More than a century of tradition and graduates

MU's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources launches new alumni into the world

Laura DenkerHappy graduate Laura Denker celebrates in front of MU's historic Jesse Hall. Photo by Christine Tew.

Following a tradition started in 1874 with the first graduating class of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources celebrated its 135th graduation ceremony this May.

Approximately 400 students received their diplomas and headed out to all parts of the globe to pursue careers in diverse fields as economics, biochemistry, journalism, plant science and forestry.

Broken down into disciplines, the graduates’ areas of study included:

  • Ag Business Management 35
  • Ag Economics 12
  • Ag Education 15
  • Ag Journalism 4
  • Ag Systems Management 16
  • Animal Science 70
  • Biochemistry 39
  • Food Science 9
  • General Agriculture 13
  • Hotel and Restaurant Mgmt. 99
  • Plant Science 21

School of Natural Resources

  • Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences 19
  • Parks, Recreation, Tourism 29
  • Fisheries and Wildlife 18
  • Forestry 4

Graduation numbers in upcoming years might be even larger.

The College has experienced a significant increase in undergraduate enrollment over the past two years—2,071 in 2006 to 2,243 in 2008, an 8.3 percent increase. Within this was a 13.2 percent increase in first-time college students. Next semester looks to continue this trend as applications to CAFNR are up by 8.6 percent and deposits up by 3 percent. This has occurred during a time when many of our peer institutions have either maintained their status quo or have declined.

CAFNR’s 2009 Outstanding SeniorBrett Naylor

This year’s Outstanding Senior was Brett Naylor, Buffalo, Mo. He earned a bachelor of science degree in plant science with a crop science emphasis.

At CAFNR, Naylor was the Noble Ruler (president) of the 88-member Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. In 2006 and 2007, he was a member of the MU Student Outreach Recruitment Team where he helped coordinate the Black and Gold and Meet Mizzou days. He spoke to high school students, urging them to attend MU.

Also in 2007 he served on the CAFNR Week Steering Committee, planning the king and queen contests, Barnwarming and other events. From 2006 to present, Naylor was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Naylor worked for the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute. He helped plant and harvest 20 crops by mowing, fertilizing and planting. Previous to this work, he was a maize breeding intern at Pioneer Hi-Bred International. This allowed him to help monitor disease and pest resistance and the testing of various maize hybrids.

Naylor participated in more than three dozen philanthropic events including food drives, working at a shelter for battered women and children and supporting organizations like the Ronald McDonald House. Naylor has received several scholarships including the Earl K. Nau Memorial Scholarship, Missouri State Fair Youth in Agriculture Scholarship, Missouri Cattleman’s Scholarship and National Angus Foundation Scholarship.  He continues to work on the family farm, managing nutrition, health and care of a purebred beef operation.