Empowering ranchers and farmers for success
Mar 9, 2012
Entrepreneurship and innovation are at the heart of Food for the Future. This CAFNRnews story highlights an MU program that helps farmers do just that.
Two-hundred years ago the ground shook with a force that hasn’t been equaled east of the Rockies since. Towns were leveled, the earth rolled like the sea and according to accounts, the Mighty Mississippi reversed its flow.
After the New Madrid earthquakes, Federal Walker decided to take a walk—a long walk of more than 300 miles from the Missouri Bootheel near New Madrid where he lived to the rolling hills of central Missouri. During the journey, his father died, but Walker pressed on and staked his claim a few miles south of modern day Fayette. Walker, 16 at the time, returned to the Bootheel for the rest of his family and brought them to his farmstead, where the two log cabins he built (now united) compose the core of the current farmhouse at Blue Bell Farm.
Seven generations later, Derek Bryant and his wife, Jamie Bryant, hope to preserve the farm tradition in the family, albeit with some new twists. On Valentine’s Day, the couple, along with 25 other aspiring farmers and ranchers, delivered their business plans to Randall Westgren, professor of agricultural and applied economics and the McQuinn Chair of Entrepreneurial Leadership in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri.
The Bryants are two of 63 graduates of the Entrepreneurship Project, an innovative program that guides aspiring farmers and ranchers in transforming their ideas into successful ventures in production agriculture. More…