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Inside CAFNR
Faculty & Staff Newsletter // September 2023
UM Board of Curators approves naming of “Johnny Morris Institute of Fisheries, Wetlands and Aquatic Systems” »

John L. Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, recognized for his unparalleled contributions to conservation.

Message from the Dean

We have had a busy couple of weeks, with exciting news across the college in student success, research and innovation, and in extension initiatives.

The U.S. Farm Report kicked off their annual College Roadshow at Mizzou on Sept. 6, with a taping of the show featuring CAFNR alum Tyne Morgan. During the live taping, student groups watched a panel discussion featuring Scott Brown, associate extension professor and interim director of the Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center; Pat Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute; and Ben Brown, senior research associate in agricultural and applied economics, moderated by Tyne. With donations from Beck’s Hybrids and other industry and university donors, student organizations won prize money for the best sign at the live taping, highest attendance, and most spirit. Before the taping, student groups also entered Beck’s “Pay It Forward” Challenge by creating a video showcasing how their organization helps others. This event is an incredible showcase of CAFNR’s expertise, as well as a great experience for students to learn more about the industry – and show that Mizzou spirit!

The next day, we were proud to learn that the UM System Curators approved the naming of a new institute in our School of Natural Resources for Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops, and internationally recognized for his commitment to natural resources and stewardship. The newly-named Johnny Morris Institute of Fisheries, Wetlands and Aquatic Systems was established in March 2023, and trains the next generation of environmental scientists, keeping Missouri watersheds healthy and sustainable. The institute — a partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF) and our College — was made possible through an MCHF endowment supported by a leadership gift from Mr. Morris.

In addition, last week we welcomed the first autonomous tractor to CAFNR, Mizzou – and perhaps even the Midwest – as part of a partnership with the College of Engineering and a grant from the USDA’s Equipment Grants Program! This Monarch MK-V autonomous electric tractor will be studied for its ability to refine agricultural practices and support farmers with disabilities, and used as a tool for teaching, research, and extension. We are excited for the opportunity to study the possibilities with this new technology – and be a leader in this digital agriculture space across the country!

To finish out this month I will:

  • Visit with alumni and friends at the CAFNR Tiger Classic golf tournament
  • Celebrate the industry that is our state’s biggest economic driver at the Ag Day football game
  • Attend Dean’s Council meetings
  • Meet with our CAFNR Foundation leadership
  • Continue visiting with Divisional faculty at fall meetings
  • Participate in meetings with the Meat Science Training Lab Steering Committee
  • Co-chair the Vice Chancellor for Extension & Engagement search
  • Attend the Kansas City Agribusiness Council’s Ag Outlook Forum
  • Share a welcome at the Financial Research Institute Symposium Reception
  • Attend the President’s Campus Leadership Semester Social & Update
  • Participate in Institute of Food Technologists board meetings
  • Help reintroduce CAFNR Showcase at South Farm to the Columbia community!

Please mark your calendars for CAFNR Week, Oct. 2-6, where we celebrate CAFNR students and our College! That week will also include the Fall CAFNR/Arts & Science Career Fair as well as our 3rd Annual CAFNR Research Symposium, featuring Keynote Speaker Manjit K. Misra, NIFA director and CAFNR alumnus. Much to enjoy and celebrate that week!

CAFNR Proud,

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

Catch Up With CAFNR
Food Science and Nutrition (click to read)
Food Science and Nutrition »
CAFNR Community
Biochemistry (click to read)
Biochemistry »
Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion

Mizzou’s Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity has many events planned for the fall, including the Courageous Leadership Series: “Empathy Across Difference,” presented by Michael S. Williams, assistant professor in Education and Human Development, and faculty fellow with MU IDE. Dr. Williams will present from 5:30-7 p.m. in Jesse Wrench Auditorium on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

See CAFNR’s digital displays for more information about other events as well as club and organizational meetings and involvement!

Coming Soon

CAFNR Headshots Session – Sept. 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

CAFNR faculty, staff and graduate students are invited to update or get a new professional headshot. The event will be held at the Extension Communications studio. Register online if you plan to stop by. Parking is available.

Directions: To get to the parking lot, take Rock Quarry Rd. south from Stadium Blvd., then take the first left onto Capen Park Dr. Next make two additional quick lefts and head toward the north end of the building, (Rock Quarry Center is a large, white-gray warehouse-style building). Enter through Door 4 and the MU Extension Communications and Marketing office is the first door on the right.

CAFNR Showcase at South Farm // Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join us for:

  • Educational activities from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR)
  • Walk or take a wagon ride to the Equine Teaching Facility for a foal parade on the hour: 11 a.m., 12, 1, 2 and 3 p.m.
  • Taste of CAFNR including Mizzou Meat Market, Buck’s ice cream, tomatoes and peppers, maple syrup, chestnuts and more
  • Passport stamp collection for kids 12 and under – complete for a free pumpkin (first 500 or until supplies run out)
  • Food for sale from local food trucks
  • Corn maze

This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there — rain or shine!


This month we recognize the following faculty and staff members for their years of service to Mizzou!

  • Derek Brake, assistant professor, Division of Animal Sciences, celebrated five years of service Aug. 1.
  • Jason Young, instructor, School of Natural Resources, celebrated 10 years of service Aug. 1.
  • Bryan Garton, senior associate dean, CAFNR Academic Programs, celebrated 30 years of service Aug. 1.
  • Robin Rotman, assistant professor, School of Natural Resources, celebrated five years of service Aug. 10.
  • Sonja Wilhelm Stanis, professor, School of Natural Resources, celebrated 15 years of service Aug. 15.
  • Xi Xiong, associate professor, Division of Plant Science & Technology, celebrated 15 years of service Aug. 15.
  • Kevin Bradley, professor, Division of Plant Science & Technology, celebrated 20 years of service Aug. 15.
  • Michele Warmund, professor, Division of Plant Science & Technology, celebrated 40 years of service Aug. 24.