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Nine states open their search for top agricultural educators

Golden Owl Award® nominations are now open to recognize extraordinary agricultural teachers across the country*

Agricultural educators serve a critical role in their communities, devoting countless hours to prepare students for successful careers and help them pursue their passions. To honor their contributions and support them with additional resources, Nationwide and state partners are accepting nominations for the 2022-2023 Golden Owl Award to recognize leading educators across nine states: California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Dakota. To nominate an ag teacher, visit www.GoldenOwlAward.com.   

As the number one insurer of farms and ranches in the United States1, Nationwide inaugurated the Golden Owl Award in 2018 by recognizing the contributions of Iowa and Ohio agricultural teachers and supplying additional resources to bolster their educational efforts. As a result of the positive response, the Golden Owl Award has since expanded to nine states and recently recognized the 2021-2022 grand prize winners and “Ag Educators of the Year” for each state. 

Following the current nomination period for 2022-2023, a selection committee will determine each state’s finalists, who will receive an individualized plaque and $500 to support their agriculture programs. One grand prize winner in each state will then be selected to win the Ag Educator of the Year title for their state, the coveted Golden Owl Award trophy, and an additional $3,000 Nationwide-funded check.2    

“We are proud to thank agricultural teachers for the extraordinary care they bring to their work as they go above and beyond in educating America’s youth and future leaders,” said Brad Liggett, Nationwide’s president of Agribusiness. “We’re thankful for the support of our state partners in these efforts to bring much-needed recognition to our teachers across the country.” 

Nationwide supports the future of the agriculture community through meaningful sponsorships of national and local organizations. In conjunction with the Golden Owl Award, Nationwide is donating $5,000 to each participating state’s FFA to further support the personal and professional growth of students, teachers and advisors alike.  

The Golden Owl Award is the result of partnerships between Nationwide, the California FFA, California Farm Bureau, Illinois FFA, Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers, Farm Credit Illinois, Indiana FFA, Farm Credit Mid-America, the Iowa FFA Foundation, New York FFA, New York Farm Bureau, Ohio FFA, Ohio Farm Bureau, AgCredit, Pennsylvania FFA, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Compeer Financial, Nebraska FFA Foundation, Nebraska Agricultural Educators Association and South Dakota FFA Foundation.    

To learn more or nominate an ag teacher for the 2022-2023 Golden Owl Award, visit www.GoldenOwlAward.com.  



* California Golden Owl nomination period is Sept. 1 – Jan. 23, 2023. Illinois Golden Owl Award nomination period is Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022. Indiana Golden Owl Award nomination period is Nov. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022. Iowa Golden Owl Award nomination period is Sept. 1 – Dec. 1, 2022. Nebraska Golden Owl Award nomination period is Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022. New York Golden Owl Award nomination period is Sept. 1 – Nov. 1, 2022. Ohio Golden Owl Award nomination period is Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022. Pennsylvania Golden Owl Award nomination period is Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022. South Dakota nomination period is Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022.  

1 Source: A.M. Best Market Share Report 2021 

2 In accordance with Ohio law, cash prizes in Ohio are awarded to the winner’s school ag program