Stories of Missouri Farming

4/3/2024 to 4/28/2024 | Bennett Spring State Park | Lebanon, MO

Bennett Spring State Park's history is deeply rooted in agriculture. To celebrate the joys and heartbreak of Missouri's agricultural heritage, the park has set aside the month of April to focus on this history.

The traveling exhibit “Deeply Rooted: Stories of Missouri Farming,” produced by the Missouri State Museum, will be available for viewing at the Bennett Spring nature center Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This traveling exhibit covers a wide range of topics from prehistoric agriculture to modern gardens.

According to Missouri Grown USA, Missouri's top crop production today is soybean and corn, which contributes $88 billion to the state economy. However, the main agricultural use at Bennett Spring State Park during the past century has been the raising of trout. The Bennett Spring Fish Hatchery was once privately owned; around 1900, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery stocked 40,000 trout into the spring. Today, the hatchery is operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation and is under renovation.

Prior to Missouri purchasing the land, the area that currently comprises the park was known as the town of Brice. Farmers living in the area would have grain processed at the town’s mill and often enjoyed outdoor activities like fishing while waiting for services to be rendered. To learn more about the rich history of both Bennett Spring State Park and Missouri, come see this traveling exhibit. 

Bennett Spring State Park will have its 100th anniversary celebration on Oct. 5, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. More information about both the celebration and the April event can be obtained by calling the park’s nature center at 417-532-3925. Both events are free and open to the public and do not require registration.

Exhibit times: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Wednesday - Sunday

Bennett Spring State Park is located at:

26250 Highway 64A, Lebanon, MO | 417-532-4338

Associated activities

  • Interpretive Programs