Message from the Vice Provost

Dr. Michael Ouart

Michael D. Ouart, vice provost and
director

On May 8 of this past year, state extension organizations observed a centennial of service in our nation’s capital. MU Extension marked the occasion with a theme of “Celebrating the Past, Building for the Future.” Though the celebrations have come to an end, extension’s focus on building for the future persists.

The University of Missouri remains strongly committed to the land-grant mission of practical education for all. One needs only look at the breadth of MU Extension programming to understand that our programs and services today are a reflection of the state’s residents, their interests and their needs.

More than 2.3 million Missourians from all 114 counties turned to MU Extension this past year. MU Extension honors its mission of bringing relevant, reliable and responsive education to improve lives and local economies.

Professionals in business, public safety, health, government, labor, education and agriculture routinely turn to extension for research-based, non-biased information and assistance. Extension’s 4-H youth program reached more than 290,000 young people ages 5 to 18 in every corner of the state. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute helped senior citizens improve their lives through classes and seminars, and extension’s website continues to be an invaluable asset in reaching Missourians in all corners of the state.

It can be difficult at times to satisfy growing demand for information and services with limited funding, but teams of extension faculty and staff from across the state are exploring innovative approaches to programming and funding that will allow extension to flourish in the next 100 years of service.

In early 2014, R. Bowen Loftin was named chancellor of the university. Understanding the value of dialogue, MU Extension has introduced Chancellor Loftin to extension programs through a series of tours, during which he met with participants and key stakeholders from all corners of the state. These tour events, which will continue into 2015, are designed to foster connections with communities that lead to stronger local extension efforts across the state.

This year’s annual report highlights our work in five thematic areas, which represent the individual and societal challenges of the 21st century. Reading through this report will give you a sense of how MU Extension is helping transform lives, businesses and communities all over Missouri.

Thank you for supporting MU Extension, and we look forward to our continuing relationship with you and our partners across the state as we build for the future.