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Torq’N Tigers Take First in Five Categories During ASABE Quarter Scale Tractor Competition

The University of Missouri Torq’N Tigers Quarter-Scale Tractor Team took first place in five categories during the recent American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE) Quarter Scale Tractor Competition. The competition took place in late May and included in-person and virtual components.

The competition has students design and build a tractor, which is then put through multiple performance tests, including durability and maneuverability. Mizzou’s team finished first in durability, low hook 1100-pound class, high hook 1100-pound class, low hook 1600-pound class and high hook 1600-pound class.

The Torq’N Tigers team is led by advisor Leon Schumacher, professor and agricultural systems technology program coordinator. While the team is made up of predominantly College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) and College of Engineering students, all students are welcome to join. Students who attended this year’s competition were:

  • Andrew Aufdenberg, mechanical engineering
  • Daniel Bingham, agricultural systems technology
  • Trace Chambers, agricultural systems technology
  • James Fischer, agricultural systems technology
  • Ethan Gutz, agricultural systems technology
  • Josh Hellebusch, mechanical engineering
  • Thomas Kabrick, mechanical engineering
  • Andrew Slater, mechanical engineering

Mizzou Soil Judging Team Competes at National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest

The Mizzou Soil Judging Team participated in the National Collegiate Soil Judging contest in early April. The contest, which was completely virtual, included group and individual judging with pedon descriptions, feature identification and soil texturing components. The contest featured soils from across the country, including Alaska and Puerto Rico, offering students an opportunity to see diverse soils.

The MU team finished fourth overall in the group contest, second in group soil texturing and fourth in group pedon descriptions. The team finished ninth out of 21 teams in the combined individual and group portions. Sarah Higgins, environmental sciences, placed second overall individually and tied for the top score for the feature identification portion.

The Mizzou Soil Judging Team who participated in the national competition include Higgins, Shae Meyer, Jessica Anderson, Jacob Wolken and Rosie Garza, all students in environmental sciences. Luke Eaton, environmental sciences, and Anna Massman, agricultural education, were unable to attend the contest but have been active members of the judging team this year.

Nine CAFNR Students Awarded S.T.A.R Recognition

Over the course of the spring semester, these nine students participated in at least five workshops offered by the Office of Undergraduate Research. In recognition of their efforts to prepare themselves professionally to engage in the process of research and scholarship, they were awarded the S.T.A.R. recognition. The Student Training for Advancing Research program was conceived as a way to engage students in the high-impact practice of research during the COVID year, with topics ranging from “Getting Started in Research,” to responsible conduct of research, basics of human subjects research, discussions with alumni, and conversations with faculty researchers from across campus.

The following students received the recognition:

  • Huda Ansaf, Biochemistry
  • Jake Engelbrecht, Biochemistry
  • Allison Harris, Biochemistry
  • Lydia Jefferson, Environmental Science
  • Aleea Magras, Biochemistry
  • Liana Valle, Animal Science
  • Crystal Rein, Environmental Science
  • Tessa Jennings,  Plant Science
  • Mackenzie Stegura, Nutrition, Exercise & Physiology

CAFNR Students and Faculty Honored at Tap Day

In a tradition dating back to 1917, small groups of students were selected (or “tapped”) by their peers to join one of the University of Missouri’s six secret honorary societies Friday, April 30.

The six societies – QEBH, Mystical Seven, LSV, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa and the Rollins Society – honor new members for service, leadership and commitment to the Mizzou community.

The new initiates’ identities are kept secret until Tap Day, when they were publicly revealed online. Each society also honor taps MU staff and faculty members who have contributed significantly to the university.

CAFNR’s 2021 Tap Day honorees include:

Mortar Board

  • Lydia Jefferson, senior in environmental sciences

Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for their achievements in scholarship, leadership and service.

Omicron Delta Kappa

  • Angelina Hein, senior in biochemistry
  • Annika Meyer, senior in hospitality management
  • Claire Shipp, senior in agribusiness management
  • Spencer Silvey, senior in biochemistry
  • Honor Tap: John Tummons, assistant teaching professor, applied social sciences

Omicron Delta Kappa is a national leadership honor society that recognizes juniors, seniors and graduate students for their achievements in the five phases of campus life: scholarship; athletics; campus or community service, social and religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech and mass media; creative and performing arts.

