When you study online with the University of Missouri, you log on to a world-class research institution. MU is home to many facilities that foster discovery and interdisciplinary collaboration across multiple academic fields.

One such facility is the MU Center for Agroforestry, which conducts practical research as well as administers the online master’s degree and graduate certificate programs in agroforestry.

The center recently earned media attention for their research into how prairie habitat protects farmland from flooding and improves the health of waterways.

Reporters from KTVI in Kirksville, Mo., recently spoke with Shibu Jose, director of the center, about his team’s work.   

“If you have prairies restored or re-established in critical landscape positions over the landscape, chances are we will have massive absorption of storm water into the soil and less water getting into streams and rivers, avoiding or reducing the threats of flooding,” Jose said.

Early indications suggest that restoring even a thin strip of prairie grass can reduce run-off by six inches to eight inches of rainfall. But Jose is determined to show more results.

“Sometimes you need to show real world data before you can convince landowners of the benefits of an ecosystem like the prairie,” Jose said.

The Center for Agroforestry is offering an intensive introduction to the principles of agroforestry this summer in Columbia, Mo. The Agroforestry Academy, July 25–29, will include integrated classroom workshops, farm visits, hands-on demonstrations and content integration into practical agroforestry planning and design.

Farmers, natural resource professionals, extension agents and other educators are invited to register by June 30. The program is $1,000 per person and includes lodging,

food, local travel and all training materials. Limited scholarships are available for military veterans. 

To learn more about the Agroforestry Academy, visit the Center for Agroforestry website today.

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