‘A Product of CAFNR’

John Tummons earns CAFNR Golden Apple Teaching Award.

The University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) has always been a special place for John Tummons.

Tummons earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as his PhD, all in agricultural education, from CAFNR and has served in a teaching role with the College since 2009. During his time leading students at MU, Tummons, an assistant teaching professor of agricultural education and leadership, has earned numerous awards and honors – the most recent of which was CAFNR’s Golden Apple Award. The honor, which was given to Tummons during a surprise classroom visit in mid-April, is awarded to CAFNR teachers who go above and beyond in teaching and advising.

“Being recognized was definitely humbling,” Tummons said. “I was not expecting anything like this at all and it was a big honor. I’m a product of CAFNR, and I love working for this College. It was also nice to celebrate the award with my senior student teachers.”

Tummons said that this group of seniors, like their peers across the country, have endured many challenges throughout their collegiate careers. He said that along with the pandemic, this group was forced figure out the ever-changing teaching landscape.

“The education world has been flipped on its head the last few years, and these students have really been through the wringer,” Tummons said. “They’ve had to student teach during a teacher shortage, and they’ve had to navigate the pandemic on top of that. We’ve been through it together, and I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve accomplished. After all of these challenges, these students still want to pursue a career in education, which is incredible.”

Tummons attended high school in southwest Missouri and was involved in numerous extracurricular activities, including agricultural education and FFA. His involvement in FFA allowed him to gain valuable experiences, including an opportunity to talk with multiple advisors. After finishing his bachelor’s degree at MU, Tummons become one of those FFA advisors. He served as an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at two high schools in Missouri, while also working on his master’s degree. He earned his master’s degree in 2006 and his PhD in 2014.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Tummons is the director of undergraduate studies for agricultural education and leadership.

“We have such great students throughout CAFNR, and it’s rewarding to work in a career where you get to see the impact these students make in their local communities after graduation,” Tummons said. “I really enjoy seeing our agricultural education students accomplish their goals, build their own careers and live out their own stories. It’s fun to help them through that process and connect later as fellow teachers.”