Problem viewing this email? See it here »
CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // March 25, 2021 // 3(6)
Feature Stories
Agricultural Markets Still Face Uncertainty, MU Analysts See Signs of Optimism (click to read)
Agricultural Markets Still Face Uncertainty, MU Analysts See Signs of Optimism »

Farm income could decline in 2021, in spite of large increases in the value of crop and livestock sales, according to the latest analysis of national and global agricultural trends from the University of Missouri.

CAFNR students honored as Mizzou 18 and '39 recipients (click to read)
CAFNR students honored as Mizzou 18 and '39 recipients »

Each year, the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board selects 39 outstanding seniors and 18 outstanding graduate students for its annual Mizzou ‘39 and Mizzou 18 Awards.

In the spirit of service that was the cornerstone of the 1839 founding of the University of Missouri, these awards are presented each spring.

Research Highlights
Pengyin Chen Honored with American Soybean Association Pinnacle Award (click to read)
Pengyin Chen Honored with American Soybean Association Pinnacle Award »

The Pinnacle Award provides industry-wide recognition of individuals who have demonstrated lifetime contribution and exemplary long-time leadership within the soybean family and industry.

Landfills Full of Dangerous Pollutants: MU Researchers Can Tell You Which Ones Are Worse (click to read)
Landfills Full of Dangerous Pollutants: MU Researchers Can Tell You Which Ones Are Worse »

Nearly 2,000 active landfills are spread across the U.S., with the majority of garbage discarded by homes and businesses finding its way to a landfill. The resulting chemicals and toxins that build up at these sites can then leach into soil and groundwater.

FAPRI to Host Womack Conference Virtually Friday, March 26

The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) recently released its U.S. Agricultural Market Outlook, which is prepared annually by economists with FAPRI and the MU Agricultural Markets and Policy (AMAP) team and is updated each August.

As part of the release each year, FAPRI hosts the Womack Conference. This year’s event will be a virtual offering, and will be held from 9-11 a.m. CST on Friday, March 26. It will be held online to maintain recommended social distancing guidelines set by the state of Missouri and the University of Missouri.

The event is free and registration is required.

Grant Spotlight
 (click to read)

Collective Entrepreneurship Research and Education for Socially Disadvantaged Small- and Medium-Food System Enterprises

Randall Westgren, professor in the Division of Applied Social Sciences and McQuinn Chair of Entrepreneurial Leadership, recently received a grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The grant is for $499,975 and is titled “Collective Entrepreneurship Research and Education for Socially Disadvantaged Small- and Medium-Food System Enterprises.”

The project builds the capacity of socially-disadvantaged food system entrepreneurs to utilize collective entrepreneurial strategies to found and scale-up small- and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in local and regional food systems. It is an integrated project of research and outreach activities with minority, marginalized and socially disadvantaged (MMSD) food system entrepreneurs to enhance their access to profitable market channels.

“The project focuses on ‘the scaling-up challenge’ in food systems – how to get more nodes in the entrepreneurial network that serves food buyers; how to allow the nodes to grow, so as to increase system throughput; and how to encourage collective action in pursuit of revenues and profits,” Westgren said. “The significant feature of this proposed project is to empower MMSD populations to form strategic collectives, which support the founding of new ventures, improve market access and establish resilient marketing channels to add value, stimulate innovation and increase the size and scope of enterprises.”

Westgren added that the project addresses two knowledge gaps, the first of which is to identify best practices for MMSD populations to form entrepreneurial networks and use collective strategies within these networks to overcome social disadvantage to found new enterprises and increase the scale, profitability and sustainability of their ventures. The second is how to develop education programs by Extension and other agriculture educators to facilitate collective entrepreneurial action by MMSD populations.

Westgren credits the success of the grant proposal in the review panel to Jason Entsminger (PhD ’20). Entsminger wrote the project narrative at the intersection of regional food systems and MMSD entrepreneurial challenges while he was
completing his dissertation in agricultural and applied economics. Entsminger has just joined the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development at Penn State as Assistant Research Professor. Entsminger and Westgren will both continue as PIs on the project, seeking synergies between the two campuses in the research and outreach activities for the next two years.

Working with the Department of Energy

Check out the information below on the steps of proposal submissions gathered during the recent webinar with DOE Program Officers:

  1. PI conceives idea
  2. PI emails the Program Officer (PO) requesting a phone call
  3. PI talks with PO on phone
  4. PI and PO go back and forth with numerous emails honing the project
  5. PO sends PI an email requesting a white paper/preproposal with a due date
  6. PI submits white paper by due date
  7. White paper is reviewed in-house
  8. If the in-house review is positive, the PI then submits the full proposal
  9. Full proposals are reviewed competitively by external reviewers
In the News

Picking that perfect steak starts in 4-H

The Farmer

Ag markets have reason for optimism

BEEF Magazine

Agricultural markets still face uncertainty

The Grand Island Independent

ASA honors soybean industry leaders

The Farmer

Spring is here and it’s time to get instruments ready for the growing season at the Baskett Research Center! Band dendrometers, shown in the header photo, are used to measure minute fluctuations in the diameter of the main stem. These data are used to study the diurnal cycles of trees. Learn more about the Baskett Research Center through its Facebook page.