Division News

Ray Massey recently received the C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award from the University of Missouri System.

In July, the Cambio Center released a report of its contributions to faculty and student development. The report highlights the center’s role in mentoring and building inclusive communities across campus.

On July 13, Meongsu Lee, PhD candidate in agricultural and applied economics, successfully defended his dissertation titled “Three Essays on the Conservation Reserve Program.” Pat Westhoff is his adviser.

On July 16, Hao Cheng, PhD candidate in agricultural and applied economics, successfully defended her dissertation titled “Three Essays on the Commercialization of University Discoveries.” Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes is her adviser.

On July 16, Parijat Ghosh, PhD candidate in rural sociology, successfully defended her dissertation titled “Household Food Insecurity and Foraging Food from Gardening, Hunting, and Fishing Among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Eligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Families.” Mary Hendrickson and Pat Westhoff are her advisers.

This summer, Abby Meffert and Marc Rosenbohm joined the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Center as senior research associates.

Seunghwan Lee has accepted a position as assistant professor in the Division of Tourism at Kongju National University in South Korea.

Director’s Updates & Engagements

As of August 3rd, the Division has ramped up bringing faculty, staff, and graduate students back to campus without the need to have campus administrative approvals. The return to work is being done in a safe manner, allowing everyone able to work from home the flexibility to continue working from home.

As of August 1, 2020, students enrolled in divisional undergraduate courses stands at around 6,150 student credit hours. This level of student credit hours is a -4.2% change from Fall 2019 on August 1, 2019.  Between August 1, 2019 and September 1, 2019, divisional class enrollments increased by 9.8%. Given the face-to-face course size restrictions for Fall 2020, I don’t expect to observe a similar enrollment increase over the next month. Also, the division faculty have worked hard to right-size course offerings, with 35 fewer courses being offered in Fall 2020.

A Shout Out goes to Peter Zimmel for his assistance with putting together student desks in the Mumford and Eckles Cafe classrooms.

Research, Extension & Engagement Activities

Scott Brown’s latest article for Hoard’s Dairyman forecasts what’s next for the U.S. dairy industry.

In an MU Ag Business and Policy Extension video presentation, Marty Foreman reviews the June 2020 USDA Acreage and Grain Stocks reports and discusses the impact they may have on supply and demand and the price outlook.

Marty Foreman. 2020. “Introduction to hedging agricultural commodities with futures.” University of Missouri Extension.

Jasper Grashuis, Theodoros Skevas and Michelle Segovia. 2020. “Grocery shopping preferences during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Sustainability.

Mirna Becevic, Tracy Greever-Rice, Emmanuelle Wallach, Lincoln Sheets, Kara Braudis, Benjamin Francisco, Kimberly Hoffman and Karen Edison. 2020. “Assessing impact of Show-Me ECHO on the health of Missourians: Two examples.” Missouri Medicine.

Melissa Warne-Griggs, Lea Brandt, Kimberly Hoffman, Tracy Greever-Rice and E. Rachel Mutrux. 2020. “Building regional expertise: Perspectives from Show-Me ECHO participants.” Missouri Medicine.

Tracy Greever-Rice, Lea Brandt, Melissa Warne-Griggs, Kimberly Hoffman. 2020. “Integrating the lived experience conditions and care in the ECHO model.” Missouri Medicine.

Shaoze Jin, Xiangping Jia and Harvey James. 2020. “Risk attitudes within farmer cooperative organizations: Evidence from China’s fresh apple industry.” Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics.

Seunghwan Lee and Dae-Young Kim. 2020. “The BRAND tourism effect on loyal customer experiences in luxury hotel: The moderating role of psychological ownership.” Tourism Management Perspectives.

Sarah Low spoke about Exceed’s COVID-19 recovery efforts in “Recovery in the Heartland” at the Kauffman Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Issue Forum, “Entrepreneurial Recovery after COVID-19: Knowledge Base and Moving Forward in the United States” on Thursday, June 25.