Rollins Society

  • Yanu Prasetyo, PhD student in rural sociology
  • Honor Tap: Kerry Clark, director, CAFNR International Programs, and assistant research professor, applied social sciences

The Rollins Society recognizes graduate and professional students who have significantly advanced the well being of self-defined communities beyond the scope of their academic work.

Emily Gregory Receives CAFNR’s Outstanding Freshman Award

Emily Gregory, a hospitality management major with a minor in business, recently received CAFNR’s Outstanding Freshman Award.

Gregory, from Houstonia, Mo., has been incredibly involved during her first year at the University of Missouri. Gregory joined the Phi Mu sorority, currently serves as the secretary of the Mizzou Club Managers Association of America and is part of the Mizzou Hotel and Lodging Student Association.

“In the one class that I have had to the pleasure to have Emily in she was always willing to contribute to the discussion and offer input to her classmates during break out discussions,” said Amanda Alexander, an assistant teaching professor of hospitality management. “Her positive attitude was contagious to her classmates and contributed to the overall class environment.

“Emily was willing to take on the task of leadership role in Mizzou’s Club Manager’s Association of America (CMAA) serving as the chapter secretary and has taken on the responsibility of promoting the student organization on social media. Emily is actively involved in recruiting student members so the student chapter is reinstated and recognized nationally – not as easy task!”

Gregory volunteers with Mizzou Tiger Pantry and has done volunteer work with the Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Agency as well.

“Emily is committed to her volunteer work and currently serves at Tiger Pantry and Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Agency,” Alexander said. “Emily not only wants to succeed academically and professionally, but prioritizes her local community as well.

“I know that Emily will do great things and hospitality management will be honored to have her as our alumni. Her drive to excel in every faucet of her life is a testimony to her work ethic and motivation.”

Emma Rose Ploch Receives CAFNR’s Outstanding Sophomore Award

Emma Rose Ploch, an animal sciences major with a minor in science and agricultural journalism, recently received CAFNR’s Outstanding Sophomore Award.

Ploch, from Labadie, Mo., completed an internship with the Missouri Pork Association last year and will serve as an intern for MFA Incorporated this summer. Ploch is the founder of Found in the Field, an agriculture-based social media platform devoted to “supporting, educating, learning and AGvocating.” Her posts work to bridge the gap between producers and consumers.

“Emma Rose is a very devoted student,” said Addison Byrne, instructor in the Division of Animal Sciences. “She is bright, creative and a natural leader. This skillset has allowed her to succeed not only academically but within the industry as well. Emma Rose previously completed an internship with Missouri Pork Association and has a second internship lined up for summer 2021 with MFA Incorporated. Additionally, Emma Rose was extended the opportunity to participate in both the 2020 Indiana Pork Young Professionals Conference and the 2020 National Young Farmer Educational Association ‘Ag Promise’ Conference in Washington, D.C.

“I have also come to know Emma Rose beyond the classroom in her role as a teaching assistant. Emma Rose has the knowledge, ability, professionalism, dedication and empathy so important to successful roles here on campus and in agriculture. Her passion for learning and applying the information, as well as her ability to interact and connect with students and faculty alike have made her an excellent CAFNR Ambassador, advocate for agriculture online as well as in her role as a teaching assistant in animal sciences.”

Ploch has been incredibly active during her two years as a Tiger. She has served in various roles on the student council leadership team, as well as serving as a CAFNR Ambassador. Ploch has also served as an Animal Science Representative and is part of Sigma Alpha – Alpha Chi.

“As an ambassador, Emma Rose has assisted with recruitment, alumni and employer events, presenting to prospective students and families, and has been an instrumental member of our recruitment team,” said Julie Scroggs, director for student recruitment in the CAFNR Office of Academic Programs. “Her knowledge and passion regarding animal sciences and CAFNR as a whole is impressive. In her major, Emma Rose takes rigorous courses that challenge her, but she consistently rises to the occasion and surpasses expectations. She goes out of her way to get internships and professional experience related to animal sciences and represents CAFNR proudly.

“Additionally, Emma Rose is dependable. She is willing to pitch in whenever she is needed for a college event. No job is too small or too big. She has the focus and drive to accomplish important tasks and the humility to do what is needed for the good of an event or our group of ambassadors. We are lucky to have her as an ambassador and in the College.”

