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CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // April 11, 2019
Research Highlights
CAFNR Programs of Distinction (click to read)
CAFNR Programs of Distinction »

In line with CAFNR’s new strategic plan, the College has designated seven existing programs as Programs of Distinction

Agricultural Research Centers
South Farm Research Center (click to read)
South Farm Research Center »

Welcome, Lulu! This chestnut filly was delivered on Friday, March 29, at the MU Equine Teaching Facility, located at the South Farm Research Center. The facility is home to anywhere between 15 and 25 horses throughout the year. The MU students who operate the facility get to be a part of a multi-level process at South Farm. Each step is quite different – yet equally busy. Follow along on the MU Equine Teaching Facility Facebook page for more information about the facility.

Graduate Student Spotlight
Troy Rowan, Animal Sciences (click to read)
Troy Rowan, Animal Sciences »

What is your research focus?
We know that genetic selection is a major driver of evolution in natural populations and the primary source of improvement in domesticated species. My research focuses on identifying how selection, both artificial and natural, has changed the DNA sequence of American beef cattle populations in the last ~50 years. Using ~1 million genetic markers for tens of thousands of cattle, we can identify DNA variants that are changing over time due to selection. Additionally, using long-term climate data in conjunction with these genotypes, I am discovering which particular DNA variants make certain cattle better equipped to live in some environments than others. Knowledge of these variants is being used to calculate region-specific genetic predictions, allowing producers to make optimal breeding decisions for their specific environment.

Why does this field interest you?
I grew up on a small Charolais cattle ranch in southwest Iowa, so the beef industry has always been a big part of my life. During undergraduate, I realized that I had a passion for research, so being able to meld the two together was perfect for me. I love what I do because I’m simultaneously at the forefront of scientific discovery while working on problems that will directly benefit producers. I can be working on developing a method one day, and then talking to producers at one of our [Agricultural Research Centers] the next. The producer interaction constantly reminds me why I’m doing what I do!

Why did you decide to come to Mizzou?
Mizzou’s animal genomics group has a reputation as one of the best groups in the world. I knew that coming here would give me the best training, and opportunities to do work that isn’t possible anywhere else. Ultimately though, I was drawn to the people. I saw that within our group, and within the Division of Animal Sciences, collaboration and community were major focuses. Mizzou was the absolute best place to grow as both a scientist and as a person.

What are your future career plans?
Upon receiving my degree, I plan to continue my research on cattle genetics as a postdoc, and eventually as a faculty member at a land-grant university.

Who is your advisor?
Dr. Jared Decker

Troy was recently selected to give a podium presentation at The Biology of Genomes Meeting at Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, one of the most prestigious genomics meetings in the world.

Research Roars

Gary Stacey awarded 2019 UM System President’s Award for Sustained Career Excellence

Gary Stacey, Curator’s Distinguished Professor of Plant Sciences, has received the 2019 UM System President’s Award for Sustained Career Excellence. Each year, the UM System President’s Awards are presented on behalf of President Mun Choi to faculty members across the four campuses of the UM System. These highly competitive awards recognize faculty who have made exceptional contributions in advancing the mission of the University. Read more >>

Professors Emeriti Ed Coe and Doug Randall Honored at St. Louis Academy of Science Awards

Two CAFNR professors emeriti were recognized at the St. Louis Academy of Science Awards April 4. Ed Coe, professor emeritus, plant sciences, was awarded the 2019 Peter H. Raven Lifetime Achievement Award. Doug Randall, professor emeritus, biochemistry, and director emeritus, Interdisciplinary Plant Group, received the 2019 Trustees Award.

Since its inception in 1856, the Academy has promoted connecting science and the community, and the recognition of the impressive scientists of St. Louis, with each award-winner representing an “extraordinary caliber of expertise,” according to their website. Read more >>

CAFNR faculty members have received the following recent grants (listed by Principal Investigator):

Mandy Bish, Monsanto service order, 3/15/2019 – 3/14/2020, $23,184, Monsanto

David D. Diamond, Ecological systems mapping for Nebraska, 6/1/2017 – 3/31/2020, $115,375, Nebraska Game and Parks

Joe L. Horner, Identifying opportunities for industrial hemp production and processing in Missouri, 1/1/2019 – 3/15/2020, $172,598, Missouri Industrial Hemp Steering Committee

Chung Ho Lin, Pollutants testing contract, 3/28/2019 – 8/1/2019, $33,184, Virginia Organizing

Jon McRoberts, Population demographics of a restored elk population, 7/1/2015 – 6/30/2019, $84,665, Missouri Department of Conservation

Amanda Patterson, Role of periostin in fibrotic transition of myometrial cells into fibroid cells, 7/1/2018 – 6/30/2020, $14,335, Columbia University

Linda Randall, The export of proteins in Escherichia coli, 4/1/2016 – 3/31/2020, $522,990, National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Robert Sharp, Improvement of drought tolerance in cotton – understanding root growth responses to water deficit stress, 1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019, $30,000, Cotton Inc.

Gary Weisman, The role of TGFbeta in the development and function of salivary gland innate lymphoid cells, 1/1/2017 – 12/31/2019, $137,737, Washington University

Provided by the MU Office of Research

In the News

Regional grazing schools planned, Bolivar Herald-Free Press

MU Soybean Symposium April 10 Features Big Data, Missouri Ag Connection

More farmers needed for Missouri strip trials, The Farmer

MU Extension offers events on pasture management after drought, Ag|Update

Healthy soil, fertilizers make difference between lush, lackluster lawn, Gladstone Dispatch

Flooded Fields – Consider the Benefits of Planting Soybean, Ag Professional

Running Out of Hay, Increase Supplement for Spring Calving, USAgNet

Warm-Season Grasses Stretch Growing Season, Dairy Herd Management

Local family celebrates life on a Century Farm, Sedalia Democrat

University of Missouri beef farm overcomes challenges, The Farmer

Beef heifer producers meet at Vienna to learn about Show-Me-Select sales, High Plains Journal

Lower Feed Costs, Improve Livestock Profits at Grazing School, Missouri Ag Connection

Extension: Use sound grazing practices to reduce overgrazing and weeds,

Mid-Missouri farmers still reeling from drought, extreme cold, Columbia Missourian

Extension: With hay shortage, increase supplement for optimum pregnancy rates,

Genetically engineered animals face daunting regulatory process, Alliance for Science – Cornell

Add Legumes to Fescue Pastures for Better Profits, Dairy Herd Management

Featured Photo

The annual Bradford Research Center Native Plant Sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. The event will include informative booths and demonstrations, indoor presentations, and Missouri native plant and shrub vendors. The plant sale is free and open to the public and 15 percent of all proceeds will be used to benefit the Missouri Prairie Foundation