Missouri State University
Agriculture Blog

Mountain Grove Plans Community Workshops

The Missouri State University State Fruit Experiment Station will host two workshops in March that are open to the public. The workshops will demonstrate different techniques that are related to dormant season plant management.

The first workshop is free to the public, and will be a tree and small fruit pruning demonstration held on Saturday, Mar. 7, 2015 from 9a.m. to noon. The demonstration will be performed on apple

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Pruning fruit trees.

, pear, peach, grape, blueberry and blackberry plants. Station employees will be paired with participants and will be available for questions. This will be an outdoor event, so please dress appropriately for the weather.

The second workshop is an apple tree grafting demonstration held on Saturday, Mar. 21, 2015, from 9a.m. to noon. There is a $5.00 entrance fee for the workshop, with two grafted apple trees and grafting supplies to use for the session. Young apple scion wood can be brought for grafting and a limited number of pear rootstocks will be available for $3.00 for those who want to bring pear scion wood for grafting.

Each event will be held at the Missouri State University State Fruit Experiment Station, 9740 Red Spring Rd., Mountain Grove, Mo., 65711.

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School of Ag Welcomes Under Secretary Michael Scuse

The Darr School of Agriculture is excited to announce the upcoming visit of Michael Scuse, under secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services, Tuesday, February 17th. Scuse is the highest ranking USDA official to ever visit MSU.

As part of the Under Secretary’s visit, the School will host a luncheon in his honor. Missouri ag leaders and key stakeholders will be in attendance. During the luncheon he will give a brief update over key agricultural issues, and take questions from the audience.

Scuse will conclude his visit with a student round table discussion about leadership, the importance of agricultural careers and agriculture issues.

Contact Samantha Warner (samanthawarner@missouristate.edu or 417-836-5092) with questions.

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School of Ag Publishes Historical Book

The Darr School of Agriculture was generously gifted a natural forest on the north side of Springfield in December 2013, known as The Woodlands; however, few realize the rich historical relevance the area holds.

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Copies of the book can be found at select locations in the Springfield area, purchased from the School of Ag or downloaded from our website.

Known now for its hands-on teaching and research opportunities for Missouri State students, The Woodlands was once declared a permanent camp for transients during the Great Depression.

Sally Lyons McAlear, former administrative assistant for the School of Ag, grew up half a mile south of the property. McAlear’s passion for the area inspired her to write a book, A Refuge in The Woodlands, about the rich history of the site.

“Because I grew up so close to The Woodlands and had heard about the former transient camp so many times during my childhood (but had no idea what it really was), the project of researching and writing about the topic was very personal. Learning that the property would be donated to the Darr School of Agriculture—where I had worked for so many years—was an added inspiration to write the book,” McAlear said.

The book was recently printed and distributed to libraries and archives in Springfield. An electronic version is located on the School of Ag website for your viewing/printing enjoyment. If you would like to purchase a hard copy, they are $20. You can place an order by contacting the School of Ag main office, at 417-836-5638, until April 15, 2015.





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Faculty provided grape breeding update at USDA Project Director meeting

Dr. Chin-Feng Hwang attended and presented at the annual Project Director meeting for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)-Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Plant Biology and Plant Breeding programs May 14-15 at USDA-NIFA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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Getting the juicy details on grapevine research

Dr. Wenping Qiu, research professor in the William H. Darr School of Agriculture at Missouri State University, discovered the first DNA virus ever reported in grapevines, named the Grapevine vein clearing virus (GVCV). He and graduate student Michael Kovens discuss current research projects relating to this virus.

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Where’s the beef to where did this beef come from?

As consumers began demanding healthier, more organic, locally grown and sustainable food options, Missouri State University’s William H. Darr School of Agriculture began adapting its program to satisfy this new hunger. According to Dr. Anson Elliott, head of the school, Missouri State is unique in its ability to deliver the full scope of production for farm to table grass-fed beef.

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Learn from the legacy of George Washington Carver

IMG_0097Tour a working cattle operation. Learn about the legacy of George Washington Carver. Explore fruit science at the Fruit Experiment Station.

This is just a taste of what you can expect as a participant in Missouri State University’s first-ever George Washington Carver Agricultural Academy July 21-25.

About the Academy

This five-day, four-night camp will focus on the contributions George Washington Carver had on the agricultural sciences. You will become informed of his research and work with 20th century farming practices that are the foundation to many of today’s agriculture industry. Activities will include an excursion to the George Washington Carver National Monument.

The academy is held on the Missouri State University campus and all expenses, including room and board, are defrayed by the program. View the academy’s brochure for more details.

A color chart is used to help define the fragipan layer.

Eligibility information

To be eligible for participation in the academy, you must:

  • Be entering you junior or senior year during the 2014-15 school year.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5.
  • Have an interest in the broader sciences, but specifically agriculture related.
  • Submit a completed application by April 18, 2014.

The application process is finalized with a face-to-face interview.

Application information

Your application must include:

  • A completed application form
  • A 500-word essay
  • High school transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation, one of which must come from the student’s high school counselor

Applications are due April 18, 2014, to the William H. Darr School of Agriculture office.

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