In 2005, the University of Missouri Board of Curators approved the development of a section of Columbia’s South Farm for a new research park. The belief was, and continues to be, that the research occurring in the living fields and laboratories at South Farm, and at the University of Missouri, will attract tenants who desire close proximity to innovative intellectual resources.
It is the mission of the University of Missouri System Office of Research and Economic Development to link research and commercialization from the system’s four campuses with emerging and existing firms across the state—Discovery Ridge does just that.
Discovery Ridge History
In the past 10 years the city of Columbia, Missouri has experienced a 24.4% increase in population and the university has consistently witnessed increased enrollment. Because of Columbia’s growth, the once rural South Farm, is now adjacent to residential neighborhoods and shopping areas. Concern has long existed that the College would lose the farm as a working research, teaching and outreach site. After considerable study, it was determined that a research park could be a mutually beneficial development for the university and farm, thus the creation of Discovery Ridge began. In May 2006, the Board of Curators approved the Master Plan of the park, which designated 114 acres as the initial phase.
Since that approval, infrastructure within the first phase has been completed, including roads, utility services and improvements to the lake and drainage areas. After donating almost nine acres to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, an interchange and overpass connecting to U.S. Highway 63 has opened.
The park currently has two tenants, ABC Labs and RADIL, and has established a long-range plan that will expand the park to a total of 550 acres.
South Farm History
The South Farm of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri-Columbia totals 1,452 acres and provides hands-on teaching and training annually for more than 1,500 future professionals.
The farm supports the research, outreach and teaching missions of animal science, plant science, veterinary science, biology, botany and other disciplines. It is home to the Swine Research Complex, the Beef Research and Teaching Farm, the Turf Center and the Horse Farm and also supports research and demonstration projects in entomology, poultry and maize genetics.
The Missouri Foundation Seed program also utilizes South Farm to increase the sales of newly developed seed varieties to dealers.