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Inside CAFNR
CAFNR Office of Academic Programs Newsletter // November 2021
Annual Christmas Tree Sale
 (click to read)

The Mizzou Forestry Club will be selling Christmas trees from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday, Dec. 5. The sale will be held in parking lot AV14B, at the corner of East Campus Drive and Ashland Road. Trees cost $7 per foot and cash/check are preferred. The proceeds are used for club competitions and equipment.

Feature Story
Sparking an Interest in Research (click to read)
Sparking an Interest in Research »

FRIPS Program allows first-year students an opportunity to get a first-hand look at plant research at MU

Graduation and Commencement

December 2021 CAFNR graduates will be honored at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Hearnes Center. Updates on safety guidelines, as well as further details, can be found on the Graduation and Commencement webpage.

RISE Initiative
Ready for the Ring (click to read)
Ready for the Ring »

Little American Royal event allows students to train and care for a variety of livestock animals

Degree Spotlight: Plant Sciences

From our food, to our homes, to the fuel in our vehicles, plants impact all aspects of our daily lives. The ever-growing human population continues to increase the demand for crops and other plant products. With a degree in plant sciences, students can address challenges from the laboratory to the field.

Q&A With Emma Critchfield, Plant Sciences (click to read)
Q&A With Emma Critchfield, Plant Sciences

Why did you decide to come to the University of Missouri and major in plant sciences? What do you enjoy about the program itself? The field of study?

I have always wanted to study entomology! I love bugs and insects so much, especially spiders, millipedes and isopods (pill-bugs). I’ve been interested in invertebrates since I was in middle school — at a summer camp I attended they showed us a counselor’s pet tarantula. I fell in love! Eventually I broke down my parents into letting me get one of my own. She still lives at home and her name is Arlette. After that, I knew that I had to go study bugs. Mizzou has many great research labs that hire students as well as a lot of opportunities for undergraduate research. There are some really great entomologists working and teaching here; meeting them and getting to ask questions about the field has been really helpful.

Freshman year I was majoring in biology before I switched to plant sciences. CAFNR has so many scholarships and hands-on learning opportunities. And even though I don’t plan on doing anything directly with plants, CAFNR classes are very useful to my field of study. I love the field of entomology because there is so much we don’t know about bugs. This means we can do a lot of basic research! Entomologists research things that other people haven’t thought to look at, finding things out that no one else knows yet. I think that’s really cool!

How have you used resources in the CAFNR Academic Programs Office (student services, career services, advising, study abroad)? What was your experience like?  

Dr. Mary Ann Gowdy (assistant teaching professor in the Division of Plant Science and Technology) is my advisor and she’s very helpful in guiding me to what classes I should take. The Division of Plant Science and Technology also sends out weekly emails with new jobs and seminars to look at. Most of them are jobs in entomology, which is nice.

CAFNR’s RISE Initiative encourages students to have a variety of extracurricular experiences during their time at Mizzou (Research, International, Service Learning, Experiential Learning). What parts of the RISE initiative have you taken advantage of so far, and which do you plan to? What have you enjoyed about these experiences?

I have recently started working at Dr. Debbie Finke’s (director of undergraduate studies and professor in the Division of Plant Science and Technology) insect ecology laboratory. It’s too late in the season for me to start my own research project, as most entomology research is done in the spring and summer when the bugs are out. However, come warm weather, I should be able to start a project of my own. The hardest part will be picking what I want to research, but I am beyond excited! Additionally, I work at the Soil Health Assessment Center (SHAC) at South Farm and have learned a ton. At the SHAC, we run tests on soil samples sent in by farmers or other labs. Recently I got Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) trained under the SHAC’s permit. Working at both of these labs has already taught me so much that I wouldn’t learn in a classroom.

What has been your favorite activity or experience of being a CAFNR student?

My favorite part so far has been meeting entomologists who work here. I love listening to them talk about their research! They’re asking questions I wouldn’t think to ask and the answers are ones that no one else knows yet! I’m certain I want to be an entomologist but that’s a broad statement. The researchers at Mizzou make it more difficult for me to decide want I want to specifically study, because everything they’re looking into looks so amazing it’s hard to pick an area.

Young Alumni Feature
Plant Sciences Degree Helps CAFNR Alum Connect with Producers (click to read)
Plant Sciences Degree Helps CAFNR Alum Connect with Producers »

Charlie Ebbesmeyer puts his plant sciences degree to use each day through his job with MFA Incorporated

  • The University of Missouri Soil Judging team recently competed in the Region V Collegiate Soil Judging Contest in Crookston, Minnesota. A total of seven universities and more than 150 students competed. Jacob Wolken, a senior in environmental sciences, finished fourth overall in the individual competition.
  • Four CAFNR students were recently named to the Alumni Association Student Board (AASB). Founded in 1974, the AASB is a group of student representatives who serve as the connection between students and the Mizzou Alumni Association. As leaders on campus, they work to preserve MU traditions, foster a sense of pride within the Mizzou community and serve as the governing board for all True Tigers. The CAFNR students who will represent MU on the board are Sydney Dixon, sophomore in parks, recreation and sport; Justin Francka, freshman in agribusiness management; Quincee James, sophomore in personal financial planning; and Zane Nichols, sophomore in parks, recreation and sport.