Sowing Good Seeds Lincoln University of Missouri - Monthly Highlights for September 2020

Lincoln University of Missouri Industrial Hemp Field Day

A beautiful autumn day on September 23, 2020 welcomed invited guests to the first annual Lincoln University Industrial Hemp Field Day, where they observed the plots at Busby certified organic Farm and the George Washington Carver Farm. Guests included representatives from the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri House of Representatives, various U.S. Senators' offices, the Missouri Highway Patrol, industry representatives, hemp commodity groups and Missouri farmer stakeholders. Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk, President of Lincoln University, and Dr. Alphonso Sanders, Lincoln University Provost, as well as many other friends of the University were also in attendance.

Industrial Hemp grown on LU's Busby Farm

The tour began at Busby Farm, where participants observed the variety trial plots of hemp grown for fiber, seed and flower. Lincoln hemp team members led discussions on the different varieties, diseases and insects prevalent with this crop, along with the challenges they face during the growing season. The tour later moved to Carver Farm, where visitors were updated on current and planned research and outreach projects led by Dr. Babu Valliyodan and Mr. David Middleton. Of note is the collaboration with other Missouri universities in the four regions of the state, with Lincoln being the central research site.

Dr. Babu Valliyodan presents an overview of LU Hemp Institute Initiatives

The Carver Farm plots led to great discussion from attendees about hemp and the potential it holds for Missouri's small farms. The small farms will need processing infrastructure, research funding, variety adaptation and stabilization and a breeding program for Missouri’s varied soils and growing conditions.

Attendees gets close-up view of several stages of hemp growth

Dean Majed El-Dweik viewed the day as “a great success” with a bright future as the University continues its work with this new crop in Missouri.

Watch Our Facebook Post: Dr. Elezar Gonzales interviews Dr. Babu Valliyodan about ongoing industrial hemp projects at LU Farms www.facebook.com/111586927203666/videos/1283972541963492

Dean of the College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Services Meets with State Representatives to Tour an Industrial Hemp Processing Facility

On September 3, Dr. Majed El-Dweik, Dean of the Lincoln University College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Services, met with Missouri State Representatives Mike Moon and Lynn Morris to tour THC Firm in Springfield, Missouri.

Dennis Hill , THC Firm, led the tour of the processing facility and answered questions about the Missouri hemp industry and how local processing and value-added products can increase income to small growers. Understanding processing is beneficial to the Lincoln University hemp initiative. The project now moves into the next research phase of processing and developing value-added products that Missouri growers can duplicate for direct marketing.

Right: Dennis Hill of the THC Firm answers questions from Rep. Mike Moon about hemp processing as Rep. Lynn Morris and Dean Dweik listen.

Fast Actions to Help Hemp Farmer Save Crop

After 60-miles-per-hour winds flattened Jeff Brinkhoff’s hemp field leaving broken plants as far as he could see, Lincoln University’s Hemp Institute Coordinator David Middleton was contacted for advice and assistance. Upon arrival to Mr. Brinkhoff’s hemp field, Mr. Middleton surveyed the damage and recommended harvesting the downed crops immediately to prevent mold from growing on the plants. However, Brinkhoff was not ready to dry the crop in his barn.

Mr. Middleton contacted HOCOMO Hemp Farm to see if they could custom dry the crop in their facility, connecting the parties to work out an arrangement. The next call was to an extraction facility to turn the dried hemp flower into crude oil to render the hemp shelf-stable before further refinement. By the end of the farm visit, Brinkhoff had a plan and an opportunity to save his crop.

Visit our website to learn more of what we do: https://bluetigerportal.lincolnu.edu/web/hemp-institute/home

Submitted by Mr. David Middleton, Farm Outreach Worker - Southwest Region
Signs of the Times / Kansas City Urban Impact Center

Using My Hands to Give Back

The beginning of something great!

As the Kansas City Urban Impact Center prepared for Fall 2020 programming, they stumbled upon a special fabric design while shopping for the Sewing Club program- a 4-H fabric!

