Sowing Good Seeds December 2020 and January 2021 Monthly Highlights

“No person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, genetics, or disability in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by Lincoln University Cooperative Extension.”

Turning the Corner to a New Year

A Message from the Dean of Lincoln University College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences

As so many around the world have searched for hope and the reassurance of a brighter new year to come, we all must move forward with renewed energy to pursue the goodness of life we hold most dear. The Lincoln University College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences is currently developing plans to make deeper pathways into those areas of your greatest concerns.
With the knowledge gained from the 2020 pandemic, we are committed to strengthening our foundation as one of the nineteen 1890 Land Grant Institutions across the country. In 2020, various departments within the College were very successful in our state’s struggle with the issue of food insecurity, particularly in our underserved and underrepresented communities in Southeast Missouri.
We have, and will continue to design creative ways to maintain and invigorate learning opportunities for our youth. We also formed direct lines of communication with our farmers, providing continuous updates on how to keeping striving beyond their expectations.
We invite you to travel with us on this journey in 2021 as we discover new avenues to explore, unforeseen hills to climb and the sheer wonder of it all.

Dr. Majed El-Dweik

Dean of Lincoln University College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences

Final USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program Distribution

Food Deliveries to Help Families Make it Through the Winter Months Ahead

The final round of the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program Distribution ended on December 30, 2020. With the continuous support of various state agencies, local churches and other state and community organizations, the mission to help feed thousands residing in the Missouri Southeast Bootheel area was achieved in this one-day event.

In appreciation of these great efforts, Missouri Governor Mike Parsons and Missouri Senator Mike Hawley, along with others, traveled to Southeast Missouri Region to witness firsthand the tremendous work involved in the planning, coordination and distribution of food to local constituents.

Proud sponsors for this event included:

• United States Department of Agriculture

• Lincoln University Cooperative Extension - Charleston Outreach Center

• Feeding America

• Southeast Missouri Food Bank

• Liberty Fruit Company

• Ameren UE

• DRPAM J Transport, LLC

• Missouri Department of Social Services

• Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services - Office of Minority Health

• Missouri Dept. of Transportation

• Missouri State Highway Patrol

• Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department

• Charleston Department of Public Safety

• Ole Tyme Produce

• Williams Funeral Home, Inc.

• Missouri Grown

• Unilever of Jefferson City, Missouri

• Liberty Foods Inc.

• The Taylor Center Inc.

• Meet the Need Inc.

• Tyson Foods of Dexter, Missouri

• St. Francis Medical Center

During this special visit, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension’s Sheryl Maxwell (Southeast Missouri Outreach Center Program Assistant) was honored for her longstanding efforts in coordinating efforts to combat food shortages in the surrounding areas. As of the first delivery since May 4, 2020, more than 326 tons of dairy, produce, and meat was skillfully coordinated and distributed throughout the region. At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 3500 families were served.

Applauding Our 1890 Scholars

Fall 2020 Academic Year Beamed with Success

On January 21, at the first monthly meeting of the semester, the 1890 Scholars were welcomed back to campus. The welcome was an opportunity to honor the Fall 2020 semester achievements of the scholars, introduce students to faculty mentors, and highlight the upcoming events for the Spring 2021 semester. Both the 1890 Scholar Program Director Ruth Canada and program director of the program, Ruth Canada and the Dean of the College, Dr. Majed El-Dweik spoke to the students.

Awards were presented to the students achieving a 3.0 or better by Dr. Jessica Epple-Farmer, Assistant Professor of Animal Science, who helped to organize the faculty mentor program. The achievements of the students were noteworthy. Five scholars earned a 4.0 GPA; Amyri Davis, Dawshaia Herndon, Trimia Davis, Andrionna Fountain and McKenzie Williams. Of the 29 students who started the program in the fall, 27 students returned and two new students joined the program. Throughout the previous semester, scholars met often with their advisor Ms. Kimberly Cash, Poultry Research Assistant and Student Success Coach, who encourages student to also support each other academically in order to stay on track with their goals.

At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, scholars met with their mentors in a “meet and great” session. Faculty and staff mentors are Dr. Jessica Epple-Farmer, Dr. Homero Salinas-Gonzalez, Dr. Jaimen Patel, Dr. George Cavender, Ms. Sarah Eber, Ms. Amy Bax, Ms. Kim Cash, Mr. Luke Wilbers, Ms. Regina Anderson, Dr. Ye So, Dr. Tatjiana Fisher, Ms. Yvonne Matthews and Dr. Abu Ikem. Guidelines were provided to all mentors and students were encouraged to reach out often.

Training workshops are planned for the scholars during the spring semester, with the first workshop titled “Time Management for Scholars,” led by student leaders Andrionna Fountain and Dawshaia Herndon, both 1890 Scholars.

Sharing Good News Across the State

Lincoln University Industrial Hemp Institute

Missouri Life Magazine Speaks with LU Industrial Hemp Institute Team Member David Middleton

In the February 1, 2020 edition of Missouri Life Magazine, writer Porcshe N. Moran explains the history of hemp production in Missouri, dating back prior to the Civil War. In her article “ANOTHER HEYDAY FOR HEMP,” she takes a close look at what Lincoln University Industrial Hemp Institute is currently accomplishing and what plans it has for the future.

