Danny Nadler, of Centralia, spent his summer immersed in applied agricultural research. An undergraduate at Truman State University, Nadler was one of eight interns accepted into the University of Missouri’s Integrated STEM internship inaugural summer 2019 class.
The program began with a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to prepare college students for careers or graduate studies in fields related to agriculture and rural communities, food production, and nutrition and health. MU Extension’s
agriculture and environment program provided additional funds.
The nine-week program offered hands-on experiences in MU campus research settings with mentors as well as time with county-based MU Extension faculty across the state, working in fields related to their areas of interest or career paths.
“By pairing students with extension field faculty as well as working with their campus mentor, the interns experience not only how research is conducted, but also how research is translated into extension educational programs that engage Missouri citizens,” said Rebecca Mott, assistant extension professor, MU Human Environmental Sciences.
The paid internship concluded with interns presenting their research activities at MU’s Summer Undergraduate Research Forum.
Nadler — who is pursuing a major in agricultural science with an emphasis in animal science at Truman State, as well as dual minors in equine studies and biology — worked at Mizzou’s South Farm Research Center with MU turfgrass pathologist Lee Miller. They looked at how varying rates of nitrogen fertilization affect the spread of gray leaf spot and brown patch in a plot of tall fescue. He also participated in a National Turfgrass Evaluation Program trial to determine which varieties of Bermuda and zoysia grasses are more vigorous and successful in Missouri.
Nadler, vice president of Truman’s Animal Agriculture Club and a student adviser for the Truman State University Farm, intends to pursue a master’s in animal science and be a strong advocate for agriculture.
His experience this summer exposed him to MU Extension for the first time.
Nadler said his summer experience “has helped me realize that I may prefer working with the people of Missouri instead of pursuing a career strictly in the research sector.”