Without any hesitation, the fabric was purchased for the next project. Members of the office staff made “no-sew” blankets as a prize for the youth participants. The blankets serve as a constant reminder of the goals of 4-H as well as the importance of “giving back.”

The 4-H no-sew blanket project

The making of no-sew blankets is a regular project for the Sewing Club participants, but this project turned out to be a very special one. The group has now aspired to make larger blankets for other recipients.

Submitted by Marion Halim, LCSW Regional Coordinator Cooperative Extension Kansas City Urban Impact Center

Street Artwork Display

Street mural paintings near 18th & Vine in Kansas City

Kansas City has made history again with one of the most meaningful street art collections ever. Six local artists teamed up to create a design that would be painted in six different locations.

With the help of hundreds of local artists, civic and community groups, this design came to fruition giving Kansas City their very own Black Lives Matter murals.

Each mural carries its own significance, including some that showcase the names of those who have lost their lives due to the actions of law enforcement or who have been victims of racial injustices.

Staff member Kalin Hill, Kansas City Urban Impact Center, captured the photo above at the intersection of 18th & Vine, internationally known for its array of jazz and blues music, barbecue and sports, using drone technology.

Submitted by Marion Halim, LCSW Regional Coordinator Cooperative Extension Kansas City Urban Impact Center

Signs of the Times / St. Louis Urban Impact Center


Voting Matters!

The St. Louis Urban Impact Center, in partnership with Pastor Evan James, hosted a Voter Registration seminar via Zoom and phone conference. Over 20 constituents tuned in to the session. Pastor James educated attendees on proper voting registration, voter suppression, absentee ballots, the benefits of early voting and mail-in ballots. Pastor James stresses it is essential to know where your local voting polls are currently, as many have closed and or have changed their locations. Pastor James reminded attendees to wear their PPE to the polls for their safety during COVID-19. He concluded his session making sure attendees knew to not get out of line until their ballots are cast.

Those in line by 7:00 p.m. on the evening of November 3 are eligible to cast their vote!

INFUSE Yourself with Wealth

The St. Louis Urban Impact Center’s Keena McBride interviewed Ms. CeCe Ellis regarding real estate. Ms. Ellis is a real estate agent in the St. Louis region who is committed to changing the demographical disproportions in home buying. Ms. Ellis also discussed some of the disparities African Americans face as home buyers, such as redlining and high debt-to-income ratios. Ms. Ellis imparted tips for first-time home buyers and credit repair options.


Solutions to Close the Gap

St. Louis Urban Impact Center Computer Lab

Today, most families in our country have access to a computer or other digital device enabling them to connect to the rest of the world with just one click. As common as it seems, there are still those who lack or have limited access to such technology. In these cases, they fall into the gap often referred to as “the digital divide.” These individuals lack access to internet services for various reasons.

One of the many services provided by the St. Louis Urban Impact Center includes technology programs to help citizens stay connected to our digital world. As part of the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension mission, the St. Louis Urban Impact Center offers:

  • Computer literacy classes for senior citizens
  • Cyber Café support
  • Individual tutoring sessions
  • Community lab hours for academic students (of all ages), professionals and local businesses

These services are provided for residents of the St. Louis Metropolitan area. For information on program enrollment and technology support requirements, please call (314) 867-4915 or visit:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LUCESTLUIC/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lincoln_universityextension/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/lucestluic

The St. Louis Urban Impact Center is located at: 9041 Riverview Drive, St. Louis MO

Submitted by Ms. Marla Moore-Collins, Regional Coordinator Cooperative Extension Kansas City Urban Impact Center

Signs of the Times / Southeast Missouri

Regional Collaboration to Battle Southeast Food Insecurities

Sample of Family Food Delivery

The partnership between Freshstart Self Improvement Center and DRPAM J Transport, a small, minority-owned business, coordinated by the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Charleston Outreach Center is making a difference in obesity reduction and overall wellness of a population disproportionately affected by COVID 19.

Through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program, the group is decreasing food insecurity by creating access to fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lean meat and dairy products, for families hardest hit by the pandemic and economic changes. Included in the efforts are Ole Tyme Produce Inc. (St. Charles, Missouri), Graves Foods (Jefferson City, Missouri), local agencies and organizations, and multiple churches from the surrounding areas.

