NAAE awards the Lifetime Achievement Award to individuals who have contributed to the advancement of agricultural education on aregional or national level.
All Lifetime Achievement Award photos from the 2012 NAAE Convention
(For news releases, see individual entries below)
Klein taught high school agriculture for 24 years at three different schools in Idaho and Nevada. Enhancing each program during his time there, Klein doubled enrollment at his first two schools and built a new program at his last school. After leaving the classroom in 1998, he became an administrator and agriculture advocate with Ag in the Classroom, giving students hands-on livestock experiences by bringing his own flock of award-winning sheep to their classes.
Klein has been a strong supporter of the National FFA and the Nevada FFA Association throughout his career. He served as a National FFA Board of Trustees member and as a consultant to the National FFA Board of Directors for two years each. Throughout his career, he has earned numerous educator awards from both vocational and agricultural education associations, including receiving the Nevada Department of Education Bill Trabert Award for his support of career and technical education (CTE) in 2006.
Marks taught high school agriculture for over 35 years at three high schools, retiring in 2010 after spending his last 20 years teaching at Beau Chene High School. Throughout Marks' teaching career he not only taught classroom agricultural education, he also taught a basic mechanics course for University of Louisiana agricultural education students, worked with students through the Junior Conservation Corps, and served as a Hunter Education Instructor for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for over 30 years. Even after leaving the classroom, he continues to serve as a certified Hunter Education Instructor and Boating Education Instructor, teaching at least one course each year. He currently serves as Secretary of the Louisiana Retired Agriculture Teachers Association and is serving his final year on the Louisiana Agriculture Teachers Association (LATA) executive committee as Past President.
Marks has been a strong supporter of the National FFA and the Louisiana FFA Association throughout his career. He served on the LATA FFA executive committee for four years and the LATA FFA Foundation board for three years. In addition to his leadership in FFA, he has served at the local level as President of the St. Landry Parish Agriculture Teachers Association four times. Marks has received numerous educator awards, including earning the Louisiana State Outstanding Teacher Award in 2007.
In a career spanning 40 years and multiple states, Vrieze taught many different topics, including farm management graduate courses at the University of Nebraska. He also coordinated the beginning of the Nebraska Farm Management Education program. He reached over 250 farm families through the course of his farm business education career until his retirement in 2007. Following retirement, he accepted his current position as a Governor's Appointee on the Minnesota Agriculture Education Leadership Council, where he has chaired both the scholarship and grants committees.
Vrieze has always been a strong supporter of both Minnesota and National FFA. He was inducted into the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame in 2005 and received his honorary American FFA Degree in 1985. An active member of both the NAAE and the Association for Career and Technical Educators, Vrieze received the ACTE Teacher of the Year award in 2004. Recently he served as co-chair of the University of Minnesota Agricultural Education Centennial Fund drive, raising over $150,000 for collegiate agricultural education endowments. In 2012 he served as a board member of the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (CFANS) Alumni Society.
Dry taught high school agriculture for 15 years and then became the associate executive secretary of the Illinois FFA Association and associate executive director for the IAVAT, where he served through 2012. Although he is now retired, he currently serves as a member of the National FFA Foundation board of directors and chairman of the Illinois Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations.
Dry has been a strong supporter of the National FFA and the Illinois FFA Association throughout his career. He served as the assistant for the national FFA extemporaneous public speaking event for 19 years and has received his honorary American FFA Degree. For the last eight years, he has served as a facilitator of the National FFA Star selection committee and has sat in more than 1,500 interviews for the American FFA Degree, the highest honor that can be bestowed up on an FFA member. He has also helped 1,488 Illinois FFA members earn their American Farmer Degree by assisting them in the final steps of the degree process. Throughout his career he has also coordinated 27 fundraiser drives for the Illinois FFA Foundation, which generated more than nine million dollars.
While teaching agriculture, Burniston received a $137,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission with which he built a first-of-its-kind alternative farming center. The structure became a national demonstration site for hydroponics, aquaculture, aquaponics, and geothermal heating and cooling. The alternative approaches to agriculture that he demonstrates in his facility have been duplicated in Iraq and South Africa. While teaching, Burniston gave many presentations to teachers at professional development conferences throughout the country promoting FFA and discussing the features of the alternative farming facility.
Burniston was also heavily involved in the Tennessee Education Association, Johnson County Education Association and the Tennessee Association of Agricultural Educators. During his time as president of the TAAE, he was instrumental in coordinating the passage of a bill mandating extended employment for all agriculture teachers in Tennessee. After this success, he was asked to become the legislative liaison for the TAA, where he served until he retired in 2012.
Anderson began his service to Virginia agricultural education in 1968 as a high school agriculture teacher. In 1974, he became the supervisor for agricultural education until 1991when he became the state specialist of agricultural education, where he served until 2012. During his time as state specialist, he was also the advisor for the Virginia FFA Association. As the state agricultural education specialist, Anderson provided leadership and technical expertise for the state program administration of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources career clusters. He developed curriculum and made it available through the Career and Technical Education resource center, updated state and local course offerings, coordinated industry certification academies, and served as the bridge between the department of education and the classroom.
While serving as state specialist, Anderson was instrumental in providing professional development opportunities and resources to instructors to keep agricultural education programs on the cutting edge and meet the demands of employers, colleges, and students. He has been a member of the NAAE and Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators for over 40 years.