William H. Darr College of Agriculture

General information

Center for Grapevine Biotechnology

The Center explores genetic resources and identifies health-promoting compounds in diverse grapevine species for securing the profitability and sustainability of the grape and wine industry and for improving human health.

William H. Darr Agricultural Center

The Center, located on a 100-acre site in southwest Springfield, is a unique asset that supports the College of Agriculture's diverse programs.

Agriculture is a key economic component of the region. The food, fiber, and renewable resources that traditional agriculture provides are basics required for life. Missouri State's metropolitan location and the Darr Agricultural Center provide a unique opportunity to demonstrate the interactions between traditional agriculture's rural origin and the more urban setting of modern America. The Darr Agricultural Center serves as a laboratory and field experience classroom for the study of livestock management, equine studies, horticulture, agronomy, animal science, and wildlife conservation and management. An additional benefit of the Center is that it provides agricultural/green space within the rapidly expanding Springfield metropolitan area.

State Fruit Experiment Station

The State Fruit Experiment Station, operated on the Mountain Grove Research Campus, has a statewide mandate by law to generate knowledge through research, and to disseminate this knowledge for the economic development of the Missouri fruit industry. In addition to carrying out research, conducting advisory education programs, and teaching courses, the faculty are available to guide graduate students in their thesis research.

Research is carried on in pomology, enology, viticulture, plant pathology, entomology, molecular genetics, and plant physiology. The fruit crops under investigation include apples, grapes, blueberries, peaches, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, as well as species of lesser economic importance. Information derived from the Station’s research is disseminated through advisory programs to fruit growers and processors throughout Missouri.

The Station is the site of extensive testing of new fruit varieties and selections for their adaptability to Missouri soil and climate and resistance to diseases. Research on the culture of fruit crops is carried out on nutrient and water requirements, pruning and training systems, growth regulators, and rootstocks. Plant pathogens and insect pests are studied for clues which may help in reducing their damage to fruit crops. A program in genetic engineering has the improvement of fruit varieties as the major goal.