UPDATE: Jefferson Farms and Gardens Closes under Heavy Debt

3 years 10 months 2 weeks ago June 07, 2013 Jun 7, 2013 Friday, June 07 2013 Friday, June 07, 2013 5:46:00 PM CDT in News
By: Elaina O'Connell
loading

COLUMBIA -  The gates are still locked Wednesday at the Jefferson Farms and Gardens, but the board members are nearing a decision. The farm is currently non-operational because it is nearly $1 million in debt. The farm used to give tours to teach the public about farming and conducted research for the Department of Agriculture.

Now, the board members at Jefferson Farms and Gardens are waiting for the University of Missouri to approve the proposed plans for the use of the land. The 67 acres are being leased to the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute by the University of Missouri.

Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute President and CEO Jerry Nelson said the board has been developing plans since January and hopes to have a finalized decision on or before July 1. Nelson said the goal is to have the farm re-opened later this year.

The board has been meeting with four different groups to take over operating the farm. No decision has been made, but Nelson said the decision has been narrowed down.

The farm originally opened in 2006. Nelson said part of the reason the farm is not succeeding is because it entered at a time when the economy was slipping.

Until last summer, the property was home to an assortment of farm animals and experimental crops as part of the organization's mission to teach the general public about farming while also conducting research.

Funding for the farm came from state, regional and federal grants, as well as corporations.

Monsanto, MFA and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation were some of the important sources of support. That funding included a $900,000, four-year, grant from the Kellogg Foundation. The foundation decided to pull it two years early, which forced Jefferson Farm to take out a loan for $400,000.

"We had a grant with Kellogg," Nelson said. "When they pulled the funding that caused a big difference in what we could really fund."

The first thing the farm did to help with funds was cut the staff. Nelson said after they cut staff members, they had to start cutting programs and that is when the debt spiraled downhill because the programs were what drove the funding.  

Christain Basi, the associate director at the Mizzou News Bureau issued this statement, "We are aware of the situation with Jefferson Farm and Gardens. While the university does own the land, it's too early to speculate on what will happen. We are still assessing the situation."

Nelson said the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute has the land leased for another 45 years. If the University of Missouri doesn't approve the plans,the institute can either change the plans to meet the requirements, or the University could take away the lease.

Nelson said the farm wants to expand educational practices and begin to focus on how the crops can be processed.

The farm has already began looking at energy issues. Nelson said if the farm re-opens they want to look at crops that could be used as energy sources. In the future, the farm might get into wind and solar energy projects.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
ARGYLE - For years, the Rock Island rail line carried trains across Missouri, straight through towns like Eldon, Freeburg and... More >>
15 minutes ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A teenager who was shot by a Kansas City store clerk who thought the boy was... More >>
26 minutes ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT in News
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County authorities are investigating an apparent murder-suicide involving a couple in their 80s. ... More >>
1 hour ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:35:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a 51-year-old St. Louis-area woman died while she was sleeping when she was struck... More >>
1 hour ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT in News
EUREKA, Mo. (AP) — A Mexican wolf born this month at a wildlife center in suburban St. Louis is offering... More >>
1 hour ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Community Services Department recently released its 2016 Annual Report and Program Directory, which highlights where... More >>
2 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 1:34:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - President Donald Trump's proposed spending plan for 2018 significantly reduces funding for a range of executive departments, from... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 12:13:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Two men are on the run after assaulting a man in his home and stealing cash and other... More >>
4 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:23:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new report shows that only about one in every 10 Americans eats enough fruits and vegetables. Just... More >>
4 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:06:00 AM CDT in Weekly Wellness
COLUMBIA - Police are still looking for a suspect they said robbed a convenience store in west Columbia early Monday... More >>
5 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 10:14:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A controversial bill moving through the Missouri General Assembly could change the handling of workplace discrimination claims in... More >>
5 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 10:06:15 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a man has been killed and a woman wounded in a shooting at convenience... More >>
7 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 9:04:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a vehicle has struck and killed an 8-year-old boy in St. Louis. The... More >>
7 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 8:55:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a 23-year-old man has been fatally shot in Kansas City. The Kansas... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:53:00 AM CDT in News
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the deaths of an 83-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman in St. Louis... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:50:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri is launching a new program for tax-free savings accounts to help families financially support people... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:34:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Audubon Society of Missouri (ASM) combined nature and technology with a new interactive bird sighting app. ... More >>
21 hours ago April 23, 2017 Apr 23, 2017 Sunday, April 23 2017 Sunday, April 23, 2017 7:02:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A routine inspection of the Missouri River bridge in Jefferson City will close down one lane Monday... More >>
22 hours ago April 23, 2017 Apr 23, 2017 Sunday, April 23 2017 Sunday, April 23, 2017 5:13:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
5pm 77°
6pm 75°
7pm 72°
8pm 68°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Taken
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld