Educator Profile    Educators

Jacob Ball (KY '23)


Carter G. Woodson Academy
Lexington, KY

Subject(s) taught: Agriculture
Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

At the time of the Award, Jacob Ball was:

Carter G. Woodson Academy
Lexington, KY

Subject(s) taught: Agriculture
Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Biographical Information

Jacob Ball’s passion for agriculture began years before his teaching career, as a boy growing up on his family’s small farm in Culvertown, Kentucky, a little over an hour from Lexington. In high school, he enrolled in agriculture courses and participated in his local Future Farmers of America (FFA) club. Several influential teachers encouraged him to pursue his two loves: teaching and agriculture. Today, Ball teaches agriculture to 6th-12th graders at Carter G. Woodson Academy, and, with a population primarily made up of young students of color, Ball is committed to opening up the world of agricultural careers to the learners in his classroom and beyond. His students are benefiting from his high standards in the classroom – six of them have received full scholarships to HBCUs in recent years and 100 percent of his students passed their end-of-year exams last year, compared to just over half the year before. 
His curriculum includes a focus on minority contributions to the world of agriculture, and he and his students created an Agriculture Wall of Fame highlighting the contributions of Hispanic and African American farmers across the U.S. Ball brings a spirit of creativity and innovation to everything he does in the classroom, from challenging his students to create agritourism facilities using Minecraft to creating a hydroponic farm to grow lettuce and sell at local restaurants and grocery stores. 
Ball’s student experiences do not end in the classroom. He worked with them to start a Junior MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences) chapter in partnership with the University of Kentucky, and established the school’s FFA group. Last year, his students participated in 140 various agriculture projects across the state, logging an impressive 3,000 hours of real-world experience and culminating in the trip of a lifetime for nine of those students who traveled to Ireland for the Agriculture in Ireland summer tour. 
Ball is a National Board Certified Teacher. He earned a Bachelor of Science in agricultural education (2011) and an education specialist degree in administration (2018) from the University of Kentucky; and a Master of Arts in education from the University of the Cumberlands in 2015.  

Press release: Agriculture Teacher Jacob Ball Sows Seeds of Success in Lexington, Kentucky, Earning $25,000 Milken Educator Award







Related Connections

Article: Spotlight: Jacob Ball (KY '23)

Jacob Ball In The News

WATCH --> Jacob Ball, Milken Education Award Winner
Growing Kentucky’s Leaders Podcast  |  Kentucky FFA Association  |  Apr 22, 2024  |  Frankfort, KY

LISTEN --> Gill Hunter with Jacob Ball
WEKU-FM  |  NPR | Eastern Kentucky University  |  Feb 22, 2024  |  Richmond, KY

How 3 Award-Winning Teachers Prepare Students for Life After Graduation
Education Week  |  Dec 26, 2023  |  Bethesda, MD

Kentucky Milken Educator Award Winner Brings Agriculture to Fayette County
Kentucky Teacher  |  Kentucky Department of Education  |  Nov 22, 2023  |  Frankfort, KY

UK Alum Jacob Ball Receives Milken Educator Award
Kentucky Ag Connection  |  Nov 09, 2023  |  Ames, IA

UK Alum Honored with Prestigious Award for Excellence in Agricultural Youth Education
University of Kentucky  |  Nov 08, 2023  |  Lexington, KY

WATCH --> Milken Educator Awards
KET-TV  |  PBS  |  Nov 01, 2023  |  Lexington, KY

Kentucky Educator Jacob Ball Receives Milken Award
Kentucky Ag Connection  |  Oct 30, 2023  |  Ames, IA

WATCH --> Lexington Teacher Surprised with $25,000 Milken Educator Award
WKYT-TV  |  CBS  |  Oct 27, 2023  |  Lexington, KY

Fayette County's Jacob Ball Receives $25,000 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award
Kentucky Teacher  |  Kentucky Department of Education  |  Oct 27, 2023  |  Frankfort, KY

Lexington Educator Receives 'Oscars of Teaching' National Award, Plus a $25K Cash Prize
Lexington Herald-Leader  |  Oct 27, 2023  |  Lexington, KY

Lexington Teacher Wins 'Oscar of Educators' Award
WUKY-FM  |  NPR  |  Oct 27, 2023  |  Lexington, KY

Lexington Teacher Wins Milken Educator Award
Spectrum News Kentucky  |  Oct 27, 2023  |  Louisville, KY