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College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
Dean’s Monthly Newsletter // March 2023
Month in Review
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The spring semester is always a busy time on a college campus! Over the past month I have attended the following events, meetings and gatherings, from Columbia, Mo., to the District of Columbia!:

  • Lunch with Don Nikodim, Executive Director, Missouri Pork Association
  • MASBDA Grant Information Session as presented to the Food Entrepreneur Network
  • Meeting with MU Engagement and Extension
  • Cheering on the Mizzou Tigers basketball team with CAFNR donors and friends
  • “Stepping into 2023” event, hosted by our own CAFNR Staff Advisory Council
  • Meeting with the Food, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences Division Director search committee
  • Visit with the Alpha Gamma Rho advisor, Ben Brown
  • MU/FFA Partnership meeting
  • APLU CARET meetings in Washington, D.C., and visits to our representatives on Capitol Hill
  • Institute of Food Technologists spring board meeting
  • CAFNR Policy Committee meeting
  • CAFNR spring events planning meeting
  • STEM deans meeting

We were thrilled to announce the establishment of our new Institute of Fisheries, Wetlands and Aquatic Systems, at an event at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, March 6, thanks to a $1.7 million gift from an endowment established by the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF). The Institute is a partnership between CAFNR, MCHF and the Missouri Department of Conservation. The institute will support cultivating conservation professionals through workforce development, research and public policy. The endowment will help hire an institute director and two assistant professors. This is a really unique private-public partnership, and we thank our partners for this opportunity!

Still to come this month, I will attend the Missouri Innovation Center Board special committee meeting; see a sneak peek of the design for the new CAFNR website; visit with Provost Ramchand; attend Michael Kateman’s retirement reception (we appreciate his work with CAFNR Advancement!); visit with Dr. Steward Pickett, ecologist and distinguished senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and our spring CAFNR Executive-in-Residence, who will be on campus March 20-23; travel to Mount Vernon for the Southwest Research, Extension and Education Center advisory board meeting; visit Kansas City for the March KC Agribusiness Council’s board meeting and lunch with invited speaker Pat Westhoff, director of FAPRI; attend the Mizzou Collegiate Farm Bureau Forum with Garrett Hawkins, Farm Bureau President, and Ryan Nonnemaker, district director for U.S. Rep. Mark Alford; attend the Council of Deans meeting; visit with CAFNR and MU Extension representatives to plan for the Missouri State Fair; and celebrate Ag Day tomorrow!

This afternoon CAFNR is hosting a webinar about MASBDA’s new grant opportunity for value-added agriculture, Show-Me Entrepreneurial Grants for Agriculture (SEGA). Please join host Mallory Rahe, associate extension professor, MASBDA representatives and me to learn more about the grant program and the potential for collaborative projects. This grant program was developed to address recommendations of the Missouri Food, Beverage, and Forest Products Manufacturing Task Force and is related to our CAFNR Grand Idea. Grant applications must be submitted to MASBDA by 5 p.m. Friday, April 28. Grant program application forms and evaluation criteria are available online at The webinar will be from 2:45-3:30 p.m., and will be accessible via Zoom.

In addition, please plan to join me for Staff Advisory Council’s “Work, Well-Being and Mental Health” seminar tomorrow from 3 to 4 p.m. in Eckles 113, presented by Employee Assistance Program Director Dr. James Hunter.

I am saddened to share with you that we lost Jake Fisher, the namesake of our T.E. “Jake” Fisher Delta Research, Extension and Education Center (Portageville), on March 1. I was honored to attend his memorial service and be among his family, friends and colleagues to celebrate Jake. I hope you will all take time to read more about his incredible life and legacy. He will be so very missed, and I hope you will join me in thinking of his loved ones at this time.

CAFNR Proud,

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

Connecting on LinkedIn
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Join me on LinkedIn! I’m excited to post more on this platform and connect with all of you. Here I will showcase all of the great research, student achievements, program impact, awards and honors and much more!

Tiger Roars!

Randall Prather, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Animal Sciences, was recognized as the 2022 Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry (ASI) Distinguished Alumnus on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. Prather obtained his bachelor’s (1982) and master’s (1984) degrees from Kansas State ASI.

Dae-Young Kim, professor of hospitality management, was selected by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board as an award recipient for 2023-24. Kim is a Fulbright U.S. Senior Scholar for the upcoming academic year. He will use his scholarship to teach and conduct research on sustainable tourism in Las Palmas, Spain, for five months.

Of Note

Please encourage your students to attend the Lunch N’ Learn with Executive-in-Residence, Dr. Steward Pickett, from 12-1 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, in Eckles Event Center. Pickett is an ecologist and distinguished senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. The Executive-in-Residence program is sponsored by the Robert O. Reich Family Endowment. Students can register for the lunch online.

Learn more about leave plan changes. Representatives from the Office of Human Resources and the leave program implementation team will provide updates on the transition process, how accrued time off will be honored and assist in answering questions. Information, including a recorded video option, will be accessible on the website once all information sessions conclude in April for anyone unable to attend the sessions in person.

Faculty and staff are invited to attend one of the upcoming information sessions taking place on campus:

  • Monday, March 20: 2-3 p.m., General Services Building, 194A-B
  • Thursday, March 23:
    • 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Bond Life Sciences Center, Monsanto Auditorium
    • 3-4 p.m., Memorial Union, Wrench Auditorium
    • 4-5 p.m., Memorial Union, Wrench Auditorium
  • Friday, March 24: 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Memorial Union, Wrench Auditorium