Division News

Effective Sept. 1, Caroline Brock will transfer to the sociology department in the College of Arts and Science.

Brent Carpenter retired from the University of Missouri at the end of May after 29 years of service. Congratulations, Brent, and thank you for your contributions!

Scott Gerlt will join the American Soybean Association in July as a staff economist.

The MU Office of Research and Economic Development announced two professional development opportunities through ResearchFRST: the Research Development Fellows Program for pre-tenure faculty and the Research Leadership Fellows Program for post-tenure/mid-career faculty prior to promotion to full professor.

The UM System Office of Retirement is holding Zoom seminars for any MU employee who would like to learn more about the MU retirement plans.

This week, Elizabeth Prentice, PhD candidate in rural sociology, defended her dissertation titled “Green Governmentality and Forest Insect Disturbance: Risk, Power and Mountain Pine Beetles.” Hua Qin is her adviser.

Jennifer Wentz, PhD candidate in agricultural education and leadership, defended her dissertation this week titled “Physical Activity and Social Comparison: Effects of a Group-based Fitbit Intervention.” Jon Simonsen and Sonja Wilhelm Stanis are her advisers.

Director’s Updates & Engagements

Please join me in congratulating Dae-Young Kim on his promotion to full professor, Hua Qin on his promotion to associate professor with tenure, Caroline Brock on her promotion to associate teaching professor and Steve Jeanetta on his promotion to extension professor. Their appointments are effective Sept. 1.

Research, Extension & Engagement Activities

Ye Su and Michael Cook. 2020. “Advances in agricultural cooperative research since 2007: A review of Chinese Agricultural Economics literature.” Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics.

On June 1, Exceed—Regional Economic and Entrepreneurial Development published a Missouri Economy Indicators Update focused on business openings and revenue changes in Missouri in response to COVID-19. The June 15 edition of the update looked into remote work trends. Access Missouri Economy Indicators publications here.

The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute released its June 2020 Baseline Update for U.S. Agricultural MarketsFern’s Ag InsiderAgri-PulseFarm Policy NewsSuccessful Farming and Forbes share the report’s outcomes related to government payments and farm income.

Bloomberg News cites the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute’s research in a recent article on changes in U.S. per-capita meat consumption.

In May, Jere Gilles presented a virtual seminar on “Using Mixed Methods in Agricultural Research” to the African Farmer Research Network, sponsored by the McKnight Foundation.

Yidan Huang and Pei Liu. 2020. “An Evaluation of College Students’ Healthy Food Consumption Behaviors.” Journal of Culinary Science and Technology.

Desmond Ng, Harvey S. James Jr., and Peter G. Klein. 2020. “Keeping it in the family: a socio-cognitive approach to the prioritization of family goals.” Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development.

Gumdwang Bae, Seunghwan Lee, and Dae-Young Kim. 2020. “Interactions between Service Recovery Efforts and Customer Characteristics: Apology, Compensation, and Empowerment.” Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism.

Seth Meyer appeared on the June 19 edition of Ag Day to discuss renewable fuel standards exemptions for small refineries.

Joe Parcell discusses U.S. meat supply shortages with CNBC.

Judith Stallmann and Austin Sanders. 2020. “Third Class County Fiscal Ratios and Population Change.” Ballard Local Government Series #DM4013. University of Missouri Extension.

Travis Holmes and Randall Westgren. 2020. “Carving the Nature of Uncertainty at its Joints.” Academy of Management.

Online Teaching Task Force Report

Click below to watch DASS students share their experiences and expectations for online teaching and learning!

Also, the task force shares these reminders about upcoming online or hybrid teaching initiatives:

  • Lunch-N-Learn Presentations: DASS will host weekly Lunch-N-Learn webinars to share perspectives, resources and tools that DASS faculty can use to prepare for teaching hybrid, online and F2F classes. Join the first session at noon on Tuesday, July 7 to hear from a DASS student panel. Zoom links for Lunch-N-Learns are in calendar invitations sent earlier this week. If you didn’t receive the invites, then email Jaelyn Peckman. Access the schedule here.
  • One-on-One Assistance: Have a specific course or project that’s challenging to transition to an online or hybrid format? Reach out to a task force member for assistance: Jill Moreland, Jaelyn Peckman, Jamille Palacios, Mauro Palmero and Alex Stichnote.
  • Technology Needs: If you know of a technology need or teaching asset that would assist with teaching your courses, please email the need to Jaelyn Peckman.

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 Mary Leuci, Pei Liu and Sarah Low.

Mary Leuci

Associate Extension Professor

Director of Evaluation and Engagement, MU Extension

On what challenges or opportunities are your extension activities focused?

I will be focused on continuing to lead the international team that is developing extension training materials, conducting and evaluating training for farm-based organization (FBO) leaders and trainers for agriculture extension agents in Ghana as part of the Technical Education Development for Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (TEDMAG) project. The project collaborates closely with Ghana’s Division of Agriculture Extension Service and regional and district departments of agriculture. The TEDMAG project is conducted by a consortium consisting of the University of Saskatchewan, the nonprofit UMAP-Ghana and the University of Missouri on behalf of the Government of Ghana with funding from Global Canada. The TEDMAG extension team, led by myself, includes UMAP-Ghana staff, Mary Crave (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Alice Roach (DASS) and Lindsey Saunders (CAFNR International Programs).