Krista Orf Receives CAFNR’s Outstanding Junior Award

Krista Orf, an animal sciences major with a minor in captive wild animal management, recently received CAFNR’s Outstanding Junior Award.

Orf, from Troy, Mo., has served as an Animal Science Representative since 2019 and joined the Sigma Alpha – Alpha Chi Chapter in 2018. Orf has served as a fundraising committee member, fundraising co-chair, secretary and executive committee member during her time in Sigma Alpha. She traveled to New Zealand for a study abroad opportunity as a CAFNR student as well.

“During the spring of her freshman year, Krista applied to be an Animal Sciences Representative,” said Hannah Twenter, instructor in the Division of Animal Sciences. “This is a group of elite students within our division that are sent to a multitude of recruitment events and interact with the public as they represent our division and animal agriculture. Krista has been a fantastic addition to that team. She is a team player and works well with her peers. She is very personable and can interact professionally and comfortably with anyone. Krista is always willing to help and has been one of the most active members in the group. She has been very dependable and a great help.

“One of the things that I enjoy most about Krista is her ability to adapt and challenge herself. She wants to learn more with everything that she does. She is an incredibly self-motivated individual and makes an excellent addition to any team.”

Orf will be interning at the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Mo., this summer as an animal care intern. She will work closely with zookeepers in preparing meals and maintaining enclosures and animal health. Orf has previously volunteered at the South Farm Showcase event, during Bradford Research Center field days and Animal Science Exploration Day.

“Krista is bright and dedicated to her studies,” said Trista Strauch, an assistant teaching professor in the Division of Animal Sciences. “She asks questions in class, and is engaged in the material. She integrates information across courses, and she is straightforward in her approach to her classroom responsibilities. I would love to have a classroom full of students like Krista every semester. She has a positive attitude regarding her learning, and that positive attitude was apparent throughout each class, even during stressful times. In a senior-level, discussion-based course I teach each fall, Krista was a true leader in the room. She brought new perspectives to our discussions and respectfully challenged her classmates to consider other points of view. Our class was significantly better due to her contributions.”

Allie Lock Receives CAFNR’s Outstanding Senior Award

Allie Lock, an agribusiness management major with an emphasis in public policy, recently received CAFNR’s Outstanding Senior Award.

Lock, from Carrollton, Mo., has served as president of MU’s chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), vice president of the Sigma Alpha – Alpha Chi Chapter and the professional development chair for MU Phi Alpha Delta. Lock has been part of a handful of professional publications and served for two years as a research intern with the Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI), one of CAFNR’s Programs of Distinction.

“Whether it be in extracurriculars or throughout her academic career, Allie has continuously excelled in everything that she has put her mind to,” said Annette Kendall, director for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and assistant teaching professor in the Trulaske College of Business. “Allie’s innovative thinking has had an inspirational impact on the people around her. In the Fall of 2019, she organized and hosted a successful Women in Entrepreneurship event on campus, and as president of the NAMA team, Allie has worked hard to grow membership from the six original members to more than 20 active members, who are highly engaged. These are just two examples of her work that demonstrate her strong leadership skills and ability to engage her peers in outside activities and programs through facilitating hands-on learning opportunities for them.”

Along with her campus involvement, Lock has been an intern with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, The Giddens Group, the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and the office of Congressman Emanuel Cleaver.

“While working at the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Allie has never been afraid to step up to any task we have given her,” added Mike Deering, executive vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. “Whether it is day-to-day administrative tasks, or attending fundraisers for political candidates we endorse, we know we can trust Allie to represent the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association to the highest degree possible. Throughout my time as executive director of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, we have never had an intern bring in a new program, until Allie. Through her own initiative, she identified the need for more collegiate programs and proposed the first ever Collegiate Cattlemen’s Showdown, a debate style event that focuses on agricultural issues. Allie was put wholly in charge of making this event a reality, and she did so with flying colors.

“After months of hard work, she was not only able to bring this event to life, but she also made it a great success. Due to its popularity, we plan to make this a reoccurring event at our annual convention and trade show and one of the top programs for our collegiate chapters across the state to participate in.”

Mizzou National Agri-Marketing Association Named CAFNR’s Outstanding Student Club/Organization

The Mizzou National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) was named CAFNR’s Outstanding Student Club/Organization.

