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LINCOLN, NEB. – The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation selected two recipients for the Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor of the Year award. Jesse Bower from Sutton Public Schools and Amy Tomlinson from Sandy Creek Public Schools were honored at the Nebraska FFA Convention on Thur., April 6, in Lincoln. The winning advisors received a plaque and $1,000 donation to their FFA chapters.

The teachers were nominated by their own students and chosen based upon their school and community involvement, leadership development in their classroom, and their ability to keep their students involved in agriculture.

“Both teachers are exceptional educators, leaders, and role models for their students,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. “Not only do these teachers go above and beyond for their students, they support the future of agriculture through encouragement of FFA leaders.”

Jesse Bower is an FFA Advisor at Sutton Public Schools in Sutton, NE. Bower creates a learning community with students by doing hands-on projects and experiments in her classroom. When she’s not in the classroom, she is giving back to the community and showing gratitude for the support that the community shows the FFA Chapter.

"I believe that a good education begins with solid relationships. As a teacher, I feel that it is my responsibility to create a positive learning environment for my students and that everything I do should be designed to meet this intention,” Bower said.

“As I reflect on my teaching philosophy, I am humbled and honored to be the recipient of this award. I will continue to strive for success within my chapter, and work to continuously develop myself professionally, so that I can be the best teacher and FFA advisor I can possibly be,” she said.

Amy Tomlinson is an FFA Advisor at Sandy Creek Public Schools in Fairfield, NE. The Sandy Creek FFA Chapter was selected as a top 15 chapter in Nebraska in 2016. Tomlinson pushes her students to excel. She advocates for the agriculture program in her school and takes the time to sit down with each student and learn what their interests, background, and career goals are. Ms. Tomlinson is also active in her community and volunteers for many activities at the Clay County Fair.

"I am very humbled by being selected as Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor of the year. Our FFA chapter and community was thrilled to find out that I was selected for this honor," Tomlinson said.

"I would like to thank the Sandy Creek community and administration for all of their support through the years. I would also like to thank the Nebraska Farm Bureau for their support of this award and agricultural educators,” she said.

“We had a number of exceptional nominations this year. All of the advisors and agriculture education teachers nominated are a showcase of agriculture leaders in their communities,” Shafer said. “The students these teachers impact are the future of our great state, and we are proud to recognize their excellent service.”

The mission of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, visit www.nefbfoundation.org.