As legacy students growing up in Columbia, Mo., the University of Missouri held a special place for twin brothers Sean and Tanner Allen. After four years at Mizzou, the brothers will walk away with degrees in agricultural systems technology (AST) and agribusiness management, as well as multiple memories from their time as Tigers.
“We grew up in Columbia, so Mizzou was always where I saw myself going,” Tanner said. “I loved the atmosphere of campus and the traditions my dad taught me from his time as Mizzou.”
“Tanner and I are legacy students, and our mother works as a programmer analyst in Jesse Hall,” Sean added. “However, I wasn’t going to make my decision based solely on that. It was a relatively late decision to attend a four-year university, and I looked at a few different Missouri schools, but when I toured Mizzou, I immediately felt at home with the welcoming faculty and amazing campus.”
Time on their grandparents’ farm led the Allen brothers to choose degree programs in CAFNR when they arrived on campus.
“I chose agricultural systems technology because my family has a background in agriculture, and I was raised spending a lot of time on my grandparents’ farm, so agriculture has always interested me,” Tanner said. “I wanted to learn more about the technical side of crop production.”
The CAFNR faculty made a big impression on both of the brothers, especially those in agricultural systems technology. As double majors, Sean and Tanner had plenty of coursework to balance, and a strong advising core helped them through those processes.
“First of all, I applaud my advising team for having to deal with me for the past four years, and I do want to take a moment to thank them for their hard work,” Sean said. “For agricultural systems technology, I had advising from Amy Marek and Leon Schumacher, and I had Jill Moreland in agribusiness management. Initially when I came to school, I was not a fan of advising meetings, but I quickly realized how helpful my advising team was and I started doing multiple meetings a semester, just to check in and talk about my goals! I even found myself having meetings with them that started about school, and ended up taking over an hour and just having great conversations!”
“I walk into Dr. Schumacher’s office planning to stay for two minutes and end up staying for 30 just chatting,” Tanner added. “The faculty are all wonderful and made the Ag Engineering Building feel like home.”
Sean and Tanner were part of numerous organizations during their time at Mizzou, including the MU Independent Aggies and the AST Club. While the brothers were already close, those experiences brought about a greater bond.
“We both have been in the same activities since childhood,” Tanner said. “We were both on the MU Independent Aggies officer team for 2019-20 and participated in several other clubs together as well. Going through college with your identical twin is a blessing and a curse but mostly been a period of great growth that we have gotten to go through together.”
“Our time here at Mizzou has drastically changed our dynamic over the past four years,” Sean added. “Being involved with the MU Independent Aggies and AST Club together, and being part of the officer team for the MU Independent Aggies together for 2020, has made us more of a team. All at the same time, having some classes together, and, more importantly, some classes apart, has made us more independent than before and allowed us to get along better as a whole.”
While Sean and Tanner did take part in multiple experiences during their time in CAFNR, the COVID-19 pandemic did put a wrench a few planned opportunities. Both were scheduled to travel to Germany last year, as well as begin an internship through the MU Extension office in partnership with Climate Corp. The study abroad opportunity and internship were both cancelled.
“CAFNR had all sorts of opportunities to experience new things,” Tanner said. “While both of these cancellations were heartbreaking, we have learned many important lessons from this strange time. Doc (Schumacher) is the leader of the Germany trip and has been countless times; however, he was just as excited as we were. Doc taught us the importance of experiencing other cultures and seeing how they do things. There is always something we can learn from others.”
After graduation, Tanner said he has a sales position lined up with a company in Columbia. He is also going to take time to travel to Germany to recreate the study abroad opportunity he missed out on.
Sean will continue to work with Bob McCosh Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac, a company he has worked with for more than six years. He will take a multi-position job as an internet sales representative and assistant marketing advisor.
“As a senior, you become very reflective as your time is coming to an end,” Tanner said. “Looking back, my favorite times are always related to spending time with my friends and meeting new people. Whether through club events or parties, the people I’ve met through college are the highlights for me. Tailgates for football games are one of the best times I’ve ever had and I look forward to coming back on Homecoming.”
“The people I’ve met and activities I have been a part of through the MU Independent Aggies has given me a lot of fulfillment throughout my college career,” Sean added. “Having a lot of fun, making big changes for youth in agriculture and having a social organization that has provided me with people I consider family! Meeting people that would push me to do and be more than I ever thought I could be, while having those people become lifelong friends in the process. The true CAFNR experience is about the family atmosphere here and utilizing those people as a firm foundation to grow and achieve new goals!”