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CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // December 2, 2021 // 3(24)
Feature Story
Taking Risk (click to read)
Taking Risk »

Abed Rabbani is an assistant professor in personal financial planning (PFP), studying financial risk tolerance

Mick Petris Receives Two National Grants (click to read)
Mick Petris Receives Two National Grants »

Mick Petris, a professor in the Division of Biochemistry with joint appointments in the School of Medicine and CAFNR wins two national grants worth nearly $4.5 million

CAFNR & MU Extension Host Panel

Join Mizzou experts for “As Missouri Agriculture Recovers from the Global Pandemic: What’s in Store for 2022,” which will feature panelists providing insight into the opportunities for Missouri agriculture, crop and livestock outlook, input costs, trade possibilities and farm policy options. More information and registration can be found online.

CAFNR Research Council Holds Webinar Series

The CAFNR Research Council is hosting a series of webinars featuring speakers discussing timely topics. The next webinar in the series is Thursday, Dec. 2, at 3:30 p.m., and will feature Craig Schenck, assistant professor of biochemistry. Find the link to today’s webinar and previous webinars on the CAFNR Research Council’s page. 

Center for Regenerative Agriculture Announces Virtual Conference 

The Center for Regenerative Agriculture is hosting the Missouri State Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health. The virtual event will be held on Zoom on the mornings of Dec. 14 and 15, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. See more information and register online. 

Graduate Student Spotlight
Lucy McGowan, Agricultural and Applied Economics (click to read)
Lucy McGowan, Agricultural and Applied Economics

What is your research focus?

My research illustrates the potential impacts individuals have on entrepreneurs and the impact on the larger marketplace, regardless of the outcome of the business. Right now, in my dissertation I am pursuing this by creating simulation models of entrepreneurs making decisions in an uncertain environment. My current simulation model considers how entrepreneurs using greenhouses to produce specialty vegetable products navigate changing consumer preferences. More specifically, do consumers want ‘techy’ veggies, and how do firms respond to these answers? My models provide visual aid and context that informs researchers, policy makers, and business decision makers about how hypothesized individual entrepreneurial decisions affect the larger marketplace.

Why does this field interest you?

I was a part of a start-up failure. We had a new technology in the renewable energy space. I know first-hand the decisions entrepreneurs are making as they try to navigate both the uncertainty about technology adoption and demand creation. I transitioned from the world of start-ups to research to gain more understanding about how this process of pairing innovative products with consumers who are willing to pay works. Economic growth depends on entrepreneurs dreaming up new innovative ideas, but what happens to the market when consumers aren’t ready? This question fascinates me.

Why did you decide to come to Mizzou?

I am here to be under the mentorship of Dr. Randall Westgren. Dr. Westgren has a unique vantage point for entrepreneurship. He is an expert on the theory as well as attuned to the problems entrepreneurs face. In addition, I have family in Missouri. I am lucky to have the best mentor in a place that is my home.

What are your future career plans?

After I complete my dissertation, I hope to get a post-doctoral fellowship to prepare me to enter the academic job market. My career goal is to enter the ranks of professors. I am equally passionate about my teaching as I am my research and am happy to have an option that allows me to do both. Choosing the academic life is a surprise for me professionally, but I am happy to be here.

Who is your advisor?

Dr. Randall Westgren

Research Roars

Yvonne Hampton Selected to Attend Prestigious Seminar Course 

Yvonne Hampton, PhD candidate in Personal Financial Planning, was accepted to attend the 2022 Virtual Value-Based Health Care Delivery Intensive Seminar course through the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness through Harvard Business School. Hampton is one of the selected from over 200 applicants. The seminar is a weeklong, intensive workshop focused on frameworks, application tools and case studies highlighting real-life examples of organizations moving toward value-based care delivery models.

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

Pengyin Chen, Discovering and Developing Genetic Solutions Across Maturity Groups for Durable Resistance to Multiple Nematodes, University of Georgia, 10/1/2021-9/30/2022, $55,843

Damon Hall, Piloting a Flood Resiliency Conservation and Engagement Process in Repetitive Loss Communities Along the Missouri River, MO Dept of Natural Resources, 9/1/2021-9/30/2022, $99,709

Sarah Lovell, BII-Implementation: New Roots for Restoration: Integrating Plant Traits, Communities, and the Soil Ecosphere to Advance Restoration of Natural and Agricultural Systems, Donald Danforth Plant Sci Ctr, 9/1/2021-8/31/2022, $150,941

Henry Nguyen, Innovative Mutation Breeding Approaches to Improved Soybean Soluble Carbohydrate Composition, Tx Tech University, 10/1/2021-12/31/2022, $20,085

Andrew Scaboo, Discovering and Deploying Genetic Solutions Across Maturity Groups for Durable Resistance to Multiple Nematodes, University of Georgia, 10/1/2021-9/30/2022, $40,068

In The News

Company announces beef processing facility

Missouri Farmer Today

Findings could slash trait improvements 

Ag Update

MU researcher awarded $4.5 million to study role of copper in cancer, Wilson’s Disease

Columbia Daily Tribune

Want to fight climate change? Buy turkeys, beer and veggies grown with this new method

Kansas City Star 

Interested in learning more about regenerative agriculture? Here are some resources

Kansas City Star


The 2021 harvest season at Sanborn Field has officially ended! All crops have been harvested, plowed, manure applied and wheat is starting to come up.