Meet our team! The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE) is a thought center established as a collaboration of faculty. Our work exists because of our relationships with each other and the communities involved in our work. This effort transcends academic institutions but is made possible through appointments at our home institutions.

Lauri M. Baker, Ph.D. 

Executive Director


Lauri is an associate professor in agricultural communications at Kansas State UniversityShe is a co-creator of The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement. Lauri’s research and grant work are focused on new and social media, agenda setting, decision-making, and public discourse. She teaches courses in new-media technologies and agricultural communication theory. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in agricultural communications from the University of Florida. 

Cheryl R. Boyer, Ph.D.

Executive Director 


Cheryl is an associate professor and extension specialist for nursery crops and horticultural marketing at Kansas State University. She is a co-creator of The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement and holds a BLA (Bachelor of Landscape Architecture) and M.S. in horticulture from Oklahoma State University. Her doctoral degree in horticulture was earned from Auburn University in 2008. Cheryl’s research is focused on new-and social-media marketing for horticultural industries.

Hikaru H. Peterson, Ph.D.

Executive Director


Hikaru is professor of agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota. She is a co-creator of The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement and holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from Cornell University. Her research area is food and agricultural marketing with emphasis on consumer issues. She teaches courses in agricultural economics.

Mikhayla R. DeMott

Audience Engagement Specialist 

agmag2016-26 2Mikhayla DeMott is the audience engagement specialist for CREE. She has been a part of the team since August 2017 and was previously involved as a student where she assisted with the first New-Media Marketing Boot Camp. Mikhayla graduated in May 2017 with a degree in agricultural communications and journalism and a minor in leadership studies. If she’s not in the office, you can find her traveling from place to place representing professional rodeo, Kansas, and agriculture as Miss Rodeo Kansas. Mikhayla also serves as a guest host for the television program, That’s My Farm. She grew up on a small farm in Illinois and currently lives in Manhattan.