The award, given by the White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recognizes service to local communities. Jimmerson is one of six adult leaders of FFA and 4-H selected for the honor. In addition, six youth will be honored. The 12 were selected from more than 1,000 nominees nationwide.
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."
Jimmerson's wife, Molly, will join him at the ceremony. Jimmerson noted it will be their first trip to Washington, D.C., since 1971.
"We are very excited to see all the changes that have occurred in the past 41 years, and to spend a day in the White House will just be awesome!"
The awards ceremony will be broadcast live online at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
Contact: Bill Jimmerson, firstname.lastname@example.org