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Gibbens Receives Award for Having a "Helping Hand"

(LINCOLN) – The Nebraska FFA Foundation has awarded Mr. David Gibbens, West Holt FFA advisor, with the 2022 Gary Scharf Helping Hand Award.

Gibbens, FFA advisor for the West Holt FFA chapter, was nominated for the award with support from a current student and FFA member. Mr. Gibbens has led both school and community development projects and officiates youth sports on the weekends. He’s also established himself as a resource and mentor for other agriculture teachers in Nebraska.

In her nomination, student and FFA member, Sadie Jarecke expressed her admiration of Gibbens’s dedication to his students and community. She wrote “He dedicates a lot of time and puts a lot of heart into everything he does. Mr. Gibbens is very deserving of this award because of his commitment to agriculture, FFA, and the betterment of others. He’s a funny guy and makes everyone feel welcome. He’s always willing to do things within our community such as refereeing youth wrestling tournaments for 12 hours on a Sunday or planting extra mums for the city’s landscaping. With no reward, he’s willing to do these things for the good of others.”

Gibbens has also gone above and beyond his regular teaching duties in his own school.  Whether it be helping out the custodians or starting a “Kindness Committee” to combat bullying, he strives to bring about a kinder environment at West Holt.

The Gary Scharf Helping Hand Award recognizes a Nebraska agriculture teacher and FFA advisor for what he or she has done in helping others, specifically in the school and community outside of agriculture education and FFA. As recipient of the award, Gibbens received a plaque and $500 cash award from the Nebraska FFA Foundation.

The annual award is named for Gary Scharf, who was a victim of an Omaha mall shooting in December 2007. “The Foundation Board is honored to present this award to Mr. Gibbens. He exemplifies many qualities that defined Gary Scharf’s life – commitment, self-sacrifice and genuine kindness,” says Stacey Agnew, Executive Director, Nebraska FFA Foundation.

Scharf grew up on a family farm outside of Curtis, Nebraska and worked in the agricultural chemical industry. He made a significant contribution to Nebraska’s agricultural and FFA community through his years of service on the Nebraska FFA Foundation Board, including a year as Board President in 2002-2003.

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About the Nebraska FFA Foundation

The Nebraska FFA Foundation invests in agricultural education and FFA for over 11,000 FFA members and their advisors in Nebraska by growing leaders, building communities and creating career connections. For more information, visit neffafoundation.org.