With a focus on showcasing how diverse the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources is, the South Farm Research Center will bring the same fun, educational activities, along with some new additions, during its annual South Farm Showcase.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30. This is the 11th year of the Showcase, one of CAFNR’s biggest events of the year in terms of community attendance. Nearly 16,000 people have attended the event each of the past two years.
“We call it the South Farm Showcase, but I’ve always said it’s really the CAFNR Showcase,” said Tim Reinbott, assistant director of the Agricultural Research Centers. “We’re so, so diverse. This event allows us to connect with the public in a meaningful way.”
The newest additions to the South Farm Showcase will be a passport for children and a Taste of Mizzou tent.
The passport will include a map with 12 different stops and specific tasks listed. The stops will run across the entirety of the Center, as well as Jefferson Farm and Garden. If children complete 10 of the 12 tasks, they can show the passport to attendants at the information tent and receive a free pumpkin.
The passports also can be picked up at the information tent.
“I’m really excited about this addition,” Reinbott said. “There’s so much that we do, and we want the kids at the event to get involved with our research. We’ll have them complete a task – maybe they’ll have to answer questions about soybean genetics or go through the corn maze. It should be a lot of fun.”
The Taste of Mizzou exhibit will feature the variety of food that CAFNR produces. Milk, ice cream, honey, soybeans, tomatoes, peppers and chestnuts will be available for guests to taste. Mealworms will even be showcased if guests are interested in trying the edible insect.
“Food is a big part of what we do in CAFNR,” Reinbott said. “We started going through the different food products that we produce and thought it would be fun to showcase them all.
“We’ll have a lot to try. We’re working on the different flavors of milk and ice cream now, as well as how to cook the mealworms. We’re trying to decide if we should serve them hot or cold. I don’t know how people like their worms.”
Several of the booths from past years will return in 2017, too. There will be an opportunity to milk a cow, see falcon training and go fishing. The MU Equine Teaching Facility, located between South Farm and Jefferson, will have several activities as well.
Wagons will be available to take attendees throughout the event.
Alisha’s Pink Pumpkin Painting Party will return for the second year, too. For a suggested donation of $10, attendees can paint a pink pumpkin. All donations go to the MU Ellis Fischel Cancer Center to fund mammograms for women who cannot afford them.
“We’re always happy to partner with Alisha Moreland,” Reinbott said. “We planted nearly nine acres of pumpkins, so there will be plenty to paint. All proceeds go to a great cause.”
The South Farm Research Center is located at 3600 East New Haven Road in Columbia, Mo., and is one of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Agricultural Research Centers. For more information about the Showcase, call 573-882-4450 or email Reinbott at ReinbottT@missouri.edu. For more information about the South Farm Research Center, visit southfarm.cafnr.org.