The Tarkio Tech office is now displaying antique and handmade items showcasing former Tarkio buildings, David Rankin memorabilia, pictures of life in the olden days, and much more! This Rankin Mule Barn replica was built by the late Larry McKinnon and donated to the Atchison County Historical Society in memory of  his son, Jeremy McKinnon, who passed away in 1999.



One of the next projects taking place at Tarkio Tech will be the renovation of this building, Jenison Hall, to create dorm rooms for Tarkio Tech students. The projected cost is $275,000 for a new roof, windows, insulation, electrical, plumbing, HVAC system, kitchenette, 3 1/2 bathrooms, and bedrooms.


Tarkio Tech held campus tours on Thursday, September 15, 2022. Several people, including some Tarkio College alumni, were able to see the classrooms and labs the Tarkio Tech students are now or will work in, including plumbing, welding, HVAC, manufacturing, wind technology, and health science. Tarkio Tech President Johnnie Davis talked about how the college has been able to get things up and running and the huge successes of the students who have already taken the programs.


The late Virgil Walkup built this replica of the ranch home of W.F. Rankin, who was the son of David Rankin. The replica is now on display in the Thompson Learning Center on the Tarkio Tech campus.


A reception was held in the Thompson Learning Center on the Tarkio Tech campus on Thursday, September 15, 2022. Lots of people were in attendance, including Tarkio College alumni, board members and staff with Tarkio College and Tarkio Tech, and Tarkio citizens.


Al Rankin, Honorary Co-Chair, was a guest speaker at the Tarkio Tech’s Heritage Campaign Gala event Thursday, September 15. Al is the great-great-grandson of Tarkio College founder David Rankin.

Tarkio College, d/b/a Tarkio Technology Institute, kicked off Tarkio College Alumni Weekend with a number of special activities and big announcements.

On Thursday, September 15, Tarkio College President John Davis led a large group of Atchison County citizens, Tarkio Tech/Tarkio College board members, and Tarkio College alumni on a tour of the classrooms being utilized on the campus. Starting in Thompson Learning Center, the group viewed the newly renovated library, which not only houses books, but also recently acquired antiques and replicas of Tarkio and Tarkio College history, as well as David Rankin memorabilia. The group began the tour of the classrooms on the first level including a computer lab and a health science room. On the lower level, the group toured the classrooms and labs that give hands-on experience to the students who are learning or will learn HVAC, plumbing, wind energy electricity, and manufacturing. The labs include a wide variety of equipment that the students will be utilizing or working on once they begin their employment. The equipment includes everything that the students might find in area homes – whether old or new. Recently, a person from the city toured the plumbing lab and saw that not only were the students working with copper pipe, but also lead. He asked why they’d be working on the lead, which is not used anymore, but President Davis explained that many of the area homes still have lead pipe. During Thursday’s tour, President Davis also explained to the group that some of the students and their teachers have already been out in the community to assist citizens and businesses with HVAC and plumbing issues that could not be rectified by their own providers in a timely manner. The students were able to quickly fix the problems that would’ve taken weeks and a lot of money to repair otherwise. The manufacturing lab is not up and running yet, but already includes state-of-the art equipment ready for students to begin. The same goes for the health sciences lab, which has hospital equipment in perfect shape that was donated by area medical facilities. The tour also took them through the newly renovated Tarkio Rotary Theatre and green room and kitchen. The theatre has already been put to use many times for the Mule Barn Theatre Guild’s artist series. It’s also been used for Tarkio Tech graduations and other community events. Following a tour of the theatre, the group left Thompson and walked over to the welding lab in the Dr. Jack Schmidt Welding Center. Throughout the tour, President Davis talked about how Tarkio Tech’s quick success at getting the school up and going can be credited to a huge assortment of individuals, businesses, and organizations who donated their services, time, and equipment. But John also reiterated many times that God had his hands in every piece as well. Some of the evidence of this could be found in the welding lab. When the computerized, updated, perfect quality welding booths were found to be for sale online, a Tarkio Tech representative put a minimum bid in for them. Not only was his bid chosen, but when the welding booths arrived, it was discovered that the school was not just receiving the eight they thought they were getting, but 16, as each booth came as a set. The welding program has been the most sought-after education Tarkio Tech is offering, and one of the most successful. After the students learn all there is to know, they are required to take a test to be certified. Not only are the students passing the test with flying colors (some even earning 39.4 or 39.6 out of a possible 40 points), but almost all have passed the test on the first try. Although the tour did not make it to the wind energy nacelle, President Davis explained to the group how the local wind companies donated the nacelle (which is the compartment you see on the top of the wind turbines that dot Atchison County). This nacelle is one of just a handful available nationwide to wind energy students working toward their certification. It’s the only one in this area and has provided a huge learning experience boost for all of Tarkio Tech’s wind energy students who would otherwise not experience the nacelle’s quarters until they were “on the job.”

