MU Students Grow Produce for Dining Halls

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COLUMBIA - The MU Bradford Research and Extension Center is a 591 acre farm with rows upon rows of plants being grown for many agricultural classes at the campus. However, out of this farm, about a handful of students only use four green houses to grow produce for the dining halls on MU's campus.

This group of students form Tigers for Community Agriculture, which started as a class, then turned into a student run project of Sustain Mizzou.

"I would say there are about five of us that are really dedicated. It's hard to get volunteers to come out and work especially since all of us who are doing this are still in school. But, some of the busiest people are doing it. Anybody can do it because I didn't even know anything about agriculture when I first started it," said Monica Everett.

This is the first full-time growing season in which several students of Sustain Mizzou just began planting lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli.

"My friends text me and tell me that they think they're eating the lettuce grown here. I think they can definitely tell the difference of the taste between fresh locally grown lettuce and the bagged lettuce," said volunteer Kat Seal.

Over the last year, the Bradford farm and Campus Dining services worked together to build a compost facility. Now, all waste from the dining halls are taken to the facilities as well.

"What's really exciting to see is that the trash that the dining halls has collected is now being composted and then the students use that compost to grow produce which is then being sold here. We're really getting into a cycle," said Campus Dining Services Executive Chef Eric Cartwright.

Also, the trucks on Bradford farm are creating bio-diesel from the wasted oil in the dining halls.

Tigers for Community Agriculture have sold over a hundred pounds of food to the dining halls.