Franklin ag teacher, Nelson, surprised with award

  • Nelson stands in the greenhouse he designed; he collected donations to fund its building. 
  • Brent Nelson with FFA members and agriculture students.
  • Brent Nelson stands with (from left) Kelsey Bentlage, St. Louis District Dairy Council nutrition educator; kindergarten teacher Ashley Turpin; his wife, Morgan, and newborn daughter, Maevery; and his parents, Rod and Jackie Nelson, of Altona.
  • Nelson laughs with agriculture student and FFA Vice President Thad Bergschneider.
  • Nelson listens to clues and tries to figure out who won the award.
  • Students guess who the special guest of the day is.
  • Franklin kindergarten teacher Ashley Turpin, who nominated Brent Nelson for the award, speaks at the assembly.

Photos by Steve Warmowski

Brent Nelson, agriculture teacher at Franklin Junior/Senior High School, was recognized Friday at a school assembly with the 2022 Homegrown Hero Award. The award from the St. Louis District Dairy Council honors people who work hard to improve the lives of those in their community.

Nelson was nominated by Franklin Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Ashley Turpin, who said Nelson has greatly improved the agriculture program: “Mr. Nelson is an incredible role model for his students … and works so hard to make sure everyone is getting the best of the best and always goes above expectations.” 

Nelson’s major accomplishment was fundraising for a new greenhouse. Students not only learn how to propagate and grow plants, but they also sell the plants (like in a sale this past weekend) with the proceeds going to support FFA activities. 

Students assembled in the gymnasium for a mystery guest, at which time Turpin gave 10 hints as to the identity of the guest who would receive the award. No one — not even Nelson — guessed the winner. When his parents and wife walked into the gym, Nelson even asked, “Why are they here?” before realizing that he himself was the honoree of the day.

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