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CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // Sept. 8, 2022 // 4(18)
Feature Stories
Small RNA Have Big Implications for Crop Growth (click to read)
Small RNA Have Big Implications for Crop Growth »

CAFNR’s Blake Meyers is the 12th MU faculty to be elected to prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

CAFNR Institute Updates Baseline Food and Agricultural Outlook Report (click to read)
CAFNR Institute Updates Baseline Food and Agricultural Outlook Report »

The MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute has released an update to its yearly baseline outlook report to include the impact of key current events.

Research Highlights
CAFNR Welcomes 10 International Fellows (click to read)
CAFNR Welcomes 10 International Fellows

Ten new international fellows were recently welcomed to CAFNR for three months of learning and research. The group is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) and began their experience in Washington, D.C., where they met USDA-FAS program managers. The program aims to improve capacity to address plant and animal health and facilitate agricultural trade.

Now settled in Columbia, one of the fellows will be studying research methods with fruit flies with the goal of eliminating pests in exported mangos. His work and others like it around the world help curtail the spread of pests to ensure food security. The other nine fellows will be studying the US’s approach to food safety, including science-based risk analysis and management.

The fellows are:

  • Aymen Ammar, a chemical engineer and Head of the Department in the Tunisian Ministry of Health – National Agency for Sanitary and Environmental Control of Products/Quality, Management and Standards Department
  • Boutheina Belhadj Salah, head of the Communication and International Cooperation section of the Tunisian National Agency of Sanitary and Environmental Control of Products
  • Andrew Edewa, Director of the Standards and SPS Measures at TradeMark East Africa organization based in Kenya
  • Emmanuel Mayenga, Veterinary and Public Health Research Officer, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries/Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency
  • Zemu Mbilu, Laboratory Technologist at Tanzania’s Sokoine University of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Department of Anatomy and Pathology
  • Benigni Temba, Lecturer at Tanzania’s Sokoine University of Agriculture/Department of Veterinary Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology
  • Khadija Zouini, works in phytosanitary inspection and promotion in the Morocco National Office for Food Safety of Morocco
  • Dr. Ennet Moholisa, researcher at South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council – Animal Production
  • Theophilus (Phil) Baah, agronomist and soil scientist at Liberia’s Ministry of Agriculture, working in the Division of Land and Water Resources
  • Chea Ho, lead in the Plant Quarantine Office under Cambodia’s Department of Plant Protection Sanitary and Phytosanitary
  • Ruth Castro Vasquez, researcher in the Molecular Biology Laboratory at Costa Rica’s National Institute of Research and Innovation

The fellows’ faculty mentors and support team at the University of Missouri include Kerry Clark, Andrew Clarke, Lindsey Saunders, Judy Prevo, Lakshmikantha Channiah, Mengshi Lin, Zhenyu Shen, Wole Odemuyiwa, Michael Calcutta, Azlin Mustapha, Justin Calhoun, Walter Gassmann, Leland Cseke, Julian Binfield, Jon Stemmle, Scott Christianson, Londa Nwadike, Amy Simmons, Jim Flink and Kevin Rice. Clement Akotsen-Mensah with Lincoln University is also serving as a mentor.

Grant Tips

NIFA Update

NIFA sends out a weekly update that includes interesting info including items such as:

  • Funding opportunities
  • Webinars about funding opportunities
  • Stories about research they fund
  • Award announcements
  • Conference information
  • Other news from USDA

Read past issues online, sign up for email updates or follow them on Twitter @USDA_NIFA#NIFAImpacts or LinkedIn @usda-nifa.

New Requirement

Some federal agencies will now require that a PI have a account in order to submit proposals. is a secure sign-in service used by the public to sign in to participating government agencies. The nice thing is that you can use this same login for several agencies, thus reducing the number of passwords.

If you haven’t already registered, consider doing that now. It only takes a few minutes. Go to the eXCHANGE Log-in page and select the “Sign In” button to get started.

Research Roars

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

Rebecca North, Reservoir Observer Student Scientists: Participatory Science Education Model, USDA-NIFA, 9/1/2022-8/31/2025, $150,000

Jon Simonsen, Farm Business Management Analysis Program, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 7/1/2022-6/30/2023, $75,999

Jon Simonsen, Agricultural Education In-Service Education Project, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 7/1/2022-6/30/2023, $83,997

Deborah Finke, Evaluation of Follar-Applied dsRNA on the Colorado Potato Beetle, RNAissance Ag, LLC, 9/1/2022-2/28/2023, $12,864

Jeffery Wood, Water and Energy Balance Measurements in the Central Mississippi River Basin LTAR, Agricultural Research Service, 7/18/2022-9/17/2023, $45,277

Lisa Webb, Quantifying King Rail habitat suitability in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Geological Survey, 8/8/2022-7/31/2024, $86,856

Kiho Lee, Validate Causative Mutations in Agriculturally-Important Vertebrates, Agricultural Research Service, 8/15/2022-8/14/2023, $136,950

Grant listings were unavailable for the summer months. We will work to include those grants announcements that haven’t been shared yet over the next few issues of Research Digest.

In the News

University of Missouri institute updates baseline Food and Agricultural outlook report 1 September
The Mirage

Glufosinate-resistant Palmer amaranth found in Bootheel
Missouri Ruralist

Clear cut: Local boy scouts remove invasive honeysuckle
Columbia Missourian

With Corn Belt Inching North, Farm Diversification Gains Momentum