John Anderson, Josh Maples and Sarah A. Low. 2020. “Post-COVID outreach priorities.” CAST Commentary: Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Food and Agricultural Markets.

Sarah A. Low, Martha Bass, Dawn Thilmany and Marcelo Castillo. 2020. “Local foods go downstream: Exploring the spatial factors driving U.S. food manufacturing.” Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy.

Laura M.J. McCann. 2020. “Transaction costs considerations in instrument choice, design and implementation.” Policy Instruments in Environmental Law.

Seth Meyer participated as a conference speaker at the Australian Grains Industry Conference on July 30.

Ryan Milhollin and Ray Massey. 2020. “Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance.” University of Missouri Extension.

On July 24, Emily Miller (MS student, Rural Sociology) and Jenny Melo (PhD student, Rural Sociology) presented at the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society ASFS/AFHVS 2020 Twitter Conference.

Stephen C. Mukembo, M. Craig Edwards and J. Shane Robinson. 2020. “Comparative analysis of students’ perceived agripreneurship competencies and likelihood to become agripreneurs depending on learning approach: A report from Uganda.” Journal of Agricultural Education.

Mallory Rahe discusses the evolving partnership to build an Agriculture, Food and Forestry Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Brownfield Ag News.

Michelle S. Segovia, Marco A. Palma, Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr. 2020. “Can episodic future thinking affect food choices?” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Judith I. Stallmann, editor, Ballard Local Government Series. Olsen, Monte. 2020. “Rules for Missouri ambulance districts.” University of Missouri Extension.

During an MU Extension lunch and learn webinar, Wesley Tucker discusses succession planning and explains what families can do to keep the family farm in business.

Pat Westhoff joined AgDay on July 29 to discuss the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). He also recently spoke to Brownfield Ag News about the status of CFAP payments.

Online Teaching Task Force Report

We hope you’ve found the resources and trainings offered by our team valuable. Mostly, we hope you feel more prepared to provide students a rich learning experience as we enter the fall semester. Below are a few upcoming opportunities:

  • Student Perspective Review: Would you like a student perspective on your course plans for the fall? Our task force includes three students (Alex Stichnote, AgEd GA; Sarah Mack, HM; and Hannah Anderson, ABM). These students are offering DASS faculty individual assistance on how students will perceive our fall course plans. We hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity for a student review! Below are some options of how these students could assist:
    • Canvas site organization review
    • Syllabus review
    • VoiceThread individualized training
    • Submitting assessments and grading via Canvas
    • In-class activities and assessment ideas
    • Topic of your choice
  • Remaining DASS Lunch-N-Learn Presentations
    • Aug. 4, noon: It Only Takes 15 Minutes to Make Your Point: Teaching Hands-On Courses Online, Dr. Bryon Wiegand, professor of animal sciences
    • Aug. 11, noon: Highlighting Innovative Tools to Ensure Rigor in Hybrid or Online Teaching, faculty panel featuring innovative teaching tools
  • One-on-One Assistance: Have a specific course or project that’s challenging to envision teaching in an online or hybrid format? Reach out to a task force member for assistance: Jill Moreland, Jaelyn Peckman, Jamille Palacios, Mauro Palmero or Alex Stichnote.
  • Technology Needs: Technology recommendations for divisionally controlled classrooms are listed here. If you are aware of a different technology need or teaching asset to assist with teaching your courses, then 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 Ray Massey and Laura McCann.

Ray Massey
Extension Professor
Agricultural and Applied Economics

What are the top three focuses of your research program?
My research and extension efforts revolve around the interface of production agriculture and the environment. One project for which I am currently conducting an extensive literature review addresses how farmer land management decisions have impacted and continue to impact greenhouse gas accumulations. Over time, production efficiencies have reduced greenhouse gas emissions per unit of output. We are examining what activities could reduce emissions or increase carbon sequestration with the objective of understanding how farmers make choices to adopt or reject these options.

