Lead Dawg: Owen Thomason and Addie Thomason Tucker
Like father, like daughter
Addie Thomason Tucker follows in her father Owen Thomason’s footsteps to teach agriculture
For teachers, a new school year means meeting parents, decorating the classroom, writing lesson plans and planning field trips. When Addie Thomason Tucker (BSA – Agricultural Education, ’17) stepped into her role as the new agricultural education teacher in Wilcox County, she knew the drill. She was trained by the best — her father, Owen Thomason (BSA – Agricultural Education, ’85; MEd – Agricultural Education, ’89).
From the time he graduated from UGA, Thomason was the one up in front of the classroom, teaching agricultural education in Treutlen County and then Franklin County, where he met his wife and built a family. He taught in Franklin County for 31 years.
The life of an agricultural education teacher proved hectic, so Thomason’s three children would often join him and his students on field trips or to FFA events. While all three girls enjoyed their time being what Thomason refers to as “the young Franklin County FFA members,” Thomason saw a spark in his middle child that was undeniable. He knew she would be an agricultural education teacher one day.
“As they grew up, Addie began to show interest in being an agricultural instructor. She began working in the ag department and was selected as a national finalist in the FFA agricultural education proficiency award,” Thomason said. “I knew then that she would become an outstanding teacher.”
For Tucker, she was fortunate to have her father as her teacher and coach as well. That multifaceted relationship led her to a greater interest in agricultural education.
“When I joined FFA in middle school, I was able to see him as a coach,” Tucker said. “I’d seen the impact he had on other students and, as my agriculture teacher, he made an impact on me as well. That inspired me to be an ag teacher.”
Now in her third year of teaching, Tucker often calls on her father for advice. In her role, Tucker teaches sixth through 12th grade students and advises a collaborative FFA chapter in Wilcox County. Her father’s extensive career and advice often comes in handy.
“I call my dad all the time,” Tucker said. “I ask him about how to help students memorize a speech or even how to fix the thermostat in my greenhouse. Having him helps a lot, especially in my first year.”
Although he retired from teaching agricultural education in Franklin County in 2016, Thomason finds himself learning new tricks of the trade from his daughter. Shortly after retiring, Thomason was recruited by a colleague to start an agriculture program at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia. He now works there as an assistant professor.
“I am glad that she can come to me and talk about her job, challenges and new ideas,” Thomason said. “Addie is very innovative, so most of the time I am asking her for advice.”
The father-daughter pair takes great pride in being alumni of UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. When Tucker chose to attend UGA, her father knew she was in good hands.
“The experiences we both gained while at UGA, along with the network of people we met, continue to support our daily work,” Thomason said. “That was one of the reasons we encouraged her to attend the University of Georgia.”
For Tucker, UGA holds a special place in her heart as her alma mater and as another experience she can share with her father — and with her brother, Malone Thomason (BSA – Horticulture, ’16); and her husband, Bryan Tucker (BSA – Agribusiness, ’18).
“It’s special to me that we both took classes in Four Towers and both have UGA degrees,” said Tucker of her father. “It’s special that I could follow in his footsteps.”
By Sadie Lackey
Owen Thomason and Addie Thomason Tucker