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Kate Thompson Named Outstanding Senior at 2022 Celebration of Excellence

Kate Thompson, an agribusiness management major, was named Outstanding Senior at CAFNR’s 2022 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony, held Tuesday, April 19.

Thompson is the president of the Mizzou National Agricultural Marketing Association (NAMA). 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. She is also the founding president of the MU Young Americans for Liberty organization.

Thompson serves as a CAFNR videography and photograph intern, where she collaborates with instructors, students and faculty to create promotional videos for CAFNR degree programs. She also gained hands-on learning experiences as a communications intern with the Missouri Department of Agriculture last year. In that role, Thompson edited 26 videos for two external-facing video series; created social media graphics; composed talking points; and sent daily agriculture news to 66 of MDA’s leaders.

“As current president of the NAMA student organization, Kate’s leadership style is highly effective and it is a joy to watch her in action,” said Annette Kendall, advisor for the Mizzou NAMA team. “She has been a strong member of the team since she joined and has consistently gone above and beyond in terms of her contribution to the group, setting the standard for what is expected from members. Her ability to balance the need for focused and dedicated work with a fun atmosphere has been a key driver in maintaining a strong membership within a student organization that essentially prepares the equivalent of a semester-long course workload as students prepare for competition each year.”

Elizabeth Gunter Named Outstanding Senior at 2022 Celebration of Excellence

Elizabeth Gunter, an animal sciences major, was named Outstanding Senior at CAFNR’s 2022 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony, held Tuesday, April 19.

Gunter, who is also minoring in food science and nutrition, has served in multiple leadership roles during her time at the University of Missouri, including as president of the CAFNR student council for a year. She has been a CAFNR ambassador since 2019, where she helped promote all that the college has to offer to potential students. Gunter served in a similar ambassador role with the Division of Animal Sciences. She was a Dickinson’s Scholar in 2019

Gunter is also a member of Sigma Alpha and was part of the Mizzou meat judging team for a year. She has served as a site leader and ambassador for Mizzou Alternative Breaks and is part of the Mizzou Student Foundation.

Gunter has multiple hands-on research experiences as a Tiger, serving as a lab assistant in two different animal science laboratories. She has worn numerous hats in those roles, from weighing feed samples to exploring research data. Gunter also works as a clerical assistant with the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute.

“Elizabeth excels at leadership and is an outstanding communicator,” said Matt Arri, director of CAFNR Career Services. “Her ability to juggle a busy school and work schedule is quite remarkable and is a testament to her strong work ethic and inner drive. Elizabeth has been very active in numerous programs, and has led by example by always being on time and having an exemplary attitude.”

Dawn Sherman Named Outstanding Freshman at 2022 Celebration of Excellence

Dawn Sherman, an agribusiness management major, was named Outstanding Freshman at CAFNR’s 2022 Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony, held Tuesday, April 19.

Sherman has been incredibly involved her first year at MU, joining the Mizzou Agribusiness Club, the Mizzou Floral Design Club and Mizzou Collegiate 4-H. Sherman is also a member of Sigma Alpha.

In addition to her organization involvement, Sherman serves as a student intern with the Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development. In this role, she promotes and advocates for Missouri 4-H in 114 counties throughout the state; works with MU Extension staff in completing daily tasks; and keeps 55,000 4-H members and families up-to-date on sponsored events through monthly newsletters.

“Since Dawn has become a sister in our sorority, she has impressed me with her strong work ethic and positive attitude, which is already leaving a mark on our chapter,” said Mary Watt, senior studying agricultural education and president of Sigma Alpha. “Dawn is a natural leader of her peers and uses those skills to serve in formal leadership roles, especially in 4-H. She takes her academic success very seriously and is always going the extra mile to ensure she obtains that success. Dawn has been a CAFNR student for less than a year but has already begun to become highly involved within CAFNR organizations and is eager to take on leadership roles. I am excited to see what she accomplishes during her time at Mizzou and have no doubt she will represent CAFNR and our values well.”

CAFNR Students Present During Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol

Four CAFNR students participated in the Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol on Monday, April 11, in Jefferson City. A total of 11 projects were shared with legislators during the event.

Brogan Eyre, a senior majoring in plant sciences, presented on the efficacy of selected fungicides for the protection of wine grapes in Missouri. Lydia Jefferson, a senior studying environmental sciences, shared her research related to improving the understanding of how the overall health of freshwater bodies relates to land-use practices. Kathryn Vanden Hoek, junior biochemistry major, discussed her research on utilizing plant stress responses to clean up polluted soils. Brooke Weiler, a senior biochemistry major, showcased her research which focuses on measuring gene activity of bone-building cells in a mouse model of brittle bone disease.

Dairy Products Evaluation Team Competes at National Contest

The Mizzou dairy products evaluation team competed at the National Dairy Products Evaluation Contest on Wednesday, April 13, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event was hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. The MU team finished second in ice cream; third in butter; third in cottage cheese; and fourth in all products.

Undergraduate students Neilson Hadlock (sophomore, food science and nutrition) and Michael Tran (junior, food science and nutrition) earned a third-place finish in butter and a fourth-place finish fourth all products, respectively. Graduate student Yun Wang (food and hospitality systems) finished third in butter.

