LINCOLN, NEB. – The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation selected two recipients for the FFA Advisor of the Year award. Gary Maresh from Central City High School and Dan Mowinkel from Logan View High School in Hooper were honored during a Facebook LIVE ceremony on the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s Facebook page on Thursday, April 2. 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 with long histories of investment in their students, communities, and Nebraska agriculture,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. “Mr. Maresh and Mr. Mowinkel have decades of dedicated service, and their positive impact will reach across Nebraska and beyond for years to come.”
Maresh is the FFA Advisor for the Central City FFA Chapter and is entering his 43rd and final year as an educator and FFA advisor. During his career, he has spent countless hours working with his students to make sure they are comfortable going out to communicate with businesses and people. He brings community leaders into his classroom to present on their expertise, giving his students the opportunity to learn from others.
“I have had the privilege of teaching in Central City my entire 43-year career. I have had so many great students and parental support. I really feel proud when I see former students return home to be involved in agriculture or be productive citizens. I am humbled by this honor and I want to thank Nebraska Farm Bureau for this honor and my FFA chapter for the nomination,” Maresh said.
Mowinkel has been the FFA Advisor for Logan View FFA Chapter for 30 years. Mowinkel is a pillar in his community, serving as the Grand Marshall for the Fremont fair last year and coaching softball and wrestling for the high school. In his classroom, Mowinkel brings live animals and creates hands-on labs to make learning interactive and keep students engaged. In the last year, Mowinkel has led many students to set new records in Logan View FFA. He sets students to a high standard and encourages them to put in the work outside the classroom to be successful.
“I'm honored to receive this award; I believe every child I taught and advised has unique qualities and abilities. My greatest hope is that I got them to achieve more than they thought was possible and that they know that I cared for each and every one of them,” Mowinkel said.
“We had a number of exceptional nominations this year. 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.