Ag education and leadership program celebrates a centennial achievement

The University of Missouri celebrated 100 years of growing leaders and teachers around the globe through the agricultural education and leadership program.

Faculty, supporters, alumni, and students of the program gathered to celebrate the centennial achievement on Sept. 15. The event, held in the Stotler Lounge at Memorial Student Union on the MU campus, drew a crowd of nearly 130.

The event started off with a social, which included coffee, catching up and campus tours. Hugs, happiness and nostalgia were shared by all, and when lunch was served, it was buffet style. Just right for one big agricultural education family.

The afternoon program began with a warm welcome from Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert. Daubert congratulated all on the enormous success and accomplishments of the program, its faculty, students and alums. Following Daubert, the guests heard from Jon Simonsen, professor of agricultural education.

Simonsen introduced alumni from each decade dating back to the 1970s. Speakers included Terry Heiman from the 70s, Bruce Fowler, 80s, John Tummons, 90s, Doug Kueker 00s, Jaelyn Peckman, 2010s and current student Colton Spencer, expected to graduate in 2020.

“I really enjoyed sharing personal experiences,” said John Tummons, assistant teaching professor. “It was great to visit with graduates from previous generations and better understand the history of success.”

Anna Ball spoke with the crowd about the impact MU has had across the country. Ball is a faculty fellow for faculty development at MU, as well as a professor of agricultural education and leadership, and an alum of the graduate program. According to Ball, there are more than 17 states with higher education faculty from the MU agricultural education and leadership graduate program.

“As an alum I am proud to have a degree in Ag Ed from Mizzou,” said Cord Jenkins, a 2006 MU graduate.

He mentioned that it felt like conversations picked up where they left off years prior, and everyone felt like they had come back home to MU. 

“It was enjoyable time for everyone to share the impacts that agriculture education had made on them while looking toward the future,” Simonson said.