The program's eleventh distribution day on September 9 served six counties in the Missouri Bootheel including Cape and Butler Counties in Southeast Missouri, Western Kentucky/Tennessee, North East Arkansas, and Southern Illinois. More than 6,000 boxes totaling 117,897 pounds of produce and pre-cooked, breaded chicken from the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program were distributed.

The Farmer to Families Food Box program recipients were provided recipes, food demonstrations, and meal planning tips for using the produce and protein received in order to increase food security and eliminate waste.

Working closely with Ole Tyme Produce and Graves Foods, this collaboration ensured that families received safe, quality foods in an insulated food box designed to sustain its contents and assist in the prevention of cross-contamination. While these measures increased cost, they did not exceed the value of the food lost from damage and improper handling.

Submitted by Sheryl Maxwell , Southeast Regional Coordinator - Caruthersville, MO

Exceeding Our Measures During a Pandemic

The Opening of the Lincoln University Culinary Incubator and Commercial Kitchen

The Lincoln University Culinary Incubator (CI) program will be starting soon. The CI program will offer a kitchen for new entrepreneurs, small producers, processors and farmers to develop and prepare various dishes.

The cost of a commercial kitchen is most often prohibitive for initial business startups. In addition to the use of space, the program provides the facility with critical business support, training and food safety certifications to make their food idea a success.

For farmers, the program will focus on value-added products to increase profits. The program has partnered with the Lincoln University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which offers business development assistance, consulting and a shared office space for CI members to use. The SBDC can assist with obtaining permits, pricing, cost analysis and access to the food agriculture library. Research shows that those with business support are most likely to succeed.

LU received a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant to expand the commercial kitchen into a training and education program. Lincoln University staff can assist with product development, ingredient sourcing, packaging and labeling, nutritional evaluation and processing parameters!

Acceptance to the Culinary Incubator Program is competitive and requires participation with the SBDC.

This unique partnership offers the opportunity to make business ventures prosper. Nationally, this partnership model is the most successful for new efforts.

To learn more, contact: borgwordtc@lincolnu.edu

Submitted by Cindy Borgwordt, Food Safety Specialist

Light the Fire!

The Search for Hot Pepper Recipes!

In May 2020, Dr. El-Dweik initiated a partnership with the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) as a part of the Governor Parson’s Food Security Task Force in Missouri.

With the disruptions that were occurring in the distribution systems as a result of COVID-19, Missouri food banks were projecting inadequate supplies of fruits and vegetables for the critically underserved people of Missouri. Lincoln University stepped up to volunteer staff time and resources to grow produce for our immediate neighbors. DSS supported the purchase of the plants and seeds.

Dr. Akotsen-Mensah, State Specialist-Pest Management, and Sarah Eber MPH, RD, LD, CDE, Human Nutrition and Health Program Coordinator, were included in the University's Action for Food Security and Sustainability in Missouri (AFSESUM) project to provide fresh fruits and vegetables, and to assist with nutrition education and culinary training on how to effectively use the produce.

When this decision was made, Missouri was already well into the summer growing season, so plants were selected that would produce well in the heat and humidity of a Missouri summer. These included hot peppers, okra, tomatoes, eggplant, and sweet potatoes.

The Faculty and Staff Hot Peppers Recipe Contest was created to enlist assistance with identifying family-friendly recipes using hot peppers. Six members of the LU Cooperative Extension and Research faculty and staff were chosen to judge the recipes based on their personal experience with hot peppers. Recipes were selected based on ease of preparation, cost, and heat tolerance.

Dr. Homero Salinas with pepper-loaded dishes on display

All participants brought their “A” game and made the effort a great success!

Lincoln University Outdoor Farmers Market

Transitioning to Fall at the Farmers Market

The mornings are starting to become cooler. Customers are taking their time a bit more and enjoying the weather while shopping. Although tomatoes, peppers, and watermelon are still plentiful at the market each week, there are signs of the fall season all around.

