As an agriculture education teacher, Gary Geswein has few peers. But as a motivator of young people and as a developer of agriculture programs, Geswein is definitely in a class by himself. Harrison County Extension Director Gerald Dryden called him “the most capable and responsive vocational agriculture teacher that I have encountered in twenty years of Extension assignments.”
Geswein received his B.S. in Vocational Agriculture Education from Purdue University in 1969. For the next five years, he was a vocational agribusiness instructor for school systems in Franklin and Crothersville. In 1974 Geswein received his M.S. in Vocational Education from Purdue, and later that year he became a State Consultant in Vocational Agribusiness Education for the Department of Public Instruction. In this position, Geswein served as the Horticulture, Cooperative and In-service coordinator and was the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Indiana Young Farmers Association. After nearly 10 years in the state office, the North Harrison Community School Corporation persuaded Geswein in 1984 to accept the challenge of reviving a defunct vocational agriculture program. The move also allowed Geswein to be actively engaged in farming with his brothers on Geswein Farms in Floyd and Harrison counties.
In fifteen years, the North Harrison ag education program went from zero to more than 200 students enrolled at a high school of 800 students. An additional 130 students are enrolled in agriculture at North Harrison Middle School. And the program that had died for lack of interest became so popular under Geswein’s leadership that a second full time agriculture teacher had to be hired.
Geswein has worked with other local agriculture agencies to develop curriculum and educational programs, including a firearm safety program, a farm safety program for farmers and farm safety seminars for local emergency medical technicians.
Throughout his career, Geswein has served in numerous professional organizations. He is a past member of the National Agriculture Supervision Association and National Young Farmer Executive Committee. Geswein served as president of both the Indiana FFA Alumni and the Indiana Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association (IVATA). He is on the steering committee and chairs the spouses committee for the Indiana Vocational Association (IVA). At the national level, Geswein served as summer conference chair and as alternate Region IV vice president of the National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association (NVATA). He is also an active member of the American Vocational Association (AVA), Classroom Teachers Association (CTA), Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) and the National Education Association (NEA).
Geswein has been a member of the board and served on the finance and personnel committees of the Indiana FFA Foundation. He has also served his local church as a member of the parish council.
All three high schools Geswein served have awarded him an FFA Honorary Chapter Degree. Both American FFA and Indiana FFA presented him with Honorary Degrees and the state chapter presented him with its Outstanding Service Award. Geswein has been named Indiana’s Outstanding Young Vocational Agriculture Teacher and was honored by IVATA with its District Outstanding Program and Teacher award. He has also received the Outstanding Service Award from both IVA and NVATA.