Division News

Harvey James received the 2020 AFHVS Richard P. Haynes Lifetime Achievement Award in Sustainable Agriculture from the Agriculture, Food & Human Values Society.

Graduate students Barituka Bekee (PhD candidate, agricultural & applied economics) and Emily Miller (MS, rural sociology) were tapped earlier this month into the Rollins Society.

Derrek Hardy, agricultural education senior, was tapped by the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK). Linda Sowers and Annette Kendall received honorary tappings. Agricultural education freshman Jacob Hall was also recognized as one of fourteen ODK Distinguished Freshmen.

The MU Staff Advisory Council recognized Carol Swaim as a finalist for the Mick Deaver Memorial Award for Student Relations Excellence.

CAFNR awarded freshman Kensie Darst, agricultural education; sophomore Lauren Quinlan, agricultural education; junior Jacob Blank, agricultural education; and senior Natalie Ayers, science and agricultural journalism, with outstanding student recognition earlier this month. All of this year’s CAFNR outstanding students, including Caleb Quinlan — plant sciences student who was the co-senior recipient — are Litton Scholars.

On May 12, Mariano Bignon (MS, agricultural and applied economics) successfully defended his thesis titled “Contract Practices and Contract Design in the U.S. Hemp Industry.”

Director’s Updates & Engagements

The search committee for the position of Associate Professor/Professor of the Economics of Producer-Owned Organizations has narrowed the field to two finalists for virtual final interviews.  More information will be forthcoming. The search committee had an excellent candidate pool to explore.

Thank you to Dr. Mike Sykuta for developing a proposal for an accelerated MS in agricultural and applied economics to serve as a pathway for Mizzou agribusiness management students.  Recent changes in Mizzou curriculum policy now allow for qualifying Mizzou undergraduates to enroll in 12 student credit hours of graduate-level coursework for dual credit at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. If approved, the accelerated degree will allow for agribusiness management students to obtain a MS degree with one additional year of school.

I’m pleased to report that the Mizzou campus is aggressively working on an appropriate re-population plan for the  fall semester. The college has formed a task force to inventory classroom space and arrange classes. Amy Moum is representing the division on this committee. Under my direction, Amy and Caitlin (Carr) have created a comprehensive plan for divisional coordinated classrooms, events space, student space, and conference rooms. The division is purchasing modular style mobile desks, technologies (i.e., SWIVL) and PPE in order to assure teachers and students the safest and best learning environment for the fall semester. The division will soon begin mapping class and teacher options for each course. The process of coordinating classroom space is similar to planning for this.

What is the division planning for new degree-seeking students into Divisional programs this fall? Here are a few of the initiatives: 1) create a majors-only section of large introductory courses so that students can meet face-to-face; 2) mirror the May 2020 celebration of graduation with individual welcome videos from DASS persons; 3) create virtual freshman interest groups, by degree program, led by upper level undergraduate students; and 4) pair incoming student with returning students in their major for a mentoring program.

Research, Extension & Engagement Activities

Scott Brown testified before the MO Joint Committee on Agriculture about the economic impact of COVID-19 on Missouri’s agriculture industry.

Adam Cletzer, Rebecca MottJohn Tummons, Jon Simonsen, Jaelyn Peckman, Lupita FabregasTanner AdkinsMaria Calvert, and agricultural education senior Baileigh Horstmeier presented at the virtual American Association for Agriculture Education National Conference in May.

Scott Gerlt discusses food waste caused by COVID-19 on CNBC.

Mary Hendrickson comments on disruptions in the food supply chain in Vox.

Mary Hendrickson. 2020. “Covid lays bare the brittleness of a concentrated and consolidated food system.” Agriculture and Human Values.

Kevin Comerford, Channing Arndt, Adam Drewnowski, Polly Ericksen, Tim Griffin, Mary Hendrickson, John Ingram and Jill Nicholls. 2020. “Proceedings of a workshop on characterizing and defining the social and economic domains of sustainable diets.” Sustainability.

Lincoln Marshall will present his paper titled “The Importance of Event Management – Case Study of the Fyre Festival in The Bahamas” at the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education conference.

Ray Massey. 2020. Custom Rates for Farm Services in Missouri. University of Missouri Extension.

Seth Meyer comments on soybean exports to China in the Financial Times, and he discusses farm losses and economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the Washington Post.

In Successful FarmingSeth Meyer discusses meat production decline and uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

Laura McCann and Yubin Fang. 2020. “Adoption of Pressure Irrigation Systems and Scientific Irrigation Scheduling Practices by U.S. Farmers: An Application of Multilevel Models.” Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Judith I. Stallmann, editor, Ballard Local Government Series. Olsen, Monte2020. Rules for Missouri Fire Protection Districts.” University of Missouri Extension.

Pat Westhoff titled his latest Columbia Daily Tribune column as “COVID-19 is not the only factor affecting the farm and food sectors.”

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 John Kruse and Dae-Young Kim.

John Kruse

Associate Research Professor

Agricultural and Applied Economics

What changes do you plan to make to the course(s) you teach? Do you plan to engage guest speakers?