What audiences do you plan to reach with extension activities?

Approximately 160 FBO leaders will be trained in regional trainings, and the training for regional and district ag extension trainers will be conducted for all 16 regions to allow for follow-on training for ag agents in each of the 260+ districts across Ghana into early next year. The training focuses on aspects of value addition and collaborative work with FBOs and actors in agricultural value chains to further develop Ghana’s market-oriented agriculture system while increasing profitability for small and medium-sized farmers. The project is also developing additional COVID-19 training protocols for current district trainings underway based on trainings conducted in 2019 related to extension training methods, gender and inclusion, the value chain, and post-harvest management. 

What extension publications do you plan to create or update?

Publications expected include a training manual for trainers, training slides and an FBO handbook (for use by FBOs and agriculture extension agents).

Pei Lui

Assistant Professor

Hospitality Management

What are the top three focuses of your research program?

The long-term goal of my research program is to understand human behaviors from health- and safety-related perspectives. More specifically, the first research area is food safety, which aims to address the aforementioned need from different perspectives to improve safe food handling practices. Consumers’ healthy food consumption behaviors are my second focus, which proposes to better understand consumers’ healthy food consumption intentions and behaviors in food service operations. My third research focus is consumer behaviors in food service establishments, which will produce research that advances the practice of food service management by helping hospitality industry practitioners to 1) better understand consumers’ attitudes and behaviors; 2) appropriately position their food service establishments; 3) make more productive strategies related to food service management; and 4) consequently solicit more potential and loyal consumers in efficient and sustainable ways.

What collaborators would enhance your research efforts?

I have collaborated with many colleagues in DASS, CAFNR and MU campus in the past. To enhance my research efforts, I welcome any potential collaborations related to my research program. While developing the grant proposals, I’ve worked with numerous institutes domestically and internationally, including Kansas State University, Lincoln University, Louisiana Tech University, Auburn University, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Sun Yat-sen University and Fu-Jen Catholic University.

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

I will be teaching one undergraduate course (HM 3310 Food Service Operations Management) and one graduate course (FS 8404 Topics in Food Science – Theory Construction) in the fall. In the undergraduate course, I plan to invite guest speakers from the hospitality industry (e.g., Marriott International, E&J Gallo Winery) to share their work and career development experiences. More researchers from various disciplines (e.g., agricultural & applied economics, School of Natural Resources and agricultural systems management) will be invited to present their recent research projects in the graduate course. Graduate students will have the chance to understand how research is conducted within different fields.

What service activities do you have planned?

Since spring 2020, I’ve served as the faculty adviser of the University of Missouri Eta Sigma Delta Honor Society. Eta Sigma Delta is an international honor society that recognizes the scholastic and professional achievement among hospitality and tourism students. I continuously serve as ad-hoc reviewer for eight different hospitality journals and manuscript reviewer for five conferences annually and also serve as the board member in Foodservice Systems Management Education Council since 2019 and joined as a member in the Missouri Restaurant Association; International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education; International Association for Food Protection; and National Restaurant Association.

Sarah Low
Associate Professor and Fred V. Heinkel Chair

Director, Exceed—Regional Economic and Entrepreneurial Development

What goals do you have set for your research program?

As a regional economist, my work intends to identify how regions and communities, particularly those in rural America, may pursue entrepreneurship as an effective economic development strategy. I evaluate factors affecting innovation and firm management via business start-ups to suggest policy levers and best practices that improve the flow of start-ups, ultimately fostering regional economic development. I research how factors such as broadband internet access, financial capital availability, local food systems and manufacturing influence entrepreneurship and economic development.

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

Exceed invested in and experimented with disseminating research this year through social media, timely synthesis briefs, short videos and our CED webinar series to ensure that our research is both in a consumable form and has broad reach within the state. Hannah McClure and Mallory Rahe have provided leadership around coordinating these efforts; thank you, ladies! Alice Roach and I are beginning to think about a broader media strategy, including press releases for articles and even op-eds.

At what events do you plan to share extension resources?

Tessa Conroy (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and I developed an extension program to help community leaders build entrepreneurial ecosystems and networks supportive to entrepreneurs this year. We had planned to hold day-long in-person workshops in Missouri and Wisconsin but had to cancel when COVID-19 arrived. We quickly pivoted to deliver a shorter three- to four-hour workshop via Zoom, and the first couple of pilots went well—assistance from host-county extension faculty was integral to those successes. I look forward to comparing the Zoom and in-person benefits and costs.

What service activities do you have planned?

I am on the North American Regional Science Association’s board; I’m currently working on a code of conduct and also sit on the organization’s newly formed diversity and inclusion committee. Both activities have ramped up in recent weeks! Since coming to Mizzou, I have become active in the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA). This year, I begin chairing AAEA’s CRENET (Community & Regional Economics Network) section, and in that role, I’ve begun collaborating with CWAE (Committee on Women in Ag Econ) and COSBAE (Committee of the Status of Black Ag Economists) leadership on increasing diversity and inclusion within AAEA.

Industry News to Know

The newly released Food Systems Dashboard presents a view of food systems throughout the world. By country, the dashboard presents data for more than 150 indicators. John Hopkins University and The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition developed the dashboard with assistance from several partners. Access the resource at foodsystemsdashboard.org

To illustrate how the number of COVID-19 cases has changed, MU Extension’s Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems launched a new dashboard.

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.