFA Agriscience Teacher of the Year in 2006, and District Teacher of the Year for the Union County School District.  She has been a nationally board certified teacher since 2002.


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Region VI
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
Camp Hill, PA

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) strives to support agricultural education through several initiatives. In a joint initiative with the Friends of Ag Foundation, they provide four Mobile Agricultural Education Labs to teach students from kindergarten to eighth grade about agriculture. These 32-foot trailers provide stations for students to conduct hands-on science experiments that meet Pennsylvania science standards. Educators have the opportunity to learn how to integrate agriculture into their curriculum through Ag in the Classroom training. The PFB promotion and education committees educates the public about agriculture through many different activities including coordinating Farm-City Day events, organizing National Ag Week educational programs, and providing agricultural programs at schools and  events throughout Pennsylvania.

Each year, PFB takes an active role in lobbying to support agricultural education through the agriculture department budget, Carl Perkins funding, the Farm Bill and grant funding for agricultural educators. The organization is very involved in fundraising efforts to support the Pennsylvania FFA Alumni and the Pennsylvania FFA Association through awards and the annual FFA jacket drive. Farm Bureau supports the Pennsylvania FFA Farm Safety Mapping Program and has assisted with presenting farm safety programs to more than 400 students.

On the collegiate level, PFB provides scholarships to sophomore, junior or senior students attending Penn State or Delaware Valley College who are pursuing a degree within the College of Agriculture and are active in Farm Bureau.  To further support college students, PFB has partnered with Penn State and Delaware Valley College to institute a Collegiate Farm Bureau Club that provides leadership development and training and increased awareness of agriculture.

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