Missouri State University
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At the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station

MSU Ag at Farm Bureau Thank a Farmer Brunch

We set up our College of Agriculture booth at the Farm Bureau thank a Farmer today with recruitment materials, a display of wines, jams and honey, and out fruit production information. The brunch was followed by an auction to benefit a farm family who lost a loved one.

Our booth featured fruit growing information, student recruitment materials and a display of our wines, jams and honey.
Our booth featured fruit growing information, student recruitment materials and a display of our wines, jams and honey.
The farm families enjoyed the brunch and benefit auction.
The farm families enjoyed the brunch and benefit auction.

 

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Plastic Replaced on High Tunnel

The plastic was replaced today on the high tunnel.  The entire crew took advantage of the nice warm day with calm winds to replace the plastic on the high tunnel.  It takes teamwork, patience and some muscle to pull the cover over.  The cover is Dura-Film Super 4, 6-mil polyethylene greenhouse film.  Let the planting begin.  Thanks to all our crew for working together to get this done.

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Plastic removed from the high tunnel today

We managed to take the plastic off of the high tunnel in time for holiday break. The tunnel has been covered since 2010, so it is definitely time for new plastic. We took a soil sample today in order to compare it to the soil sample taken in 2010 in order to see if there has been a buildup of salts. Soluble salts may build up in a high tunnel since it is covered and rain does not wash salts out. By taking the plastic off and waiting a while before we replace it, we hope that rain will allow any salt buildup to wash away.

Wiggle wire holds the plastic onto the high tunnel.
Wiggle wire holds the plastic onto the high tunnel.
All of the wiggle wire is removed from the north and south sides of the tunnel.
All of the wiggle wire is removed from the north and south sides of the tunnel.
The wire is also removed from both ends.
The wire is also removed from both ends.
The plastic is pulled off of the high tunnel.
The plastic is pulled off of the high tunnel.
The plastic is folded up for removal.
The plastic is folded up for removal.
Randy covers the breaker box with plastic.
Randy covers the breaker box with plastic.
Now the high tunnel is open to the elements.
Now the high tunnel is open to the elements.
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Mountain Grove holiday party on December 19

We held our holiday party on Monday, December 19 for our faculty and staff. Here are some pics from the event.

Everyone pitched in on the food as usual.
Everyone pitched in on the food as usual.
Susanne gives some rabbit ears to Pam.
Susanne gives some rabbit ears to Pam.
Dr. Elliott came for lunch.
Dr. Elliott came for lunch.
The kids enjoyed the food.
The kids enjoyed the food.
Shelia keeps eating and eating.
Shelia keeps eating and eating.
It's almost time for a nap.
It’s almost time for a nap.
It's great to visit with the folks from main campus.
Carrie caught with her mouth full.
The ugly tie contest was expanded to include sweaters and hats this year.
The ugly tie contest was expanded to include sweaters and hats this year.
Dr. Del Vecchio talked about the new College of Agriculture and helped to dedicate this dawn redwood tree planted on campus to Dr. Elliott for his years of service.
Dr. Del Vecchio (left) talked about the new College of Agriculture and helped to dedicate this dawn redwood tree planted on campus to Dr. Elliott for his years of service as Director.
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Raspberries moved out of the high tunnel today.

The raspberries in grow bags were moved out of the high tunnel today and mulched with straw. The leaves did not fall before the bags were moved, but low temperatures predicted this weekend led us to decide to move the bags and mulch them for protection.

The canes were cut about 2 - 3 inches from the base.
The canes were cut about 2 – 3 inches from the base.
Jeremy and Shelia finish the first two blocks.
Jeremy and Shelia finish the first two blocks.
The two blocks on the south side are moved out via assembly line.
The two blocks on the south side are moved out via assembly line.
Avery and Mannie getting near the end of the line.
Avery and Mannie getting near the end of the line.
Straw bales are placed around the perimeter.
Straw bales are placed around the perimeter.
Raspberries in bed for the winter.
Raspberries in bed for the winter.
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Pruning Apple Trees

The field crew began pruning the Apple trees today.  The crew will work on this over the next several weeks as there are almost 4 acres of Apple Orchard’s and approximately 450 trees of various sizes.

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Raspberry harvest discontinued in high tunnel due to cold temperatures

We checked the high tunnel raspberries last Friday and found that many were frozen after a drop to 9.5 degrees F on Friday, December 9. Even though we had the thermostat set to close the tunnel at 45 degrees F, the tunnel is unheated and the berries froze. We counted the berries that remained on the plants in order to get an idea of how much crop was left at this point. Last year, we harvested into December as well.

Instead of harvesting berries today, we counted both red and green unharvested berries that froze due to low temperatures last week.
Instead of harvesting berries today, we collected and counted both red and green unharvested berries that froze due to low temperatures last week. Shelia Long (back right) supervises harvest with our field crew.
Jennifer Morganthaler is keeping track of everyone's berry count.
Jennifer Morganthaler is keeping track of everyone’s berry count. Each bag are the berries collected from a particular cultivar (treatment) and block (replication).
It was VERY QUIET in the room!
It was VERY QUIET in the room!

 

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Dr. James Baker, Dr. Erin Parrish and Thomas Downs, Esq. Visit the Fruit Station

Dr. James Baker – Vice President for Research and Economic Development and International Programs, Dr. Erin Parrish – Director of Office of Research Administration, and Thomas Downs Esq. visited the Fruit Station today and met with Darr School of Agriculture Director Dr. Ronald Del Vecchio to discuss the current projects at the Fruit Station.  After discussion the group toured the distillery/winery and the research field.

A little bit about Thomas Downs:

Having served for more than 20 years as an attorney at two national law firms in Washington, D.C., Tom represents state and local governments, institutions of higher learning, non-profit organizations, and other clients on public policy and funding matters. He is involved with a broad range of federal agency programs, legislation, federal funding and partnerships.  He works closely with the White House, federal agencies and Congress to obtain support for a variety of initiatives to benefit his clients.

Tom spent a decade on Capitol Hill serving as chief of staff and senior legislative assistant to members sitting on various committees, including the House Committees on Appropriations, Armed Services, Merchant Marine and Fisheries, and Science, Space and Technology.

Helped public and private organizations advance legislative and agency initiatives involving drinking water and wastewater systems, wetlands protection, open space preservation and parkland acquisition.

Assisted nongovernmental organizations with successful overseas public policy initiatives. Helped obtain congressional support and funding for programs involving leadership training, poverty eradication and reconciliation efforts in Africa and the Middle East.

On behalf of health systems, hospitals, medical research and health care advocacy organizations operating in 20 states, provided advice and counsel on public policy matters and helped obtain federal funding.

While working on “the Hill,” Tom attended American University’s Washington College of Law, where he served on the law review. He is admitted to the bar of the District of Columbia.  He received his B.A. from Brown University.

Federal service:  Chief of Staff and Senior Legislative Assistant, Congressman George J. Hochbrueckner of New York; Legislative Assistant, Congressman Martin Olav Sabo of Minnesota, and Aide to Senator Patrick J. Leahy and Congressman James M. Jeffords of Vermont.

 

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