CAFNR Welcomes New Faculty

Our college introduces four faculty members in the Spring 2021 semester

Our college has welcomed new faculty members each fall, but we have expanded our faculty welcomes to the spring, so that relevant introductions can take place at the beginning of each semester. The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri is proud to welcome new faculty members who are ready to immerse themselves in teaching, research and Extension as integral parts of furthering our land-grant mission. Our four new faculty members bring expertise in their fields, and will be representing three of our six divisions: Animal Sciences, Applied Social Sciences and Plant Sciences. Our college is proud to introduce the new faculty members who have joined us this spring!

Keri Jacobs

Keri Jacobs

Associate Professor, Division of Applied Social Sciences

Jacobs comes to CAFNR from Iowa State University, where, for 10 years, she was a faculty member in the Department of Economics, with Extension, research and teaching responsibilities focused on agricultural cooperatives. She received her PhD in economics from North Carolina State University. Jacobs’ role in the Division of Applied Social Sciences is as the MFA Chair in Agribusiness and Graduate
Institute of Cooperative Leadership (GICL) Distinguished Fellow. She will lead
industry engagement with agricultural cooperative stakeholders both in Missouri and nationally. Jacobs can be reached at

Soyon Park

So-Yon Park

Assistant Professir, Division of Plant Sciences

Park is a plant molecular biologist researching topics such as host-parasitic plant interaction, plant-microbiome integration and drought stress. She has published several journal articles in these and related fields. Before coming to CAFNR, she spent the last six years as a senior research associate at Virginia Tech University. Park earned her PhD in crop molecular genetics from Seoul National University in South Korea. She also serves as the topic editor for Plants as well as a co-editor for Frontier in Plant Sciences. Park can be reached at

Ty Peckman
Ty Peckman

Ty Peckman

Assistant Extension Professor, Division of Animal Sciences

Peckman is the State 4-H Agriculture Specialist, where he provides programming leadership that engages and educates youth across Missouri – a role in which he has served since 2018. He recently earned his PhD from CAFNR and was promoted from Instructor to Assistant Extension Professor. Peckman works with state 4-H faculty and staff to implement statewide agriculture-based contests such as meats judging, livestock judging and other 4-H exhibits. His research examines the application of high-oleic soybean oil to monogastric diets and its effects on the meat quality.
While earning his PhD, he taught various courses in Animal Sciences and also served as the coach for both the livestock and meats judging teams at Mizzou. Peckman can be reached at

Bhanu Telugu headshot

Bhanu Telugu

Associate Professor, Division of Animal Sciences

Telugu returns to CAFNR as an associate professor in Animal Sciences – the same division in which he was a graduate research scientist from 2002-08. After
completing his postdoctoral fellowship at Mizzou, he began work in 2012 as an
assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at the University of Maryland, where he was promoted to associate professor in 2018. Telugu earned his PhD at the University of Missouri, while also holding a degree in veterinary science and animal health from Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University in India. He serves on the editorial boards for both Scientific Reports and Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine. Telugu also founded and currently serves as a chief scientific officer at RenOVAte Biosciences Inc., a biotechnology start-up company. Telugu can be reached at