Following the tour, a reception was enjoyed in Thompson Learning Center. Later that evening, a gala event was held at Tarkio Community Building where Tarkio Tech and Tarkio College representatives announced a Heritage Campaign to raise $3,000,000 for renovations of the other buildings on the campus. Out of 13 different buildings, only three of them are currently available for use. Renovation of the other buildings is vital to the school’s continued success and to ensure a safe learning environment. Guest speakers included Capital Campaign Chair Bill Slaughter, President John Davis, Honorary Co-Chair Robert A. “Al” Rankin, Jr. (great-great-grandson of Tarkio College founder David Rankin), Board of Directors President and Campaign Committee Kristi McEnaney, and Board of Directors member and Campaign Committee member Don Jagger. Also speaking to the participants via video recordings were local Congressman Sam Graves, former Tarkio College alum Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley.  One of the most inspirational moments was delivered by former Tarkio College staff member and Mule Barn Director John Ferola.

Part of the campaign focuses on turning some of the buildings back into dorm living space for students who are traveling far distances to attend school here. The first phase of the renovation project will see the refurbishment of Jenison Hall. The HVAC and plumbing students will also get hands-on learning experience by helping with the renovations. At Jenison, renovations include: a new roof, windows, insulation, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC system, as well as the creation of a kitchenette and bedrooms and bathrooms to provide for around 18 students. The total cost of this project will be $275,000.

Bestor Hall will require numerous renovations to comply with ADA as well as local building codes and energy standards. This building renovation will also provide housing for Tarkio Tech students.

The Slusher Center includes Eppley Lounge and Dining Hall. It will serve Tarkio Tech students, faculty, staff, and local patrons as a hub for daily dining, community banquets, study areas, and student activities.

Excluding the roofs of the Thompson Learning Center and the Dr. Jack Schmidt Welding Center, the other 11 buildings on campus are desperately in need of repair or complete replacement of their roofs.

The renovation costs of all buildings will total around 3 million dollars. Tarkio Tech is offering a variety of ways to contribute to the Heritage Campaign: $6,000 for 5 years (Associate); $15,000 total for 5 years (Pace Setter); $30,000 total for 5 years (Founder); or one-time donations. Donations may be sent to Tarkio College, P.O. Box 231, Tarkio, MO 64491, ATTN: President John Davis. You may also contact the school if you would like to pay electronically. Email or call 660-623-9071. Tarkio College is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible and will be managed by the Tarkio College Foundation.

Tarkio Tech is also looking into providing outreach programs or partnering with neighboring entities. Some of the future goals include: a mobile lab program for clients of the Maryville, Missouri, Treatment Center and a training opportunity for homeless individuals in the Independence, Missouri, area; and developing long-term partnerships with organizations and students in St. Joseph, Missouri. Tarkio Tech has also partnered with Herzog to create a unique, new Christian business program. This program will allow students to learn the process of creating and operating their own successful business with the combination of Tarkio Tech’s classes and these new courses. Students in these courses will create all the documentation needed to start their business, learn the importance of giving back, and have the chance to go before a board of investors to pitch their business.