LINCOLN, NEB. – The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation selected two recipients for the FFA Advisor of the Year award. AnnaLisa Estrela from Ashland-Greenwood High School and Brian Johnson from Litchfield High School were honored on April 8 during the 2021 Nebraska FFA Virtual State Convention. The winning advisors received a plaque and a $1,000 donation to their FFA chapter.
The teachers were nominated by their own students and chosen based upon their school and community involvement, leadership development in their classroom, and ability to keep their students involved in agriculture.
“It is an honor to recognize two teachers who work each day to equip students for success,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. “Ms. Estrela and Mr. Johnson contribute in the classroom and in their communities. Their emphasis on continual learning will serve their students as they explore college and careers related to Nebraska agriculture.”
Estrela is in her ninth year as the FFA Advisor for Ashland-Greenwood High School. Estrela ensures each student is able to reach their career goals through their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project. She places great emphasis on the importance of students growing their life skills while creating opportunities for achievements. In her community, Estrela is known for her extensive effort that she puts into the community and agricultural education program.
“I am honored to receive this award. It means a lot to me that the students and community members nominated me, but it is also really comforting to know that agricultural companies are supportive of what agriculture teachers do in their classrooms and with their FFA Chapters,” Estrela said.
Johnson goes out of his way on a daily basis to make sure he puts his students in a position to succeed in life. The Litchfield FFA Chapter is active in the community and participates in community events including community clean up and teaching about farm safety during the “Bring Your Tractor to School” event where they teach elementary students about the importance of being safe around farm equipment. The chapter is also heavily involved in the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s Connecting Chapters program where they increase agricultural awareness, knowledge, and appreciation in their community.
“When I took over the Litchfield FFA program, my only experience with the organization was volunteering with the Broken Bow FFA chapter. My students and I have learned a lot over the past five years, and we continue to make positive changes each year. Winning this award helps to reaffirm that we are doing something right and that we are on the right track. We couldn't have gotten this far without the students buying into the program and wanting to succeed,” Johnson said.
“All of the FFA advisors nominated make a positive difference every day,” Schafer said. “They invest in the students who are the future of our great state, and we are proud to celebrate their service.”
The mission of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, visit www.nefbfoundation.org.