Brushy Creek Honey had a great honey season this year. Since honey is usually harvested in late summer, it is at this time of year they have the most abundance available for sale. Our customers have been excited to have local honey at the market, and so have the other vendors as honey can be used with many other products at the market.

Jeannette of Brenneke Farms, is a longtime vegetable grower in the area. Her tables have started to fill up with pears, spaghetti squash, and sweet potatoes. Soon she will have lettuce, radishes, and a fall crop of zucchini to sell.

Roxie Bailey is a new vendor this season. She sells handmade quilts. During the heat of the summer, her sales went down a bit. But these cool mornings have already started increasing her sales. She is so excited for October weather at the market because she believes it will help her sell even more quilts.

Voter Registration at the Market

During one of our Saturday events, volunteers came to help customers with voter registration. One of the volunteers stated that he feels that it is important for every citizen to vote and participate in our democracy.

Because he finds it so important, he wanted to come help people register and provide vital information on options for casting ballots. Although it was the last week to register in Missouri for the upcoming election, they plan to continue their weekend presence at the LU Farmers Market throughout the month of October.

The group of volunteers will offer basic information, answer questions, and help residents identify their designated polling locations.

“I think offering this resource at the market is a great way to support our community.” - Ms. Taylor Cleveland (LU Farmers Market Manager)

What Our Farmers Mean to Us

Always There to Lend a Hand

Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Teams Up for High Tunnel Demonstration Workshop

The four multidisciplinary faculty team members consisting of Dr. Hwei-Yiing Johnson, Dr. Tunsisa Hurisso, Dr. Clement Akotsen-Mensah, and Dr. Jaimin Patel visited Kress Farm and Garden in Hillsboro, Missouri on September 11 to advise on crop and soil health issues. In addition to faculty members, Small Farm Specialist Miranda Duschack, Southeast Regional Coordinator Brenda Robinson-Echols, and Farm Outreach Worker Lester Gillespie were present in Sikeston demonstrating high tunnel construction.

Visit to Kress Farm and Garden in Hillsboro, MO

The Lincoln University informational booth displayed posters and provided educational materials, newsworthy articles and helpful resources for event attendees.

Ms. Duschack and Mr. Gillespie opened the high tunnel demonstration event, introducing each LU team members’ area of expertise. The attendees saw a step-by-step, live demonstration for constructing a high tunnel. After the construction, Dr. Patel and Dr. Akotsen-Mensah shared tips on how to prevent plant disease and what measures to take to keep a high tunnel free of harmful insects. To teach best soil health practices, Dr. Hurriso, Assistant Professor of Soil Science, provided training on how to collect soil samples as well as how to test soil for compactness and the pH levels.

Submitted by Dr. Jaimin Patel, Professor of Plant Pathology and Dr. Hwei-Yiing Johnson, State Extension Specialist

Making a Real Connection with Area Farmers

Two members of the LU Cooperative Extension Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP) traveled to Oran, Missouri, to make a follow-up visit with local farmer, Gloria Blackmon, an attendee at the September 12 High Tunnel Workshop held in Oran.

Small Farm Specialist Miranda Duschack and ISFOP member Lester Gillespie of the Southeast Regional Office proposed a plan to help restore productivity to Ms. Blackmon’s family farm. The plan also included assisting her with her business development. The construction of a high tunnel was a logical step to take toward increasing her annual vegetable crop production.

Ms. Blackmon had constructed the steel frame prior to the workshop. Ms. Duschack and Mr. Gillespie completed the construction by pulling and securely attaching the agriculture plastic to the structure. With the assistance of hydroponic lettuce farmer Mr. Steve Harma, the construction crew drilled channel locks to the tunnel frame and secured it with a wiggle wire into the channel lock.

Successful completion of high tunnel on Ms. Blackmon's family farm

The success of the well-attended workshop provided an opportunity for LUCE State Specialists Dr. Akotsen-Mensah, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Patel, Dr. Hurisso, and other team members, to introduce themselves and offer services to area growers.

