Missouri Berries, farm and family entertainment, opening in Republic

Missouri Berries sign

There’s a new u-pick strawberry farm opening in Republic, with a story as sweet as the berries.

Danielle and Josh Rogers own Missouri Berries. He’s a former Marine who served three tours in Iraq and is now an anesthetist at Cox. Josh grew up on farmland near Sedalia, and Danielle was raised in Georgia.

“I had good memories from my childhood, and I knew I wanted to give my kids that someday. When we visited Georgia, I was amazed at the pecan trees, the blueberries,” he said.

It took him two years to convince Danielle a farm was a good idea, but in 2019, they bought 180 acres of neglected land with “weeds up to here” Danielle said, signaling her chest.

Danielle and Josh Rogers and their children, Mabel and Luke.

Originally, they planned to start a commercial blueberry operation. But as their kids, Mabel, 10, and Luke, 7, worked in the fields alongside them, the vision developed for an agrotourism destination. A place for other families to bond, have fun, connect with the land, and learn about sustainability like their family has.

They’ve spent the past three years clearing, tilling, building, planting 50,000 strawberries, and transforming the property into a destination. They hope to open the first week of May with the first of three strawberry varieties: Ruby June, then Chandler, and Flavor Fest will end the season. A farm access pass is $3 for ages 4 and older; veterans and active military are free.

There’s a large play area for children, picnic tables, three-and-a-half acres of strawberries, a concession trailer with strawberry donuts, strawberry slushies, lemonade, coffee and tea.

Hay pyramid at Missouri Berries

The play area is expected to be a big attraction: There’s a hay pyramid to conquer and an 11-foot-tall chair to scurry up that Josh built. There’s ring toss; a basketball hoop which was converted from a gravity wagon that was once used to feed cattle; and three tracks with plastic culverts that kids can climb inside and race against each other.

Kids race inside plastic culverts

Trams retired from the Sedalia State Fair have been refurbished for little imaginations. There’s a fairy tale trail, which are storyboards peppered throughout the property and instead of turning a page in a book, kiddos continue the story at each station. There’s also a book station with farm-related books and silly photo ops.

Danielle Rogers with her children Mabel and Luke at Fairy Tale Trail on Missouri Berries farm.

Picnic tables placed throughout the property were built by Willard High School shop class. A large painted strawberry on a hill is a repurposed grain bin — a symbol of their ingenuity.

And sandboxes for little ones to play in, except those will be filled with corn instead of sand.

“We decided this because many kids have not had the pleasure of grabbing a handful of unmanipulated harvested corn,” said Danielle. “Everything we do on the farm has a tie back to farming and it’s important to us to give this experience to our visitors. At the end of each season, we will take the corn and feed it to the wildlife on the rest of our land.”

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