2020 in Review

Academic Highlights

We converted Trowbridge Livestock Center into a socially distanced classroom serving 2,700 students per week.

New undergraduate student (FTC and TR) enrollment increased by 5.1% over fall 2019.

Our underrepresented minority (URM) enrollment is at an all-time high at 13.2% of our total enrollment. In the fall of 2015 our URM enrollment was 7.7%.

We celebrated our May and December graduates with a virtual celebration. More than 500 students graduated in 2020 with degrees from CAFNR.

Programs that exceeded 100% of the targeted new student goal included agribusiness management (102%) and biochemistry (123%).

CAFNR Major Nights showcased CAFNR degree programs, with almost 300 students and families attending.

CAFNR’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Curricula Team developed learning objectives focused on IDE and cultural competence for all CAFNR students. CAFNR started providing financial support to student clubs and organizations that foster the ideals of Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Compassion.

The Fall 2020 CAFNR/Arts and Science Virtual Career Fair took place on Sept. 16, via the Career Fair Plus technology platform. Nearly 100 organizations and more than 570 students participated in the virtual event.

Two new certificates were approved: Floral Artistry and Management, and Natural Environment and Human Health.

Agricultural Systems Management changed its name to Agricultural Systems Technology. The change reflects a significant shift in the curriculum towards digital technologies, which are playing an increasingly important role in agriculture and related industries.

LATitude, a new monthly newsletter showcasing the work of the CAFNR Office of Academic Program, launched in August.

2020 was the beginning for RISE and Signature Experiences, a new initiative that encourages all undergraduate students to engage in at least one “signature experience” during their education experience.

Research Highlights

CAFNR Research Centers hosted their field days virtually this year, gaining more than 12,500 views of the video presentations.

Mitch Weegman received $2.4 million in funding to track wild turkeys and black ducks.

Patrick Westhoff received $2.4 million from the USDA for agricultural policy and market analysis.

Henry Nguygen received $1.7 million from Syngenta to study protein trait associations in soybean.

Division of Animal Sciences received nearly $1.5 million in funding from USDA-NIFA for animal reproduction research.

Division of Applied Social Sciences’ Engaging 4 MO webinar series hosted 41 webinars from March to December and recorded more than 2,280 registrations.

Soil scientists and students took 320 soil core samples from Mizzou Sanborn Field in only three days. In 1988, this same process took 45 days.

Extension Highlights

The Missouri Small Business Development Center created a partnership with MU Agriculture and Environment Extension to help small agricultural businesses and operations navigate unprecedented circumstances posed by the pandemic. This partnership is known as the Missouri SBDC for Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

More than 880 Missouri beef farms are currently enrolled in the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program.

When COVID-19 paused face-to-face programming, Agriculture and Environment specialists created a variety of online offerings from town halls for livestock producers to lunch and learn workshops for women owning woodlands.

MU Agriculture and Environment Extension specialists created rapid response teams during COVID-19 to ensure farmers and other agriculture essential workers were equipped with the knowledge they needed to navigate the pandemic as safely as possible.

Communication Highlights

The CAFNR YouTube channel gained more than 31,000 views. Viewers spent 74,240 minutes watching CAFNR videos.

Our Facebook posts with the most engagement were the sunflowers blooming at South Farm, welcoming our new students during the fall semester, Buck’s ice cream reopening, CAFNR student Paxton Dahmer being elected as a national FFA officer and our two 2020 Outstanding Seniors, Natalie Ayers and Caleb Quinlan.

Our most-read news stories were about our field days going virtual and students returning to campus, our new faculty, our new livestock judging coach Tawnie DeJong and the legacy of donor Doug Allen.

More Highlights

We kicked off our 150th year with a Founding Day celebration. Alumni enjoyed a special issue of Mizzou Magazine and a timeline of our history.

Samniqueka Halsey was named the first CAFNR Faculty Fellow for Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity.

Patrick Market named director of the School of Natural Resources.

Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert was named to to the MO-5 Statewide Consortium Task Force and the CAST Board of Trustees. He was also elected to the IFT Board of Directors.

Awards and Recognition

Animal Sciences

Alum Everett Forkner inducted into prestigious Saddle & Sirloin Portrait Gallery.

Matt Lucy received the American Dairy Science Association Award of Honor.

Matt Lucy serves as founding editor in chief of JDS Communications.

Sofia Ortega was named Zamorano Alumni AGEAP USA of the Month.

Dave Patterson named an American Society of Animal Science Fellow for Extension.


Shuqun Zhang was included in the Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers list for 2020.

Division of Applied Social Sciences

Harvey James received the Richard P. Haynes Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award in Agriculture, Food and Human Values from the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society.

John Tummons received the National Association of Agricultural Educators 2020 Region IV Outstanding Service Citation.

Food Systems and Bioengineering

Kiruba Krishnaswamy designed a Zero Hunger Challenge course. Students chosen from this course won third place at the Global Food Systems Dashboard Competition this fall.

Plant Sciences

Felix Fritschi elected as a 2020 Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.

Ron Mittler and Bing Yang were included in the Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers list for 2020.

School of Natural Resources

Shibu Jose selected as 2020 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Chung-Ho Lin received Patent No. 10,081,790 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Bacillus-Based Delivery System and Methods of Use. This is Lin’s third patent for spore technology.

Tony Lupo was awarded the SEC 2020 Faculty Achievement Award.

New Colleagues

New faculty beginning in the fall of 2020 include Michelle Brimecombe, School of Natural Resources; Morgan Davis, School of Natural Resources; Kiho Lee, Animal Sciences; Kent Shannon, Food Systems and Bioengineering; Pavel Somavat, Food Systems and Bioengineering; and Alan Spell, Applied Social Sciences.