DES MOINES, IA – Educators devote limitless time, and often their own resources, to help students pursue their passions. Through uncertainty, they’ve also shown agility and patience, as virtual and reformed learning environments have required them to pivot quickly and digitize their curricula.

As the number one insurer of farms and ranches in the United States, Nationwide recently recognized six California teachers as finalists for the 2019-2020 Golden Owl Award, including Imperial High School’s Michael Campbell.

The carrier has opened nominations for the 2020-2021 Golden Owl Award, after expanding the program to recognize the most impactful teachers in seven states: California, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.

“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 in California and across the Country.”

Nationwide inaugurated the Golden Owl Award during 2018-2019 by recognizing 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 to recognize 31 outstanding educators across five states: California, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Now in 2020-2021, the award is expanding again to include Indiana and New York. 

“We encourage students, parents, fellow teachers, and others to nominate their favorite agricultural teachers to acknowledge their hard work,” said Liggett. “We also appreciate our state partners, whose collaboration and dedication to the industry make this program possible.”

Following the nomination period, closing December 31, a selection committee will evaluate nominations and select six finalists in California, who will receive an individualized plaque and $500. One finalist will then be chosen as the grand prize winner, earning the 2020-2021 Ag Educator of the Year title for California and receiving the coveted Golden Owl Award trophy and $3,000 to help fund future educational efforts.

To nominate a teacher or learn more about the Golden Owl Award, visit

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

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