A family known in the cattle market as top breeders are donating a ranch worth $7 million to Missouri State University.

The ranch includes more than 1,000 head of cattle and sits on more than 3,300 acres in Douglas County, just 10 miles south of the Mountain Grove campus. In announcing the gift, officials said it is the second-largest donation in school history.

"Given the diverse nature of the Journagan Ranch, with its variety of terrains, water sources, forestation, wildlife and livestock, it can serve as a living, breathing laboratory for many agriculture educational initiatives and research projects," university president Michael Nietzel said.

Missouri State plans to use the ranch to give agriculture students hands-on experience and give students in programs such as forestry and biology a place for research. Classes are expected to begin at the ranch in the fall.

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