The University of Missouri held a special place for Dillon Linneman growing up, as he and his family spent plenty of time in Columbia watching the Tiger football and basketball teams. He also made the trek to Columbia multiple times a years through FFA. When Linneman’s senior year of high school rolled around, Mizzou was the easy choice.
Not only did Linneman always enjoy his time on campus, he was continuing a family legacy.
“My dad, my grandpa and my grandma all graduated from MU,” Linneman said. “Coming to basketball and football games as a kid, you really develop a sense of school pride before you even step on campus as a student. MU always had a special place in my heart, and I was so excited to officially be on campus as a student.”
Linneman grew up on a farm northwest of Columbia, in Carrollton, Mo. A degree in agriculture was always Linneman’s focus, and once he stepped on campus, he decided to pursue two – agricultural systems technology and agribusiness management.
“Combining those two degrees created a really cool college experience,” Linneman said. “There is so much hands-on work in AST that highlights the cool technological advances in agriculture. I’m taking data from tractors and farming operations and using agribusiness management principles to run the numbers to completely comprehend the data. This combination seemed like a natural fit for me.”
Being a double major created some logistics that Linneman had to navigate. He said both programs were more than willing to work him through each situation.
“CAFNR did such a great my of helping through everything,” Linneman said. “Amy Marek (student support specialist in food science) and Jill Moreland (program director and advisor chair of agricultural and applied economics) made it really easy on me.
“That experience helped as I began to apply for jobs, too. One question that generally comes up is how well do you communicate. I had to go through three different people just to get one class scheduled, so I’m definitely aware of how important communication is.”
The AST program offered numerous opportunities for Linneman to gain real-world experiences as an undergraduate student. He also had a chance to design competitions for FFA students in the Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems Career Development Event (CDE), a contest that he participated in as a high school student.
“One of the coolest things about AST is that we have labs constantly,” Linneman said. “It’s hard to lecture on something that you really need to sit down and look at to truly understand how it works. Our instructors are immersed in this world every day. For example, Kent Shannon (assistant teaching professor) has years of data from his previous work. It’s great to be able to work with research that he’s actually collected in the field.”
Making connections with his professors was another reason that Linneman said he enjoyed the AST program. While Linneman was able to gain valuable insights from his professors in the classroom, he was also able to develop an impactful relationship with them away from the classroom.
“So many of my professors encourage questions, they really want and value those interactions,” Linneman said. “Once you start asking those questions, those lead to deeper and deeper conversations. Eventually you build a relationship where you’re having more personal discussions. My professors really care about my well-being, and that means a whole lot.”
Linneman served as the president of the Independent Aggies for two years and was also part of the AST Club, Agribusiness Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau and served on the CAFNR Week committee.
“The best thing about all of those extracurriculars was the people,” Linneman said. “My time at MU really taught me how to be a leader. I’ve made lifelong friends, which is crazy to think about when I began my collegiate career not even knowing my roommates.
“CAFNR also offers you an open line of communication – you just have to take advantage of it. Dean (Christopher) Daubert played on our dodgeball team during CAFNR Week a couple years back, which is just really cool. He was willing to not only answer my email, but wanted to participate completely. When leadership is so invested in the students, it means the world.”
Linneman recently accepted a position with Scoular Grain Company and will be moving to Council Bluffs, Iowa after graduation. He will serve as a merchandiser, buying grain for about seven operating elevators in the area.
“When I got to Mizzou, I wanted to go back to the farm after graduation, and I still do deep down,” Linneman said. “But I’ve really developed a liking for merchandising. I like the moving markets and the variation of the days. The opportunity with Scoular is really exciting. It’s going to keep me in agriculture, keep me in the business mindset and I get to talk with farmers. It’s going to be great.
“Leaving MU and CAFNR behind is sad, but they’ve definitely prepared me for this job. I’m excited to go out on my own and experience life and make big kid money. I’m also excited to hear people’s stories. I’m a bigger talker, and being able to interact with someone who has a completely different life experience than you is so, so valuable.”