Clarksville, Ark. — University of the Ozarks will confer bachelor degrees to 82 graduating seniors during its 2009 Commencement ceremony, scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 16, on the campus mall.
Curtis Millsap, a 2000 cum laude graduate of U of O and owner and operator of Millsap Farm near Springfield, Mo., will serve as the Commencement speaker. Preceding Commencement will be the Baccalaureate Service at 9 a.m. in Munger Chapel. University Chaplain Rev. Nancy Benson-Nicol will present the proclamation.
Since graduating from Ozarks, Millsap has lived in California, Colorado and New Mexico, working as a state capital tour guide, a sign maker, a ranch hand, a substitute teacher, a handyman and a whitewater raft guide.
In 2004, Millsap and his wife, Sarah, moved to his hometown of Springfield and began pursuing his dream of farming. In the Spring of 2008, they made the great leap into full-time farming with the help of a 30-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and two full-time interns. Millsap Farm is now a diversified family farm that raises 150 varieties of fruits and vegetables, chickens, pigs, goats and cattle. They have a 35-member summer CSA and a 15-member winter CSA. They recently added a home-based bakery where Sarah produces wholegrain breads, and teaches others to bake. The Millsaps farm without synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides or antibiotics, and follow careful stewardship practices to improve the health and tilth of the land. Curtis and Sarah have been featured in local magazines, newspapers, radio and T.V., as the first Community Supported Agriculture program in their area, have spoken numerous times at sustainability forums, schools, churches, and colleges, and Millsap Farm has won awards for their efforts to preserve clean water, conserve energy, and educate school children about sustainable agriculture.