COLUMBIA — MU’s South Farm, with a research park and educational farm under construction, will give the public a first glimpse of its new facilities Saturday.
“As people drive down New Haven Road, they see the construction progress and will be interested to learn more about the developments,” said Kristin Smarr, spokeswoman for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
WHAT: Second-annual South Farm Showcase sponsored by MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday
WHERE: MU South Farm, located on New Haven Road, one-quarter mile east of the AC/Grindstone exit off U.S. 63
Current developments at the farm include Jefferson Farm and Gardens and Discovery Ridge Research Park. Jefferson Farm and Gardens is an educational farm expected to open to the public in 2008. Discovery Ridge is a park for researchers who will work closely with MU. ABC Laboratories and Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory are currently building facilities at Discovery Ridge. Representatives from all four organizations will be available to answer questions.
The showcase will feature farm tours and live music, with experts available to answer questions about lawn care and gardening, alternative fuels, water quality, equine, beef and more.
“Thousands of people drive by the farm every day,” said John Poehlmann, assistant director of the Agriculture Experiment Station, in a news release. “I’m sure many wonder what we do here. This event will give folks an opportunity to learn about us and see firsthand why South Farm is so vital to the university’s research, teaching, extension and economic development missions.”
The showcase will entertain children with a farm animal petting zoo, a straw bale maze, corn maze, cockroach races and running of the bases on MU’s makeshift “Field of Dreams.”
“The unique aspect of the showcase is to receive the farm experience without ever leaving the city limits,” Smarr said.