I am also researching how manure management has changed over the past 25 years as manure has become seen as a resource for fertilizer nutrients and feedstock for renewable energy projects. My manure use research attempts to understand the constraints that farmers face when seeking to obtain more benefit from manure. Time constraints seems to be as important as financial constraints – suggesting that the opportunity cost of time is greater at certain critical periods than the wages paid during that period. An overarching concern, and increasingly large part of my research, is farmer behavior. I’ve begun to use concepts from behavioral economics to study why farmers make the choices they do.

On what challenges or opportunities are your extension activities focused?
My extension activities closely follow my research efforts. I help farmers, agribusinesses and government agencies understand how farmer decisions affect the environment and how the environment affects farmer choices. Cover crops are a hot topic as people hope they will improve soil health. I am helping to evaluate and educate on the short-term versus long-term benefits of cover crops and the uncertainty surrounding cover crop impact on crop production and economic outcomes.

What extension publications do you plan to create or update?
The way extension is educating Missouri residents is changing rapidly. I continue to create four- to six-page educational resources that are hosted at extension.missouri.edu. My latest updates and new guides have been on rental arrangements, custom rates and various insurance products farmers can use. As with my research, I am trying to expand the traditional education on these topics with insights from behavioral economics. However, extension education has moved to social media as well. Mallory Rahe and Hannah McClure have been helping us to promote our work on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. In addition, interactive websites such as agsite.missouri.edu are continuing to be used and updated to help Missouri farmers make informed land management decisions.

What changes do you plan to make to the course(s) you teach?
I am teaching Farm Management (ABM 3260) this year for the first time. I have developed my course outline in line with how I have found farmers to make decisions. Modules revolve around various decisions farmers make such as acquiring capital, machinery equipment selection, land management and crop input decisions. As we look at the decisions farmers make, I integrate economic principles such as marginal revenue and marginal cost, time value of money, cost concepts, role of uncertainty in making decisions, etc. I am planning to have the students do multiple one-page summaries of the decisions being explored. At the end of the semester, the accumulation of these short applications would be useful in creating a farm management plan. Extensive use of extension resources is also used so that students are shown where they can get good resources for future business decisions.

Laura McCann
Agricultural and Applied Economics

What goals do you have set for your research program?
My major goal at this point in my career is to mentor graduate students in order to enable them to publish and get started on their careers. A paper with a former undergraduate student (and Caroline Brock) has been submitted to a journal, and two more are in preparation with my current PhD students Lan Tran and Tanya Pongspikul, and another with a former graduate student. The first step is usually to submit the papers to the AAEA meetings, which provides deadlines for making progress on research. I am also working on papers with some Tunisian graduate students that I met while on my Fulbright.

What are the top three focuses of your research program?
My general research interests relate to water quality and water quantity issues. For many years, I have been publishing on the transaction costs of agri-environmental policies and have a book chapter, “Transaction Costs Considerations in Instrument Choice, Design and Implementation,” in the Encyclopedia of Environmental Law: Volume VIII (2020), which synthesizes much of that work. I have also published on factors affecting adoption of environmental practices relating to nutrient management, usually with graduate students. Ray Massey and I, along with Teng Lim, have received funding from USDA to examine manure issues, including new value-added opportunities, which has also been an interest of mine since I shoveled the stuff into our garden as a kid.

What changes do you plan to make to the course(s) you teach?
Given the situation this fall semester, I will be teaching half of my undergraduate environmental economics class on Tuesdays and the other half on Thursdays and will be recording all the lectures. Since I also will be teaching the graduate class this semester, I decided to have them watch those lectures and use the time in class to discuss relevant journal articles, have discussions about current policy issues, etc. It will be my first time trying to implement a flipped classroom, and I’m looking forward to it.

What service activities do you have planned?
As of this spring, I am the editor of the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research. It is an interdisciplinary journal, so there are papers from scientists as well as social scientists. I’m hoping to also encourage submissions that have an institutional economics aspect to them, which was also an interest of the founding editor.

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.