Dr. Tony Brannon
Dean, Hutson School of Agriculture
Murray State University
Tony Brannon has secured more than $8.5 million in grants to support his career and technical education programs, which have been adopted at other institutions and statewide. A pioneer in the field, Brannon leads by his maxim: “Academic education isn’t education unless it is vocational, and vocational education isn’t education unless it is academic.” Brannon proudly calls himself a product of CTE and has been involved in a number of CTE affiliated organizations throughout his career. During his unprecedented two terms as chair of the Kentucky FFA Foundation, the annual fund increased by 50 percent, a permanent full-time director was hired, and Brannon wrote and secured a $2 million perpetual funding grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board.
To motivate students to score well on the Kentucky Occupational Skills Standards Assessment (KOSSA), Brannon led in the development of a statewide articulation agreement for agricultural education, which allowed qualified students passing the KOSSA to earn three hours of college credit at their institution of choice. He also developed and continues to help coordinate the Racer Academy of Agriculture, a program that offers dual credit at the high school and university levels in four classes developed by the Murray State University Hutson School of Agriculture. In the past year, more than 250 students from 35 different high schools across the state received credit in this academy. Not only are Brannon’s CTE programs considered academic, but the college credit they offer saves students thousands of dollars and helps launch their college careers.
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