The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry will host its 11th annual Agroforestry Symposium on Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Bond Life Sciences Center on the Mizzou campus. The theme for this year’s event is, “Show Me More! Value-added Processing for Missouri Agriculture and Forestry.”
The event begins at 8 a.m. with an introduction by Sarah Lovell, the director of the Center for Agroforestry, and will run until 5 p.m. The symposium is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required for all participants who wish to enjoy a complimentary lunch. A free live stream will be available as well for those who are unable to make the trip to Columbia.
Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe will serve as the keynote speaker and will discuss the Missouri Food, Beverage and Forest Products Manufacturing Initiative. The symposium will feature numerous MU speakers, as well as other professionals and producers, too.
“We’re so excited to welcome a fantastic group of presenters to this year’s symposium,” Lovell said. “We have a great mix of MU faculty and staff, and outside experts. This is a perfect opportunity to have any questions answered related to Missouri agriculture, forestry and agroforestry.”
Christopher Daubert, CAFNR vice chancellor and dean, will introduce Kehoe at 8:15 a.m., with Kehoe scheduled to present at 8:45 a.m. University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) speakers include Randall Westgren, professor and McQuinn Chair of Entrepreneurial Leadership, agricultural and applied economics; and Kiruba Krishnaswamy, assistant professor, bioengineering.
There will be two panel discussions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The first panel, moderated by Sarah Havens, field specialist in natural resources, MU Extension, will focus on stories of entrepreneurship with value-added products. The second panel will take a look at value-added processing in Missouri, with a specific focus on infrastructure, finance and policy. Scott Brown, director of strategic partnerships, CAFNR, will moderate that panel.
“The panels are going to be very interesting, as our guests will really dive in to their personal experiences,” Lovell said. “The panels are great opportunities to pick our speakers’ minds and see what challenges they’ve faced and what successes they’ve had.”
Other speakers include Nicola Macpherson, Ozark Forest Mushrooms; Ann Wilkinson, Origin Farms; Brian Hammons, Hammons Products Company; and Jill Wood, Missouri Department of Agriculture.
“There will be a diverse set of thoughts and experiences at the symposium,” Lovell said. “It’s going to be a really great event.”
More information about the event, including registration links and a detailed schedule, is available on the Center for Agroforestry website. For questions about the event, contact Gregory Ormsby Mori at OrmsbyG@missouri.edu or 573-884-2874. The Bond Life Sciences Center is located at 1201 Rollins Street, Columbia, MO 65211.