Division News

Agriculture student Dallas Kleiboeker and agribusiness management student Donell Kleiboeker were selected to attend the 2019 New Century Farmer Conference.

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) will have its first meeting of the semester at 6 p.m. on Jan. 29 in ABNR 210. Please invite fellow students who might be interested in becoming members. MANRRS provides many career opportunities and the chance to provide greater service to the community. All students, regardless of their disciplines, are welcome. Pizza will be served. Annually, the division contributes funding to MANRRS.

Through Jan. 31, the Rural Assembly is accepting applications for its Rural Youth Assembly Summit, which will gather 16- to 24-year-olds to discuss issues related to rural and Native communities. Learn more at ruralassembly.org/2020-rural-youth-assembly.

Recent or upcoming travels for DASS personnel include Tse to Nevada; Liu to Nevada; Zhao to California; and Simonsen to New Mexico.

Director’s Updates & Engagement

On Jan. 16, I had the pleasure of welcoming more than 50 persons from MU ExtensionCAFNR and the Missouri Department of Agriculture to campus for a daylong program focused on shared opportunities.

I have been selected to serve a second term as chair for the advisory board of the North Central Region Center for Regional Development, which is headquartered at Michigan State University.

From March 3 to March 5, I will be at Purdue University to serve as a member of the external review team for the Department of Agricultural Economics’ five-year Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service review.

I have been chosen to serve on the UM System Academic Leadership Development Advisory Board.

Mike Keene and I met with Missouri Department of Agriculture representatives to finalize the second year of hospitality management managing the Missouri Grown Bistro at the 2020 Missouri State Fair.

A&AE graduate student Abby Meffert and I will teach ABM 2183 – Ag Marketing System during this spring 2020 semester from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My availability around class time will be limited.

Shout-Out goes to Laura Gordon for effectively supporting a number of job searches starting in the division.

Six-Month Snapshot

The “Six-Month Snapshot” highlights faculty’s planned research, teaching, extension, engagement and service activities for the next six months. By sharing this information, the intent is to enable divisional faculty to learn about one another and identify opportunities to collaborate.

All faculty will receive an invitation to contribute in an upcoming issue. In this issue, we feature Caroline Brock and Scott Brown.

Caroline Brock
Assistant Teaching Professor
Rural Sociology

What are the top three focuses of your research program?

My research falls under two broad categories that complement each other: (1) capturing the differences in scientific and practitioner knowledge around agricultural issues integrating socio-economic and agro-ecological sciences (2) and education research to enhance diversity and inclusion in formal and non-formal educational settings. For a recent example of my second focus, I explore how instructors incorporate diversity and inclusion into writing assignments across a wide variety of disciplines. See my recent “The Pen as a Bridge: Instructor perspectives on incorporating diversity and inclusion in writing intensive courses publication co-authored with Ninive Sanchez and Deanna Sharpe.

What goals do you have set for your research program?

My goals involve completing peer-reviewed and extension publications working with interdisciplinary researchers and key stakeholders around issues such as soil health, especially how farmers and practitioners use soil balancing, which William Albrecht at Mizzou researched; organic dairy herd health issues; and ecological approaches to antimicrobial resistanceThese are all areas where little is known in the scientific community and/or it has been studied without fully understanding the complexity of stakeholder practices. I hope to find more colleagues at Mizzou to conduct additional related collaborative research endeavors and have enjoyed having discussions with Laura McCann and her student on horse manure management and a beginning conversation with Jamille Palacios Rivera on marketing outlets for the Amish; I am excited to continue to develop these as well as additional potential research avenues with more of you! Let’s talk!

What changes do you plan to make to the course(s) you teach?

This fall 2019 and spring 2020, I have been creating two new topics courses in economics that do not require any economics prerequisites: one on Ecological Economics and the other on Socioeconomic Perspectives on Science and Technology. I recently completed the Online Teaching Foundations course and plan to develop some online courses in the following academic year with the exact topics yet to be verified. In the meantime, I am exploring using online teaching techniques to enhance my courses next semester, e.g. by offering some brief recorded lectures on the main points of the lecture/discussion and providing further clarity on challenging issues.

