In the spring of 1905, while attending a Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Bible study, a group of young men studying agriculture at the University of Missouri enjoyed one another’s fellowship so much that they decided to organize a club, rent a house and live together.

The original group numbered 11 men. Each had pledged to return in the fall and bring a roommate. This would fill the 22-man house that was rented at 107 Sixth Street in Columbia. However, when September arrived, only seven of the original group returned.

These seven men were – D. Howard Doane, Robert F. Howard, Claude B. Hutchison, Henry H. Krusekopf, Earl W. Rusk, Henry P. Rusk and Melvin E. Sherwin. They are the founding fathers of FarmHouse Fraternity.

Immediately the men were thrust into a situation of having to find boarders to fill the rooms and tables. And all but one of the men were working to pay part or all of their expenses.

Reflecting on the humble origins of the Fraternity, D. Howard Doane later wrote in this diary, “Many a night, this dear old bunch assembled with gravest doubts assailing them, and they wondered if it was all worthwhile.There seemed to be so many reasons for saying ‘no’ and only one for saying ‘yes’. That one yes was so big it always won. (For) an agreement had been made, (our) word had been pledged—it could not be broken. The spirit of honor, the sacredness of a pledge and a determination to ‘carry on’ that which was begun carried us over those first hard years.”


Given their agricultural background and rural upbringing, the house in which they resided began to be referred to as the farmer’s house, by other students in a derogatory or demeaning way. The men living in the house however felt the name was appropriate as they knew the farm home to be a welcoming place for people to gather, to enjoy each other’s fellowship, to share a meal together, after a hard day’s work. This same welcoming environment of a farm home could be offered on a college campus, for studious men majoring in agriculture who possessed a strong work ethic. And so the group proudly took on the name FARMHOUSE.

Since its modest beginning in April 1905, FARMHOUSE has flourished in the 110+ years since. With 48 chapters chartered across North America, from coast to coast, and 30,000 men becoming lifelong members through these chapters.

Today FARMHOUSE is proud of our agricultural heritage and celebrates our origins, but is so much more. Just as the face of agriculture has diversified, so has our membership, our programs, the majors of our students and the careers our alumni pursue.

Upcoming Events

May 17-19 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

To Be and Become…Emerging Talent Retreat is a 3-day outdoor adventure program hosted at Camp Heartland, just outside Kansas City. To Be and Become is specifically developed for FarmHouse men who have completed their new member education experience within the academic year and is held in late May annually. The retreat allows for one man from each chapter to attend.

May 20-27 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

This international service immersion trip held at the end of the academic year is an outstanding opportunity to experience personal growth, develop a greater cultural perspective, and apply skills in much-needed relief areas of the world. The week-long trip is led by a team of facilitators to Honduras in partnership with Heart to Honduras, as the coordinating aid organization.

Aug 18-20 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
THE VALUE OF VOLUNTEERS FarmHouse is committed to the success of our chapters through the education and support of volunteers....
Jul 31-01 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
WHAT IS CONCLAVE AND WHO ATTENDS? Conclave is the biennial gathering of all chapter and alumni association delegates from throughout...

Recent News

Harris Honored with 2017 FEA Award

The Fraternity Executives Association (FEA) has announced that executive director, Chad Harris, is the 2017 recipient of the Association’s Community…

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​Executive Director Transition Update

  Through the executive director search process, the International Executive Board of FarmHouse has identified an opportunity to evaluate the…

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2016 Chapter Awards & Programming Awards
Chapter Award of Excellence scores and judging scores from the Chapter Programming Awards submissions have been tallied. The results below...

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