Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation Announces  2023 FFA Advisors of the Year

LINCOLN, NEB. – This week hundreds of FFA students and their advisors from across the state descended on Lincoln for this year’s State FFA Convention. Each year the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation selects two recipients for their FFA Advisor of the Year award. This award honors FFA advisors for outstanding work in their local communities.

Hannah Horak from Shelton High School and Boyd Bowder from St. Paul High School were honored at the Nebraska State FFA Convention on Thursday, March 30, in Lincoln. The winning advisors received a plaque and a $1,000 donation to their FFA chapter.

The teachers were nominated by their 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.

“The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is proud to support these exceptional educators. They go above and beyond for their students and the industry they love, and the future of Nebraska agriculture is bright thanks to their work,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.

Horak is the FFA Advisor for the Shelton FFA Chapter. As described by her students, Horak creates a learning community through relationships with other teachers, community members, students, and agriculture industry members to aid in agricultural and career development. A great example is the activity the Shelton FFA Chapter hosted in the school’s greenhouse for elementary students. FFA members taught the elementary students how to plant flowers and grow houseplants. Each elementary student not only took home a plant of their own, but Ms. Horak planted a seed in each of those elementary students that encouraged them to become involved in agriculture.

“I am honored to be nominated and recognized for this award. In just seven years, the Shelton FFA chapter has grown and succeeded in many different ways. It’s been an honor to work with an incredible group of students and community members who are passionate about agricultural education and FFA. There are many amazing educators in this state who are deserving of this award, and I’m humbled to know that my students found me deserving of it too. I appreciate the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for sponsoring this award and other programs such as the Teacher Retention Award and the Connecting Chapters Program, which have benefited the Shelton FFA Chapter and myself personally,” said Horak.

Bowder is the FFA Advisor for the St. Paul FFA Chapter. According to his students, Bowder brings agriculture to his students in and out of the classroom. He does a great job of bringing in experts to talk about agricultural topics. He also conducts mini-field trips to enhance the FFA experience and open up student to the possibility of potential careers.

“I’m very appreciative of the award and recognition at the state convention, and I’m very humbled because I know that there are so many other deserving ag educators and FFA advisors in Nebraska. This award is much more representative of the chapter members that I work with daily because they are the ones that put in the hard work preparing for events, studying for contests, and representing the St. Paul FFA Chapter at the district, state, and national levels. Having said that, I am also appreciative of the support that Farm Bureau provides to agriculture throughout the state. Our local Howard County Farm Bureau is very involved in our community and does great things to promote agriculture to community members presently and to educate the next generation of agriculture enthusiasts.  I would like to thank the community of St. Paul for the support that they give our chapter and the administrators at our school that allow our members to do so much to promote agriculture,” said Bowder.