Just four years into his tenure as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, Tim Safranski was given the Provost Award for Creative Extension Programming by New Faculty. A year later, Safranski was honored with the National Pork Producers Council Swine Industry Award for Innovation in Education.
Education has always been a focus for Safranski, who is a professor in the Division of Animal Sciences and a state swine Extension specialist, and the teaching awards continue to come. Safranski received the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) Golden Apple Award for going above and beyond in teaching and advising Tuesday morning, during his writing intensive swine production course. Safranski was surprised by the unexpected interruption, led by Bryan Garton, senior associate dean and director of academic programs, and Shari Freyermuth, assistant dean and director of student services.
“It was definitely a surprise,” Safranski said. “I’m honored to be a recipient of the award and to be recognized in this way. I appreciate everyone in the division who came to the presentation, and especially Dr. Geisert for nominating me.”
Rodney Geisert, a professor in the Division of Animal Sciences, spoke about Safranski’s ability to balance teaching, research and Extension in his nomination letter.
“Dr. Safranski is one of the most recognizable faces in the swine genetics and reproduction Extension programs both nationally and internationally,” Geisert said in his letter. “There are fewer and fewer swine specialists with the expertise and knowledge that Dr. Safranski brings to the swine industry, which makes him a huge asset to teaching undergraduates in CAFNR. Dr. Safranski is truly one of the exceptional teachers in the Division of Animal Sciences and CAFNR.”
Safranski developed the swine breeding herd winternship in 2016, a program offered to six select students interested in gaining insight and experience with commercial swine breeding herds. He also established a study abroad course to China that gives students an opportunity to get hands-on experiences of Chinese farm operations. Those experiences give students firsthand knowledge and hands-on experiences of how the modern swine industry works, as well as help them develop critical skills in asking the right questions so they can be lifelong learners.
Safranski designed and manages the swine teaching facility at the South Farm Research Center in Columbia. He also serves as the advisor to the MU Swine Club. Safranski earned the MU Campus Writing Program’s inaugural Writing Intensive Teaching Excellence Award in 2012; the J.W. Burch Agricultural Extension Award for outstanding statewide leadership in 2009; and the Chancellor’s Excellence Award for Best New Advisor (Mizzou Swine Club) in 2009.
“What is most remarkable about Dr. Safranski is his incredible passion for teaching given the demands to maintain a research program to improve swine production, as well as having a first-class swine Extension program in the U.S.,” Geisert said in his letter. “Because of this unique three-way appointment, Dr. Safranski provides one of the greatest learning and educational experiences that our students could hope to receive at MU.”
Safranski earned his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in animal science. His master’s degree and PhD both came from Mizzou. Two years after completing his PhD, Safranski became an assistant professor at MU, in 1996.
“Dr. Safranski is definitely deserving of the Golden Apple Award,” said Bill Lamberson, director of the Division of Animal Sciences. “His dedication to teaching, while also maintaining strong research and Extension programs, is incredibly valuable to our students and our stakeholders across the state. He continues to make a profound impact in the swine industry.”