Hamilton Native Outpost strives to provide a variety of adapted native plants and the knowledge to establish and maintain them for ecosystem restoration, wildlife habitat, grazing, and beauty in low-maintenance landscapes. Livestock adapted to the environment is a complementary enterprise.
Rex and Amy Hamilton began harvesting, cleaning, and selling warm-season grasses in 1981; most of this seed was used to establish forage. In the mid-80's the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) created more demand for native grasses in an effort to reduce soil erosion. As they spent time in the fields and on the prairies harvesting native grasses, Rex and Amy began to take note of the wildflowers. They harvested their first wildflowers by hand in 1987; this part of the operation continued to expand from there. Today, Hamilton Native Outpost has several hundred acres of native grass and wildflower seed production; they also work with several private growers. Harvesting seed from Missouri's remnant prairies continues to be an important way for HNO's crew to learn about the plants in their native ecosystem as well as a valuable source of income for the prairie's owners.
Livestock are, and always have been, an integral part of the operation. The cow/calf herd is managed in such a way so as to complement seed production; at times, the cattle are used as a tool for managing the seed production fields. Herbivores have always been a part of the Midwest's grasslands, and, when managed properly, they can still be an important element. Hamilton Native Outpost also raises pastured pigs; they spend nearly all of their lives on pasture and are also used to manage seed fields.
|Rex and Amy Hamilton are the owners & CEO of Hamilton Native Outpost.|
|Joe Dixon is the office manager. Other than keeping everyone in line and organized, Joe takes care of the day-to-day office activities and is often the friendly voice on the other end of the phone answering questions and taking orders.|
|Sarah Darter is the pleasant voice that usually answers the phone, does price quotes, takes orders, and answers questions. She is also the person who generally responds to emails and is occasionally responsible for picking and bagging up orders.|
|Elizabeth Hamilton-Steele, Rex and Amy's daughter, is responsible for the content of the catalog, website, and blog. She also helps answer customer's questions.|
|Mike Motzkus is the manager of seed processing and also heavily involved with harvest at headquarters. Lucky for us, Mike can fix nearly anything we break!|
|Colt Hamilton, Rex and Amy's son is responsible for much of the planning and work of producing seed at headquarters. He is also involved in harvest at headquarters.|
|Donnie Burchett spends the summer harvesting seed, and in the winter he can be found in the barn cleaning it.|
|Jamie Smith is integral to roguing the weeds out of wildflower fields and also helps with seed harvest and order picking.|
|Amber Hamilton is responsible for many of the accounting activities and is famous for the sweets she brings and the birthday goodies she bakes.|
|Kendall Thibodaux leads up the charge in picking and bagging up orders to send to customers. During the warmer months, he spends many hours outside doing a variety of tasks from rogueing weeds to unloading trailers of seed.|
|Brooke Hamilton, of Grindstone Design Studio, is Rex and Amy's daughter and is responsible for the look of Hamilton Native Outpost's catalog and website. She has also taken many of the photographs of the plants and landscapes.|