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College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
Dean’s Monthly Newsletter // February 2018
Month in Review

Our yearlong strategic planning process is well underway. During the week of January 29, 2018, we interviewed approximately 200 stakeholders in focus groups and interviews. These conversations were an opportunity for us to listen to and learn directly from CAFNR’s key stakeholder groups. The individuals we connected with represented all six divisions of CAFNR, MU Extension, the university system, and key strategic industry and community partners. Conversations were hosted in Columbia, Jefferson City, and St. Louis, and focused around topics such as CAFNR’s strengths and opportunities, related industrial and marketplace trends, an idealized CAFNR of the future, and potential strategic imperatives. The interaction resulted in an abundance of great ideas, comments, and suggestions that yielded some common themes and a lot of new ideas to consider.

We want to continue hearing from you, and will keep connecting with stakeholders and having conversations throughout the strategic visioning process. As new ideas surface, you can submit them using the “Big Idea Button” located on the CAFNR strategic planning web portal. Our goal is to receive input and consider opinions across all regions of Missouri and from all stakeholder groups associated with CAFNR.

We continue to pursue important relationships with Missouri commodity organizations. Over the last few weeks, I have had the privilege of visiting with corn, soil, beef, dairy, and agroforestry thought leaders. Our college is well regarded by these partners, and together we will unite the agricultural and natural resource industries for Missouri. I feel confident that our best days are yet to come.

What a fantastic evening at my very first Ag Unlimited! I was unprepared for the magnitude of the event, and appreciate the support of CAFNR alumni and donors, and for the efforts of so many of you in making the event a success. All in support of our great college!


Thank you mini Mizzou for making a great evening for !

5:27 AM - Feb 11, 2018
Tiger Roars!

Congratulations to three of our graduate students, who have received prestigious NIFA Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI) fellowships for 2018-19:

  • Maria Haag, animal sciences, “Cowgame: A Beef Cattle Breeding Simulation for Today’s Classroom”
  • Lauren Mayo, animal sciences, “Creation of interferon tau (IFNT) null embryos for the study of conceptus development and maternal signaling in cattle”
  • Curtis Ransom, plant sciences, “Enhanced crop growth modeling for improving corn nitrogen recommendations across the US Corn Belt”

Construction has begun on the Plant Growth Research Facility project on east campus (near the Animal Science Research Center and the College of Veterinary Medicine). This facility will provide much-needed state-of-the-art space with cutting-edge environmental controls and related technologies to support collaborative discovery and translational plant research. Faculty and researchers from across campus will use the facilities.

Of Note

Activity Analysis survey, open from Feb. 19 to March 2. This is an information-gathering activity to discover the distribution of work being done across the UM System. Please take the necessary time to prepare and complete the survey. If you are required to take it, you will receive your personalized link and instructions today from “UM Survey Team” at

Don’t Miss
Nominations for Faculty/Staff Celebration of Excellence Awards, due March 2. Help us celebrate our outstanding teachers, advisors, researchers, extension professionals, staff, alumni, students and student clubs. Visit for criteria and award information.

Spring 2018 NSF Grants Conference, June 4-5. Detroit. Have you been thinking about applying to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for grant funding? A good first step is to attend a regional or national conference to meet the Program Directors. In NSF, the review panel ranks proposals, making recommendations for funding. It’s the Program Director, however, that makes the decision on who actually gets the funds. If the Program Directors know you and know something about the work you do, they’re more likely to feel positive towards your grant applications. The Spring 2018 NSF Grants Conference will be June 4-5, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan. They’ll be discussing new programs and initiatives, proposal preparation, NSF’s merit review process, and more. Registration will open March 15 and they anticipate that they’ll reach capacity very quickly.

Encourage Your Students to Attend
Wednesday, March 7: Spring 2018 CAFNR/Arts & Science Career Opportunity Expo, Mizzou Rec Center, 12-4 p.m.