Report finds that MU Extension provides tenfold return on funding

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
University of Missouri Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Dr. Marshall Stewart tours the blackberry research plot at the Southwest Research Center in Mt. Vernon during an Aug. 2 trip to discuss the results of a report related to the needs of Missourians, and Extension efforts to meet those needs. Pictured in photo, from left, are: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist with MU Extension; Dr. Stewart, David Middleton, farm outreach worker, Lincoln University; Shon Bishop, small farm specialist, Lincoln University; David Cope, superintendent, Southwest Research Center; and Jay Chism, director of Southwest Region, MU Extension. Contributed photo

A recently completed assessment of University of Missouri Extension found that with an annual investment of $84 million (2016), MU Extension generated dividends totaling nearly $945 million.

The findings, part of a report developed by TEConomy Partners LLC, are available for viewing online along with other documents from a statewide needs assessment for MU Extension. The documents are online athttp://extension.missouri.edu/staff/buildingfuture.aspx.

University of Missouri Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Dr. Marshall Stewart was at the Southwest Research Center in Mt. Vernon on Aug. 2 to discuss this report and other findings related to the needs of Missourians and MU Extension efforts to meet those needs.

"I knew our extension employees were busy, but this report really brings into focus the value of their efforts to improve the lives of Missourians," said Stewart. "These findings, about extension and the needs of the people we serve, will be used to guide decisions going forward."

MU Extension specialists hosted 38 community conversations statewide in the spring to help determine the greatest needs in Missouri. Over 1,100 people participated and the results of those conversations which are also available online, are also being used to refocus MU Extension.

Reports from the community conversations found 158 unique issues raised by participants. Those were organized under major themes of concern. These major themes of concern in Missouri are the economy, education, food and natural resource systems, health, infrastructure, youth and families, community engagement, housing and race and culture.

Information from these assessments will guide extension and engagement activity at the University of Missouri. The needs are being grouped into four theme areas of Agriculture and Environment; Youth and Families; Business and Community; and Health and Safety.