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College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
A Message from Vice Chancellor & Dean Christopher R. Daubert

AST alumni and CAFNR board members:

I provide you with this update on our Agricultural Systems Technology (AST) program. Although the program has undergone changes over the past six months, we are excited for the future, and committed to making the program stronger than ever!

We shared with you this past summer that on July 1, 2021, the program, faculty and agricultural engineering Extension faculty joined the Division of Plant Sciences, creating the restructured Division of Plant Science and Technology. Our AST students often take many plant sciences courses as part of their degree, so this move integrated the program with the division they align with most. Faculty in both programs worked with administration to make this move seamless, especially for the student experience. We are pleased with the synergies this pairing of programs brings – it will strengthen our program and position it to be unique among AST programs in the Midwest.

In December, long-time program leader Leon Schumacher left CAFNR to go home to North Dakota, as he took a position as chair of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at North Dakota State University. We are thrilled for him to be closer to his family, but this does leave big shoes to fill in AST! We are launching a search for a new faculty member who will assist in leading this critical program and offer new courses in, for example, precision agriculture, an exciting and rapidly evolving field. AST alumni will be part of the search committee, and we will be reaching out to some of you shortly to assist in this important process. In the meantime, Kent Shannon, who has been part of AST for nearly 30 years, has done a tremendous job already of taking the program reins until new leadership has been hired. In fact, I am pleased to share with you that admitted students for the fall in the AST program are up for the first time in a couple of years!

We appreciate your support of Mizzou, of CAFNR, and of our AST program over the years. Please contact me if you have questions about these changes. We are energized about the direction the program is going and know it will remain robust, long into the future.

CAFNR Proud,
Christopher R. Daubert
Vice Chancellor & Dean