Interacting with Experts

Southwest Research Center Field Day offered opportunity to meet with MU faculty and experts, local businesses and organizations

The Southwest Research Center was packed with Field Day attendees and Career Exploration students, who each had the opportunity to meet with various University of Missouri faculty and experts, as well as local businesses and organizations.

The event, which was held Thursday, Sept. 12, included more than 30 speakers, numerous activities and three afternoon educational tours. More than 1,500 local high school students, from more than 50 schools, were in attendance.

“It’s always great to see the interactions between the speakers, high school students and our Field Day attendees,” said David Cope, superintendent of the Southwest Research Center. “I appreciate all of our speakers taking the time to share important and relevant information with our audience.”

The afternoon tours featured discussions related to beef, industrial hemp and horticulture. The horticulture tour was led by Andy Thomas, a research assistant professor, who showcased the various projects at the Center. Jordan Thomas, assistant Extension professor in the Division of Animal Sciences, and Eric Bailey, assistant professor in the Division of Animal Sciences, led the beef tour. The industrial hemp tour featured Jill Scheidt, MU Extension field specialist in agronomy, and Alan Freeman, hemp program administrator at the Missouri Department of Agriculture, among others.

“Horticulture and beef are both focuses at the Southwest Research Center,” Cope said. “Our Field Day is a great opportunity to share our research and what we’re doing out at the Center.

“Industrial hemp has been a big topic of interest recently, so we felt it was appropriate to bring in a few individuals to talk through what is happening with that new crop.”

The morning of the Field Day included speakers spread throughout the Center. Numerous aspects of agriculture and natural resources were featured, and included MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, MU Extension, Southwest Missouri Cattlemen’s, Tiger Fiber, Missouri Department of Conservation, and several others.

“Along with some of our regular speakers, we were really happy to welcome several local businesses and organizations,” Cope said. “They were able to engage with our local students, and hopefully they opened some eyes to the future career opportunities in agriculture and natural resources.”

For a closer look at the Southwest Research Center field day, visit: