The normally tranquil South Farm Research Center will be bustling with activity this weekend. More than 2,000 visitors are expected to pack the University of Missouri research center for the seventh annual South Farm Showcase Saturday, Sept. 21.
The purpose of the South Farm Showcase is to provide an opportunity for the public to explore the laboratories and research projects going on in their community, said John Poehlmann, assistant director of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station.
“Ninety percent of the people who come here are outside of the agriculture community,” Poehlmann said. “We recommend everyone to come out just because it’s a lot of fun.”
The South Farm is comprised of “1,452 acres of research, education and service to the citizens of Missouri,” according to the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources website. The farm is home to the Swine Research Complex, the Beef Research and Teaching Farm, the Turf Center and the Horse Farm, and it provides opportunities for more than 1,500 students to gain hands on experience each year.
The employees of the research center and CAFNR students make the South Farm Showcase possible.
The day will be filled family friendly events with several activities for children. Activities include close-up views of exotic animals at the petting zoo, corn and straw bale mazes, face painting, cow milking and hay rides. There will also be cockroach races, tomato tasting and mule rides.
The showcase will shuttle groups to different areas where they will see firsthand how weather reports are predicted with weather balloons, learn home energy conservation tips, taste some of Missouri’s finest wines, explore the fish and wildlife exhibit and more. The different research departments allow the public to learn as much as they please.
“We encourage people to bring questions with them,” Poehlmann said. “We have people who specialize in areas that should be able to answer their questions.”
After discovering the laboratories and new research projects, you can stomp your feet to some live music while you munch on food and Buck’s ice cream. Afterwards, you can grab your kids and scavenge for some pumpkins to purchase for fall decorations.
This jampacked event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the MU South Farm, one quarter east of Highway AC/Grindstone Parkway off Highway 63.