I have the privilege of teaching the undergraduate Agricultural Marketing class. I can think of numerous opportunities to leverage the devastating experience of COVID-19 to explore the strengths and weaknesses in agricultural supply chains.  These examples will provide an experiential learning opportunity to consider how they can shape the resiliency of the supply chain for the future.

I am looking for speakers who can address how COVID-19 affected their supply chains. Since the COVID-19 situation remains fluid, I don’t yet have specific commitments but I’d like to get a farm input supplier (possibly MFA), a Missouri fruit and vegetable producer and/or a Missouri farmers market manager, and a representative from a wholesaler/retailer business.

What projects do you have planned for students?

I plan to do a series of situational exercises where groups of students are put in the position of various players in the food supply chain, giving them some of the circumstances experienced with COVID-19 and having them think through strategies they would use to overcome the obstacles. The groups will then be given more situational background and asked to work together to come up with coordinated solutions.

On what challenges or opportunities are your extension activities focused?

I will always be looking for a variety of ways for Missouri farmers to be profitable, improve their quality of life, and manage their risk. Working with the FAPRI team, I will continue to provide monthly webcasts to address current agricultural issues and provide a crop and livestock outlook. Providing updated policy information and details on the support available to farmers will continue to be critical.

What audiences do you plan to reach, and how will you reach them?

I primarily focus directly on farm audiences, though I also work with businesses supporting farmers to help them understand the obstacles and opportunities in farming. An important audience continues to be agricultural bankers to provide greater transparency on farm profitability and ensure adequate access to credit.  I also hope to resume our grain marketing meetings with farmers.

I am in the process of writing a Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Marketing handbook to help Missouri producers understand how to expand their operations and gain access to new markets. I also expect to contribute articles to the 2021 Missouri Agricultural Issues booklet.

I expect to support horticulture, agronomy, and livestock extension meetings where they have need for outlook, policy, or other economic information. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these meetings have occurred through “Townhall” Zoom meetings, but I hope to return to in-person meetings this fall. I expect to resume the grain marketing meetings this fall as well, participate in the agricultural lenders meetings, and continue to provide support as a speaker at various meetings across the state as requested.

Dae-Young Kim

Associate Professor

Hospitality Management

What goals do you have set for your research program?

My research applies consumer behavior and social psychology theories to support hospitality/tourism marketing strategies and to advance understanding of existing and proposed practices in the academic community. The goal of my research is to produce research that advances the practice of hospitality marketing and destination management by helping industry practitioners and policymakers in the following ways: (1) better understand tourist attitudes and behaviors, (2) appropriately position their destinations, (3) make more productive policies related to destination management, and (4) consequently solicit more potential visitors in efficient and sustainable ways. Ultimately, I believe that these research goals should help contribute to hospitality and tourism literature and to our society’s economic and cultural level.

What collaborators would enhance your research efforts?

I have been working with my colleagues within DASS, across MU campus, and at other institutions. Of them, my main collaborators are my graduate students. With my graduate students, I have a crucial role in output that merits publication in hospitality and tourism journals. Since I joined MU in 2006, I have produced six PhD and five master’s students who have demonstrated success by publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals, presenting at international conferences, and launching careers in academia. My graduate students and I have published 51 peer-reviewed journal articles, two book chapters, eight technical reports, 57 stand-up conference presentations, and seven poster presentations. Collaborations with graduate students sometimes take more time and more effort, but it is the most enjoyable thing for me. Currently, I am working with five graduate students.

What service activities do you have planned?

I have served as hospitality management (HM) graduate program coordinator for two years. I am responsible for organizing faculty efforts to define the requirements and goals of our MS and PhD programs, promoting the HM graduate program, and communicating with graduate students regarding the policy and procedure of degree completion. I really appreciate the role and the opportunity to work with graduate students. I have also served as an editorial board member for five peer-reviewed journals (Journal of Travel Research, Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, Journal of Convention & Event Tourism, and Asian Pacific Journal of Tourism Research) and one international conference (Asia Pacific Tourism Association).

What engagement activities do you have planned?

I focus more on understanding agritourism operators, agritourists, and agritourism policy and support in Missouri. With my colleagues in DASS, Drs. Eliza Tse and Mike Sykuta, I have worked on an external grant project entitled “Enhancing the Economic Sustainability of Missouri Agritourism” funded by the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA).

The goal of this project is to evaluate the economic sustainability of agritourism within Missouri. Agritourism is becoming more popular in Missouri as a strategy to earn additional farm revenues and lessen the economic burden imposed by the current agricultural market conditions. Despite Missouri agritourism’s importance, relatively few research endeavors have identified effective ways of increasing the viability of agritourism enterprises operated by farmers and related businesses. Based on this realization, this study will provide suggestions that help Missouri agritourism operators sustain their businesses and achieve optimal performance. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the research finding will provide more meaningful information.

Errors and Ommissions

The May 8 edition of the DASS Wrap-Up misstated Abbie Meffert’s degree program. Ms. Meffert earned her MS in agricultural and applied economics.

Submit Your News

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