News & Media

Farm Bureau Announces Ag Education Awards

  • Greene Co. Tech’s Rogers is Outstanding Ag Instructor

  • Westside High’s Lester is Outstanding New Ag Instructor

  • County Line High School also honored

Arkansas Farm Bureau recognized Casey Rogers of Greene County Tech High School in Paragould as its 2020 Outstanding Ag Instructor of the Year. Caroline Lester of Westside High School in Jonesboro earned the 2020 Outstanding New Ag Instructor of the Year, and County Line High School in Branch grabbed the top spot as the Outstanding Ag Program of the Year.

The Outstanding Ag Instructor of the Year award recognizes a high school agriculture education instructor for efforts in teaching young people about agriculture, leadership and involvement in the National FFA Organization. Rogers has taught for 14 years and is himself a graduate of Greene County Tech. The high school has 398 students in its agriculture education and FFA programs.

Casey Rogers photo

Casey Rogers (l) of Greene County Tech High School receiving his award from ArFB 
Senior Education Coordinator Matt Jackson (r). 

The school’s FFA activities are numerous and projects include an annual farm equipment fundraising auction, raising livestock and competitive showing, growing and selling sweet corn, and this year’s new deer corn project.

“We partnered with two gentlemen who own a bagging system,” Rogers said. “We harvested and stored corn from our 80-acre, row-crop farm, and our students are bagging, marketing and delivering bagged deer corn to members of our community and selling wholesale to local feed stores and businesses.”

Several students also provided leadership while serving as state FFA association officers. “It is very rewarding when your students participate and succeed on a state officer team and provide leadership to the state association,” Rogers said.

Lester earned the top new ag instructor award for her work at Jonesboro’s Westside High School where she has 208 students involved. Eighty students are also members of the school’s FFA program.

Caroline Lester photo

Caroline Lester (l) of Westside High School in Jonesboro receiving her award from ArFB 
Senior Education Coordinator Matt Jackson (r). 

“Here at Westside we’re really fortunate to have a lot of community support.” Lester said when receiving the award from Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Senior Education Coordinator Matt Jackson. “I appreciate the support my peers have given me,” she added.

County Line High School in Branch earned recognition for its popular ag education program that has 61 students participating and all of them are also FFA members. The program advisor/instructor is Ron Koch and his students have numerous accomplishments in the classroom, with supervised ag experiences and FFA activities.

County Line FFA photo

Members of County Line High's program with their award.

“I think it’s a great honor. I’m really proud for my members,” Koch said. “Being a small (FFA) chapter we’re still very active. I feel like we have a lot of participation from some students who are well rounded and participate in a lot of different opportunities they are presented with ag education and FFA.”

During the last four years, County Line students developed research projects and formulated solutions to worldwide food insecurity challenges with one student each year participating in the Arkansas Youth Institute of the World Food Prize, earning Borlaug Scholar distinction. Additionally, two of the four students have been awarded a trip to the Global Youth Institute of the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa where each presented their ideas for solving global issues relating to food insecurity to experts from around the world.

Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of almost 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.

Download additional photos here. 

For more information, contact:  

Steve Eddington
Vice President Public Relations
(501) 228-1383


Rob Anderson
Director Public Relations
(501) 228-1640