Nationwide Honors 2019-2020 Golden Owl Award Winners

Agriculture columbus ohio FFA Studens
  • Nationwide announces Ag Educators of the Year in California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania through the Golden Owl Award®
  • The no. 1 farm insurer recognized 31 agriculture teachers as finalists in April
  • The annual award recognizes the top agriculture teachers across five states

Educators devote limitless time, and often their own resources, to helping students pursue their passions. After recognizing the exceptional efforts of 31 agriculture teachers as finalists in the 2019-2020 Golden Owl Award, Nationwide announced grand prize winners in California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, who’ve earned the title of their state’s Ag Educator of the Year as well as $3,000 in funding to bring new opportunities to their programs and students. The carrier will announce the Iowa grand prize winner in Fall 2020.

“Agriculture teachers play such a critical role in preparing the next generation of industry leaders,” said Brad Liggett, Nationwide’s president of Agribusiness. “Nationwide has deep roots in agriculture and we’re honored to be able to recognize the above and beyond efforts of teachers across the country.”

The 2019-2020 Ag Educators of the Year are:

  • California: Rosemary Cummings – Nipomo High School, Nipomo, CA
  • Illinois: Ed Curry (posthumous) – River Ridge High School, Hanover, IL
  • Iowa: To be announced in Fall 2020
  • Ohio: Christi Bachman – Bloom Carroll High School, Carroll, OH
  • Pennsylvania: Mark Anderson – Elizabethtown High School, Elizabethtown, PA

After accepting nominations in late 2019 and early 2020, Nationwide and partners announced 31 finalists for the 2019-2020 Golden Owl Award in April. Each finalist was recognized and presented with $500 to fund future educational efforts, before being entered into a final selection stage for the chance to be crowned as their state’s Ag Educator of the Year. Each state’s grand prize winner receives the Ag Educator of the Year title, the Golden Owl Award trophy and an additional $3,000 to help bring new educational opportunities to the program and its students.

As the no. 1 insurer of farms and ranches in the U.S.1, Nationwide initiated the Golden Owl Award in 2018 and recognized the contributions of 17 Iowa and Ohio agricultural teachers. As a result of the positive response from the communities in which Golden Owl Award nominees make a difference, the 2019-2020 Golden Owl Award was expanded from two states to five: California, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“We’re excited by the growth we’ve seen in participation and nominations since beginning the program in 2018,” said Liggett. “We hope to be able to continue expanding our efforts to recognize the work of teachers in every state.”

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 to further support the personal and professional growth of students, teachers and advisors alike.

The Golden Owl Award is the result of a partnership between Nationwide, the California FFA, California Farm Bureau, Illinois FFA, Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers, Farm Credit Illinois, the Iowa FFA Foundation, Ohio FFA, Ohio Farm Bureau, Pennsylvania FFA, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Compeer Financial.

For more information or to learn more about the Golden Owl Awards, visit




1 Source: By direct written premium, AM Best (2018)