Tanner W. Matthews
Ohio City, OH
Agricultural Systems Management
Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
2020 Distinguished Senior Award Celebration Program (.pdf)
Tanner Matthews says his greatest sense of accomplishment was completing his first semester as an undergraduate. To some this might sound like an ordinary accomplishment, but it came with a great sense of relief and was a foundation for his future. There were several times during those first few months that Tanner considered giving in and heading back home. However, with the help of many new friends, his mentor, and the love and support from those back home, Tanner powered through the semester. Tanner says he learned to love the opportunities that Ohio State gave him.
Completing internships with three companies as an undergraduate, Tanner held two internships in Ohio. First, he was an agronomy intern with Mercer Landmark, and then a machinery specialist and parts intern for Kenn-Feld Group. He later completed an internship as a research agronomy intern for Precision Planting in Illinois.
Tanner says his most valuable undergraduate learning experience was the realization that excellence and distinction are qualities that every student at Ohio State earns through attending this great university, which means that it can be a challenge to stand out among such accomplished peers. This realization has helped Tanner learn how important it is to strive for success in the agriculture industry, which involves so many resourceful, brilliant people.
While attending classes, Tanner worked part time on the weekends for his family’s grain farm in Van Wert county. Their farm includes corn and soybeans on 2800 acres, farming no-till and strip tillage.
The most rewarding learning experience that Tanner had during his time at Ohio State was studying abroad in Brazil. Traveling with Alpha Zeta Partners for his spring semester to study Brazilian agriculture was rewarding because it opened Tanner’s eyes to a whole new global perspective on agriculture. Tanner will carry the knowledge and realizations he obtained through this experience with him to all future endeavors.
Tanner was actively involved with student organizations as an undergraduate, including Agricultural Systems Management Club, Crops and Soils Club, Alpha Zeta Partners, and CFAES Student Council. He was also a member of Van Wert County Young Ag Professionals. He attended the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professional Conference, National FFA New Century Farmer Conference, and volunteered in the community with Habitat for Humanity.
Tanner’s academic honors include: Dean’s List | CFAES Newcomb Scholar | R.D. Barden Scholarship | Consolidated Grain and Barge Scholarship | Paul H. Rofkar Scholarship.
After graduation Tanner plans to return to his family’s farm full-time, where he will contribute to the operation by diversifying into beef cattle production and expanding the farm’s acreage. He also plans to make the farm more sustainable with different conservation practices that are beneficial to the land and cost-effective.
The mentor Tanner selected was Dr. Dewey Mann. Dr. Mann was his academic advisor and the advisor to the Agricultural Systems Management Club. Tanner notes Dr. Mann as the main reason why he has been successful here at Ohio State, because he kept him focused on the goal of getting the most out of the college experience instead of simply graduation. Tanner said he can never thank Dr. Mann enough for his unwavering, energetic guidance.