In This Issue

  • News from the College of Ag
  • Announcements and Awards
  • Events
  • Publications and Funding Opportunities

News from the College of Ag

  • It's time for Celebrate Ag 2023, which takes place this weekend on our campus. Find the full agenda and read about our Outstanding Ag Leader, Charlie Cahill, here.
  • Research by Eric Boyd of the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology was published this month in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Read more about Dr. Boyd's work with unique microorganisms here.
  • With recent NIFA funding, research led by Andreas Fischer of the Department of Plant Science and Plant Pathology is examining the variables that control protein content in wheat and barley. The research has future applications for plant breeding, which you can read about here.
  • Lance McNew of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences served as the lead editor on a first-of-its-kind book on rangeland ecology and conservation. The book brings together diverse voices across agricultural disciplines to take a holistic approach to wildlife-rangeland management. Read more about the book and find it via open access here.
  • Greg Gilpin of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics spent part of this month on an exchange with Nha Trang University in Vietnam. The international collaboration is made possible by a Fulbright Specialist Award, which matches academic experts with institutions around the world who have projects relevant to their fields of study. Read more here.
  • Recent research on CRISPR immune systems by postdoctoral researcher Andrew Santiago-Frangos in the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology was published in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. Read more about Dr. Santiago-Frango's work on CRISPR DNA bending here.
  • A research team made up of Anthony Bertagnolli, Frank Stewart, Stephanie Ewing and Rob Payn is using recent funding to explore a unique organism that lives in riparian areas and its ability to process nitrogen and methane. This interdepartmental work will provide critical knowledge for water quality efforts and precision agriculture approaches. Read more here.
  • Artem Nemudryi and Anna Nemudraia, postdoctoral researchers in the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, recently published new knowledge of how CRISPR systems can be used for RNA editing. Read more about their unique genetic research here.
  • Research at our Western Ag Research Center in Corvallis has received statewide coverage recently! Read about their work in the Havre Daily News, Ravalli Republic and Bitterroot Star.

Announcements and Awards


  • We are pleased to announce Dr. Jessica Torrion as the new head of the Department of Research Centers. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Torrion! Dr. Torrion arrived at MSU in 2014 as a field crop physiologist studying abiotic stresses in plants with the goal of increasing productivity and resiliency of crops. Prior, she conducted field research and outreach at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a postdoctoral researcher. She completed her Ph.D. in 2008 at Texas Tech University on cotton crop water stress analysis. In Montana, she studies cereals, oil crops, pulses and forages. Dr. Torrion will continue serving as the superintendent of the Northwestern Agricultural Research Center.
  • Our very own VP and Dean Dr. Sreekala Bajwa has begun her term as chair of the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors, which encompasses 13 western states and several U.S. territories. The association guides multi-state research and fosters connection among western land grant universities.
  • We want to hear from YOU: Please take the time to fill out this short survey and share it with producers and constituents so we can do the best possible job of shaping future investments according to the needs of our stakeholders.
  • The Western SARE Graduate Student grant program is open until Dec. 7. This grant program is for full-time graduate students to address identified needs in sustainable agriculture. Projects must integrate rigorous research and education aiming to advance the three components of sustainable agriculture- environmental, economic, and social- and have direct applicability to agricultural production. Learn more about the program here.


  • We are so very proud of our faculty and staff who were honored at MSU's Milestones in Service Ceremony this month. Between on- and off-campus faculty and our partners in MSU Extension, more than 50 members of our team celebrated milestones from 5 years to 55 years of exceptional service to our land grant mission.
  • Alexis Trauner, a doctoral student in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, is the recipient of the 2023 Dr. Janice Bowman Graduate Student Fellowship. The fellowship, which comes with $5,000 to use toward graduate school expenses, honors Janice “Jan” Porter Bowman, who served as an ARS faculty member from 1992 to 2019. Alex is advised by Amanda Bradbery, assistant professor of equine nutrition and physiology.
  • Congratulations are in order for Dr. Chengci Chen of the Eastern Ag Research Center! Dr. Chen was recognized in the American Society of Agronomy's Outstanding Paper Awards for 2023 for his team's paper "Evaluation of Environment and Cultivar Impact on Lentil Protein, Starch, Mineral Nutrients and Yield." Congratulations on the continued exceptional research you are leading, Dr. Chen!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Marsha Goetting, who was recognized at the Epsilon Sigma Phi national conference last month with the 2023 ESP Distinguished Ruby Service Award. Thank you for your excellence in service and engagement, Dr. Goetting!
  • Congratulations to our DAEE Scholarship Exam winners, Ethan Carney, Jonas Kahila and Joel Kunzelman!

New Faces in the COA

  • The Department of Research Centers is happy to announce Dr. Hannah Speer as the new Assistant Professor of Animal Science at the Northern Ag Research Center in Havre. Dr. Speer received her Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and will begin her appointment on Jan. 1.

Events in the COA

Upcoming Events

  • DAEE Study Week is this week, Oct. 30 - Nov.2. This department study week will give students the opportunity to use our designated spaces for focused and collaborative study. More info can be found here.
  • Join us for Celebrate Ag Weekend Nov. 3-4 in Bozeman! The full lineup of events can be found here.
  • The annual Economic Outlook Conference, part of Celebrate Ag Weekend, will be held Nov. 3, and more information and registration can be found at
  • The Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology will host immunologist Jay Evans for a public lecture on Nov. 7 in the Procrastinator Theater on campus. All are welcome and more information can be found here.
  • The Montana Seed Potato Growers are excited to be hosting the 58th Annual Montana Seed Potato Seminar! This year’s event will be held 8-9 at the Holiday Inn Missoula, 200 South Pattee Street.

Recent Events

  • MSU's Collegiate Cattlewomen toured Storey Hereford Ranch during the first week of October, where they learned about the operation, viewed replacement heifers, and discussed challenges faced by Montana ranchers and the importance of being involved with agricultural groups. The CCW is advised by Jane Ann Boles, associate professor of meat science.
  • The Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences hosted MSU's first-ever OLLI on Campus event for lifelong learners. Visitors to campus met with COA leadership and researchers, toured facilities and conducted some experiments of their own. Thank you to Bob Peterson for both leading the event and capturing some wonderful images!

Publications and Funding Opportunities

  • You can find a full list of recent publications from MSU's Library and Office of Sponsored Programs here.
  • For current and upcoming funding opportunities, check out the MSU Office of Research and Economic Development database here.
  • Recent COA/MAES grants include:
    • Hayes Goosey, Daniel Atwater, Sam Wyffels. "The Response of Dung Beetles, Soil Health, and Dung Pat Degradation Rates to Herd Parasite Management." Pheasants Forever.
    • Jed Eberly. "Characterizing the Microbial Contribution to Integrated Fertility Management in Organic Dryland Cropping Systems," USDA NIFA.
    • Jared Beaver, Brent Roeder. "Wild-domestic sheep comingling," Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.