COLUMBUS — Rex Tietje of Deshler was recently named a 2020 Distinguished Senior at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
“The Distinguished Senior Award is the most prestigious undergraduate award in CFAES, recognizing the top graduating seniors from each of the academic units on the Columbus campus,” said Steven Neal, CFAES professor and associate dean for academic programs.
Tietje, an agricultural systems management major from Henry County, was nominated by college faculty and staff who felt that he personified the award’s attributes of academic, disciplinary and professional excellence.
“One of the hallmarks of our college is an emphasis on student success, and it is heartwarming to see it exemplified through the accomplishments of our students,” Neal said. “Recipients are our future innovators and leaders who have already made an impact within the academic environment at this university and beyond.”
Dewey Mann, Tietje’s nominator and director of Ohio State’s Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory, wrote, “When one considers students who have made a significant impact on the CFAES community, or advanced the college in the eyes of others, Rex is certainly among the top candidates. His dedication to the advancement of the agricultural systems management program makes him well deserving of a distinguished senior recognition.”
Tietje served as both vice president and president of the Agricultural Systems Management (ASM) Club, one of the most active student organizations in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. During that time, the organization’s fundraising increased from $300 to over $23,000.
“This increase was due primarily to Rex’s innovations to the annual Lawn Mower Clinic, one of the club’s main fundraisers. He increased the event’s capacity and the efficiency of their maintenance assembly line,” Mann said. “This increase in capital allowed the organization to sponsor more student trips at lower costs to students.”
While club president, Tietje also led the ASM Club to recognition as the 2019 CFAES Student Organization of the Year Award. He served on the CFAES Student Council and was a member of the Crops and Soils Club.
Tietje completed two internships: one with the Tie Legacy Farmers Cooperative in Pandora and Custar, where he served as an agronomy and grain intern, and another with Redline Equipment of Bowling Green, where he was a precision farming intern.
Those hands-on experiences culminated in Tietje starting a Beck’s Hybrids seed dealership with older brother, Ryan, while still a student. After he graduates, Tietje plans to continue to invest in his business, Buckeye Advanced Ag, LLC, using the skills he learned while in ASM.
“Rex’s ability to lead the ASM Club to one of the college’s highest honors and his tenacity to start his own business before even graduating college prove why he sets himself apart as a distinguished senior,” Mann concluded.
As a top academic performer, Tietje was on the dean’s list every semester and was awarded two of Ohio State’s top scholarships — the OSU Provost Scholarship and the Edward S. “Beanie” Drake Student Leader Endowment Fund Scholarship. He also received a scholarship from the Ohio Soybean Council Foundation.
After graduation, Tietje will return to Henry County to manage his seed dealership and help grow the family’s corn and soybean operation.
“I look to bring the knowledge gained at Ohio State back to the business and our home farm,” Tietje said. “Not only do I want to help both be more profitable and grow, but I also want to help ensure the success of those farmers we work with.”
An awards dinner to recognize all 25 CFAES Distinguished Seniors has been canceled due to COVID-19.
“The safety of our community is our top priority,” Neal said. “We are deeply sorry the planned celebration will not occur. The commitment and dedication of these students to their undergraduate education will still be recognized with a special award package that will be mailed later this semester.”
In autumn 2019, there were 2,486 undergraduate students in CFAES pursuing 22 majors and 31 minors.
(Information courtesy of The Ohio State University.)