The Southwest Research Center was established in 1959 and serves 22 counties, with a focus on addressing the main agricultural concerns of area industries including beef, forage and horticultural crop production.
Serving as a footprint for the University of Missouri in the southwest part of Missouri, the Center is a meeting place for farmers, producers, Extension regional specialists and students.
The Southwest Research Center broke ground for a new facility last year, and held an official ribbon cutting on Friday, Oct. 25, to showcase the finished building. Southwest Superintendent David Cope welcomed guests to a reception that followed the ribbon cutting. Other speakers included Christopher Daubert, MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) vice chancellor and dean; Elijah Haahr, MO Speaker of the House of Representatives; and Jay Chism, southwest regional director, MU Extension.
“Our current facility has been here since the 1960s,” Cope said. “The existing room we have for meetings is smaller and outdated, as far as being able to utilize newer technology. We often have people who want to host meetings at the Center because of our location. We can’t always accommodate them because of the limitations of the existing facility.
“We’re excited to have this facility completed. This will be a game changer for us as we welcome more and more individuals and groups to the Center.”
The Southwest Research Center hosts a variety of meetings, many of which deal with timely agricultural topics. The Center is also host to numerous events for students, including an annual career exploration day and FFA practice contests.
“We are thrilled to fulfill this commitment to southwest Missouri,” Daubert said. “This Center is important to the community and will serve many needs in the region.”
The new facility is part of the recently announced $6.5 million investment in CAFNR’s Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station. The joint investment comes from the UM System, MU, CAFNR and MU Extension.
The Southwest Research Center is one of CAFNR’s Agricultural Research Centers. The Center is located at 14548 Highway H in Mt. Vernon. For more information about the Southwest Research Center, visit southwest.missouri.edu.