University of Missouri-Columbia
MU Southwest Center
Agricultural Experiment Station
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Driving directions
Mt. Vernon, Lawrence County

Workshop Information

Tomato Field Day

Ag. Education Day
* September 11, 2014

Field Day
* September 12, 2014

SW CTR Grazing Dairy



Contact us
Email: Carla Rathmann

Horticulture Questions:
Email: Andy Thomas

David Cope
14548 Highway H
Mt. Vernon, MO 65712
Phone: 417-466-2148
FAX: 417-466-2109

Field Days at Southwest Research Center

Each year, the Southwest Research Center hosts a free Field Day to share research covering a gamut of agricultural topics from dairy genetics and improving pastures to beekeeping and backyard tomato production.

Hundreds travel from across the region to learn from tours that cover dairy, beef, forages, horticulture, vineyards, entomology, agroforestry, vegetable and fruit production and nut trees. Research scientists and extension faculty from the University of Missouri and regional partners share the latest research results, offer advice for current growing conditions and answer questions.

Andy Thomas, research assistant professor in Plant Sciences, leads walking tours that showcase a variety of horticultural research and tips for growing trees and shrubs, including elderberries, paw paws and walnuts.

"We have an amazing group of people-campus faculty from MU, regional extension specialists, representatives from Lincoln University; when you get that kind of teamwork together, you know can deliver current, relevant, pertinent information to our stakeholders," says Marc Linit, associate dean for research and extension at MU's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR). "That's what the Field Days are all about, whether it's here at Southwest Research Center, or at any of our research centers across the state."

At a breakfast meeting preceding the Field Day, Mike Collins, interim superintendent of the center and director of the Division of Plant Sciences, highlighted advancements in beef and dairy research. "We're really making progress in developing beef and dairy cattle that convert forage more efficiently to production gain and increases in milk production," he said. "That's the kind of work that can have a tremendous impact for livestock producers everywhere."

Collins also mentioned the ongoing pasture-based dairy research at the Center, positioning Missouri as a national leader for its pasture-based dairy system.

On the horizon, Andy Thomas is partnering with scientists on MU's campus to explore the potential health benefits of elderberries that go beyond nutrition and explore the fruit's potential to treat cancer. He's coordinating the first international elderberry symposium next June 9-14, 2013 in Columbia, Mo.

For more than 50 years, the Center's faculty and staff have provided scientific knowledge to advance agriculture in Missouri and help producers deal with stresses such as droughts and pests, and provide strategies to improve their operations.

Peccoux vine maintenance

Anthony Peccoux, viticulturist and assistant professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at MU, discusses vine maintenance at the 2012 Field Day.

Andy Thomas Horticulture Walk

Rain didnít discourage horticulture enthusiasts on a tour of the grounds led by Andy Thomas, research assistant professor at Southwest Research Center.

Dung Beetles

Wayne Bailey, MU entomologist, and MU graduate student, Sarah Zukoff, discussed dung beetles and their important role in keeping pastures, and thus livestock, healthy. There are 5,000 different species of dung beetles on the planet, divided into three main types characterized by how they interact with dung: rollers, tunnelers and dwellers.

The Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station is the research arm of the
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
at the University of Missouri-Columbia

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