Opening day enrollment numbers at Missouri State University are up from last fall.

Following increased enrollment numbers for the spring and summer semesters, Missouri State University’s Springfield Campus opened the fall semester with 18,826 students, a 0.5 percent increase.

Of particular interest to Missouri’s agriculture industries is the substantial enrollment increase in the Darr School of Agriculture, reaching 516 by the end of the second week of classes.  Opening day enrollment in agriculture was up 85 students over the same day enrollment last year. This was an enrollment increase of over 20 percent in just one year.

“We are elated with the increases that we have been experiencing and particularly in our freshmen class this fall,” said Dr. Anson Elliott, director of the Darr School of Agriculture. “These increases are very welcome as there are increased demands for our graduates in the many careers available in the food industry.

“Our excellent facilities in Karls Hall, the Darr Agricultural Center, the State Fruit Experiment Station and the Journagan Ranch along with our highly qualified and caring faculty and staff provide student a wide range of opportunities for both obtaining theoretical exercises and hands-on activities.”

Citing university enrollment data going back to 1983, Elliott noted that this is the largest enrollment in agriculture since that time.  Fall agriculture enrollment for the past ten years at MSU has been as follows:

  • 2003 – 428
  • 2004 – 410
  • 2005 – 375
  • 2006 – 378
  • 2007 – 414
  • 2008 – 383
  • 2009 – 397
  • 2010 – 412
  • 2011 – 434
  • 2012 – 516

Missouri State’s School of Agriculture offers 14 majors which reflect the following student enrollments as of the end of the second week of class:

  • Agricultural Business – 98
  • Ag Finance and Management – 31
  • Ag Marketing and Sales – 35
  • Enterprise Management – 32
  • Agricultural Education – 44
  • Animal Science – 141
  • Environmental Science – 154
  • Crop Science – 34
  • Horticulture – 38
  • Natural Resources – 26
  • Wildlife Conservation & Management – 56
  • General Agriculture – 43
  • General Agriculture – 31
  • Ag Communications – 12
  • Masters (Plant Science, Accelerated, & Nat & Appl Sci) – 36
  • Total – 516

Missouri Hereford breeders have watched with interest as the Journagan Ranch has transitioned over the past three years to become part of Missouri State’s Darr School of Agriculture.  At the time of the initial gift made by the Leo Journagan family, it was reported that Journagan Ranch was the 15th largest Hereford herd in the nation, and the largest purebred cattle herd of any breed affiliated with a university.

“We are very pleased with the first-day enrollment numbers,” said Missouri State Interim President Clifton M. Smart III.  “Increasing enrollment was a priority this year and our faculty and staff worked very hard to make this a reality. I am pleased that their hard work has produced results.

“I am especially pleased that we are making progress on some specific goals, including increasing our graduate enrollment and increasing our diversity. The increases in those areas are impressive. Given the decline in high school graduates, we held our own with new freshmen, too.”

Missouri State remains the second largest university in the state. Many improvements await students this fall including the Foster Family Recreation Center.

Don Simpson, associate vice president for enrollment management, encourages high school seniors who are interested in Missouri State to apply early in their senior year. For information on admission and registration at the Springfield campus, call (417) 836-5517 or (800) 492-7900 or visit Missouri State on the web at


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