Each year, the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ South Farm Research Center opens its laboratories and research projects to the public to share the fun and excitement of science and discovery during its South Farm Showcase event.
This is the 12th year of the event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Center in Columbia. South Farm Showcase will be held rain or shine. It is free and open to the public.
Nearly 16,000 people have attended the event each of the past few years.
“This family-friendly event is a favorite not only for our attendees, but also for our faculty, staff and volunteers,” said Tim Reinbott, assistant director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. “This event allows us the opportunity to show how diverse and unique our college really is – in a fun and exciting way.”
Two new additions to last year’s event return in 2018 – 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 near-by Jefferson Farm and Garden. If children complete 10 of the 12 tasks, they receive a free pumpkin. The passports can be picked up at the information tent.
The Taste of Mizzou exhibit will feature the variety of food that CAFNR produces. Ice cream, honey, wine, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers and maple syrup will be available for guests to taste.
“Both of these additions were extremely popular last year, and we’re happy to bring them back for this year’s event,” 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.
“Food is a big part of what we do in CAFNR, obviously. We started going through the different food products that we produce and thought it would be fun to showcase them all.”
Several of the booths from past years will return in 2018, too. There will be an opportunity to milk a cow, see falcon training, walk through a native butterfly house, explore a corn maze 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. There will be a food truck and Buck’s ice cream if attendees want to purchase food.
Alisha’s Pink Pumpkin Painting Party will return for the third 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 six 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.missouri.edu.
The South Farm Research Center supports the research, outreach and teaching missions of animal science, plant science, biology, engineering, botany, biochemistry and other disciplines. The farm is home to the Swine Research Complex, the Beef Research and Teaching Farm, the Turf Center, and the Equine Teaching Facility. The farm also supports research and demonstration projects in entomology, poultry and maize genetics. The Missouri Foundation Seed program uses South Farm to increase availability of newly developed seed varieties to dealers. The farm provides hands-on teaching to more than 1,500 students annually.