SFCC Names Brad Driskill Agriculture Director of New College Farm
State Fair Community College has more than doubled the size of its Sedalia campus with the purchase of 200 acres of farmland adjacent to the college on West 16th street. SFCC closed on the purchase from the Lamm family last fall.
SFCC Agriculture program coordinator Brad Driskill has been named Agriculture Director and will oversee the college’s farm in addition to his responsibilities for all agriculture education programming.
“Agriculture is the number one industry in Missouri, and it is very important to our 14-county service region,” said Dr. Brent Bates, SFCC president. “We have one of the best agriculture programs in Missouri. This farm expansion builds on that strength and enables the college to serve even better our students and community. Brad is one of the best Ag educators; he is well respected and is a great asset to our college.”
The goal for the college farm is to expand SFCC’s Agriculture program and operate a farm that exhibits diverse agricultural production techniques in support of the local agriculture community. The farm will include livestock and row crops that will enhance educational learning experiences for degree-seeking students, agribusinesses and agricultural producers.
The livestock will feature a cow/calf herd and later incorporate small ruminants such as sheep and goats. Other livestock may be added later to support classroom activities and demonstration events. Breeding techniques, pasture management, grazing practices, and herd management will be explored and developed as the farm advances.
Crops will include a variety of forages on the pasture ground such as cool and warm season grasses and legumes. Crops will be rotated and will be based on students’ learning needs. The row crop operation will go beyond traditional crops and will incorporate modern precision agriculture practices.
Students will benefit through the hands-on application of theory learned in the classroom. They will help with all operations and will conduct stand counts, practice yield estimates, and scout crops throughout the growing season.
Driskill grew up on a beef cattle operation near Cross Timbers. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from SFCC and completed his Bachelor of Science in General Agriculture degree from Missouri State University. He later earned his Master of Science in Technology from University of Central Missouri.
While working in the fescue seed industry, Driskill began teaching agronomy classes part-time for SFCC. In 2011, he became the Agriculture program coordinator at the college. Since then, he has served on the Board of Directors for the National Professional Agriculture Students (PAS) and represents PAS on the National Council for Agriculture Education.
Driskill was named SFCC’s 2018 Instructor of the Year and received the Governors Excellence in Teaching Award from Missouri Community College Association. In 2019, he was named Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education. The Missouri FFA Association in 2021 awarded Driskill an Honorary State FFA degree.
Driskill believes the new working farm will be a unique and impressive engagement tool for SFCC.
“In addition to the experiences for degree seeking students, I hope to host demonstration events for the public and work with industry partners to conduct seminars and non-credit classes for interested parties, as well as hold training events and demonstrations for high school agriculture programs,” says Driskill. “The farm will be an exceptional opportunity for SFCC to engage the entire community.”
Driskill lives in the Shawnee Mound community with wife Tiffany and three children. He enjoys working on the family farm and serves as president of the Shawnee R-III School District Board of Education.