Who do you plan to engage as guest speakers in the course(s) you teach?

I am incorporating more active learning into my courses, and one way to do that which relates to guest speakers is through field trips. I had a good experience with adding a Mizzou Power Plant tour to my Ecological Economics class after the students explored the ecological and economic ramifications of their own electricity use. This next semester, I hope to incorporate a tour of the MU Research Reactor and connect it to incentives for scientific research with issues like patenting.

Scott Brown
Associate Extension Professor
Agricultural and Applied Economics

What are the top three focuses of your research program?

My research program is focused on the economic effects of the Dairy Margin Coverage program that was passed in the 2018 farm bill. I have been concentrating on the effectiveness of this new safety net program on small and large dairy producers. The structural changes currently unfolding in the dairy industry, including the recent bankruptcy filings of two major fluid milk processors, are a part of my research program, especially how federal milk orders are affecting the structure of the industry.

On what challenges or opportunities are your extension activities focused?
I spend much of my time helping educate farmers on the important market drivers affecting agricultural commodity prices. My extension program is focused on educating producers on major supply and demand drivers, including consumer demand, domestic policy, trade agreements and producer supplies of agricultural products. My extension programming is meant to highlight the downside risk and upside potential for prices, so farmers can make better informed decisions regarding their marketing strategies.

What engagement activities do you have planned?

I am currently engaged with the Missouri legislature by testifying on bills of interest to Missouri agriculture including the potential of Missouri-specific biodiesel mandates under consideration this legislative session. I have been involved with the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City on its upcoming Ag Innovation Forum to be held in February. I am participating with the task force led by Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe on the Food, Beverage and Forest Products Manufacturing Initiative.

Research, Extension and Engagement Activities

Scott Brown’s latest Hoard’s Dairyman column is titled “Tight powder stocks drive milk protein prices.”

For Farm Progress, Scott Brown writes about “Brighter days ahead for U.S. beef exports.”

Mizzou News highlighted research from Sarah Cramer, Anna Ball and Mary Hendrickson that found school gardens have the potential to teach children basic skills related to food.

Harvey James has a new blog post titled Should we scrutinize public research funded by private interests?

Hitchner, Joanna, Keith Menzie and Seth Meyer. 2019. Tariff Impacts on Global Soybean Trade Patterns and U.S. Planting Decisions.” Choices.

In a story from Farm Talk, Ray Massey shares about farm liability coverage.

At 10:12 and 28:10 of the Jan. 11 episode of the
 U.S. Farm ReportSeth Meyer participated in the marketing roundtable and provided reaction to USDA commodity production reports and trade agreement developments. A story from AgWeb summarizes his comments regarding the “phase one” trade deal with China.

In an interview with willag.org, Seth Meyer describes how the February WASDE report will provide an interpretation of the U.S.-China trade deal’s implications for 2019/2020.

On Jan. 16, AgDay featured comments from Seth Meyer about the market’s response to the U.S.-China trade deal.

Qin, HuaElizabeth Prentice, Hannah Brenkert-Smith, Christine Sanders and Jamie Vickery. 2019. “Mountain Pine Beetles and Colorado Forests: Findings from a Re-Survey of Colorado Community Residents.” University of Missouri-Columbia.

Vickery, Jamie, Hannah Brenkert-Smith and Hua Qin. 2019. “Using conjoint constitution to understand responses to slow-moving environmental change: The case of mountain pine beetle in north-central Colorado.” Environmental Sociology.

Westhoff, Patrick, Tracy Davids and Byung Min Soon. 2019. Impacts of Retaliatory Tariffs on Farm Income and Government Programs.” Choices.

In The Christian Science Monitor, Pat Westhoff comments on the “phase one” trade deal with China.

Submit Your News

If you have information to share in the DASS Wrap-Up, then please send your news items to Alice Roach or Joe Parcell.