One of the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) most well attended events, the South Farm Showcase offers mid-Missouri families an opportunity to see the uniqueness of what CAFNR has to offer.
This year’s South Farm Showcase will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the South Farm Research Center in Columbia. The event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine. There will be numerous activities for the entire family.
“I know I may be a bit biased, but this is one of my favorite CAFNR events each year,” said Tim Reinbott, assistant director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. “I really enjoy having the opportunity to share everything we do in CAFNR. I love seeing the kids learn about agriculture, and I hope the parents take something away from the day as well.”
The event will span nearly all of the South Farm Research Center, as well as Jefferson Farm and Garden. There will be wagons to transport attendees to different spots across the Showcase.
Two popular features will return in 2019 – the Taste of Mizzou tent and the Passport for children. The Taste of Mizzou tent will feature a variety of items for attendees to taste, such as honey, grape juice and maple syrup. The Passport system is for children under 16 years old. The Passport includes 12 different stops, which span the entire Showcase, from the South Farm Research Center, to the MU Equine Teaching Facility, to Jefferson Farm and Garden. If children complete 10 of the 12 tasks, such as visiting the butterfly house, fishing in the lake at Jefferson or kicking a soccer ball in the turf area, they receive a free pumpkin.
“We added both of these features a couple years ago, and they’ve been extremely popular,” Reinbott said. “We’re glad to bring both back this year, with some neat additions to both.”
Alisha’s Pink Pumpkin Painting Party will be set up at the Showcase. For a suggested $10 donation, individuals can paint a pink pumpkin, with the proceeds going to the MU Ellis Fischel Cancer Center to fund mammograms for women who cannot afford them.
“I am very proud that we partner with such a worthwhile cause,” Reinbott said. “This is a great example of a collaboration between two very different colleges within MU that provides something that helps so many.”
This year’s South Farm Showcase will feature a sunflower and corn maze. There will be a face painting station, an opportunity to take photos in front of the sunflower garden, several farm animals to pet and reptiles to interact with. Soccer, golf and kite flying can all be tried out at turf management. Attendees can also fish, visit the butterfly house and check out various farm equipment at Jefferson Farm and Garden.
The first South Farm Showcase was held in September 2006, with less than 1,000 people in attendance. The event has continued to grow over the years, with the goal of connecting the local community with agriculture and CAFNR as a whole.
“I’m proud of how much this event has grown throughout the years,” Reinbott said. “This year’s event is lining up to be another great one.”
The South Farm Research Center is one of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Agricultural Research Centers. The Center is located at 3600 East New Haven Road in Columbia. For more information about the Showcase, call Reinbott at 573-882-4450 or email him at ReinbottT@missouri.edu. For more information about the South Farm Research Center, visit southfarm.missouri.edu.