Plans in place for Southwest Center Field Day

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Industrial hemp tour added to annual review of research

The University of Missouriís Southwest Research Center will open its doors to the public to share information about the latest agricultural research and innovations at the research farm on its annual Field Day, slated for 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 12. The farm is located at 14548 Highway H, east of the Mt. Vernon airport.

This is the second year Field Day has been combined into a one-day event, attended by both the public at large and agriculture students from high schools across southwest Missouri.

New to the program this year will be an industrial hemp tour, from 12:30-2 p.m., in addition to the beef tour and horticulture tour, both beginning at 12:30 p.m. David Cope, research center superintendent, has confirmed the center will explore the fundamentals of growing hemp for industrial use as part of its research.

More than 30 presenters will speak on dairy, horticulture, soil and beef cattle. Topics will include ice cream making, technology on the farm, dairy cattle nutrition, high tunnel productivity, field crop scouting, agronomy, beef cattle reproduction, electrical safety, veterinary medicine, the origins of breakfast, meat cuts of a cow, the food label market and others.

No speakers will talk on the viticulture research at the center this year. Jendel Wolfe, business support specialist for the center, said wet weather contributed to a mold problem that largely wiped out this yearís crop, an issue other growers around the area also experienced.

The new 3,800-square-foot conference center building will be in use for some of the presentations for the first time. Ground was broken for the facility during the 2018 Field Day on Sept. 13, 2018. A formal ribbon cutting for the building will be held on Oct. 25.

Meals will be available at midday for a $5 donation to the Southwest Center. Food has been donated by Schreiber Foods, whose staff will be on hand cooking and serving.

Field Day provides an opportunity for local gardeners and ag producers to speak to experts about their issues, as well as learning about innovations stemming from studies underway at the center. Additional information is available by contacting Cope via email at

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