LINCOLN, NEB. – The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation selected two recipients for the FFA Advisor of the Year award. Lisa Kemp from Wallace High School and Justin Rafferty from Bayard High School were honored at the Nebraska FFA State Convention on Thursday, April 7, in Lincoln. The winning advisors received a plaque and a $1,000 donation to their FFA chapter.
The teachers were nominated by their students and chosen based upon their school and community involvement, leadership development in their classroom, and their ability to keep their students involved in agriculture.
“The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is proud to support these exceptional educators. They go above and beyond for their students and the industry they love, and the future of Nebraska agriculture is bright thanks to their work,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.
Kemp is the FFA Advisor for the Wallace FFA Chapter. As described by her students Kemp is a person who thinks of relationships as a priority. She helps the students connect with community and agriculture industry members who visit her classroom to assist with training for FFA competitions, classwork, and inform them of their role in agriculture. The Wallace FFA Chapter has earned many awards under the guidance of Kemp, including competing at the State FFA Convention in livestock evaluation and sending three of its officers to the National FFA Convention to receive their National Chapter award.
“It’s extremely humbling to be nominated by the very students that make up the Wallace FFA chapter. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work in the field of agricultural education and find the support of our community and foundations such as Farm Bureau. Support systems such as these make it possible to continue doing what I love, and that’s inspiring our young people to learn about agriculture and find their place within the industry. I am blessed to call Wallace FFA home and look forward to many more years of positively impacting youth by sharing my passion for agriculture,” said Kemp.
Rafferty is the FFA Advisor for the Bayard FFA Chapter. Rafferty has taught at Bayard High School for 20 years. During that time, he has formed valuable connections with fellow teachers and staff that allow them to effectively collaborate and highlight connections between core curriculum and agricultural education. His professional relations with businesses in the area have led many of his students to find internship and jobs and career opportunities after high school.
“I am humbled to be recognized for this award. Nebraska has excellent FFA advisors across the state and I am honored to be counted among them. I am blessed to have wonderful kids in my chapter. It’s easy to be great when you’re surrounded by greatness. I want to say thank you to Farm Bureau for sponsoring this award, to my students for nominating me and for being awesome, and to my administration for supporting me. I am extremely blessed to live in a community that values and supports FFA, so thank you also to the entire Bayard community,” said Rafferty.
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.