The mission of Mizzou NAMA is to help University of Missouri students from all majors gain knowledge, skills and contacts within the agriculture marketing industry. Students obtain knowledge and skills in how to create a business proposition, executive summary and marketing pitch. Through industry professional presentations and agriculture marketing company visits, students have opportunities to network with professionals from large firms like OBP Agency and Farm Journal.

Regan Ragsdale, a senior agribusiness management major, serves as the president of the organization. Annette Kendall, director for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and assistant teaching professor in the Trulaske College of Business, serves as the advisor for Mizzou NAMA.

“Mizzou NAMA is not just a club or organization on the University of Missouri’s campus,” Ragsdale said. “We are a team of students from diverse degree programs who have come together with one goal in mind: to learn, to grow and to contribute. Mizzou NAMA is committed to excellence.”

Mizzou NAMA holds weekly meetings throughout the school year. Each month, the organization hears from a major agriculture marketing firm. Professionals speak to students about their company, positions within the company, internship opportunities and provide contacts for future networking. Typically, in the spring semester of each year, students work toward the goal of competing and winning the National Student Marketing Competition. This is a competition for collegiate NAMA chapters from across the United States. The competition consists of creating a product or service that benefits the agriculture industry, completing a six- to eight-page marketing executive summary about the product/service, and finally presenting our business proposition and marketing summary to the judges at the Student Marketing Competition.

“Overall, the one thing I continue to adore about Mizzou NAMA is how much our student leaders step up,” Ragsdale said. “This is something I admired as a student not in the organization, as a member of NAMA and now as a leader of Mizzou NAMA.”

Mizzou Team, Students Find Success at NAMA Competitions

A Mizzou student and team were honored at the recent National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Student Awards Ceremony, held virtually this April.

Mizzou’s National Agri-Marketing Association Competition Team placed fourth overall in the 2021 Student Marketing Competition. Twenty-four teams from across the United States and Canada competed in this year’s event, in which students develop a business proposition, conduct a market analysis, and put together a competitive analysis and action plan. Mizzou’s team competed in the preliminary, semi-final and final round this year, with an ultimate finish of fourth place.

This is the first time Mizzou NAMA has made it to the final round in more than 10 years, said Mizzou NAMA president, Regan Ragsdale, senior in agribusiness management.

“As an organization of student leaders at Mizzou, we could not be more thrilled to finish how we did,” she said. “Even though there were only six people on the presentation team, there are countless other students in Mizzou NAMA who contributed largely to the success of our team. In addition, we are thankful for our advisors, alumni NAMA members, our families, and everyone else who supported Mizzou NAMA in the past eight months of our preparation.”

Team members include:

  • Presentation team members: Abby Schmidt, senior in plant sciences; Allie Lock, senior in agribusiness management; Anderson Rogers, sophomore in agribusiness management; Halley Blades, freshman in biochemistry; Kate Thompson, junior in agribusiness management; and Ragsdale.
  • Team members who helped in preparation: Caleb Boyd, senior in agribusiness management; Cole Gutshall, senior in animal sciences; Dillon Reinitz, senior in agribusiness management; Mattie Kottman, junior in agribusiness management; Sophie Liefer, sophomore in plant sciences; and Zak Bush, sophomore in agribusiness management.

Ragsdale also received second place in the 2021 Virtual Sales Competition. The National Agri-Marketing Association Collegiate Sales Competition began in 2019 and seeks to advance the practice and professionalism of selling and the sales profession. The NAMA Sales Competition is a basic sales call skills challenge for individual contestants.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to compete in the sales competition and represent Mizzou NAMA! Sales is a huge passion of mine that I hope will one day translate into my professional career,” Ragsdale said. “A huge thank you goes out to my past teachers, professors, advisors, employers, and colleagues who have helped me find my passion in sales and marketing.”

Mizzou NAMA’s advisors are Annette Kendall, assistant teaching professor in management; and Katie Essing, assistant teaching professor in marketing.

According to their website, NAMA is an organization for agri-marketing professionals and for over 60 years has provided education and insights that position NAMA members for success and equip them to deliver greater value for their companies and employers in a rapidly changing world. NAMA gives more than 3,500 college students and professional members in the food and fiber industry access to solutions and opportunities. With 23 chapters in six regions across the country, NAMA helps members grow their agribusiness careers locally and nationally.