Herman Wilson of Houston, Texas was inspired by his agricultural education teacher in east Texas more than 62 years ago. That inspiration made an impact on him and his wife, and today they are giving back to ensure other students can have the same experience he did.
The Wilsons recently donated $250,000 to establish an endowment to kick start a multi-level initiative. Wilson indicated that teachers who are able to motivate students are the heart of FFA.
“We want other investors to put their money where their thoughts are,” Wilson said. Wilson and his family believe that teachers who can motivate students are the heart of FFA. .He believes teachers must be recognized and rewarded for their work, so they’ll want to continue in the profession. In addition, he believes FFA needs to find ways to attract college students to agricultural education.
Currently, there is a critical shortage of agricultural education teachers who serve as FFA advisors. It was because of this need, that the Wilsons donated the funds. The funds are earmarked solely for developing a plan to attract and retain FFA advisors and agriculture teachers. This endowment is the first of its kind.
“The Wilson’s generosity will make it possible for FFA to continue the good work of furthering agricultural education,” said National FFA Organization CEO Dr. Dwight Armstrong. “FFA advisors and agricultural educators make a huge impact on our students, and thanks to the Wilson’s generosity and passion for agricultural education, the organization can continue to recruit and retain strong teachers. We are extremely appreciative of the Wilson’s efforts in helping FFA continue the mission of premier leadership, personal growth and career success for our students.”
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 610,240 student members who belong to one of 7,665 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.