Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) works to enhance the quality of life for diverse, limited-resource audiences through supportive research at local, state, regional, national and international levels. Programs address the needs of small farmers in 12 counties throughout Missouri, concentrated in southeast Missouri, as well as targeted counties in central Missouri. LUCE also provides regional and area educators — and 4-H and youth development programs — in St. Louis and Kansas City Urban Impact Centers, as well as in outreach centers in Sikeston, Lilbourn, Charleston and Caruthersville in southeast Missouri and in central Missouri. LUCE’s Innovative Small Farmers’ Outreach Program (ISFOP) operates in 21 Missouri counties focused in the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas, as well as southwest Missouri. ISFOP helps the small farmers and ranchers of Missouri, especially those who are socially disadvantaged and underserved, to improve their farms’ efficiency while taking good care of the soil, water and the environment. ISFOP also focuses on urban food production to help limited resource minority residents, especially the elderly, get access to fresh, nutritious produce. LUCE specialists also collaborate to offer workshops and programs on topics as diverse as implementing timber stand improvements for wildlife habitat management; increasing opportunities for small-farm aquaculture; and exploring new markets for sheep and goats.
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri S&T’s Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development (TTED) helps grow Missouri’s economy by advancing technology commercialization, encouraging entrepreneurship and promoting business opportunities. TTED hosts a Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) to provide aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners with training and counseling. In FY 2016, its clients obtained $7.1 million in investments.
The SBTDC celebrates and shares client and partner successes. The center hosted the Missouri East Central regional business awards. Long-term client Public House Brewing Company received the Business Growth Award in recognition of its expanded facility, barrel production and multi-state distribution, contributing to brewery industry job growth. Public House began in 2010 and now has more than 30 employees and revenues that will soon surpass $1 million.
Another successful client, Cohen Architectural Woodworking, is expanding by 34,000 square feet to meet growing customer demand. The project will result in 35 new or more permanent jobs in an area with chronic low employment.
Students present their project designs for the Better Campus Competition in April of 2016.
Photo: Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T
The SBTDC partnered with Dent County Extension in the Community Foundation of the Ozark’s Salem GRO project, as well as in Innovate Ozarks, a seminar focused on customer service, entrepreneurship and economic development.
The center’s Innovation Park — home to entrepreneurs, early-stage companies and the campus offices of The Boeing Company and Garmin Ltd. — creates invaluable educational work experiences for students. TTED offered the Entrepreneurial Internship and Cooperative Education Program for a third year. This innovative experiential learning opportunity provides funding for Missouri S&T students to immerse themselves in an entrepreneurial venture under the guidance of mentors for up to four months.
University of Missouri–Kansas City
MU Extension, in partnership with UMKC’s Institute for Human Development (IHD) and Innovation Center, reaches into the community to build the capacity of individuals and organizations.
This past year, IHD Extension Urban Mission work emphasized diversity and capacity building as key elements of sustainable change to improve the quality of life for underserved populations. Spurred by the common concerns of Aaron Bishop, Commissioner of the U.S. Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), and U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, IHD Urban Mission leadership assembled a diverse group of professionals to discuss challenges and accomplishments of groups reaching out to populations with diverse backgrounds and to share priorities and next steps leading to local and national action. IHD Urban Mission faculty member Derrick Willis was awarded the Association of University Centers on Disabilities 2015 Multicultural Council Award for Leadership in Diversity. Additionally, IHD Urban Mission staff worked with 4-H faculty and staff to help recruit and provide services to children and families.
For the first time, MU Extension was present at the Annual Hispanic Festival of St. Louis, which drew more than 5,000 people. Alianzas was instrumental in bringing MU family nutrition, 4-H and businesses development specialists to talk with participants.
Another IHD collaboration is Alianzas, an effort to build effective intercultural communication and alliances between extension, Latino residents and the larger Missouri community. Highlights of the year include a redesigned website and a newly formed advisory group, Alianzas’ Ambassadors, to help strengthen extension’s programming that serves Missouri’s Latino residents. Additionally, Alianzas continues to prioritize hands-on support to extension specialists.
The Innovation Center works with the community to spark entrepreneurial efforts in the Midwest and across the country. The center hosted programs that help emerging and existing business owners hone business basics, evaluate commercialization opportunities and harness the right resources. The center also has supported Kansas City in increasing available pools of capital by 290 percent, creating the fuel for growing enterprises.
For a second successful year, ScaleUP! KC continued to cultivate and support leaders of growth companies between $150,000 and $500,000 in revenue through training, connections and peer mentoring.
University of Missouri–St. Louis
UMSL partners with MU Extension and others to help Missourians build strong communities and inclusive cities in the St. Louis region and beyond through organizational and leadership development, youth engagement and more. In its second year, the community building initiative Creating Whole Communities (CWC) continued to foster community development research and public dialogue and training that connects neighborhood residents, community partners and resources, extension specialists and university researchers.
CWC engaged with partners and stakeholders to identify action goals that will begin being implemented in spring 2017 around issues such as creating whole communities in North County, developing further neighborhood leadership training and programming, and revitalizing older suburbs.
Also this past year, another 18 participants graduated from CWC’s marquee program, the Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA). Projects that participants developed this year included a community safety plan, neighborhood youth center, parent-teacher association and a homeless services coalition.
CWC also continued its successful What’s Brewing? breakfast sessions that foster connections and partnerships between revitalized and declining communities that neighbor one another. Overall, more than 550 participants attended training in community organization and leadership development.