Growing up on a beef farm in southwest Missouri, twin brothers Dallas and Donell Kleiboeker shared many of the same hobbies, friend groups and life experiences. Those shared interests, especially in agriculture, led them to the University of Missouri.
While the two didn’t have any plans on both majoring in agribusiness management, that’s the degree program each brother chose.
“We didn’t really plan it out at all,” Donell said. “I think we’ve had so many similar experiences that it narrows the track a little bit. Honestly, though, as seniors in high school, I was talking about being a civil engineer or a mechanical engineer. Dallas was talking about being an agriculture teacher. A year later, we were both in agribusiness management. It’s kind of crazy how it all worked out.”
“I don’t know how it is with other siblings, but without trying, we usually end up doing the exact same thing,” Dallas said. “I don’t know if it’s the twin connection or what. When you read papers we turn in, we oftentimes use the exact same verbiage – even though we never talked to each other about the assignment.”
Being active members in the Pierce City FFA Chapter, Dallas and Donell got comfortable with the MU campus through several trips to Columbia for FFA-related activities.
“Being in FFA growing up, we had ample opportunities to visit campus every year,” Dallas said. “We were always comfortable here while we were in high school, and when it was time to choose a college, Mizzou made a lot of sense.”
Another reason that Dallas and Donell chose Mizzou was to continue the family legacy.
“Our grandparents, our parents – coming to MU is a family legacy,” Donell said. “We bleed black and gold. We were raised to cheer on the Tigers.
“Also, as a land-grant university, there are multiple opportunities available, especially in the realm of agriculture. When you add everything together, Mizzou was the perfect place for both of us.”
As fans of the Tigers growing up, Dallas and Donell spent many Saturdays watching the Mizzou football team. Once they got to college, both brothers had the opportunity to help the football team as student assistants. The brothers worked with the support staff on the field and off. They helped with drills, input data from film and did general tasks wherever they were needed.
“If you would have asked us 10 years ago, we would have said we would be the starting linebackers for MU,” Donell joked. “It was a lot of fun to get in there and work with the players. Being on the field with the Tigers was definitely a dream we had growing up.”
“Being able to stay around football was a lot of fun,” Dallas added. “It was a really great experience, as the players were super thankful and really respected what we were doing to help out. It was cool to play a small role in the program.”
The brothers have stayed involved during their time at MU, including being part of Collegiate Farm Bureau and the Agribusiness Club. Donell also minored in animal sciences and worked at the Mizzou Meat Market.
“The biggest way CAFNR prepared us was through the personal relationships we built,” Donell said. “I think that’s the most important thing you can do in college. Creating that network and building those relationships is really important.”
Dallas and Donell will actually graduate in three years. While they didn’t spend the traditional four years in CAFNR, they did benefit from the great faculty in the College.
“It’s such a great group of faculty,” Donell said. “Their doors are always open, which to me, is their one of their best qualities. They’re willing to have discussions that go beyond the classroom and work hard to put you in touch with people you need to know to be successful in your future endeavors.”
“Agribusiness management really gave us a wide array of opportunities,” Dallas added. “We were able to learn about a variety of topics within the agriculture industry. The business side was really interesting, and it’s going to be important as we enter the work world.”
Dallas said he is looking for jobs in the sports marketing world. Donell will participate in an internship on a ranch in Texas from May to December. After that, he hopes to work in the meat processing industry.
“We’ll definitely miss our time at Mizzou and with CAFNR,” Dallas said. “MU is a big university, but CAFNR made it feel much smaller. It was important for us to make a close group of friends, and we were all able to help each other through life. Those tough times are so much easier when you have people in your corner.”