Southwest Research Center Honored with Dairy Breeding Award

In November, the Southwest Research Center will be awarded the Platinum certification from the In November, the Southwest Research Center will be awarded the Platinum certification from the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council for its breeding program that produces cattle such as this one.

For more than five decades the Southwest Missouri Research Center has been a leader in agriculture research. Over the years studies have been conducted on forages, cattle, horticulture and more recently, the growth of a vineyard in addition to the development of the widely known endophyte-free fescues.

This year, the center is being honored for its dairy breeding operations and research by the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council. The DCRC is made up of dairy industry professionals engaged in a collaborative effort to further research cattle reproduction into the future.

The DCRC’s highest honor of Platinum certification for reproductive efficiency will be officially awarded to the Southwest Research Center at the group’s annual conference in November in Indianapolis.

“Having this kind of high-level recognition is a reflection of the outstanding management practices we have here,” says Mike Collins, superintendent of the Southwest Research Center. “We are setting the example for producers in this corner of the state to follow thanks to all the hard work done by our researchers here at the center.”

In 2006, a group of industry leaders identified dairy cattle reproductive performance as one of the biggest challenges facing dairy producers. The group had

witnessed a steady decline in fertility and believed improvements could be realized through proper education, technology and focused research. Thus, the DCRC was born.

Today, the DCRC is focused on bringing together all sectors of the dairy industry—producers, consultants, academia and allied industry professionals—for improved reproductive performance. DCRC provides an unprecedented opportunity for all groups to work together to take dairy cattle reproduction to the next level.

Southwest Research Center near Mt. Vernon was established in 1959 and represents various soil types in this region. Serving 22 counties, it addresses the main agricultural concerns of area industries including dairy, beef, forage and horticultural crop production. Currently, beef genetics, nutrition and management systems are researched, as is a pasture-based dairy operation project. Horticultural and alternative crop demonstration and research are ongoing, including studies on elderberry and grape cultivation.

For more information about the Southwest Research Center, visit

Photos of the Southwest Research Center available for media use can be found on the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Flickr page at

cattle_southwest research center_0067Cattle graze the pastures at the Southwest Research Center.