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Fifth-generation farmer to use new Mid-State agribusiness degree on family farm
As a high school student, Matthew Tyler, Granton, received the American FFA Degree, the highest attainable in the organization. It was just one of the reasons people assumed he would attend a four-year university away from home. But Tyler had other plans.
“I didn’t want to move away from the home farm,” Tyler said. “I’m a fifth-generation farmer… I wanted to live at home, come to school at Mid-State, and bring home the things I would learn every day to my work on the farm.”
Tyler’s father had graduated from Mid-State with an agricultural degree many years before, and he liked that he would be following in his father’s footsteps. He also knew that the agribusiness program was new and that his class was the first to go through it.
Now a recent graduate of Mid-State’s Agribusiness and Science Technology program, he looks back on his decision with no regrets. “Not only am I more marketable with an associate degree, but they work around farming schedules so people can do both,” Tyler said, adding that he appreciated studying topics in class that were strategically timed to correspond with what people would be doing on their farms.
Coming to Mid-State, Tyler knew that he’d learn a lot about agriculture, and at the start wasn’t as interested in taking general education classes. Much to his surprise, he had fun taking those courses, even if that meant studying a bit harder, since farming classes came more easily.
“Learning and talking about something other than farming was a bit of a relief,” Tyler said. “Finding those connections with students and staff on things other than farming was great.”
Tyler was sad to see his time at Mid-State draw to a close. After walking in Mid-State’s commencement ceremony on Dec. 15, he now looks forward to focusing on the family dairy farm and the 130 cows and 600 acres depending on him. According to Tyler, he’s excited to implement the skills and information he has learned to try new things, improve the farm’s products and take a bit of the burden of work off of his dad.
For Tyler’s full story and on-camera interview, visit mstc.edu/gradspotlight.