About Us

About Us

The Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute is a Missouri-based 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in Columbia, Missouri in 1997. The Institute is named after Thomas Jefferson in recognition of his strong interest in diversifying and strengthening American agriculture.

Staff have been engaged in agriculture education and research since the Institute?s inception in 1997. The Institute has a history of collaboration with the Missouri Departments of Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources; the University of Missouri; and the U. S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service as well as area landowners and farmers.

The Jefferson Institute provides services to area residents, including the presentation of agriculture and horticulture education programs, conducting research on Midwestern crops, and presenting market development programs to farmers and landowners.

In support of its educational mission, the Institute began development of Jefferson Farm & Gardens as a 67-acre public education facility in 2006. In 2008, programs for youth groups and adults began to be offered at the farm. Group programs, including school visits to Jefferson Farm, can be scheduled on a reservation basis by calling 573-449-3518.


Jerry Nelson, Ph.D.
President and CEO

Lorin Chann, M.S.
Project Manager

Board of Directors

Jerry Nelson, Ph.D.
Board President and Curator?s Professor Emeritus
University of Missouri

David Baltensperger, Ph.D.
Soil and Crop Science Department Chairman
Texas A&M University

Steve Borgelt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Engineering
University of Missouri

Dennis Keeney, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Iowa State University

Craig Roberts, Ph.D.
Professor of Plant Science
University of Missouri