Q&A with Rudra Baral

Rudra Baral is an MU Extension agronomy specialist.

Person smiling at the camera wearing blue coat and red tie.

What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?
I am the regional agronomy specialist at the MU Extension. I serve Cole, Gasconade, Miller, Maries, Osage, and Pulaski counties.

How long have you worked in this position?
I have been in this role since September 2023

What is your favorite part about the work you do?
One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is the direct impact I have on the local farming communities. I enjoy providing valuable information, innovative solutions, and support to farmers, helping them enhance their practices and overcome challenges. Additionally, the opportunity to develop relationships and collaborate with farmers, stakeholders, and the broader community adds a sense of purpose and satisfaction to my role.

How are you helping MU A&E Extension reach our #2xAg2030 goal?
As an agronomy specialist, my goal is to actively contribute to sustainable agriculture practices. I aim to lead initiatives that integrate cutting-edge research into practical solutions for local communities. By fostering partnerships, conducting outreach and promoting farming technologies, my objective is to empower farmers with knowledge and resources that optimize their agricultural practices, enhance environmental stewardship and ensure the long-term resilience of our agricultural management systems.

What is something your CAFNR and MU Extension teammates may not know about you?
I grew up in a rural farming family in Nepal, a country well-known for being home to Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, and the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. I speak three languages fluently: English, Nepali, and Hindi. I also understand a bit of Maithili and German. Now, I live in Columbia with my wife Sangita and our two kids, Aisha (13) and Ayaan (4). It’s been quite a journey blending cultures and languages, but it’s made life colorful and meaningful for us.

What is your hometown, place of high school graduation, and degrees/universities?
I completed my undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science at Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Subsequently, I earned a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Organic Food Chain Management from the University of Hohenheim in Germany. I then pursued another M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics, followed by a Ph.D. in Agronomy, both from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.