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Commercial Turf and Grounds instructors accept new Toyota, national award

State Technical College of Missouri instructors Ryan Klatt and Nick Rackers nabbed national recognition for providing outstanding agricultural education. Their award, a 2013 Toyota Tundra, was presented to them on April 23 at Riley Toyota’s Grand Opening Event in Jefferson City.

Klatt and Rackers were honored as one of six outstanding postsecondary/adult agriculture programs across the nation. For their dedication, they received a complimentary two-year lease on the Toyota Tundra, a vehicle the two said they will share on a six-month schedule.

When submitting their application for the state award, the two had no idea how far it would go.
They took the state competition in July 2012 and were automatically qualified for the national award.

“We thought we had a decent shot at the state competition,” Rackers admitted. “But we had no idea of the competition at the national level.”

“We still don’t,” Klatt noted. “It was quite an honor when they announced it.”

Klatt and Rackers have been instructors of the Commercial Turf and Grounds Management program at State Tech for 12 and seven years, respectively. They keep students apprised of current industry trends in landscaping and turf grass management by utilizing the entire college campus as a practical outdoor learning environment. And they credit long-time college president, Dr. Donald Claycomb, who allows them to use the campus as a teaching tool.

Toyota sponsors the Outstanding Postsecondary/ Adult Agricultural Education Program Award as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The award recognizes “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.” 


State Technical College of Missouri is Missouri’s only state technical college. Hands-on technical courses balanced with a strong foundation in communication, problem solving, decision-making and critical thinking prepare graduates for profitable employment and a life of learning. 


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