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SCN Coalition Wins NAMA Award

The SCN Coalition, a national awareness campaign targeting soybean cyst nematode management, has won the Best of NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association) Award this year for its successful campaign launch. The Coalition is a diverse group of University researchers, Extension specialists and agricultural company representatives who are concerned about the evolving threat from soybean cyst nematode. Since the Coalition’s launch, University of Missouri nematologist Melissa Mitchum and plant pathologist Kaitlyn Bissonnette have played critical roles in bringing the SCN Coalition and its message to Missouri producers. NAMA is the largest U.S. association for marketing and agribusiness, and the Best of NAMA Awards honor the nation’s best work in agricultural communications.

Ed Turner Receives Mumford Award for Distinguished Service at 2019 Celebration of Excellence

Ed Turner, CAFNR alumnus and former president of the UM Board of Curators, received the Frederick B. Mumford Award for Distinguished Service at CAFNR’s 2019 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony.

A strong supporter of CAFNR and MU, Ed Turner has served both in many capacities. He was a gubernatorial appointee to the Board of Curators and served as the president of the board. Turner is a member of the Flagship Council and was its chair. He is a delegate for MU Extension to CARET, the Council for Agriculture, Research, Extension and Teaching. He is a member of the board of the CAFNR Foundation, providing the college assistance and funding. And as a member of the Jerry Litton Foundation, Turner was instrumental in establishing an endowment to CAFNR as the base for an educational leadership program developing Litton Scholars. He received his bachelor of science in agriculture from the University of Missouri in 1962.

“In all of these and other roles, Ed has dedicated himself to promoting, guiding and overall service to his alma mater, including many visits with legislators in Jefferson City and (Washington) D.C.,” said Tom Payne, vice chancellor and dean emeritus. “He has been ever present in his support of his College for which he is so, so proud. For his unending service to MU, Ed has received much very deserving recognition. Most notable are the University’s Geyer Award for Public Service to Higher Education, the Gordon Warren Land Grant Award in Extension, the CAFNR Citation of Merit, MU’s Faculty-Alumni Award and the 4-H Directors Award for Outstanding Service.”

Patrick Guinan Receives Mumford Award for Outstanding Faculty at 2019 Celebration of Excellence

Patrick Guinan, associate extension professor and director of the Missouri Climate Center, received the Frederick B. Mumford Award for Outstanding Faculty at CAFNR’s 2019 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony Thursday, April 11.

Guinan joined MU as a station climatologist with the Agricultural Experiment Station in 1988. He has been an associate extension professor since 2013 and director of the Missouri Climate Center since 2005. Guinan has also co-managed and operated the Missouri Mesonet, a network of 36 automated weather stations in Missouri that monitor several environmental variables on a 5-minute, hourly and daily basis, since 1992. He is the state co-coordinator of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).

“Dr. Guinan is a highly respected scientist and extension specialist, who is well known at MU, throughout Missouri and across the United States,” said Patrick Market, professor and interim director, School of Natural Resources. “Dr. Guinan serves MU and CAFNR as the Director of the Missouri Climate Center (MCC). Since 2013, Dr. Guinan and the MCC have also been active partners in the $20 million Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which has supported research in areas of climate, climate change, plants, human dimensions, education, and cyberinfrastructure. Dr. Guinan has touched millions of lives, providing Missouri climate data free to all who visit the MCC site, education to students, useful tools for farmers, and sound advice to policy makers and elected officials.”

Christa Smith Receives Mumford Award for Outstanding Staff at 2019 Celebration of Excellence

Christa Smith, executive assistant for the Division of Plant Sciences, received the Frederick B. Mumford Award for Outstanding Staff at CAFNR’s 2019 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony Thursday, April 11.

Smith has served as executive assistant in plant sciences since 2008. She supports the division in numerous ways, including supporting undergraduate and graduate programs. Smith helps advance the Division of Plant Sciences’ impact and visibility. She has established and maintained strong administrative networks vital for the division.

“Upon arrival at DPS, Christa immediately contributed to improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of a number of operations critical to division success,” said Jim English, director, Division of Plant Sciences. “On the basis of her skills, initiative and energy, Christa’s assigned responsibilities have increased dramatically over time. Current examples include providing administrative support for both undergraduate and graduate programs, supporting division director activities, serving as a liaison to external collaborators and other CAFNR division administrative staff, assisting development and maintenance of DPS archival information, oversight and management of division equipment and other inventories, and assisting on ad hoc projects.”

Robert Sharp Receives Deaton Fellow Award at 2019 Celebration of Excellence

Robert Sharp, director of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG) and professor of plant sciences, received the Brady J. Deaton Fellow in International Agriculture Award at CAFNR’s 2019 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony, held Thursday, April 11.

Sharp has a research/teaching appointment in plant physiology. His research focuses on the regulation of root and shoot growth responses to drought, using maize and soybean as model systems. In particular, he is interested in the roles and mechanism of action of abscisic acid (ABA) and other hormones, and in the regulation of cell wall yielding properties. He teaches a graduate course on Advanced Plant Physiology.

“Dr. Robert Sharp, professor and director of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG), is a strong advocate for MU plant sciences, both nationally and internationally,” said Felix Fritschi, C. Alice Donaldson Professor in Bioenergy Crop Physiology and Genetics. “He spearheaded several efforts to enhance collaborations between the broader MU plant sciences community with institutions and colleagues in Asia, Africa and South America. His efforts have led to faculty and student exchanges as well as research collaborations between MU and partner institutions. Importantly, as indicated by continued efforts to establish longer-term agreements that are at various stages of development, his efforts will have a lasting impact on CAFNR international activities.”

