The tranquil setting of the South Farm Research Center will transform into a bustling hub of activity Saturday, Oct. 1, when the center hosts its 10th annual South Farm showcase from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event features activities for young and old alike to learn about the food system and the research conducted at the center.
Ryder Russell, a student volunteer and South Farm Research Center farm worker, has assisted in getting the farm in tip-top shape this year for the showcase. Russell also designed the logo for this year’s showcase that will be present on all of the t-shirts and signs.
“My favorite part about the showcase is all of the people that come to learn about what all takes place not only on the farm, but also off the farm as well through CAFNR,” said Russell.
Natalie Duncan, MU Equine Teaching Facility manager, and member of the animal science department, serves on the showcase planning committee, and has been involved in many South Farm Showcases over the years.
“We get the opportunity to introduce the public to where things are from,” Duncan said. “We get to show them where food comes from, and get to show them what animal science and animal production are and what they mean.”
Many of this year’s activities and attractions are new to the event and include pumpkin decorating, food trucks, a horse plow demonstration, various roping activities and a soil tunnel. The draft horse plow demonstration will take place at the MU Equine Teaching Facility. In addition, there will be a milk-a-cow booth and a fistulated cow, along with a microscope set up to see the microbes. For those in need, golf carts will be available for transportation around the event, as it does cover a large area.
The showcase helps provide an inside look into what South Farm Research Center has to offer students, Columbia and the public through research and enriching activities that are not available through a traditional classroom setting.
“The community gets to see that our farm is serving a purpose for students,” Duncan said. “The farm allows for students to get hands on practice and have the opportunity to experience things they wouldn’t normally be able to.”
South Farm Research Center staff and volunteers enjoy showing visitors and the public what the farm means to them.
“I love what the farm has to offer for everyone, whether it be educational or occupational, or both,” Russell said. “It really shows people what we do at the farm, and I love teaching new people.”
The feedback received every year after the showcase plays an important role in what is planned for the next year
“We love getting feedback on what we are presenting so we can hear what the public wants to know and see for the next year,” Duncan said.
Visit the South Farm Research Center website for more information.