The White House recognized 12 FFA and 4-H members on Oct. 9 as Champions of Change - a program created to honor ordinary Americans doing great work for their communities. Among those recognized were Jordan Paine of Oxford, Neb. and Bill Jimmerson of Bozeman, Mont.
The award, given by the White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recognizes service to local communities.
Jordan Paine is the President of the Southern Valley FFA Chapter and the Oxford Jr. Feeders 4-H Club in Oxford, Nebraska. She also serves on Nebraska's Youth Curriculum Committee that helps to produce 4-H Curriculum, and is on her county's 4-H Council. Paine has grown up in agriculture and has been key in implementing many agricultural education programs in her county. Her work includes starting a school farm, an FFA goatherd, a youth bucket-calf program, reviewing and writing curriculum, and is currently working on building a greenhouse at her school. Paine has also represented Nebraska FFA at the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute.
Bill Jimmerson has been involved in agriculture education and the FFA (also known as Future Farmers of America) since the early 1970s, after graduating from MSU in 1970 with a degree in agricultural education. He served as an agricultural education teacher for 25 years, first in Grass Range and then Conrad. He also worked as an adjunct instructor in the agricultural education department at MSU and as a bank loan officer in Conrad before becoming the state FFA adviser in Montana, a position he held for seven years. He is known for developing opportunities for Native American students through FFA and has worked to connect leaders and teachers on Montana's Indian reservations to the organization. Jimmerson is now an educational consultant with a company that provides in-service programs to teachers in Montana.
Jimmerson said he is honored to receive the award.
"I have spent my whole career in agriculture education, trying to make changes to provide more opportunities for our next generation, and to receive an award for those efforts is truly humbling," Jimmerson wrote in an email. "The Montana FFA Association continues to grow and prosper, and I am very proud to have helped with this growth. I am also very proud that more and more Native American FFA members on our reservations are getting more involved in their local FFA chapters due to the FFA/American Indian program that I started seven years ago."
Others recognized include: Jacob Dickey of Champaign, Illinois; Pete Dreisbach of Hardinsburg, Kentucky; Andrea Kneer-Rice of Frederick County, Maryland; Kea Norrell Boyd of Lansing, Michigan; Bill Jimmerson of Bozeman, Montana; Jordan Paine of Oxford, Nebraska; Neeta Patel of Princeton, New Jersey; Ridge Howell of Checotah, Oklahoma; Jessica McAtamney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Chamonix Mejia of Laredo, Texas; Samuel Roberson of Prairie View, Texas; and Kaydn Ence of Saint George, Utah