Patrick Westhoff Receives Mitchell Fellow Award at 2019 Celebration of Excellence

Patrick Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and Cowden Professor, agricultural and applied economics, received the Roger L. Mitchell Fellow Award at CAFNR’s 2019 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony, held Thursday, April 11.

Patrick Westhoff’s research includes conducting forward-looking analysis of agricultural markets and policies. He provides analysis to policymakers and the public on the impacts of farm legislation, trade agreements, technology and the macro economy. He worked as a Congressional economist before coming to MU in 1996. Since 2011, Westhoff has served as director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI). He is the Cowden Professor in agricultural and applied economics.

“Dr. Pat Westhoff is recognized in Missouri, the U.S. and internationally as one of the leading researchers at applying economics to study the details of agricultural policies in terms of their impacts on market quantities and prices,” said Wyatt Thompson, associate professor of agricultural and applied economics. “As director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, he leads a collaborative team that wins external support for a research program that generated, in recent years, two score journal articles and far more reports for researchers, farmers, and policy makers. His profile in state is pronounced – traveling to all corners to talk with young farmers groups, ag lenders and others – and his duties at MU include graduate and undergraduate teaching, advising and chairing key committees. He plays a critical role to CAFNR as a reliable colleague and excellent scientist, mentor to his staff and students, and key researcher whose work on our team matters to Missouri.”

Shari Freyermuth Receives Allan W. Purdy Award at 2019 Celebration of Excellence

Shari Freyermuth, associate teaching professor and director of undergraduate advising in biochemistry, and assistant dean for academic programs and director of student services in CAFNR, received the Allan W. Purdy Award for Distinguished Service at CAFNR’s 2019 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony, held Thursday, April 11.

Freyermuth also received the 2015 MU Excellence in Advising Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award, the 2015 MACADA Faculty Advisor Award (state recipient), and the 2016 NACADA Region 7 Excellence in Advising Award in the faculty category (seven-state region). She has received both Outstanding Teaching and Advising awards in CAFNR. Freyermuth also advises the Biochemistry Club.

“Dr. Freyermuth is a true example of a student advocate,” said Laura Friedrich, CAFNR coordinator of student services. “If a student has questions, wants to explore the opportunities in the College or is just plain lost in their academics, I know we can always forward the questions to Dr. Freyermuth. The student will get their questions answered and have a positive outlook on how to move forward.”

Michelle Brooks Receives Outstanding Staff Award at 2019 Celebration of Excellence

Michelle Brooks, greenhouse coordinator in plant sciences, received the Outstanding Staff Award at CAFNR’s 2019 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony, held Thursday, April 11.

Brooks is responsible for the upkeep and safe operation of approximately 80,000 square feet of greenhouse space at the University of Missouri. She has spent her 20-plus years in CAFNR keeping the structures functioning at a high level through her mechanical and technical knowledge, and attention to detail. She serves as a consultant for the more than 90 faculty and technicians who use the greenhouses for their research and teaching programs.

“Michelle Brooks is a hardworking, reliable and collegial staff member,” said Mary Ann Gowdy, teaching assistant professor in the Division of Plant Sciences. “She is on call 24/7 and strives to keep the facilities functioning at all times. It is normal for Michelle to spend a few hours at work on holidays so others can enjoy the day off. She has graciously provided guidance to student organizations using the greenhouses and assists Tiger Garden students learning to care for their greenhouse.”

John Lory Receives J.W. Burch Award at 2019 Celebration of Excellence

John Lory, extension associate professor of plant sciences, received the J.W. Burch State Specialist Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Award at CAFNR’s 2019 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony, held Thursday, April 11.

Lory has a commercial agriculture extension/research appointment in environmental nutrient management. His objective is to promote the efficient use of nutrients from manure and other sources for crop production in a manner that protects water and other natural resources of the state. His extension and applied research program is focused on four areas: management of edge-of-field nutrient losses in runoff from manure and fertilizer; developing nutrient management tools and software; evaluating the cost and feasibility of nutrient management changes on animal feeding operations; and phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizer recommendations.

“In short, John’s work represents the best that Extension has to offer – application of university research to solve problems facing the citizens of our state and our country,” said Peter Scharf, professor, plant sciences. “John was also a pioneer in moving manure management plans into the computer age. The plan was presented to the farmer visually on a map of the farm, rather than buried in pages of text, making it much easier for the farmer to understand and carry out the plan. The software that John developed performed many of the tedious tasks (such as finding and importing digital soils maps) that presented a barrier to plan development. These accomplishments helped farmers manage manure in a way that was more beneficial to crops and less harmful to water bodies.”

Scott Peck Receives Distinguished Researcher Award at 2019 Celebration of Excellence

Scott Peck, professor of biochemistry, received the Distinguished Researcher Award at CAFNR’s 2019 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony, held Thursday, April 11.

After an outstanding career overseas, Peck joined MU in 2005 as an associate professor of biochemistry. He has served as a professor of biochemistry since 2016. Peck has published 54 peer-reviewed publications and eight book chapters. He has received more than $14 million in external grants and funding since 2005. Peck was recently names a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Society of Plant Biologists.

“Scott is also a very committed mentor who has the professional training of his students uppermost in his mind, an essential ingredient of an excellent researcher,” said Walter Gassmann, professor of plant sciences. “Through research seminars, poster presentations at venues such as Life Sciences Week, and joint lab meetings, I’ve been very impressed by the quality of mentoring Scott provides to researchers in his lab.”