A pair of Lincoln teachers were honored on Tuesday, and it was a big surprise!

The Nebraska Farm Bureau selected them for their annual Nebraska Agriculture Teacher of the Year Award.

Carolyn Dolezal has spent the last 17 years as a fourth grade teacher at St. Peter's Catholic School in Lincoln.

She was surprised by her family and the Nebraska Farm Bureau in the school's auditorium.

Dolezal grew up on a farm in Pawnee county. She understands the importance of agriculture in this state.

"I love the farm and I feel that some of the children in the city don't really understand when they drive by a farm, exactly what it's all about and how much work goes into it and how they should appreciate the people who provide the food for them," said Dolezal.

The Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Award is an annual award given to teachers that incorporate agriculture into their classroom through innovative ideas and lessons.

Abbey Spaulding, a second grade teacher at Fredstrom Elementary, was surprised during a staff meeting after school.

"My grandpa was a farmer in Minden, Nebraska, and I grew up knowing that that was an important thing for Nebraskans to learn about. I've always felt like it was important for me to integrate that into my classroom," said Spaulding.

Both teachers found new and exciting ways to bring agriculture into the classroom.

"Carolyn was awarded for taking her students on field trips and really letting them view agriculture up close and in person. Abby takes her students on virtual field trips, she connects with our foundation by going to pig farms to talk to farmers about the work they do and learning more about how agriculture impacts them," said Courtney Schaardt, director of outreach education for the Nebraska Farm Bureau.


The teachers received an all–expense paid trip to an annual national agriculture conference, an agriculture themed book bundle and 250 dollars cash as their prize.

For more information about how to apply for this prestigious award, head to www.nefbfoundation.org for the details.