Division News

Agricultural Education and Leadership faculty and alumni were honored with National Association of Agricultural Educators 2020 awards: John Tummons, Region IV Outstanding Service Citation; Steve Brown (BS, 1979), Region IV Lifetime Achievement; and Breanne Brammer (BS, 2015; MS, 2017), Region IV Teacher Turn the Key Award.

Hao Cheng (PhD, Agricultural & Applied Economics, 2020) will be an assistant professor at Wenlan Business School of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, a university that specializes in economics and finance.

Mike Cook is co-author of a study of open buyer-supplier relations that was awarded Best Paper, Strategy Division at the Academy of Management 2020 annual meeting in August.

CAFNR News featured Melody Muldrow, PhD candidate in agricultural and applied economics and George Washington Carver Fellow.

Agricultural Education senior Jacob Rahmer was one of 20 students nationwide to be awarded the National Association of Agricultural Educators Upper Division Scholarship, a $1,500 scholarship from National Geographic/Cengage Learning/Growth Energy.

Director’s Updates & Engagements

Generous gifts from alumni and industry provide the Division with financial flexibility, exploratory opportunity, and a bright future. I want to highlight two recent gift developments.

Lahb and Tahira Hira recently provided a $500,000 (unrestricted) estate gift to DASS. Lahb received his PhD in agricultural economics with adviser Jim Rhodes. Tahira received her PhD in personal financial planning. After completing their PhD programs, both went to Iowa State University, where Lahb was dean of the Iowa State University Business School for a number of years before retiring in 2012 and Tahira was a professor of personal finance and consumer economics and senior policy advisor to the ISU president. If you would like to know more about Lahb and Tahira, then I encourage you to reach out to Jim Rhodes over email.

The MFA Foundation recently announced its intent to increase the MFA Professorship of Agribusiness to the MFA Chair of Agribusiness with the addition of funding into the professorship corpus. This action is pending full board approval, but I wanted divisional persons to know of the continued importance our partners place on investing in Mizzou. The Division has three named professorships/chairs — MFA, (Fred) Heinkel, and (Howard) Cowden — that connect CAFNR to MFA Inc., MFA Oil, and the MFA Foundation. Heinkel served as president of MFA from 1940 to 1979. Cowden began work at MFA and learned the cooperative model. He formed the Consumers Cooperative Association, which in 1961 became Farmland Industries.

Research, Extension & Engagement Activities

Scott Brown discusses the links between farm and retail prices in Hoard’s Dairyman.

Sergio Giovanetti Lazzarini, Dirk Boehe, Leandro Simões Pongeluppe, and Michael L. Cook. 2020. “From instrumental to normative relational strategies: A study of open buyer-supplier relations.” Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings.

Karisha Devlin, Alice Roach, and Jill Moreland. 2020. “Communicating with landowners.” University of Missouri Extension.

Karisha Devlin, Alice Roach, and Jill Moreland. 2020. “Designing a farm resume for print and online.” University of Missouri Extension.

The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute has released its August 2020 Baseline Update for U.S. Agricultural Markets.

Mary Hendrickson, Sarah Hultine Massengale, and Randolph Cantrell. 2020. “’No money exchanged hands, no bartering took place. But it’s still local produce’: Understanding local food systems in rural areas in the U.S. Heartland.” Journal of Rural Studies.

The Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security and Community Economic Development Extension food systems team announced their fall webinar series, “Understanding and Addressing Inequalities in the Food System.”

Harvey James, Mary Hendrickson, Christine Sanders, and Elizabeth Anderson. 2020. “Fairness perceptions and expectations in agriculture: lessons from the case of dicamba.” Selected Paper, 2020 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting.

James Kaufman, Alice Roach, Jill Moreland, and Joe Parcell. 2020. “Biogas digestion: Economic and asset assessment for Missouri.” University of Missouri.

Sarah Low and Maria Kuhns. 2020. “Agricultural and entrepreneurial factors driving U.S. food
manufacturing startup locations
.” University of Missouri Extension.

Lucy McGowan presented on legal requirements for beginners at the Mid-Mo Business Jumpstart on Aug. 13.

Tayatorn Pongspikul and Laura McCann. 2020. “Farmers’ adoption of pressure irrigation systems: the case of cotton producers in the southeastern versus southwestern U.S.” Selected Paper, 2020 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting.

