The definition of a farm is straightforward: An area of land and its buildings used for growing crops and/or raising animals. The United States was once an agrarian nation but today, for the most part, Americans are not people working the soil anymore.
Fortunately, some still do. In Missouri, farming thrives. Farms are located in every county of the state producing everything from the hamburger sizzling on your backyard grill to the milk served in school cafeterias.
No two farms are alike. Missouri farms can be thousands of acres planted with corn raised to feed livestock or a few acres planted with tomatoes for sale at a farm stand. The state’s farms are large and small and use methods ranging from grass-fed to grain-fed to organic. There is no wrong way to farm as long as farmers care for the animals and the land, as Missouri farmers do.
A farmer works the fertile river-bottom soil along the Missouri River.
Annika Riekhof helps her parents care for livestock on their century farm in Higginsville.
Customers enjoy a pick-your-own blueberry farm in eastern Missouri.
Fertilizer is loaded into a machine to be applied at the Berry family’s 3,000-acre rice farm in Neelyville.
Brothers Dustin and Austin Stanton sell on average 2,000 dozen eggs per week at their Centralia farm.
Dan Burkhardt’s farm in Marthasville where they raise cattle, hay and row crops.
Brent Sandidge checks his wheat crop at Ham Hill Farms in Marshall, where he also raises pigs, corn and soybeans.
Tony Minnick is the farm manager at Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, an urban farm located in the heart of the city that educates and nourishes.
Beef cattle in the fields at the Blakemore family farm in Aldrich.