The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Agricultural Research Centers work tirelessly to provide relevant crop studies for the many different soil types around the state. When key advisory board members for the Fisher Delta Research Center identified a gap in the Center’s research abilities in south Dunklin County, the board members, local landowners, cotton gin owners, CAFNR Foundation, ag industry and financial institutions stepped up to purchase and donate a piece of land to the Center with just the soil types they needed.
“The Bootheel ag community and the Fisher Delta Research Center have a long history of looking ahead and making the investments necessary to lead our industry forward,” said Advisory Board Chairman Jason Bean. “History demonstrates that well-funded and focused research can create new production methods, discoveries of innovation, increase crop quality and ultimately create more profit potential. This is exactly the kind of research and support our cotton industry and community needs during these challenging economic times.”
The newly named South Dunklin County Research Farm is a 25-acre tract of prime cotton ground between the towns of Kennett and Senath on Highway 412. Delta Research Center Director Trent Haggard describes the new site’s soil as “ice cream dirt in the rich area of Senath, Mo.” Ice cream dirt is a name referring to the richness of what is technically known as Dubbs and Dundee silt loam soils. The new land will be used for researching cotton and other crops ideally suited for these soils.
To date, 23 supporters have donated $7,500 each toward the purchase and development of the land.
“We’ve seen a remarkable outpouring of support for this mission,” said John Raines, advisory board member. “The farm’s focus will be to find new innovative ways to strengthen Bootheel cotton production, all area rotational crops and support our area producers and the overall ag community. An investment in this farm, and research, is an investment in the necessary infrastructure to keep cotton, and Bootheel agriculture, thriving for years to come.”
“We are thrilled that our area leaders have highlighted the issue and stepped up to make this donation,” Haggard said. “The research we do on this land will directly support all the farmers, businesses and landowners in the area. We are also very appreciative of the CAFNR Foundation’s willingness to partner, donate and facilitate this special land purchase.”
If anyone wishes to support the new farm’s mission and join the Founders group, contact Trent Haggard at 573-379-5431. These tax deductible contributions also will qualify donors for annual membership in the CAFNR Foundation, recognition as very special benefactors at both the 2015 Delta Research Center Field Day and on the Founders plaque at the new farm, as well as qualification in donor recognition programs at the University of Missouri.
Founders include (as of July 10, 2015)
|John and Buffy Raines||Charles and Judy Earnest|
|Jason and Desi Bean||Kennett National Bank|
|4-way Gin||Austin Raines and Rachel Raines|
|CPS Senath||Farmers Union Gin|
|Harris and Parker Farms Inc.||Eddie Adams – Senath Fertilizer|
|The Jackson Family||Senath State Bank|
|Jerry Paul and Eky Combs||Progressive Farm Credit Services|
|Paul and Holly Combs||Barry Aycock|
|David and Judith Haggard||Dewitt Auctions|
|Blakemore Cotton and Grain LLC||Ken-Mo Ag Center|