Farms & Work Stations
The mission of the Agriculture Office is to assist the agriculture professors and staff in the general operation of the department. The office seeks success through a focus on appearance, student recruitment, teamwork, attention to detail, and providing information about the Agriculture department.
Student workers are involved in all phases of office work which include organizing the office and maintaining records and reports. Office assistants are often assigned to manage projects that benefit faculty and students in various areas, including technology.
The largest project each year is the FFA Workshop. Judging materials are prepared and distributed to nearly 2,000 FFA members who attend this workshop. The office assistants are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist other students with computer programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The office assistants also schedule and give tours of the agriculture department to prospective students.
If you are interested in a tour or more information, please call (417)-690-3360
The College of the Ozarks beef herd is dispersed on seven locations within a 24-mile radius of the main campus. The farms include the Winfrey place located near Reed Springs, the Stewart farm located near highway 76, the Belt and Clevenger farms located east of the Hog Farm, the Holliday farm located west of the Hog Farm, the Hog Farm itself, and on campus.
The main function of the beef farms is to provide students with the knowledge and experience of a working beef cattle operation. Approximately 7 to 9 students work at the beef farms. There are approximately 200 head of registered and commercial Polled Hereford and Angus beef cattle on the farms, as well as crossbred cattle comprised of these breeds.
Students are involved in all phases of beef production. Their responsibilities include animal health, nutrition, breeding, and merchandising as well as facility maintenance and forage production.
A biennial auction is held at the College's on-campus Sale Barn during the fall of the odd years. Students are responsible for all aspects of the sale. They help to create the sale catalog and with advertising,
auctioneering, serving as ring men, clerking, fitting, loading, and selection. Students auction off around 60 lots of the College's beef cattle including cow-calf pairs, bred and open heifers, and cows and bulls. Some bulls are sold on private treaty arrangements. The Processing Plant also utilizes other beef animals for campus purposes. The beef farms keep their own heifers as replacement stock and for sale at the auction.
Farmers Market & Production Garden
The Friday Farmers Market began in the summer of 2013 and has become a great success. The theme is "All Things Student Made and Grown." It is located in the sale barn across from the dairy. Besides the many fruits and vegetables from our garden, it has C of O; milk, meats, bedding plants, hanging baskets, Edward's Mill products, Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen items, Stained Glass, breads, and Keeter Center goodies (granola, biscotti, honey-pear dressing, lodge chips). In the future, it will incorporate the honey from the School of the Ozarks Lab School bee project. Approximately 8-12 students are involved in this work station that also helps with the garden and dairy.The Garden is a joint effort with the Agriculture, Landscaping, Hotel and Restaruant Management, Farmers Market, and Keeter Center departments. It is of great benefit educationally and for our dining customers.
The College of the Ozarks Dairy Farm is located on campus. This location assists in not only the education of Agriculture students, but also the informing of the many tourists and visitors to campus.
The Dairy milks approximately 50-60 registered Holstein, Jersey and Guernsey cows. The Holsteins comprise about 85% of the herd. Heifers are raised as replacements and for consignment sales, and the bulls are sold.
There are typically 30-36 students assigned to the Dairy for their work station. Student activities cover everything found on a working dairy including feeding, haying, milking, ensiling, vaccinations, calving, cleaning, general farm maintenance, etc.
The Dairy processes and bottles milk to furnish the College's needs. The milk is also sold to faculty, staff, students and at the Farmers Market. Through these activities students are expected to acquire knowledge in nutrition, health, reproductive physiology, and farm management.
The Feed Mill is a service area for the Agriculture department. It is located on the campus next to the dairy. Usually 4 to 5 students work at this location.
The primary functions of the Feed Mill are making and delivering high quality feed for the College's livestock production units. The feed mill also has a six ton feed delivery truck for transporting the finished product to the various farms. Students learn about the feed making process by operating machinery, grinding corn, rolling grain, mixing rations for feed, delivering feed, and keeping the feed mill clean and organized.
Students also learn about crops, control inventory, keep accurate records, represent the College well when purchasing ingredients and supplies, and aim to be service oriented.
The College of the Ozarks Hog Farm is located 6 miles from campus on Highway BB south of Hollister, Missouri. The farm is 154 acres and specializes in the production of quality Hybrid and Registered Hampshire hogs. One of the beef farm operations also utilizes a majority portion of the hog farm for a cow-calf operation, pasture grazing, and forage production.
The purpose of the Hog Farm is to provide students with the proper skills and work experiences associated with managing and working with swine. Students are active participants in every aspect of the production including the marketing, record keeping, herd health, breeding program, farm maintenance, etc., of the operation. Generally 5 to 7 students are involved at this workstation.
The Hog Farm is primarily a farrow to finish arrangement that has 20-25 sows. Farrowing and a cold weather piglet nursery occur in a confinement arrangement while all other aspects of the operation take place outdoors. The majority of the hogs are utilized by the College’s Processing Plant while others are marketed to the public in the form of meat at the Farmers Market, special occasions cooking and freezing, show projects, and as herd builders.
Horticulture Lab & Teaching Orchard
The College of the Ozarks Horticulture Lab, Orchard, and Garden are utilized in many courses to allow students opportunities for hands on experience with horticultural crops and production practices.
The Tissue Culture Laboratory functions as a modern facility for micro-propagation of a variety of horticultural crops. Students work with a variety of methodologies and media compositions to learn and experience the effectiveness and usefulness of micro-propagation to the horticultural industry.
The Orchard contains a variety of fruit crops as well as seasonal plantings of vegetable crops providing students with additional learning opportunities. Through these work areas students are exposed and trained in propagation, pruning, pest management, irrigation, weed control, fertilization, soil testing and preparation, quality control, and harvesting. The College also maintains honeybees for the purpose of pollination as well as exposing students to the importance of insect pollinators to the agricultural industry.
The College of the Ozarks Processing Plant has typically 11-12 student workers. Students are taught, through hands on experience, every phase of the meat industry from harvest to finished product.
The Processing Plant, which is USDA inspected, harvests approximately 250-300 hogs and 10-24 beef cattle annually. Carcasses are fabricated into wholesale and retail cuts. The Plant also has a line of fully cooked and heat treated products, such as our smoked hams, smoked bacon, smoked pork chops, smoked pork ribs, snack sticks, summer sausage, smoked ham hocks, smoked turkey, beef jerky, bologna, cottage bacon, and smoked beef briskets. Finished meat products are sold and provided for the College's Pearl Rogers Dining Hall, Dobyns Dining Room at the Keeter Center, Farmers Market, and Fruit Cake and Jelly Kitchen.
The Agronomy Workstation is tasked with being good stewards of the land that God has entrusted to the college. In Psalms 104:14, we are told “God makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate- bringing forth food from the earth.” And in Psalms 115:16 we are told “The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to man.”
We employ environmentally sustainable practices such as no-till planting, use of cover crops, soil testing and nutrient budgeting. We have also recently implemented the Biblical principle of a “Sabbath of the Land”. Our fields are set up on a rotation where every seventh year a field is allowed to rest. We do not plant or harvest the land in the Sabbath year. We are honored to be able to provide quality forages for our beef and dairy farms while doing our best to be economically, environmentally sustainable.