COLUMBUS — Tyler Zimpfer, of Anna, Ohio, has been named a 2022 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 and director of academic programs.
Zimpfer, a business and applied economics major from Shelby 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.”
Zimpfer, a first-generation college student, completed his studies in three years.
“Following graduation, I plan to attend law school,” Zimpfer said. “Because of my experiences in CFAES, I have realized my interest in the legal profession and assisting the agricultural community in that way. I am excited to share my farming background, the diverse network of CFAES, and the relationships cultivated at the college with whichever school I end up at.”
Zimpfer credits Collegiate Farm Bureau and other student organizations with helping shape who he has become.
“Involvement in student organizations as a member and as a leader taught me an improved way of looking at the world,” he said. “I’ve learned that having a leadership mindset is important, and I have been grateful to have led organizations from an executive position. But I have also learned the great value of being a follower. Following is arguably harder than being a leader, and I have been thankful to have both experiences as a student.”
Collegiate Farm Bureau was reconstituted in 2019, and Zimpfer has been involved since the start. He served as president this year after a stint as secretary. Last year, he helped establish the Food Fund-off Challenge, which has funded more than 35,000 meals for families in need through Feeding America.
He also has been active in the FarmHouse International Fraternity, serving as vice president of administration. He has been a CFAES Ambassador, giving tours to prospective students and their families. Along with studies and volunteering, Zimpfer worked in different jobs that helped him pay his way through college.
“My primary position was as a student assistant in the Government Affairs department within CFAES,” he said. “There, I constantly interacted with government officials and stakeholders as well as strategized ways in which the college could present messages of progress, success, and innovation to the public.”
He had a similar experience with an internship with California-based Valent USA, working in its Government and Industry Affairs unit.
“I am much more confident in talking with influential leaders and effectively communicating a detailed message about the benefits of the company I was working for,” he said of the internship experience. “I was also able to experience different areas of agriculture that I had never witnessed before. California, especially, has a large variety of crops unlike the corn, soybeans, and wheat grown in Ohio.”
Due to persisting impacts of the pandemic, celebration of this year’s CFAES Distinguished Seniors took place during a by invitation reception at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on The Ohio State University’s Columbus campus on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. At the recognition celebration hosted by CFAES dean and vice president for agricultural administration Cathann A. Kress and associate dean and director of academic programs Steven Neal, recipients were presented with special award packages. A YouTube video recognizing the award recipients on the Ohio State — College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences YouTube channel was also released on that same day. View the recognition video at go.osu.edu/CFAES2022DSA.
While this year’s recognition took on a varied format from previous years for the 2022 recipients, Neal said, “We were pleased to be able to acknowledge their commitment to their education and dedication to their time as a student in CFAES by recognizing them with the YouTube video, and via social media and professional networking platforms.”
In autumn 2021, there were 2,859 undergraduate students in CFAES pursuing 22 majors and 34 minors. Learn more about CFAES academic programs at go.osu.edu/ B4V2.