Submitted by Ms. Miranda Duschack, Small Farm Specialist - St. Louis County and City

Entrepreneurial Sustainable Agriculture for Latinx and Limited Resource Producers

This program builds on a recent NCR-SARE program (SARE project LNC15-368) among Latino producers in Missouri. In that program, a sample of 100 Latinx producers helped to document factors constraining them from practicing sustainable agriculture.

The study suggests that four challenges keep Latino producers in Missouri from practicing sustainable agriculture: a) farm households incomes depend on off-farm sources; b) the existence of a socio-economic farm framework system influencing farmers to opt for conventional production methods; c) lack of knowledge and skills in agro-ecological practices; and d) poor understandings of financial and managerial skills needed to follow agribusiness plans.

The program Entrepreneurial Sustainable Agriculture for Latinx and Limited Resource Producers in Missouri aims to expand those findings with an additional approach to evaluate current sustainable production methods among Latino producers.

It will use a sample of 50 Latino producers and document the current levels of skills, knowledge, and attitudes toward partially and fully transitioning into sustainable and organic production methods supported by a mixed-methods analysis.

New skills, knowledge, and implementation of innovative and good agricultural practices will eventually reduce farm inputs, enhance the farm's natural resources, and increase the diversity of fresh produce food into local community markets.

This is a team effort that includes Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall, Dr. Christopher R Baughman, Dr. Homero Salinas-Gonzalez, Dr. Clement Akotsen, Ms. Susan Jaster, Mr. Nahshon Bishop, Mr. David Middleton and Mr. Mathew Dolan.

Submitted by Dr. Eleazar U. Gonzalez - State Extension Specialist-Small Sustainable Farm, Ag. Economics and Marketing
Just in Time for Fall Festivals!

Elderberries and Wild Plums!

Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall, Specialty Crop Specialist, is also a native plant advisor for Grow Native!

Grow Native! is a native plant marketing and education program available through the Missouri Prairie Foundation in Columbia, Missouri. The organization supports native plant businesses including nurseries, seed producers, landscape designers and educators.

Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall has facilitated several workshops on topics related to native plants as specialty crops, mainly on how to use them for food consumption. She is also a monthly contributor of their native edible website: https://grownative.org/learn/natives-for-gardening/native-edibles/

Delicious juice drinks and deserts made from wild plums and elderberries
Wild plum fruit is rich in Vitamin C

One of her recent articles promotes tasty recipes using elderberries and wild plums, including her ongoing projects at Lincoln University of Missouri. The titles of the articles are: Respect Your Elder “Learn to Love American Elderberry” and “Wild Plum Recipes.” Click below to read her full-length articles on these delicious recipes.

(https://grownative.org/project/respect-your-elder-learn-to-love-american-elderberry/) (https://grownative.org/project/wild-plum-recipes/)

As a guest on the radio show, “Farm and Fiddle” (KOPN 89.5FM), Dr. Navarrete-Tindall talked about the topic of making flour with oak acorns, relating to an article she wrote for the Missouri Native Plants Society newsletter. https://monativeplants.org/wpcontent/uploads/petal-pusher/PP-33-6-2018-11.pdf

Campus Paradise

In late August of this year, Dr. Navarrete-Tindall invited LU Grant Accountant Carol Weller from the Office of the Controller to tour Lincoln University finca. LU faculty, staff and students, as well as campus visitors often contact her for private tours to get more details on the variety of plants grown in this special area of the campus. They are always curious to see what new plants are growing from year to year.

Grant Accountant Carol Weller gets a tour of the LU Finca Urban Farm

On display this year are varieties of pollinators, including wildflowers and zinnias, that are grow on the north side of LU’s Teaching Greenhouse.

Semi-double zinnias, like the two on the left, as well as the double zinnias, have very little nectar for butterflies.

As a guest on the radio show, “Farm and Fiddle” (KOPN 89.5FM), Dr. Navarrete-Tindall talked about the topic of making flour with oak acorns, relating to an article she wrote for the Missouri Native Plants Society Newsletter. https://monativeplants.org/wpcontent/uploads/petal-pusher/PP-33-6-2018-11.pdf

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