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DASS Alumni Newsletter // Fall 2018
Message from the Division Director
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Thanks to all alumni of our programs — agribusiness management, agricultural economics, agricultural education and leadership, rural sociology and science and agricultural journalism — who continually give to the Division, CAFNR and MU through their time, thought and financial contributions. I am constantly amazed by our alumni’s personal and professional accomplishments. My daily highlight is browsing social media to either learn something new about one of our graduates or newly connect with an alumna or alumnus. Read More >>

Student Success
Student Food Marketing Challenge Champions »

Students win 2017 Food Distribution Research Society competition

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In Brief

At the November 2017 AFA Leaders Conference, agricultural economics student Jaime Luke served as a student advisory team member, and Allison Stiens, agribusiness management student, was selected by AFA to be one of its 10 student advisory team members for 2018/19.

Agricultural economics student Emily Harrison was named the winner of the 2017 Collegiate Farm Bureau discussion meet at the Missouri Farm Bureau annual meeting.

Phoebe Frazer, agricultural education and leadership, was one of 20 students nationwide who were selected last fall by the National Teach Ag Campaign to attend the Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) symposium.

At the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability conference held during summer 2018, Parijat Ghosh, PhD candidate in rural sociology, won the graduate student poster competition.

Cole Edwards, agricultural economics student, and Nora Faris, science and agricultural journalism student, were named as 2018 Mizzou ’39 recipients. Mizzou ’39 recognizes outstanding seniors for their academic achievement, leadership and service.

Three recipients of the inaugural Mizzou 18 award were from our division: Tanner Adkins, agricultural education and leadership; Sarah Cramer, agricultural education and leadership; and Leslie Touzeau, rural sociology. Mizzou 18 honors graduate and professional students for their world-class research, collaboration with faculty and staff and demonstrated leadership with undergraduate students.

Faculty Achievements
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In Brief

In March, Dr. Scott Brown became the College’s director of strategic partnerships and will focus on building partnerships to support statewide collaborative research and economic development efforts. He also retained his appointment in our agricultural and applied economics program.

Dr. Adam Cletzer, agricultural education and leadership assistant professor, received a 2018 Writing Intensive Excellence Award from the Campus Writing Program.

In January, Dr. Harvey James began a three-year term as associate division director. In this role, Dr. James coordinates the division’s graduate programs, directs our research seed grants program and facilitates faculty award nominations.

Earlier this year, Dr. Sandy Rikoon received a Faculty-Alumni Award from the Mizzou Alumni Association. He is a rural sociology professor, Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security director and dean of the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Judy Stallmann has been selected to receive the 2018 Donald W. Fancher Provost Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension and Continuing Education.

Mary Sobba, University of Missouri Extension agricultural business specialist, received the 2018 Annie’s Project Women in Ag Educator Award.

Effective Sept. 1, Dr. Corinne Valdivia was promoted to professor of agricultural and applied economics and Dr. Scott Brown to associate extension professor in agricultural and applied economics.

Welcome to the Division

During fall 2017, we welcomed Dr. Heather Akin, who has a joint appointment in our division and the Missouri School of Journalism. An assistant professor, Dr. Akin’s research focuses on how the public consumes and understands communication about science and the challenges of science communication.

Dr. Kerry Clark joined the division’s faculty as an assistant research professor in rural sociology this year. She previously served as a research associate with the Soybean Innovation Lab.

After spending more than 20 years with Doane Advisory Services, Martyn Foreman began his work as a commodity markets instructor earlier this year. His position also includes extension work in grain marketing.

Jonathon Hoer joined the division last fall to work with agricultural education teaching majors and college and campus recruitment.

On July 1, Dr. Jasper Grashuis joined our division as an assistant research professor of organizational economics. He will focus on studying and teaching about cooperatives and collective action, and he’ll work closely with our division’s Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership and the Missouri Institute of Cooperatives.

Annette Kendall joined the division on July 1. As a senior research associate, she’ll specialize in management and entrepreneurship, teach the introductory entrepreneurship course and advise our student chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association.

In June, we welcomed Dr. John Kruse to our division as an associate extension professor. His extension, applied research and teaching focuses will be policy, marketing and value-added supply chain coordination.

Dr. Sarah Low was recently named as the Fred V. Heinkel Professor in Agriculture and an associate professor in regional economics. She joined DASS on Sept. 1. In her new role, Dr. Low will provide leadership for the division’s extension and research efforts that focus on enhancing rural economic development, improving local community viability, developing effective policies and studying issues from a local or regional perspective.

