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Mr. Nyle Russell – Payson High School

Dear KSL Newsradio and Zions Bank Teacher Feature,

I would like to nominate an amazing advisor for your award. Those are the words of only one of hundreds of students who have been taught by Mr. Nyle Russell for the last eighteen years. Mr. Russell is the Ag mechanics and FFA Advisor at Payson High School.

Under his leadership in state, region, and national FFA contests, Payson High students excel and achieve the highest honors offered by the FFA year after year. Farming and ranching is becoming a less desirable occupation in the United States. Mr. Russell’s students don’t think that is the case however. They are taught to reach higher goals than being just farmers. They proudly wear their FFA uniforms as they work hard to achieve scholarship monies to study to be the very best in new and quickly changing agriculture fields.

This school year 133 young men and women believe that being a member of the FFA Chapter is the in place at Payson High. The Chapter works hard and plays hard together. Under Mr. Russell’s leadership, they participate in the annual Utah County Farm Days. Hundreds of elementary school age children watch Mr. Russell shear sheep. His students give hands on demonstrations of other farming enterprises. They serve as ambassadors at the Utah State Fair. The chapter hosts the schools annual Sweetheart Dance, Rodeo and Turkey Shoot. They are all involved in the Payson Agricultural Booster Club. Before stock shows, the students visit town businesses and citizens to obtain booster monies to support livestock sales. The money donated helps students gain a profit with their livestock projects.

Each year many students earn the wonderful privilege of flying to the National FFA Convention. This year 2007 with his expertise and help Payson, Spanish Fork and Springville FFA students, faculty, members and many parents flew together to the convention. The student who calls him (amazing advisor) won a national American Farmer Award. The highest award given in the FFA. She is only one of several who have achieved the honor with the help and direction of a great teacher.

For the last eighteen years, I have been honored to watch Mr. Russell and his students interact in classrooms, work situations, and contests. I have judged many contest for their FFA Chapter. In his teaching by example he has become known as an adult who will trust enough to delegate the responsibility of organization and follow through to the young ment and women. He is always there to lend a hand and guide things when he needs to. He is an example to his students. He is always firm but in a gently way. His students continue to be in touch after they leave high school. He attends weddings, missionary farewells, and college graduations. Several of his former FFA members are now Ag teachers.

Nyle Russell was raised in Tooele, Utah on a commercial sheep and cattle ranch. Before he graduated from high school, he had his own flock of Registered Suffolk Sheep. He had already begun to gain an honored reputation nationwide for the quality of his sheep and his name. He graduated from Utah State University with a Masters Degree in Animal Science and Ag Education. He and his wife Collette and son’s Chase, Nick, and Hadley live on a farm in Benjamin, Utah. As a family they are still involved in the livestock business. They enjoy showing and selling livestock and taking care of riding their horses.

With teachers like Nyle Russell, the futures of hundreds of students have and continue to benefit. For his teaching ability and his example as a role model for students, he is highly deserving of your honor.

Thank you for your consideration,
Jacky Caras