12th annual South Farms Showcase held to promote research, fun on Sept. 29

Approximately 14,000 people attended the event this year.
The MU South Farm Research Center features many teaching subjects including beef research and animal sciences. Courtesy of CAFNR Flickr

The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources hosted the 12th annual South Farm Showcase on Sept. 29 with animals, research and interesting treats.

One portion of the showcase grounds was dedicated to a “Taste of Mizzou,” which included Buck’s Ice Cream, carp tasting, flavors of honey and flavored mealworms to sample. At the Equine Teaching Facility, attendees could pet horses and foals, goats, pigs and milk a cow. Posters were set up along the walls with animal science research conducted at MU.

The showcase also included entry to the butterfly house, fishing, a corn maze and a sunflower maze. Kids could paint pumpkins pink, cut a slice of a log like a lumberjack and fly kites or blow bubbles.

Tim Reinbott, assistant director of the Agriculture Experiment Station, oversaw the South Farms Showcase this year. He has held this responsibility for three years. Reinbott said the event has moved from showcasing research to “showing the fun parts of agriculture,” and trying to “educate...in a fun way.”

This year, attendance was gauged at around 14,000 people, including students, families and community members. Reinbott said the South Farm Showcase is a distinctive event to attend as the weather gets colder.

“It is one of the highlights of the fall because of the uniqueness of the event with animals, hayrides, corn and sunflower mazes and a whole host of agriculture related activities such as the Taste of Mizzou with all of our different foods,” Reinbott said. “Where else could you eat a mealworm or watch cockroach races?”

Faculty from the CAFNR program helped in setting up and managing the events and exhibits held at the showcase. Animal Sciences instructor Marci Crosby has been involved in all 12 showcases to date. She currently oversees the animal sciences stops at the event. This year, the stops included calves from the Dairy Club, horses from the Equine Program and the opportunity to milk a cow from the Block and Bridle Club.

Crosby said she has seen the South Farm Showcase evolve in that the organizers tried to add variety to the events and exhibits each year.

“...Over the last decade, we really worked to make sure that we add in more and new educational opportunities each time,” Crosby said. “We see this as an opportunity to let the general public know about, in our instance, animal agriculture and what that means.”

CAFNR students involved with clubs could volunteer to be a part of this event. Anna Tarpey president of the Dairy Club, brought two one-week-old calves for attendees to see and pet.

Tarpey said this event can help the Columbia community become more exposed to different types of agriculture that are available in close proximity.

“It’s a great opportunity for both parents and kids to have a taste of every aspect of agriculture in one day,” Tarpey said. “You don’t have to go very far out your doorstep to find a different avenue of agriculture. It’s all here for you, and especially at Mizzou we offer it all.”

Next year’s South Farm Showcase is scheduled for Sept. 28.

Edited by Morgan Smith | mosmith@themaneater.com

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