Jeffrey Perry ’89, Ph.D.’ 18, senior lecturer in the Department of Global Development, received the Golden Owl award Feb. 23 in honor of his contributions to agricultural education in New York state.
The Golden Owl award — a partnership between the New York Farm Bureau, New York FFA, and Nationwide — honors ag educators statewide for teaching the next generation of agricultural leaders. This is the first year that the award has been given in New York.
Derek Hill, director for New York FFA, praised Perry for devoting countless hours to positively impact the lives of students.
“Dr. Perry has impacted hundreds of students lives at Cornell and as a former high school agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. Dr. Perry is helping agricultural education meet the increasing demand for agriculture teachers across the state through his work with the Masters program at Ithaca College,” Hill said.
Perry, who earned his bachelor’s at Cornell, spent two decades as a high school agriculture teacher before returning to Cornell to earn his doctorate.
In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Global Development, Perry’s teaching is focused on the application of theory into community and school organizations. He is an advisor to undergraduates in the agricultural sciences major and to graduate students interested in extension and outreach as a part of their graduate programs. He has been instrumental in the joint Master of Arts in Teaching program between Cornell and Ithaca College to meet growing demand for qualified agricultural educators.
“Cornell Global Development was founded on the idea of ‘education with impact’. Jeff Perry’s work teaching next-generation agricultural leaders will reverberate for decades in New York and beyond,” said Lori Leonard, chair of the Department of Global Development.
Undergraduate student Mikala Anderson ’23 praised Perry as an advisor and teacher. “He is truly interested in your plans and goals for your life and will work tirelessly to help you achieve them. He is incredibly passionate about education and helping us all become successful students,” she said.
Melissa Montejo, a sophomore agricultural sciences major with a concentration in Education and Society, described Perry as an inspiring teacher.
“He does a fantastic job at pointing students towards greater ideas of education and incorporates his own experiences at times during lectures, always giving us the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the topic at hand,” Montejo said.
Along with his teaching, Perry advises New York school districts interested in establishing new agriculture education programs. He serves as the local New York Farm Bureau president in Cortland County is a board member for the New York State FFA Leadership Training Foundation.
Perry is also advisor for Cornell University’s Collegiate FFA chapter which offers the annual Chapter Officer Leadership in Training (COLT) conference at Cornell. COLT offers an opportunity for young FFA members to interact with students from Cornell and state FFA officers in a workshop format to promote individual personal growth and assist in the development of skills helpful in officer and management teams.
Matt Hayes is director for communications for Global Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.