Mt. Olivet, Kentucky
Farm Credit Affiliation
Farm Credit Mid-America
Operating with the future in mind, school teacher and 6th generation farmer Frank Gifford involves students as stakeholders, showing them the importance of being a seeker, not only in agriculture, but in life.
Frank engaged his students in their school’s new greenhouse from shovel to sales. He taught them ag skills as well as how to develop and implement a business plan while explaining that such planning, preparation and salesmanship are essential for any career, agricultural or otherwise. The experimental farm-to-food project supplied the school cafeteria with fresh produce and the growers with a newfound sense of pride.
“I thoroughly enjoy helping students learn about the various segments of agriculture through a hands on approach, working with their hands and brains,” Frank says. “I strive to instill in my students an understanding and love for agriculture. Although many of my students will choose non-agriculture careers, they will have a strong agriculture background that will assist them throughout their lives."
Frank has also worked with his students to explore new funding avenues to assist the school district in financing innovative initiatives such as a quail flock, honey bee hives and even a new livestock barn and webcam.
Supremely dedicated to his students, Frank had to rush four hours home from attending an FFA event to be present for the birth of his second child. His commitment and impact on his students was also evident when he was asked by the family to plan the funeral of one of his students.
In his spare time, Frank restores, refinishes and gives life back to items that others have discarded. He mirrors this trait with his students as he works tirelessly to help each find his or her greatest potential. His hope is for his daughters to have the same love for the land that he feels today.
“Although agriculture is a constantly changing field, the need for strong agriculturalists has never been greater,” Frank says. “With a growing population of people and a declining number of farms, those who do choose to farm will be pushed to produce as efficiently as possible. Technology and other improvements will continue to play a huge role in the ever-changing career of agriculture.”
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