MU students teach organic farming skills, help research farmers

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COLUMBIA - The Bradford Research Farm will get some extra help Wednesday from college students.

The Tigers for Community Agriculture are a group of young adults enrolled at Mizzou that work to grow produce in a sustainable way.

The group's event scheduled for 12 p.m. Wednesday aims to teach students skills about organic farming while they harvest tomatoes for the annual Columbia Tomato Festival.

Leslie Touzeau, a research specialist at Bradford Research Facility, said that while this is great experience for people interested in how we grow our food, it's also helping the community.

"We get to teach kids a little more about harvesting and in the process they help us get ready for the festival. That fresh food goes back into Columbia," Touzeau said.

But that isn't the only way that farmers can help out locally.

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) is now accepting applications for "farm-to-school value-added grants." That means that farms will receive a kick back financially if they sell their produce directly to local schools.

"Your kids will be eating fresh local food which I think is great for everyone, and it helps stimulate the economy here because this is more work for small, local business," Touzeau said.

Tigers for Community Agriculture will have a shuttle going out to the research center for those interested. You can RSVP here.

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