Dr. Wayne Mayfield is the new director of the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis (OSEDA). Before his appointment as director, Dr. Mayfield served as a research associate with OSEDA.

Dr. Maria Alcala Rodriguez began a postdoctoral research appointment this year. She shares her time with our division, the Cambio Center and the Deaton Institute.

On Sept. 1, Michelle Segovia joined our faculty as a teaching and research assistant professor. Her focus areas are behavioral and experimental economics.

The division welcomed Dr. Byung Min Soon as a senior research associate for policy and markets on July 1. Dr. Soon’s programmatic area aligns with our Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.

Program and Center Updates

Our agricultural education and leadership program marks its 100th anniversary this year! On Sept. 15, the program celebrated its centennial with a breakfast reception, campus tours, luncheon and other festivities.

Our division’s Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2018. With an interdisciplinary focus, the center works to transform big data into useful information that leaders and decision-makers can use to improve the well-being of people, enterprises and communities.

We launched our division’s new science and agricultural communications minor during the fall 2018 semester. Students who declare the new minor will gain knowledge and skills that enable them to advocate, publicize and promote agricultural and natural resources organizations, and they’ll learn to communicate scientific findings to lay audiences.

This summer, we welcomed CAFNR undergraduate students who are majoring in general agriculture to our division. The degree program provides students with a well-rounded education that involves exploring multiple areas of study in food and agriculture.

A new partnership between DASS and the MU School of Law will enable students to earn an agribusiness management bachelor’s degree and a law degree in six years instead of seven years.

The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis (OSEDA) both moved back to campus. The FAPRI team now works from Mumford Hall, and you can find the OSEDA team in Gentry Hall.

Visit the Division’s newly launched website to see more about our work. Go to

Research Highlights

Recent research co-authored by Dr. Caroline Brock, rural sociology assistant teaching professor, found that Plain dairy farmers — those who are Amish or Mennonite — have adopted natural or organic mastitis treatments more widely than all other dairy farmers, and it identified that dairy producers may use natural or organic therapies as substitutes for systemic and intramammary antibiotics. These findings suggest that Plain dairy farmers could share lessons with the U.S. dairy industry about how to reduce antibiotic use.

Based on research from Dr. Mike Cook, agricultural and applied economics professor, the life cycle framework for agricultural cooperatives shows how cooperatives evolve and must adapt to stay relevant. It’s taught at the annual Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership, which has reached nearly 2,500 cooperative leaders since its founding.

Our division’s Dr. Harvey James, professor of agricultural and applied economics, co-authored a paper that received the Best Article Award for last year from the Agricultural and Resource Economics Review. The winning paper was titled “Nature of the Farm: Revisited.”

Our division supported the first Missouri Survey during 2017. The project, which surveyed more than 2,260 Missourians, focused on understanding key issues and needs affecting Missouri communities and residents.

A dollar in sales of local food contributes more gross domestic product (GDP) to a region than a dollar in sales of conventional food, according to a recent study from our division’s James Rossi, agricultural and applied economics graduate student; Dr. Thomas Johnson, agricultural and applied economics professor emeritus; and Dr. Mary Hendrickson, rural sociology assistant professor.

Dr. Judy Stallmann, professor in our division, and three co-authors won the award for best paper in the Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs last year. The paper’s title is “Research on the Effects of Limitations on Taxes and Expenditures.”

Our division’s Dr. Matt Sveum, agricultural and applied economics PhD alumnus, and Dr. Mike Sykuta, agricultural and applied economics associate professor, recently studied whether restaurants owned by a franchisee and restaurants owned by a franchisor perform differently. The results suggest that franchising influences restaurant performance to a degree, particularly for full-service establishments. Because a franchisee directly incurs costs and captures benefits for his or her restaurant, he or she may feel more incentivized to maximize performance.

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Giving to the Division

Thank you again to those who supported our Division’s funds and programs during Mizzou Giving Day this year. Our Division raised $13,330. Gifts from individuals totaled $8,190, and CAFNR matching funds totaled $5,140.

Mizzou Giving Day gifts directed to the DASS Excellence Fund were used to support the new DASS Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, which will match as many as 20 of the Division’s undergraduates with a divisional research mentor. Each student-mentor team will collaborate on an applied research project.

The DASS Excellence Fund supports a wide variety of initiatives. Those include enriching the student experience, engaging alumni to interact with students, funding faculty externships and enhancing the learning environment.