Southwest Research Center Field Day Back on Calendar

Free educational event on Sept. 12 will feature talks and tours

At the Southwest Research Center Field Day on Sept. 12 educational talks and tours will be available for beef and dairy producers.At the Southwest Research Center Field Day on Sept. 12 educational talks and tours will be available for beef and dairy producers.

The Southwest Research Center Field Day is back on the calendar for this year and is set for Sept. 12. The free educational event held at the center operated by the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri will feature a wide variety of topics and a chance to meet with new superintendent, David Cope.

Different tours of informational talks and demonstrations geared towards landowners will focus on beef and dairy productions, horticulture, vineyard growers, conservation and ways to live more energy efficient. Tours will start at 9 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m.

Since its inception in 1950, the Southwest Research Center has long been known for its livestock research and today is no different. MU researchers will share information on fescue toxicosis and the new endophyte free varieties, hay feeding efficiency, strip grazing, management of alfalfa and what new technology is available for forage management.

“Our own Stacey Hamiliton will share information on the latest fescue trials that MU researchers have been working on here and across the state,” said David Cope. “We’ll also have information for dairy producers such as findings with synchronization trials and a can’t-miss talk by Agronomy Extension Specialist Sarah Kenyon on deadly plants that can effect your cattle.”

vineyard_southwest research center_0005Talks will include topics on grapes and home horticulture.

The southwest corner of Missouri has a diverse group of landowners and farmers that grow a wide variety of crops. The Field Day this year will cater to those niche growers with talks on high tunnel greenhouse management and tree nut crops. Information for even the backyard gardener will be provided through talks about composting, tomatoes and what to expect this fall by Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator with MU Extension.

“Andy Thomas, our local horticulture specialist, will give tours of the walnut, pecan, hickory and pawpaw groves we have at the Southwest Research Center,” said Cope. “We have wide ranges of research here to help people and I am anxious to see where research goes on some of these new agriculture products. Pawpaws for example could be a great crop in the future.”

Many grape growers call the Show-Me State home and for vineyard managers talks on table grapes and they’re future as a profitable crop in the state and the latest research on wine production will be featured.

Landowners and homeowners also worry a lot more now about being energy efficient and to be good stewards of the land. Representatives from nearby Ozark Electric Cooperative will give demonstrations on home electric safety and ways the co-op can help you lower your energy bills. Extension Energy Specialist Amanda Marney will also talk about energy efficiency for shop buildings and have examples of renewable energy products available on demonstration.

For the conservationist, specialists will be on hand to talk about quail habitat and how to manage native landscapes on your property.

Walking tours of the many tree nut groves will be offered by Horticulturist Andy Thomas.Walking tours of the many tree nut groves will be offered by Horticulturist Andy Thomas.

The Field Day is an opportunity to connect with local farmers, researchers that are doing world-class studies in your own backyard and those involved with making agriculture decisions for the state. David Cope, new superintendent, hopes to help connect all those in community to what is going on at the Southwest Research Center.

“To me, research centers are all about efficiency and that is really the end goal of all research — trying to find more efficient ways to utilize your resources,” said Cope. “Our biggest goal in agriculture right now should be education. We need to get people out to our farms and see where their food comes come. And for the people that are growing our food around here, they can truly benefit from the research going at the Southwest Research Center.”

For more information about Southwest Research Center, contact David Cope at 417-466-2148 or Visit their new website at for other research and educational opportunities. The center is located at 14538 Highway H, south of Mount Vernon. From Interstate 44, take Exit 44 onto Highway H. Head away from town to the south for about 2 miles. The center will be on the left.

Southwest Research Center is one of CAFNR’s Agricultural Research Centers located throughout Missouri that regularly host educational workshops. Visit for more events located across the Show-Me State.

To download press-quality photos of the Southwest Research Center, visit CAFNR’s Flickr site at

SW Speaker poster - 2014 Field Day