Linda Sowers brings practical knowledge and expertise to the classroom

lindaforwebHidden in a nook of Mumford Hall is office 216D. Fashion lover, golf enthusiast and professor Linda Sowers calls that office her own at the University of Missouri.

Sowers grew up in Rolla, Missouri, on a farm with both parents who were “hobby farmers.” After high school, she attended the University of Missouri on a golf scholarship and earned a degree in agricultural economics. One of Sowers’ first career paths, a diversion from her business career, was as the women’s golf team head coach at the University of Tennessee. After four years in that role, she came back home to MU to lead the CAFNR office of development and eventually become a professor.

Sowers teaches a variety of subjects at MU, including communications, agricultural sales and business golf etiquette.“I’m a skills teacher, not a theory teacher,” Sowers said. “I don’t come with advanced academic credentials. I don’t have a Ph.D. or a master’s. What I try to do is teach students from my practical and personal experiences.”

All of Sowers’ classes are hands-on business classes that give students a preview of their careers and situations they may encounter.

Like a parent who appreciates the characteristics of all her children, Sowers has no favorites among her courses.

“I value all of them differently,” said Sowers. “I’ve become very invigorated coming up with the curriculum for 3210. I think in our world of short, concise messages, having that talent of being able to deliver that to an employer is so important.”

A favorite among students is the business golf etiquette class, where they learn to use golf etiquette in a professional setting to build relationships with customers, an essential skill in sales.

“What I enjoy most about the class is being able to experience the basics of golf and learning that it is possible and okay for a beginner or novice golfer to play with experienced golfers,” said Mikalah Vogelsmeier, MU student. “It has made me more comfortable and excited to be invited to a business golf outing.”

Sowers is admired not only for her quirky, fun attitude and her love of golf, but also for her great sense of style. During CAFNR Week, Sowers was the MC for Trivia Night, and students had to answer a question about her, which asked, “Who is your favorite a.m. teacher who gets mad when you’re late for class and has good fashion sense?”

Sowers credits her mother and grandmother for her sense of style.

“I come from a granny and a mom who had the best fashion sense of any two people you could imagine,” Sowers said. “I grew up learning from them. When my family went to a party or on vacation, our females in my family would ask, ‘Well what did you wear?’ opposed to most families, ‘Where did you go, what did you eat?’”

Sowers lives in Columbia with her husband, Steve, and children Stephen and Olivia. When she is not teaching, Sowers says that she loves spending time with her family and being outdoors.

“We love to hike, we love to be outdoors, we like to vacation,” Sowers said. “Usually our vacations involve being outside or doing something outside.”

Having two children in high school and being a professor at a major university, Sowers leads a hectic life.

“I run around and chase my kids and their hobbies, which I enjoy very much,” said Sowers about her family life.

Family and teaching are among the top priorities for Sowers. Her students are also important and they value the extra effort she makes to meet their needs and make sure they have the skill sets needed to succeed.

“My favorite thing about Mrs. Sowers is her ability to connect with anyone,” said Aleesha Ball, MU student. “She takes the time to learn everyone’s name in the class and she always brings a burst of energy to an early morning class. She’s interactive with everyone and really cares about her students and their well beings.”

Olivia Loges

About the Author Olivia Loges

Home is where the heart is, and that’s where my story begins. My name is Olivia Loges. I am a freshman at the University of Missouri, majoring in science and agricultural journalism. I am from a small, agriculture-oriented town called Sweet Springs. With only 1,400 people, a Dollar General and two gas stations, agriculture is the root of my tiny town. Agriculture is what I grew up on, and it will always be a part of my life.Majoring in science and agricultural journalism, I hope someday to put my passion for communicating about agriculture to use working in public relations and marketing. I am extremely excited to be writing for CAFNR Corner Post this semester and working with other individuals who share the same love and passion for agriculture.