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Stephanie Mann Named "Ag Educator of the Year"

Lincoln, Nebraska – As the need grows for more ag educators across the nation, the ag teachers who go above and beyond in educating America’s youth and future leaders are more important than ever. In Nebraska, six exceptional ag teachers were recently named as finalists of the 2023-2024 Golden Owl Award® for their positive impact in the classroom and communities they serve. Of the finalists, Stephanie Mann, an agricultural teacher at Crofton High School, was named Nebraska’s grand prize winner and 2023-2024 Ag Educator of the Year.

Nationwide, in partnership with the Nebraska FFA Foundation and the Nebraska Agriculture Educators Association (NAEA), recognized Mann as the Golden Owl Award grand prize winner during the Nebraska Career Education Conference. In addition to the title of Nebraska’s Ag Educator of the Year, Mann will receive the coveted Golden Owl Award trophy and a $3,000 Nationwide-funded cash award.

Mann’s nominations describe her as dedicated, supportive, and passionate. One nomination read, “Mrs. Mann has been one of the greatest teachers I have ever had. She is so dedicated to not only teaching her students about agriculture, but the industry as a whole.” Another one states, “Our students have been tremendously fortunate to participate and succeed in FFA under her tutelage for nearly three decades. Her students are knowledgeable and prepared for not only FFA competitions but also careers in the agricultural field after high school.”

Nebraska FFA Foundation Director Stacey Agnew says, “Stephanie Mann has been a true example of what it means to grow students into leaders in FFA and Agriculture Education at Crofton.  She is a wise mentor for many younger advisors and a trusted friend to all.  We are pleased to honor Stephanie as the winner of the 2024 NAEA Outstanding Agricultural Educator and Nebraska Golden Owl Award. We also wish her the best upon her retirement.”

As the number one insurer of farms and ranches in the U.S., Nationwide established the Golden Owl Award with its state partners to shed light on the contributions of Nebraska’s leading agricultural teachers and provide additional resources to support their programs.

“Nationwide is proud to recognize the dedicated teachers who are educating and inspiring students to pursue careers in agriculture,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “We’re honored to have the opportunity to appreciate their contributions, highlight the growing need for their services, and supply additional resources to help provide their students with optimal learning experiences.”

Nationwide supports the future of the ag 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, including the Nebraska FFA Foundation, to further support the personal and professional growth of students, teachers, and advisors alike.