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AWC Agriculture Science Manager honored with Governor’s award

Leigh Loughead nominated for recognition by Arizona Department of Agriculture Director Mark Killian

Yuma, AZ (December 11, 2019) – Arizona Western College Agriculture Science Manager Leigh Loughead was recently presented with the Inaugural 2019 Governor’s Agricultural Educator Award. She was honored during the 5th Annual Arizona Agribusiness Roundtable in Tempe, Arizona on Monday, Dec. 2.

Governor Doug Ducey’s Agriculture Awards are given in various categories to honor individual who have made outstanding contributions to Arizona agriculture while maintaining the highest ethical standards.

“Leigh Loughead’s work to prepare high school and postsecondary students for a future in agriculture with the Southwest AG Summit Field Demonstrations, the Arizona Western College Agricultural Science Land Lab, and the Yuma District Future Farmers of America is vital to the advancement of agriculture in Arizona,” said Governor Doug Ducey.

Loughead earned the Agricultural Educator Award for her extraordinary commitment to educating and mentoring students and the community on agriculture, including its role in Arizona's economy and culture.

“I am humbled by this recognition,” said Loughead. “This award is a recognition of my passion and dedication to the agriculture industry and the education of the next generation of agriculturalists.”

Loughead was nominated for the award by Arizona Department of Agriculture Director Mark Killian.

After being appointed to his position in 2015, Killian traveled around the country to meet with other state agriculture directors and discovered that many had governor’s awards for excellence in agriculture. He believed that Arizona should also recognize individuals who have impacted agriculture, as it’s one of the foundational industries in the state.

While visiting with individuals and businesses in the agriculture industry throughout Arizona, Killian was able to see firsthand the work they do and the impacts they have made in their respective agriculture areas and communities. His award selections were made as a result of those meetings and interactions, which included a recent trip to Yuma where he visited Arizona Western College and spoke with students in the Livestock Production Management class.

Loughead has been teaching Agriculture Science for 28 years at the high school and post-secondary level. She began at AWC in 2011 teaching hands-on Animal Science and Plant Science courses as an adjunct faculty member. Loughead started teaching fulltime for AWC in 2014 and has been in her current position as the Agriculture Science Manager for the college since 2016.

She is a co-advisor for the Yuma County Collegiate Young Farmers and Ranchers and a member of the Yuma County Farm Bureau, Arizona Farm Bureau, and Yuma Area Agricultural Council. Loughead helps to coordinate field demonstrations and student participation for the Southwest Ag Summit and organizes the Agricultural Student Industry Forum for students to learn about the field from industry professionals. She also attends trainings and workshops through the University of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

With 23 years of experience as an FFA advisor, Loughead now assists Yuma District FFA advisors in finding qualified judges and coordinators for various FFA events hosted at AWC. She also serves as the superintendent for the State FFA Information Leadership Development Event and for the State FFA Poultry Evaluation Career Development Event and assists with the State FFA Ag Communications Career Development Event as well.

Leigh Loughead
Agriculture Science Manager
Arizona Western College
(928) 317-6246

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