Caio Canella Vieira, master’s student in plant, insect and microbial sciences, received the two highest awards from the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) last month at the 2019 NAPB annual meeting. He was the recipient of the Borlaug Scholar award and received first place on the research poster competition among 150+ posters. The photo shows Donn Cummings (left), chair of the Borlaug Scholars program, with Canella Vieira at the awards ceremony. In response to the Borlaug scholar award, Canella Vieira gave an interview/podcast to Seed World magazine.
At the 2019 Rural Sociological Society annual meeting, rural sociology PhD student Anadil Iftekhar placed second with her poster titled “Sacred Food Culture.” Anadil’s poster presented findings from her research, which assesses how Muslims living in the U.S. and Canada consume, grow and share food and how their religious and cultural beliefs affect their food attitudes and behaviors. Learn more about Anadil’s research.
Rural sociology PhD student Andres Mesa received the Best Poster Presentation of a Theme with International Significance award during the 2019 Community Development Society Conference. The presentation titled, “Identification of food deserts in Colombia,” shared several conclusions focused on how Colombia may begin to identify food deserts and the reasons they developed, consider how policy may facilitate investment in areas with food deserts and find solutions to the food desert challenges in rural Colombian communities.
This year, the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) celebrates its 35th anniversary. With its more than 20 contributing faculty, staff and students, FAPRI works with Congress to shape U.S. farm policy. It provides objective analysis of agricultural markets and policies and uses economic models to estimate how those policies affect consumers and markets. Access more information about the institute and its work at fapri.missouri.edu.
Agricultural and applied economics alumna Emma Boase, who graduated with her master’s degree earlier this year, received the Outstanding Student Paper Award this summer at the International Food Marketing Research Symposium in Australia. Emma’s research paper explored how claims made on food packaging labels can lead consumers to perceive other attributes in the same product differently, which she called a “halo effect.” Read more about Emma’s research.
Rachel Hopkins, MU Extension county engagement specialist, received the Conservationist of the Year Award from Women in NRCS for the natural resource conservation efforts she’s adopted on her 1,100-acre family farm. Conservation efforts that Rachel has implemented include building custom paddocks for management-intensive grazing, improving watering systems and laying local timber to slow erosion. Rachel worked alongside the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Crawford County Soil and Water Conservation District and the federal Natural Resource Damage Assessment while completing her conservation projects. Read more about her award and conservation practices.
In August 2019, the CAFNR Staff Advisory Council presented hospitality management support assistant Tammy Carmichael with the Above and Beyond Award, which recognizes staff who have gone the extra mile in their jobs.
David Korasick (Tanner Lab) was recently awarded a United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) postdoctoral fellowship to pursue his research on the molecular basis of soybean cyst nematode infection resistance. Korasick’s work is supervised by Jack Tanner, professor of biochemistry, and Melissa Mitchum (University of Georgia), his mentor and co-mentor, respectively. Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most detrimental and costly pathogen that affects soybean production in the U.S.; more than $1 billion is lost annually due to SCN infection. The project focuses on the soybean metabolic enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase 8 (SHMT8), and how changes in SHMT8 from an SCN resistant plant line confer pathogen resistance. Korasick combines protein biochemistry, protein biophysics and X-ray crystallography approaches to tackle this problem. Korasick stated, “Our goal is to gain the information through these studies necessary to engineer a new line of soybeans with durable resistance for use in agriculture.”
Lesleighan Cravens, instructor of plant sciences, won first place for her bridal bouquet at the 2019 Mid-America Cup design competition in Little Rock, Arkansas. She placed 5th overall out of 26 competitors from across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The competition, hosted by the Arkansas Florists Association, is the only floral design competition that invites one person from each state to represent their state. Each designer is given three hours to complete four designs with the given flowers and products. This year’s categories included: a modern fascinator, a bridal bouquet for the non-traditional bride, a cremation piece for a male who was an architect and an arrangement for a New York art school opening.
Work of former graduate student Tara Marcink and Steven Van Doren, professor of biochemistry, is featured as the “Molecule of the Month” in this month’s issue of PDB-101. The molecule featured is a nanodisc, which is used to conveniently package a small piece of membrane for experimental studies. This important molecule is playing a big role in a recent revolution in structural biology. PDB-101 is the educational portal of the Protein Data Bank.