Division News

Effective for the 2020/21 academic year, the agricultural economics minor will be renamed to the agribusiness management minor.

The Missouri 4-H Foundation has canceled the Missouri 4-H Clover Classic Golf Tournament, which had been scheduled for June. The foundation will celebrate the 11th annual tournament in June 2021.

CAFNR has canceled all summer academies and camps for 2020.

Jibin Baby, doctoral student studying with DaeYoung Kim, has received a Connecting with Missouri grant from The Connector. The $1,300 grant award will fund a project titled “Agritourism in MO – Engagement, Outreach and Broader Impacts.”

University employees may use the MerlinX image library at no cost. To access MerlinX, please send a request to MU CAFNR IT.

Director’s Updates & Engagements

COVID-19 Efforts

Several divisional personnel responded to the UM System’s call for identifying our institution’s research, educational, engagement and outreach efforts related to COVID-19. This file shares submissions provided by divisional personnel. The UM System intends to use this information to demonstrate its contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interesting Enrollment Trends

Campus closure due to COVID-19 had an interesting impact on undergraduate course enrollment trends for summer 2020 and fall 2020. As of April 1, 2020, year-over-year enrollment for the summer semester was down 55 students from 234 in 2019 to 177 in 2020. Enrollment for the fall semester was down 190 students from 1,087 in 2019 to 897 in 2020. Between April 1 and April 6, both enrollments increased by approximately 5%. Students scheduled for summer and fall enrollment are only now getting back to making enrollment decisions. Thanks to the division’s advisers for working with students.


As a reminder, 2019 summer and fall enrollment totals increased 120% between April 1 enrollment and final semester enrollment for each respective semester. I expect division-wide year-over-year undergraduate enrollment to be lower for summer and fall 2020 as the hospitality management program works with me to right-size its enrollment. I expect some divisional courses, particularly 1000- and 2000-level courses, to see substantial year-over-year growth.


Preparing for New Graduate Students

Because of COVID-19, global travel may be limited throughout the summer and into the fall. Thus, new international graduate students may not be able to arrive on time. I want to thank the division’s graduate faculty (fall 2020) for working with me to have a contingency plan of offering online or hybrid courses should the need arise. (Note, a benefit of the new campus budget model is that the division retains 100% of graduate tuition. Thus, for the fall 2020 semester, the division will have flexibility to offset tuition costs for those international graduate students who were awarded a divisional assistantship but were unable to receive the assistantship and study in residence. To minimize long-term impacts, it’s important to have creative short-term solutions.)

Research, Extension & Engagement Activities

Scott Brown’s latest Hoard’s Dairyman column is titled “Here are some coping strategies for farms.”


Dary, Stanley and Harvey James. “Trade Credit Contracts, Theories and their Applications: A Synthesis of the Literature.” Ghana Journal of Development Studies, forthcoming.


The division recently launched the Engaging 4 MO webinar series. An archive of all previous webinars is available on the division’s YouTube page.


A story from KBIA features comments from Sarah Low about how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect farms selling food into local and regional markets.


The New York Times features comments from Seth Meyer in a story about food and agriculture provisions in the coronavirus stimulus package signed into law on March 27.

On April 9, Seth Meyer was a guest on AgriTalk. Listen beginning at 12:28.


Ng, Desmond, Harvey James and Peter Klein. “Keeping it in the Family: A Socio-Cognitive Approach to the Prioritization of Family Goals.” Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, forthcoming.


Tran, Lan, Laura McCann and Dong Won Shin. 2020. “Determinants of Households’ Adoption of Organic Pesticides for Lawns and Gardens.” Journal of Environmental Protection.


FERN’s Ag Insider quotes Pat Westhoff in a story titled “Enrollment drops in Conservation Reserve.”


Brownfield shares comments from Pat Westhoff about how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect ag markets. In a story from St. Louis Public Radio, he also shares thoughts about the pandemic’s effects on farms.

In a piece from Politico, Pat Westhoff describes how the novel coronavirus pandemic has reorganized how people buy food.

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 Jasper Grashuis and Tracy Greever-Rice.


Jasper Grahuis

Assistant Research Professor

Agricultural and Applied Economics


What goals do you have set for your research program?

In the next six-month period, I am hoping to make progress on several ongoing projects. 1) The determinants of survival among cooperatives (with Jason Franken at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois). 2) The relationship of intellectual property to the market value of public food and beverage manufacturers. 3) The design principles of robust cooperatives in Ghana (with Stanley Dary at University of Development Studies in Wa, Ghana). 4) The investment preferences of hemp producers in collective action mechanisms (with Shuoli Zhao).


What are the top three focuses of your research program?

My primary focus is on cooperatives. Most of my past, current and future research output relates to their ownership, governance, strategy and performance. Other focuses are more or less guided by recent or current events in the agri-food industry including COVID-19.


In what channels have you had the most success in disseminating your findings?