Emily Scully, Daniel Jaegers, Matthew Green, Melinda Foster, Reece Frizzell, Melvin Brees and Abner Womack. 2020. “Corn and soybean pricing strategies using FAPRI Baselines and ranges.” Paper prepared for the NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.

Teodoros Skevas and Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes. 2020. “Farmer awareness, perceptions, and adoption of unmanned aerial vehicles: Evidence from Missouri.” International Food and Agribusiness Management Review.

Shuoli Zhao,Theodoros Skevas, Yuan Chai, and Jesse Tack. 2020. “Crop insurance decision under expected revenue.” Selected Paper, 2020 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting.

Lan Tran, Teodoros Skevas, and Laura McCann. 2020. “Pesticide efficiency and determinants of overuse: A comparison between rice and fruit production in Vietnam.” Selected Presentation, 2020 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting.

Manion Lee and Pat Westhoff. 2020. “The U.S.-China trade war and impact on land returning to soybean production from the Conservation Reserve Program.” Selected Paper, 2020 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting.

Pat Westhoff discusses financial difficulties facing many farmers in The Wall Street Journal.

Online Teaching Task Force Report

The DASS Online Teaching Task Force sends good luck vibes to DASS faculty as the fall semester has officially begun! We hope you feel excited, prepared, and confident for teaching F2F, blended, or online this fall.  Be sure to check out the DASS Online Teaching Tools Canvas site for tips and tricks, or email one of the task force members — Jaelyn Peckman, Jill Moreland, Mauro Palmero, Jamille Palacios Rivera, and Alex Stichnote as you encounter questions.  We are happy to assist with class project facilitation ideas, Canvas site review, and any other topics that are on your mind.

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 Kevin Moore.

Kevin Moore
Associate Professor
Agricultural and Applied Economics

What changes do you plan to make to the course(s) you teach?
While the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a lot of new challenges at instructors, it has also given us the opportunity to really focus on the effectiveness of our online education. Some students enjoy and perform very well in online or hybrid classes, but others struggle with motivation, engagement and time management in a distance learning environment. I plan to implement and experiment with several strategies aimed at improving the engagement of students in online classes, such as having multiple means of instructional delivery, empowering students with some ownership and control of their learning path, using tools within MU Connect and/or Canvas to more frequently monitor course engagement and at-risk students, and even looking for ways to add group work/projects so students can learn from each other.

What projects do you have planned for students in the course(s) you teach?  
I am considering having students in ABM 3272 prepare research projects on a country, commodity/product, or trade issue and then deliver them remotely over Zoom/Teams in order to avoid the violation of social distancing if I were to have them present in class as usual.  The online tool I previously used that facilitated peer-to-peer learning is no longer supported, so I am thinking about other ways such as a “discussion board” that would allow students to share information/ideas/opinions they have related to farm and food trade and policy. In my summer online ABM 3150 class, I’d like to add some synchronous elements to an otherwise asynchronous course to give a more connected feel to the class as well as increase opportunities for students to learn from one another.

On what challenges or opportunities are your extension activities focused?  
An extension effort that ultimately became a semester class is ABM 3285: Returning to the Farm. Our post-COVID economy is clearly going to challenge production agriculture, but with reduced resources available for education and extension, it is also going to present massive challenges for training the next generation of farmers. I see the need for creative solutions and the opportunity to use this obstacle as an impetus to strengthen the partnerships and working relationships between campus-based faculty; out-state based extension faculty; government agency staff; and private enterprise, who all have a role in keeping American agriculture productive and profitable.

What audiences do you plan to reach with extension activities?   
The audience for this effort had been primarily MU students who are considering returning to an existing family farm, but there have been some who wanted to get into production agriculture on their own with no preexisting operation to join. This then involves the existing family members and/or other business partners who would be involved in the operation or the transfer of the farm. Eventually I would like to see extension/campus/state agency staff/private industry all join forces in an educational effort that can be delivered statewide to any audience of potential next-generation farmers.

Industry News

The Missouri Information Corps — an effort of the Missouri School of Journalism and Missouri Press Association — has focused on publishing stories that describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected small Missouri communities. To see the pop-up newsroom’s reporting, click here.

Each Tuesday, the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association produces a COVID-19 Impact publication. The reports and corresponding webinars share relevant insights for the bakery, dairy, deli meat, deli cheese and deli prepared foods categories. Access the library of resources here.

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.