Thompson Farm was established in 1955 through the will of Dr. George Drury, a retired dentist. His will specified that 1,240 acres of land should be given to the University of Missouri. An additional 360 acres of the original tract later was added to the gift. The terms of the will prescribed that the farm should be “dedicated to public educational purposes in memory of Eulah Thompson Drury, Guy A. Thompson, Paschall W. Thompson and Olive F. Thompson.” Thompson Farm is located in an area of transitional soils with about 1,000 acres of upland consisting of Grundy-Lamoni soil types, with lesser areas of Pershing and Armstrong.
Initial work at Thompson Farm involved research in crop production, soils, and insect controls. A full-time agronomist directed crops and soils studies from 1956 until 1978. The research effort at Thompson Farm historically centered on conducting yield tests with corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat and oats as well as herbicide studies in soybeans and testing of Hessian fly resistance in wheat. The 600 acres of bottom land along the Thompson River is currently leased for crop production. The University of Missouri introduced beef cattle research at the farm in 1963. The first comprehensive cattle crossbreeding experiment at Thompson Farm was conducted at Thompson Farm under the direction of Dr. John F. Lasley. The farm was also the site of a bull progeny testing program from 1970-1990, where approximately 100 bulls were tested yearly. Current research at Thompson Farm focuses on beef cattle production systems and forest management.