Along with Hadlock, Tran and Wang, the Mizzou team includes Alex Dickinson (junior, agribusiness management) and Samantha Morris (senior, food science and nutrition). The team is coached by Rick Linhardt, instructor of food science.

Mizzou Livestock Judging Team Competes at All-East Livestock Contest

The Mizzou livestock judging team recently competed at the 2022 All-East Livestock contest on the Ohio State University campus. The competition consisted of three separate contests over the course of three days: breeding animal selection, market animal evaluation and livestock judging.

The Mizzou students who participated in the contest include the following animal sciences majors: Lauren Crutsinger (sophomore), Hannah Hoelscher (junior), Caleigh Grote (junior), Alexia Sweiger (junior), Bella Caudell (junior), Dakota Pemberton (junior), Madison Coleman and Clint Bailey.

Breeding Animal Selection
1st Place Overall
Caleigh Grote, 1st Place
Lauren Crutsinger, 7th Place
Alexia Sweiger, 9th Place
1st Place Swine
Caleigh Grote, 2nd Place
Lauren Crutsinger, 8th Place
1st Place Beef
Lauren Crutsinger, 2nd Place
Caleigh Grote, 3rd Place
Hannah Hoelscher, 8th Place
Alexia Sweiger, 9th Place
5th Place Sheep
Caleigh Grote, 2nd Place

Livestock Judging Contest
3rd Place Overall
Lauren Crutsinger, 7th Place
Alexia Sweiger, 8th Place
1st Place Beef
Caleigh Grote, 5th Place
Lauren Crutsinger, 6th Place
Madison Coleman, 7th Place
2nd Place Swine
Alexia Sweiger, 4th Place
Madison Coleman, 9th Place
4th Place Sheep/Goats
Dakota Pemberton, 3rd Place

4th Place Reasons

Market Animal Evaluation
5th Place Swine
5th Place Beef

Overall Contest
5th Place Overall
Caleigh Grote, 5th Place
2nd Team Beef
Caleigh Grote, 3rd Place
Caleigh Grote, 4th Place

Halley Blades Named AFA Ambassador

Halley Blades, a junior majoring in food science and nutrition, was recently chosen to serve as an Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Ambassador on the University of Missouri campus. In her role as an AFA Ambassador, Blades will work on building relationships with others that fosters engagements and innovation in food, agriculture and natural resources. She, and other AFA Ambassadors across the country, will interact with agribusiness leaders, campus faulty and other students.

Blades is one of 32 Ambassadors who were selected through a competitive application and interview process. One of her primary goals will be to increase awareness of AFA programs on the Mizzou campus.

According to its website, AFA is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing undergraduate students into the next generation of leaders for the food, agriculture and natural resources industry. AFA builds bridges for young leaders to foster engagement and innovation in food and agriculture. With program participation increasing 28 percent in the last five years, AFA has provided more than 24,000 leader development experiences to college leaders and young professionals from more than 200 colleges and universities throughout 43 states since its inception in 1996. AFA has awarded more than $11 million in academic and leader development scholarships.

Sophomore Biochemistry Student Kristen Barwick Earns NSF-Funded Travel Grant

Kristen Barwick, a sophomore studying biochemistry, was recently awarded an NSF-funded travel grant for $1,500 to present her research project, as a poster, at the 2022 Plant Cell Biology International Conference in August. The conference will be held in Chania (Crete, Greece) and is focused on advancing the intellectual exchange between laboratories, enhancing the cultural understanding of the next generation of innovators between continents, promoting new collaborations and helping advance the field of plant cell biology.

The grant was given to around 25 undergraduate and postdoctoral students from labs throughout the United States.

Barwick is part of the Honors College at Mizzou and works in the lab of Antje Heese, an associate professor of biochemistry. Barwick joined Heese’s lab in early 2021 through the Freshman Research in Plants (FRIPS) Program.

Mizzou Academic Quadrathlon Team Wins American Society of Animal Science (Midwest) Competition

The Mizzou Academic Quadrathlon team recently competed at the American Society of Animal Science Midwest Section annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. The team took first place overall, with a third place finish in lab practicum; second place in the written exam; first in oral presentation; and first in quiz bowl.

The Academic Quadrathlon competition includes four areas where students have the opportunity to test their animal science knowledge. The lab practical offers a hands-on test that covers species of livestock and companion animals. In the oral presentation section, students are given a topic and must present to a panel on said topic. They must also answer questions from the panel. The final parts of the competition are a written exam and quiz bowl. The exam includes multiple questions that cover various disciplines of animal science such as genetics, physiology, nutrition and reproduction. In the quiz bowl, students must buzz in to answer the asked question.

The Mizzou team includes:

  • Braden Ast, Animal Sciences
  • Avery Hlavacek, Animal Sciences
  • Kirby Latimer, Animal Sciences
  • Heather Vaughn (Snow), Animal Sciences

Jacob Knaebel Wins American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet

Jacob Knaebel, a senior in agricultural education, recently took home first place in the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet. Knaebel competed during the 2022 Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers leadership conference, held in Louisville, Kentucky.

Knaebel qualified for the national discussion meet after winning the Missouri Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet in December. A total of 29 competitors vied for the top prize at the national meet, with Knaebel earning first place for his discussion on how young farmers and ranchers can take a more proactive approach to farm safety in their rural communities. He earned a $3,000 scholarship from the event sponsor, the CHS Foundation.