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SCN Coalition Receives Public Relations Honor

The SCN Coalition, a national public-private partnership that includes the University of Missouri Plant Science and Technology Extension, was the recipient of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award in the “Issues Management” category. During the award ceremony the Coalition was recognized for moving more soybean farmers to actively manage the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) – the No. 1 yield-grabbing pathogen of the soybean crop in North America. Awards also went to international companies such as Royal Caribbean.

In many soybean fields, SCN has become resistant to the most common source of SCN resistance known as PI 88788. Market research conducted in 2015 and repeated in 2020 showed that many farmers were unaware of SCN’s resistance until The SCN Coalition created a campaign to bring attention to the importance of management strategies. The campaign has motivated up to 18 percent more farmers to actively manage SCN, enabling them to farm more sustainably – both economically and environmentally. Even the most conservative estimates show the Coalition’s campaign likely saved soybean farmers millions of dollars annually.

The SCN Coalition was formed in 2015, and now includes national, regional, and state soybean checkoff organizations, nine private industry partners and 30 universities from across 28 states and Ontario, Canada. Mandy Bish, Extension specialist, plant science and technology, and Jefferson Barizon, senior research specialist and nematode testing coordinator, participate in SCN Coalition efforts at the University of Missouri.

Jaume Padilla Receives the 2023 EEP Impact Award

Jaume Padilla, associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology, will be presented the 2023 Environmental and Exercise Physiology (EEP) Impact Award at the American Physiology Summit 2023 in Long Beach, California, in April. The EEP Impact Award recognizes a mid-career primary EEP member who has either established a line of impactful research or has made a seminal discovery in the areas of environmental, exercise, thermal or applied physiology. The American Physiological Society is a global multidisciplinary community that spotlights scientific discoveries in physiology and related disciplines.

Alan Spell and Mark White Receive the Community, Economic and Workforce Research Award

Alan Spell, assistant Extension professor, agricultural and applied economics, and Mark White, associate Extension professor, received the Community, Economic and Workforce Research Award from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), which was presented at the C2ER Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio. The winning project (in the Best Project Impact, Program Evaluation, or Assessment category) is the St. Louis Bioscience Labor Market Analysis, completed for BioSTL earlier this year. C2ER is a national membership organization for applied researchers in the field of economic and workforce development.

Coronavirus Sewershed Surveillance Project Earns Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity

Missouri Governor Mike Parson and the Office of Administration recently recognized five state teams with the 2021 Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity. The awards, which were handed out during a ceremony in the Missouri Capitol’s First Floor Rotunda on June 15, acknowledge accomplishments that serve as an example for continuous productivity, quality, efficiency and improvement.

The Coronavirus Sewershed Surveillance Project, which includes the University of Missouri and the Departments of Natural Resources, Health and Senior Services, Corrections, Mental Health, and Public Safety, was honored in the Pinnacle Award category. Two Mizzou professors, and their teams, have helped lead the project, Marc Johnson and Chung-Ho Lin. Lin is a research associate professor and lead scientist in the bioremediation program at the MU Center for Agroforestry. Johnson is a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the School of Medicine and investigator in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center.

Jared Decker Presented the Continuing Service Award

Jared Decker, associate professor in the Division of Animal Sciences, was presented the Continuing Service Award from the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF). Continuing Service Award winners have made major contributions to the BIF organization. This includes serving on the board of directors, speaking at BIF conventions, working on BIF guidelines and other behind-the-scenes activities. Decker was presented the award on June 2 at the group’s annual research symposium in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Sherry Flint-Garcia Named Alumnus of the Year by CAFNR Alumni Association

Sherry Flint-Garcia (PhD Genetics ’01), lead scientist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service Plant Genetics Unit, has received the CAFNR Alumni Association’s Alumnus of Year honor for 2022.

Sherry, who is also an adjunct professor in the Divisions of Plant Science and Technology, and Biological Sciences at Mizzou, is a world-leader in maize (corn) quantitative genetics and breeding. She, along with colleagues, developed the maize Nested Association Mapping (NAM) resource, a revolutionary advance in plant research, quantitative genetics and biology. Sherry has also worked to determine how maize adapts across latitude and to high elevation in Mexico and the Andes of South America. She has been part of numerous grants from the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program (NSF PGRP).

Her lab has co-published high-profile papers in the top echelon of research journals (e.g., Science, PNAS, Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, etc.). Her expertise is highly sought after, and she has been invited to present her research across the U.S. and in multiple countries. She co-edited a book on the maize genome and has served as associate editor for two scientific journals. Sherry was co-recipient of the 2012 USDA Secretary’s Honor Award.

“Sherry is the epitome of success and is a role model, advisor, and mentor for current and future CAFNR students,” said nominator David Braun, professor and director of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group. “Through her local, national, and international leadership and service Sherry is giving back to society and earning praise for herself and MU. Sherry is most highly deserving of this award and is an outstanding alumnus of this great College, for which CAFNR should be very proud.”

This award recognizes significant contributions or accomplishments by an individual whose efforts and support have added to the excellence of the University of Missouri.

Doug Kueker Receives Citation of Merit from CAFNR Alumni Association

Doug Kueker (BS Ag Ed ‘03), co-CEO of Vivayic, has received the 2022 Citation of Merit award from the CAFNR Alumni Association. He has worked to champion agricultural education his entire career, from leading curriculum design and new learning initiatives at the National FFA Organization, to co-founding Vivayic, a learning strategy firm.

He has served as a member of the MU Agricultural Education Advisory Committee and has been awarded both the Honorary State and American FFA Degrees. He has provided training for the Missouri FFA officer teams and helped with curriculum development for agricultural education teachers statewide. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in CAFNR, he received his PhD from Mizzou in Information Sciences and Learning Technologies, and earned his Master’s of Science in Education from Purdue University.

“To say that Doug has had a positive impact on agricultural education would be an understatement,” said nominator Miranda Carls, a fellow CAFNR alumnus and Vivayic employee. “Doug’s career and background have given him outstanding opportunities to hone his skills and contribute to the field of agricultural education at the secondary, post-secondary, and corporate levels.

“Through his company, Vivayic, Doug has been instrumental in the development of a long list of high impact initiatives, to include: high-visibility corporate learning initiatives within some of the world’s leading agricultural companies, agricultural literacy programs for children and teens, and standard-aligned agriculture curriculum for use within high school agricultural programs. Doug has committed his career to championing effective learning design, and he has done so within the niche of the agriculture industry.”

The Citation of Merit award is for professional attainment by a person in a field related to the academic curriculum of a division of the University of Missouri.