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College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
Dean’s Monthly Newsletter // December 2020
Month in Review
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It has been a busy month, wrapping up a challenging year! I enjoyed annual meetings with our college’s external leadership groups, including the CAFNR Administrative Leadership Council and the CAFNR Foundation. I shared with these friends the tremendous work we’ve been doing this past year, as well as the budget difficulties we are facing. In addition, I attended the annual meeting of the MO Soybean Seed Advisory Council; welcomed our partners in agriculture around the state, and CAFNR experts, at the 2020 Ag Market and Policy Outlook Webinar earlier this month; and met with leaders from Kansas City’s hospitality industry at the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City’s annual meeting and webinar.

I hope you were logged in to virtually celebrate our CAFNR December 2020 graduates on Friday! We enjoyed showcasing their accomplishment as part of Mizzou’s virtual commencement celebration. If you missed it, you can still see videos and other media online at both Mizzou and CAFNR’s websites.

Thank you to Biochemistry for the opportunity to participate in their recent Town Hall. I also appreciated the opportunity to participate in a Town Hall with CAFNR staff, coordinated by our dedicated Staff Advisory Council. The Council has engaged with staff and are keeping current on their needs during the pandemic. We talked candidly about how we’re feeling in these days of social distancing and budget woes.

I remind faculty and other supervisors to be mindful of the stress our students and staff are experiencing as the pandemic continues. I charge you to lead with compassion, kindness, encouragement and flexibility to accommodate their needs. These attributes are the bedrock of our college. Strive to find a work style that works best for each employee – whether that is working remotely, on campus or a combination. Establish consistent expectations and communication. Make sure you are checking in with them more than you usually would. Encourage your team to take care of themselves, especially mentally. Mizzou provides wonderful resources for mental health care, including the Employee Assistance Program and the Sanvello app. Never hesitate to take advantage of these resources. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health, especially in a time of extended social isolation. Lead by example, and make sure you are taking days off, respecting evenings and weekends, and spending quality time with your family. Read carefully the UM System guide “Returning to the Workplace” and become familiar with the guidance within. Please take care of each other – always, but especially during this time.

Be kind to and patient with yourself, and each other. Let’s make 2021 the year of teamwork and collaboration. We are truly better together.

I sincerely hope all of you enjoy a relaxing, refreshing and rejuvenating winter break – my best wishes for happy and healthy holidays to you and your family.

CAFNR Proud,

Christopher R. Daubert, Ph.D.
CAFNR Vice Chancellor & Dean


Remarkable achievements, all! #DriveToDistinction

6:55 PM - Nov 20, 2020
Tiger Roars!

Congrats to these CAFNR faculty members for the following recent noteworthy achievements!

  • Shibu Jose, associate dean, CAFNR Office of Research, has been named a 2020 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Read more
  • Seth Meyer, associate director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and research professor, Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS), has been named the USDA’s Chief Economist. Meyer plans to take an extended research leave from DASS to serve in this new role, which he will begin in January 2021. Read more
  • Thomas Spencer, Curators’ Distinguished Professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, will serve as interim vice chancellor for research and economic development at Mizzou effective January 26, 2021. Read more
Of Note

Africa Hub’s Advisory Board chair Wilson Majee, professor of health sciences and public health, School of Health Professions; volunteer Yanu Prasetyo, doctoral student in Rural Sociology; and Advisory Board member Michael Marlo’s student Elizabeth Kujath received 2020 International Engagement Awards from the University of Missouri.

CAFNR International Programs welcomes new student translators: Siyi Yang and Zhengyang Li, both journalism majors, to work on a special China project involving Food Safety Laws.

Deaton Scholar news:

  • Visit their new Instagram account.
  • The Deaton Institute is hosting a winter celebration Jan. 14, 2021. The purpose is to honor the achievements of the Deaton Scholars Program with program alumni and supporters. Register online at this link.
  • Deaton Scholars Program spring 2021 applications are now open to all students and the deadline is Jan. 22. Apply online.
  • The Deaton Institute seeks faculty and staff who are interested in engaging with the Deaton Scholars Program and our other programming. Interested faculty and staff should fill out the online survey.

Missouri Youth Institute has updated their website in preparation for 2021 Virtual Events, March 1-2, 2021. Registration and paper submission is due Feb. 21, 2021, online. Visit the Missouri Youth Institute’s new social media sites: