Nationwide honors local Iowa teacher with Golden Owl Award

Two men receiving an award

Brad Taylor, a local agriculture teacher at Roland-Story High School in Story City, Iowa, was crowned the 2018-2019 Iowa Ag Educator of the Year with the inaugural Golden Owl Award. Nationwide honored Taylor’s substantial contributions to future industry leaders of agriculture education.

Nationwide established the Golden Owl Award to honor teachers and support them with additional resources to assist their continued educational efforts. Alongside a trophy, Taylor will receive $3,000 to further develop his programs to provide optimal student learning.

“This award symbolizes the hard work that individuals have put into ag education to help students realize what their full potential is,” said Taylor. “When you investigate agriculture education, you find it leads students to their passions when they suddenly find that providing a system of food, fiber, and protecting our natural resources is viable to them. It excites me to find out that kids have a passion to find those types of careers.”

Group of men receiving award plaques

Taylor approaches each class with the same energy and level of commitment to the contests, conventions and projects his students have. This dedication to students has inspired many to continue within the agriculture field.

“I think it’s important to be a role model for the students that we have in our classes, so they understand what the opportunities are for their futures,” said Taylor. “Hopefully that involves agriculture.”

Taylor has created a positive program and atmosphere for his students and the community. For example, he formed a partnership with a local company to plant a garden cared for by FFA members with produce donated to the local food pantry. In 2018, more than 20,000 pounds of produce was donated.

“We’re proud to recognize Brad Taylor as an outstanding teacher who has dedicated over 40 years of service to agriculture education,” said Brad Liggett, president of agribusiness for Nationwide. “Throughout his career, Brad has inspired the next generation of agricultural leaders while providing for community members in need.”

The Golden Owl Award helps shed light on the importance of agricultural education and the tremendous contributions of teachers. As the number one farm insurer in the United States¹, Nationwide aims to bring attention to the growing need for agricultural educators. This effort is the result of a partnership between Nationwide, the Iowa FFA, the Ohio FFA, and Ohio Farm Bureau.

The Ohio grand-prize winner will be announced in May.

1 Source: 2016 SNL Financial Report. Based on statutory data.