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Fund Number: 155
Provides support to the Harrison County, Indiana high school FFA programs supporting community service projects or leadership. Funds may also be used to help current FFA program participants attend FFA conferences or other FFA-related training programs.
The Gary and Jean Geswein FFA Fund was established in December 2010. The fund provides support to Harrison County, Indiana high school FFA programs by providing funding for community projects or leadership and training programs, as well as help FFA participants attend conferences. Each year, the interest from the endowment is divided equally among the FFA chapters.
Gary grew up on a dairy farm on the Harrison/Floyd County line. He graduated from Morgan (Township) High School and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Agriculture Education from Purdue University. He taught agriculture and advised FFA chapters at Franklin High School and Crothersville, Jr/Sr. High School. Gary was also an Agriculture Education Consultant with the IN Dept. of Education for 10 years. In 1983, the superintendent of North Harrison Schools contacted him about restarting the agriculture program at North Harrison High School. Gary taught at NHHS for 18 years. He saw the agriculture department grow and helped design the NHHS agriculture facility in 1992. After retiring in 2002 for one year, Gary started an agriculture department/FFA chapter at Lanesville High School, where he taught part-time for three years. The program was ready for a full-time teacher when he left.
Jean Becher grew up in Louisville, graduated from Holy Rosary Academy, and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Spalding University. After graduating, she taught at Fairdale Elementary.
Gary and Jean met at Whispering Hills Country Club in Louisville in 1970. After a year and a half, they married and moved to Crothersville, where Jean taught at Crothersville Elementary. While there, their daughter, Pam, was born. Later, they moved to Brownsburg, IN where Gary worked for the IN Dept. of Public Instruction. Chris was born while they lived there. Later, the family moved to the North Harrison area. Jean taught kindergarten and Title 1 at North Harrison Elementary before retiring in 2006. Both children graduated from NHHS and attended Purdue School of Agriculture.
Pam and her husband, Mark, live in northern VA. They have two sons: Ryan and Evan. Chris and his wife, Mallory, live in Valdosta, GA. They have three children: Liam, Hayden, and Tate. Gary and Jean love visiting the children and their families, as well as traveling in the U.S. and abroad.
Gary and Jean volunteer at St. Michael’s Church, belong to the Palmyra Lions Club, and volunteer at the IN State Fair Pioneer Village. Gary has been active on non-profit boards, including Harrison County Farm Bureau, Harrison County Community Foundation, and Harrison County Lifelong Learning.
Gary participated in FFA at Morgan High School, which helped him decide to teach agriculture. After they married, Jean learned about and embraced FFA. Pam and Chris were active in and benefitted from FFA at North Harrison. Gary and Jean created this endowment so Harrison County FFAs will continue to have a positive influence on others.
2012 - South Harrison Community Schools - paid for hotel room deposits for the FFA convention; revamped FFA fair exhibit; offset FFA convention registration fees
2012 - Lanesville Community Schools - offset costs to send two Lanesville FFA members to the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.
2012 - North Harrison High School - supported student expenses at the FFA National Convention
2015 - South Harrison Community Schools - supported registration fees for 10 members of the CCHS FFA and one FFA advisor to attend the FFA State Convention
2015 - Lanesville Community Schools - supported registration fees for Lanesville FFA Chapter President to attend FFA Washington Leadership Conference
2015 - South Harrison Community Schools - paid for National FFA Organizational National Convention registration for 12 students and one advisor
2016 - North Harrison Community Schools - paid for hotel rooms and registration for Indiana State FFA Convention for two advisors, two delegates, and nine FFA members from North Harrison FFA Chapter
2016 - South Harrison Community Schools - supported Corydon Central FFA registration expenses for the National FFA Convention for six students and one advisor
2017 - Lanesville Community Schools - supported FFA Banquet for Lanesville FFA chapter
2017 - South Harrison Community Schools - supported registration and lodging for National FFA Convention for 10 students and 1 advisor from Corydon Central High School
2017 - North Harrison Community Schools - supported registration and transportation to National FFA Convention
2018 - Lanesville Community Schools - supported FFA Banquet for Lanesville FFA chapter
2018 - South Harrison Community Schools - provided registration and hotel lodging for twelve Corydon Central High School students and one advisor at the National FFA Convention; supported registration for the 91st National FFA Convention and Expo for twelve students and one advisor from South Central FFA Chapter
2018 - North Harrison Community Schools - supported registration for the 91st National FFA Convention and Expo for seven students and two advisors from North Harrison FFA Chapter
2019 - South Harrison Community Schools - to support registration for seven Corydon Central High School students to attend the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN; to support South Central High School FFA registration for 20 one-day members, 12 three-day members, and one advisor at the National FFA Convention
2019 - North Harrison Community Schools - to support registration for the 2019 National FFA Convention for seven North Harrison FFA Chapter members
The Harrison County Community Foundation is a non-profit organization supported by donations from individuals and businesses. Its mission is to inspire and assist everyone to experience philanthropy, producing positive and sustainable growth in Harrison County.