MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — A groundbreaking ceremony was held this morning.

The project is a partnership between the “University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources” and “MU Extension.”

Its addition to the nearly 900-acre “Southwest Research, Extension, and Education Center” will also lead to more educational and community involvement opportunities.

“The beef industry is the largest one, really, in southwest Missouri. You know, I mean, there’s a lot of agriculture in southwest Missouri, too. There’s poultry and swine and things like that, but there are a lot of different people involved in the beef industry, and so it’s a really, we serve a 22-county area, the research station does, and a lot of the people that we provide research for are in this area and in the cattle business,” said Jay Chism, SW-REEC Director.

“What this facility will allow us to do will do that. To bring animals in, to showcase different aspects of the animal, etcetera, and then move that animal out in a very humane way, so that, again, all, everybody’s protected, but yet you can do it in an educational way, as well,” said Marshall Stewart, MU Vice Chancellor of Extension & Engagement.

The $400,000 project is expected to be finished by June of next year.