The University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist for Phelps County, Crawford County and Dent County has been named, and the Phelps County local will assist businesses and farm families in producing food, creating healthier food, and managing environmental impacts along with creating energy from plants.

The University of Missouri Extension Center of Phelps County welcomed Gatlin Bunton as the agronomy specialist for Phelps, Crawford and Dent counties. Agronomy is the science of utilizing plants for food, fuel, feed and fiber. As a field specialist, Bunton will provide collaborative leadership and subject-matter expertise through educational opportunities that enable businesses, farms families and communities to strengthen the economy and enhance the quality of life in Missouri. 



Bunton grew up on a farm in Phelps County prior to earning his Bachelor of Plant Sciences from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and Bunton went on to earn his Masters of Plant Sciences from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2019. 



Bunton’s thesis for his masters degree was on the forage nutritive value of weeds and the effects of soil fertility on pasture weed incidence under the review of Dr. Kevin Bradley. Bunton said he is  interested in working with producers to develop more productive and sustainable grazing systems that are tailored to the Ozarks. 


The MU Extension addresses a wide range of needs that fall into three grand challenges for the state of Missouri: economic opportunity, educational excellence and healthy futures. The MU Extension is a partnership of the University of Missouri campuses, Lincoln University, the people of Missouri through county extension councils and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 


Bunton may be contacted at the Crawford County Extension Center, 302 Water Street, Steelville, MO 65565 or by calling 573-755-2135. The Phelps county Extension Center is located in Suite G8 of the Phelps County Courthouse, 200 N. Main St. in Rolla. 


For more information please call the Phelps County Extension Center at 573-458-6260 or visit University of Missouri Extension is an equal opportunity/access/affirmative action/pro-disabled and veteran employer.