My work is published in various journals, primarily in the field of agricultural economics. Agribusiness, Agricultural Finance Review, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics and International Food and Agribusiness Management Review are common targets. Some of my newer output will be targeted at journals in the fields of consumer behavior and industrial organization.


What collaborators would enhance your research efforts?

I have several ongoing collaborations with colleagues at MU and elsewhere. I am of course open to new collaborations, particularly with people who want to address current real-world problems in the agri-food industry with an organizational view.

Tracy Greever-Rice

Assistant Research Professor

Rural Sociology


In addition to her courtesy appointment in rural sociology, Tracy’s primary academic appointment is in the School of Medicine’s Department of Child Health, and she serves as director of the Center for Health Policy, which is part of the Office of Rural Health now affiliated with MU Extension.


What goals do you have set for your research program?

My research program is collaborative, primarily with colleagues in the Office of Rural Health programs, the Center for Health Policy, the Missouri Telehealth Network, Continuing Medical Education and the Rural Track Pipeline programs. One of our current goals is quality improvement-focused evaluation of the Show Me ECHO program. With respect to the ECHO model, we’re exploring topics such as measurable change in patient outcomes pre/post providers’ ECHO participation and measuring for a “contagion” effect in the health care provider community in Missouri’s underserved areas from providers/clinicians that have participated in Show Me ECHO.


My other primary research program centers on analyzing Missouri health care workforce characteristics. Using administrative records and Missouri’s licensing and credentialing agencies adopting minimum data set surveys, we can better understand the demographic and capacity characteristics of the health care workforce to inform policy and investment as well as project shortage areas and other needs.


What are the top three focuses of your research program?

The top three focuses are 1) developing and implementing methods for administrative data analysis; 2) translational research to support state and local policymakers; and 3) adoption of integrated, comparable minimum data sets across Missouri’s health care workforce.


What collaborators would enhance your research efforts?
Collaborators with expertise in community-level analysis related to the social determinants of health. Examples include local food systems and food insecurity; workforce patterns; cultural norms; and attitudes around health risks such as obesity, smoking and diet.


How do you plan to share about your research findings?
Research publications, conference presentations and policy briefs for Missouri policymakers.


In what channels have you had the most success in disseminating your findings?

The June 2020 edition of Missouri Medicine will be devoted to the Missouri Telehealth Network’s Show Me ECHO program. I have had collaborative successes in health- and health care-related publications.

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

I developed a course for FS19 for the Women’s and Gender Studies program that I will be teaching in FS20. It’s called “Gender in the Heartland,” and it explores intersectionality constructs in rural areas or regions of the U.S. importantly influenced by their rural populations. I’m thinking through how to conduct the course online and continuing to work through readings. It’s a 4000/7000 course, and I’m trying to use Missouri-focused materials if possible. For example, we’ll look at the Cape Girardeau case study in Jonathan Metzl’s “Dying of Whiteness” to discuss gendered perceptions of mental health, and we’ll read “Bettyville” by George Hodgman to frame some issues related to the LGBTQ experience in rural areas. Also, to build a shared definition of “heartland” and “rurality,” I introduce demographic concepts and tools as well as the social determinants of health framework to frame resource disparities.


Who do you plan to engage as guest speakers in the course(s) you teach?
Not quite there yet but am open to ideas.


What projects do you have planned for students in the course(s) you teach?

Last semester, I started with a brief “workshop” on “close reading” to apply to reflective journaling assignments on readings and films. Students also work on an iterative project through the semester in small groups, and they choose between conducting a “case study” or a “literature review.”


On what challenges or opportunities are your extension activities focused?

I don’t have specific extension responsibilities. However, with the Office of Rural Health’s new coordination with MU Extension’s Health and Safety programs, the Center for Health Policy is collaborating with the MU Extension Community Health initiatives through projects such as No Kid Hungry Missouri, which provides technical assistance to school districts and nonprofits to support utilization of USDA child nutrition programs.


What service activities do you have planned?
I have an administrative role as director of the Center for Health Policy and will contribute to the rural health pillar of the NextGen initiative. Externally, I serve on the board of Kids Win Missouri, a nonprofit focused on education/advocacy for children, and the Missouri Child Advocacy Day planning committee. I also serve on a rural health subcommittee for the Missouri MoHealthNet (Medicaid) program and am currently serving on the Governor’s Complete Count Committee for the 2020 decennial census as well as co-chair the Boone County Counts Complete Count group.


What engagement activities do you have planned?

My engagement activities this year will largely focus on the release of the Missouri KIDS COUNT report, an annual snapshot of the well-being of children. We support Missouri local and state policymakers and child and family service providers in using this tool through presentations and analysis. We will also release an updated version of the Missouri Senior Report this fall and hope to have that back on an annual release schedule.

Industry News to Know

The International Food Information Council Foundation periodically releases results from consumer research focused on food issues. Two recent reports share consumer perceptions about food fraud and consumers’ plans to make dietary changes part of New Year’s resolutions.


A free daily e-newsletter sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and the Missouri School of Journalism, the Missouri Business Alert summarizes business news from throughout Missouri. Subscribe here.

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.