In his interview, LU Outreach Coordinator David Middleton explains a few of the potential obstacles new hemp producers may encounter and offers solutions to remedy any pitfalls due to state and federal laws.

The article is a “must read” for future newcomers to the hemp industry and those monitoring its success in Missouri.

Click here to read this online article published by Missouri Life Magazine


The Lincoln University Hemp Institute hosted its first Missouri Hemp Farmer’s Forum on January 14, 2021 via Zoom. The forum panel consisted of Rick Kreklow, a new farmer growing hemp in Columbia, Missouri; Tyler Morgan, an experienced hemp producer who leads the Missouri Hemp Trade Association, and seeks to motivate other potential producers; and Trey Wilson who hydroponically grew two crops of hemp in his high tunnel. Mr. Wilson is also a member of the Show-Me Hemp Association.

The forum opened with LU Assistant Professor, Dr. Eleazar Gonzalez (State Extension Specialist-Small Sustainable Farms and Ranches, and Ag. Economics and Marketing) who shared socioeconomic perspectives on the Missouri hemp industry and challenges and opportunities from year 2020 production season.

From the 47 individuals registered, 37 reported to be farmers. Twenty-five from this group had grown hemp during the 2020 production season. Interesting statistical results further revealed that 32 of the participants have earned a college degree or graduate school degree, and 16 who registered were females. On average, 35 participants consistently attended the forum.

The goal of the forum was to assist farmers with the main technical, financial and market challenges during the 2020 production season. They were informed of new hemp regulations and changes to growing hemp for the 2021 season. The forum discussions also helped farmers to get answers to some of their concerns from other farmers that were led by two Missouri hemp producers.

Lincoln University Hemp Institute scheduled its first Show-me Hemp Conference for March 1, 2021, bringing farmers, processors, researchers and educators in the hemp industry from around the country. The conference was hosted by Mr. Dave Middleton, Dr. Babu Valliyodan, and Dr. Eleazar Gonzalez. The agenda included updates on hemp research, workshops, and future field days for Missouri farmers.

Small Ruminant Webinars for Teaching and Learning

Ongoing Assistance for Small Ruminant Farmers and Ranchers

During the months of December 2020 and January 2021, Dr. Homero Salinas and Ms. Amy Bax continued their presentations of the Small Ruminant Webinar Series.

The December 10, 2020 webinar (Session 4) featured speakers David Middleton from Lincoln University Extension and Jennifer Lutes from University of Missouri Extension who spoke on the topic of Small Ruminants Marketing.

The two guest speakers provided important current information on:

• United States Supply and Demand

• Traditional Markets

• Price Trends and Price Discovery

• Seasonal Markets

• Direct Markets

The January 14, 2021 (Session 5) presentation included guest speakers Cindy DeOrnellis from Luzon Farms and NCAT Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey who spoke on the topic of lambing and kidding.

The two speakers shared interesting and detailed information on:

• Pre-birth Preparations

• What to Watch for

• Difficult Births (when to intervene)

• Dam Troubles

• Lamb/Kid Troubles

The month of January concluded with Session 6 with the webinar titled, “How to Read a Feed Tag” on January 8. The guest speaker for this webinar was Dr. Ken Coffey from the University of Arkansas who discussed:

• What a feed tag tells you

• What a feed tag doesn’t tell you

• How to use the information to make the best feed decisions for your operation

All presentations can be viewed at:

Watching for Development of Crop Diseases in High-Tunnels

Precautions for Lettuce Growers

Lettuce Drop is an important plant disease to watch for, particularly Missouri growers utilizing high tunnels to grow their crop. The symptoms of this crop disease are:

• Wilting of the outermost layer of leaves indicating infection to the crowns

• Crowns that display brown, soft and watery decay, followed by snowy-white fungal growth that causes the plant to wilt.

• Black sclerotia (a plant pathogenic fungus) on the leaf and crown area.

Dr. Jaimin Patel, Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology at Lincoln University Cooperative Research created a five-minute video for participants of the Winter Production Conference series. This conference took place online on February 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd, 2021 on Zoom. The short video explains lettuce drop symptoms, how the disease spreads, and what growers can do to manage the disease. All segments of the conference have been recorded and are available for future viewing.

Technology-Sharing Benefits LU Faculty, Staff, and Students

LU Cooperative Research will provide monthly training sessions for major analytical instrument operation and sample analysis. The trainings are open LU faculty, staff, and students across campus starting 2021. This effort attempts to strengthen research collaborations on campus and enhance the use efficiency of our instruments.

With the support of United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), the Cooperative Research Division at Lincoln University of Missouri has recently acquired and installed a high-resolution liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) system.

LC-MS is an advanced, high precision analytical instrument that is able to analyze a wide-range of organic compounds and chemical structures with a high sensitivity. These include pesticides, environmental contaminants, animal or plant metabolites, and others. It is used primarily in animal, plant, food and environmental research.

The acquisition and installation of this instrumentation enables our scientists to conduct cutting-edge research to address critical issues facing Missouri farmers in our Cooperative Research Program. Installation of this instrument will significantly enhance our research capacity for agriculture and food research, and Lincoln University to provide the best research service to stakeholders.

“No person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, genetics, or disability in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by Lincoln University Cooperative Extension.”


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