The Bradford Research and Extension Center (BREC), a 591-acre (239 Ha) research farm located just 11 miles from the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia, is part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources' Agriculture Experiment Station; established in 1888 as part of the national land-grant university system.
BREC provides land, equipment and facilities to assist MU and USDA scientists and extension personnel in performing research in crop, soils, entomology, pathology, turf and other disciplines in more than 25,000 plots.
Campus classroom teaching is supported by providing field laboratory needs for graduate students (USA and foreign) as well as educating undergraduates through work and field trip experiences.
Extension and International Ag efforts are strengthened by providing special tours and training sessions to meet the needs of a variety of audiences from Missouri and a variety of foreign countries.
The facilities at BREC are also used by the various projects as a staging area for research across the state.
It is estimated that there are over 100,000 miles traveled from BREC to remote locations across the state.
In order to perform research at these remote locations, seeds must be counted and weighed; fertilizer packaged; and herbicides mixed. The samples must then be processed here, where they are dried, ground and/or weighed.
BREC maintains all of the vehicles, tractors, combines and equipment used all over the state and fabricates specialized equipment used for research.
Each year BREC hosts numerous tours, clinics and workshops including:
- Crop Injury and Diagnostic Clinic (CIDC)
- Hail School
- Weed/IPM Day
- FFA Field Day
- Native Plant Field Day
- Tomato Festival
Some of these events, such as the CIDC, bring participants from all over the Midwest and allow them to earn certified crop adviser credits. The participants, in turn, pass this information to hundreds of clients who manage thousands of acres.
BREC is also used to train waste-water inspectors, installers and lending agencies from across the state under the direction of Randy Miles, Ph.D., from the Department of Health and "Septic City."
Exploring New Avenues
BREC continues to open new avenues of research and education by expanding its scope beyond the person directly involved in production agriculture to more non-traditional users such as homeowners and landowners.
In 2006, BREC held its first "Integrating Bobwhite Quail Management in a Modern Agriculture Setting" field day. This event attracted hundreds from all over the state. As someone observed; "those on the quail tour were as passionate about quail as farmers are about soybeans and corn."