Ag education professor honored for teaching efforts

Mike Retallick, chair of the agricultural education and studies department, and representaitves from Iowa FFA and Nationwide presented Scott Smalley, associate professor, with a $500 check and the Golden Owl award. 

Scott Smalley, associate professor in Iowa State University’s Department of Agricultural Education and Studies, was named one of seven recipients of the Golden Owl Award on Feb. 27.  

Smalley received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University before joining Iowa State for both his master’s and doctoral degrees in agricultural and life sciences education. Before joining Iowa State as a faculty member in 2017, Smalley was a South Dakota State University faculty member and a high school agricultural educator.

"I'm very appreciative of the nominations by current students and alums,” Smalley said. “It means a lot to be deemed 'current and relevant' with our partners in K-12 agricultural education." 

The Golden Owl award, made possible by the Iowa Department of Education, was presented by representatives of Nationwide, the Iowa FFA Foundation and two state FFA officers. Smalley and the other six finalists are in the running for the grand prize of $3,000, the Golden Owl Trophy and the title “Agricultural Educator of the Year.” The winner will be announced at the Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference.

“This recognition is evidence of Dr. Smalley’s strong commitment to both our students and the profession of agricultural education,” said Mike Retallick, chair of the agricultural education and studies department.

Smalley is the fourth Department of Agricultural Education and Studies faculty recipient of the Golden Owl from Iowa State. Jon Davis, assistant teaching professor, received the award in 2022, and the late Robert Martin, professor emeritus, received it in 2019. Retallick was named an awardee in 2021 and went on to be named that year’s Agricultural Educator of the Year.