Join us for our next Pasture Walk August 22, 2024!

Since 1981, Rex and Amy Hamilton have been sharing their passion for native seeds.

The first pasture

Rex Hamilton planted his first warm season grass pasture in 1972, shortly after warm season grasses were “invented” for forage. (Of course, bison grazed these grasses long before humans ever thought of planting forages.) By the 1970s, fescue grass became the standard forage—a non-native, cool season grass. But Rex realized that planting pastures of warm season grasses really made sense.

In 1981, he married Amy, and they began to harvest and sell seed of the warm season grasses under the company name of Hamilton Seeds.

Remnant prairies

In search of seed to harvest for the newly created Conservation Reserve Program’s (CRP) efforts to reduce soil erosion during the mid-1980s, Rex and Amy found themselves exploring Missouri’s remnant prairies. These unplowed grasslands contained a multitude of beautiful native wildflowers, which led Rex and Amy to harvest wildflower seeds and create a wildflower meadow in their backyard.

This was 1987, and they had to harvest the seeds by hand under the hot summer sun. The Hamiltons added wildflower seed to their sales inventory and planted tiny plots for seed production. Seeds from that first plot led to a little bigger plot and eventually several acres.

Inviting the wildlife

It just makes sense that native wildlife and pollinator species would like, and even prefer, native plants and ecosystems. In 1989, Rex and Amy found themselves establishing native plants on their property for the benefit of wildlife. While doing native plantings, they gained an understanding of restoring savannas, woodlands, and glades, which they worked to restore across their farm.

The seed business continued to grow, and the Hamiltons produced more species of native grasses and wildflowers. At one point, they sold bare roots of native plants from their production fields as well as potted plants for sale, but both of these efforts stopped to focus on seed production. Along the way, the company’s name changed to Hamilton Native Outpost.
About Hamilton Native Outpost, butterfly on wildflower

Diverse grasslands

A unique learning experience came with the planting of a diverse native grassland for the purpose of grazing. For many years, Rex and Amy’s cow herd had grazed cool season grasses in one pasture and warm season grasses in the next. One day, the idea dawned to recreate a native grassland like the bison would’ve grazed.

In 2012, with the help of an NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant and the Missouri Department of Conservation, we planted first diverse native grassland. It has been a success from the forage standpoint as well as wildlife, pollinators, and soil health.

A new generation

In 2019, a new chapter began as Rex and Amy’s son, Colt Hamilton, took the reins of leadership. Rex and Amy now enjoy focusing their attention on diverse native grasslands, improving the health of the land and streams, and working with cattle.

The entire Hamilton Native Outpost team contributes knowledge about natives, seed production, and quality customer service. To this day, we retain the same passion for native plants, using them for forage, landscaping, wildlife, and restoration. Our staff still loves to share their expertise in establishing native plants from seed.

“Without dedicated individuals like these, businesses cannot succeed.”

Rex Hamilton


Rex & Amy

Rex and Amy love to think about native ecosystems and improving the land. They spend their days living on and learning about native grasslands, whether it be moving the cows, cutting cedar sprouts, planting Prairie Cordgrass, or teaching their grandkids about plants.

Meet the crew

Colt Hamilton CEO, Hamilton Native Outpost crew
CEO, Seed Production & Personnel

Colt Hamilton

Colt, Rex and Amy’s son, serves as the company’s leader and the Seed Production VP. He is responsible for much of the planning and work of producing seed at headquarters. Colt is a delicate little fellow at 6’ 5”. With interests in making arrowheads and long bows, he might be described as the last of the mountain men…if mountain men also worked on computers.
Mike, Hamilton Native Outpost crew
Seed Harvest & Cleaning

Mike Motzkus​

Mike embodies the old saying, “as handy as a pocket on a shirt.” He’s been fixing what is broken, harvesting and cleaning seed, and managing and developing employees since back in the 1900s. Not only can Mike identify native plants by their foliage and flowers, he recognizes them by their seed and root system! It’s hard to imagine our business without Mike’s timely contributions.
Elizabeth Steele, Hamilton Native Outpost crew
Sales & Marketing

Elizabeth Steele

Elizabeth, Rex and Amy’s daughter, is responsible for the content of our catalog, website blog, website, and videos. She also helps answer customer’s questions. Mystery plants are brought to Elizabeth for identification. In fact, she leads plant identification walks for staff training and educates local FFA and 4-H Grassland Evaluation contest teams in plant ID.
Amber, Hamilton Native Outpost crew

Amber Hamilton

Amber, Colt’s wife, is famous around here for two things: she writes our paychecks and bakes fabulous desserts. In addition to her accounting activities, Amber organizes our staff Christmas party (to which she of course brings wonderful goodies). Thanks, Amber, for the paychecks and pastries.

Sara Ice

Sara loves to learn about plants and gardening, and she leads trainings for the staff. She oversees checking seed into our system once it is cleaned as well as invoicing customers.
Chris K, Hamilton Native Outpost crew

Chris Kuechler

Chris has a knack for fixing what’s broken and fabricating new equipment. We keep Chris busy when he shows up bright and early in the morning, repairing seed production, cleaning equipment, making aerial spreaders for our drones.
Seed Harvest & Cleaning

Chris L

Chris is a jack of all trades (strictly outdoors) who fits into our seed harvest crew during the summer and seed cleaning crew during the winter. He always has a smile and can outwork the best of them. While he grew up on a crop farm, he now seems happy in the Ozark hills.
Seed Harvest & Cleaning

James Sigman

James joined our team fresh out of high school, then pursued other interests before returning to HNO. Today he heads up cleaning wildflower seed and spends many days harvesting seed from prairies as well as interviewing potential new hires.
Seed Cleaning


Ben, a Missouri boy at heart, is as neat and tidy as they come. During the summer, he dries the seed coming in from the field and can operate a pitchfork with the best of them. He cleans seed all winter and is willing to pitch in wherever else he might be needed.
Seed Production

Larry Hamilton

Though he has the Hamilton name, Larry isn’t kin to Rex and Amy. Larry was an NRCS employee for many years, ending that career in Arkansas. Now, he serves on our bag-up crew and burn crew. He is also apprenticing as our new bee whisperer.

Jenna Asher

Jenna is a self-proclaimed “plant nerd.” She spends her free time roaming the woods (so that she can study plants and fungi), working in her garden, and chasing down her pack of feral children. Jenna started in sales and now works with our marketing team.

Kristina Kelley

Don’t be fooled by her soft-spoken demeanor. Kristina is sharp as a tack and a great asset to our sales team. Her organizational skills keep the sales staff running like a well-oiled machine. She’s also advocating to adopt an official office cat.

Brooke Hamilton, Hamilton Native Outpost crew

Brooke Hamilton

Brooke, Rex and Amy’s daughter, is the owner of Grindstone Design Studio. She’s responsible for the look of our catalog and videos and has taken many of the photographs of our plants and landscapes.

Our mission

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. We endeavor to share resource management concepts and provide a fulfilling livelihood for those who contribute to its success. We value quality in our products and lives, effectiveness in producing our products in a sustainable system that benefits the land and people, and the uniqueness of each person involved.