MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University Hutson School of Agriculture Dean Dr. Tony Brannon and his brother, Tim, have recently established and endowed the Brannon Family Scholarship for current and incoming Murray State students pursuing a degree in agriculture.
Tim graduated from Murray State in 1976. He was an active FFA member at Henry County High School. After earning his degree and student teaching at Hopkinsville High School, he took his dream job with Allis-Chalmers in Memphis, Tennessee, and later served as a district representative in Louisiana. In 1978, he returned home to Henry County and became co-owner of the local Allis-Chalmers dealership, B&G Equipment. He still owns and manages the business to this day.
Tim and his wife, Debbie, have two girls, Natalie and Kelly, both Murray State graduates (Natalie in 2005 and Kelly in 2008). Natalie works for Tennessee state government and lives in Paris, Tennessee, with her husband, Joey Boyd, and her two kids, Luke and Izzy. Kelly works for Syngenta and lives in Burlington, North Carolina, with her husband, Cody Bumpus.
Tony graduated from Murray State in 1981. He was also an active member of FFA, serving as a Tennessee state officer from 1978-79. After earning his Bachelor of Science in agriculture with specialization in agricultural education and agricultural mechanization and a Master of Science in agriculture, Tony spent four years teaching at Peabody High School in Trenton, Tennessee, before earning his Ed.D degree at Oklahoma State University. He returned to his alma mater in 1988 as an assistant professor in agricultural education, where he rose through the ranks to become dean.
Tony and his wife, 1988 Murray State alumna Lisa, have two sons, Caleb and Jonah. Both Caleb and Jonah are part of the Racer Family; Caleb graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in agribusiness and in 2019 with a Master of Science in Agriculture. Caleb lives in Puryear, Tennessee, with his wife, Taylor English Brannon and is employed by Ag Connections/Syngenta. Jonah is on track to graduate in 2020 with a degree in agribusiness/agricultural education and is a member of the Racer Baseball team.
“Following the leadership and example of former Allegro owner Mr. Dave Wilcox, we started giving annual Brannon scholarships in honor of our grandad, ‘Pap,’ many years ago,” Tony said. “As we lost our parents, we shifted the honor to cover the entire family. Tim and I began our foundation in agriculture on the family farm, continued thorough FFA at Henry County High School and culminated our education with agriculture degrees from Murray State.
“I am proud that Lisa, Caleb, Taylor and Jonah either have or will have degrees from here and for the past 32 years, I have been blessed to hold my dream job as an agriculture faculty member at Murray State. We are pleased to give back to help future students pursue their dream jobs just as we did through FFA and Murray State.”
“Agriculture, Murray State and FFA have been very important to our family,” Tim said. “Altogether, the immediate family holds many awards from FFA and 10 degrees from Murray State with more on the way. We have gained a lot from Murray State. For over 40 years, I’ve held my dream job working for Allis-Chalmers Corporation and as owner/manager of B&G Equipment. The letters FFA have held this family together through the years: family, faith and agriculture. Through this endowment, in memory of our parents and grandparents and in honor of our entire family, we wish to give back to support FFA and Murray State.”
Eligible scholarship applicants must be full-time students and FFA members from the Brannons’ home of Henry County, Tennessee, majoring in agriculture with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. In the event there are no applicants from Henry County, recipients shall be graduates of Calloway County High School.