Southeast Dedicates David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center

June Barton and Kenneth W. Dobbins in front of the newly unveiled sign marking the David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center

June Barton of Catron, Mo., and Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast, in front of a newly unveiled sign marking the David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center. In October, the Southeast Missouri University Foundation announced it had received a seven-figure gift, the largest single gift in its history, to benefit the Southeast Agriculture Research Center and the University’s agriculture program. Mrs. Barton donated 850 acres of prime farmland in New Madrid County, making the gift possible.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

May 4, 2009 – Southeast Missouri State University dedicated its new David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center Monday, May 4, at the facility site.

Southeast agriculture students unveiled a new sign marking the David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center located at 6885 State Hwy. 25, one and one-half miles south of Gordonville, Mo., on the east side of Highway 25. The dedication ceremony also featured remarks from Mrs. June Barton of Catron, Mo., widow of the late David M. Barton for whom the Center is named; Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University; Dr. Randy Shaw, associate provost and dean of the Otto and Della Seabaugh School of Polytechnic Studies; and Brittni Peck, a Southeast biomedical science and pre-veterinary major with an agriculture minor from Sparta, Ill.

In October, the Southeast Missouri University Foundation announced it had received a seven-figure gift, the largest single gift in its history, to benefit the Southeast Missouri State University Agriculture Research Center and the University’s agriculture program. Mrs. Barton, a 1963 alumna of Southeast with a degree in elementary education, donated 850 acres of prime farmland in New Madrid County, making the gift possible. Income from the farm is being divided with half going towards an endowment for the ongoing development and future upkeep and improvements to the facilities at the Demonstration Farm and the other half to establish the David M. Barton endowed scholarships for students pursuing a degree in Southeast’s Department of Agriculture. With the gift, the University’s Research Farm in Gordonville, Mo., was renamed the David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center in memory of Mrs. Barton’s late husband.

Originally from Arkansas, David M. Barton moved to Catron, Mo., in the early 1930s and farmed in New Madrid County until his death in 1987.  His contributions to the agricultural history of Southeast Missouri include 35 years on the board of supervisors of the Little River Drainage District, during which he served as board president from 1962 to 1987. Since her husband’s death, Mrs. Barton has served as owner and manager of David M. Barton Farms and has continued farming the land she loves.