Pride Points

Proudly Helping Missourians

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Every year, more than 1 million Missourians turn to University of Missouri Extension to gain practical knowledge, solve problems, adapt to change and make informed decisions.

Husband-wife team of Elemental Enzymes
Drs. Brian and Katie Thompson founded Elemental Enzymes Inc. to develop treatments for contaminated water and soil. The Business Development Program’s Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers counseled this husband-wife team and helped them find start-up funding.

Our primary emphasis in today’s economy is on jobs. MU Extension faculty advise small business owners; help displaced workers find new jobs; provide education for families to make better financial decisions; prepare young people with skills for the future workforce; help farmers be more profitable; and work with local leaders to help them make wise decisions for their communities.

MU Extension programs in agriculture, community development, human environmental sciences, business development, youth development and continuing education tap into university research to respond to Missourians’ current needs. Here are a few examples of how MU Extension helps to expand Missouri’s economy.

Business development programs help entrepreneurs

For every $1 invested in the Business Development Program in the past three years, the program returned $129 in economic impact for its clients in the form of

  • increasing sales by more than $986 million;
  • creating or retaining more than 32,000 jobs; and
  • attracting nearly $650 million in investments, $978 million in government contracts and more than $20 million in research awards.
Many 4-H projects, such as Robotics, encourage hands-on learning in the fields of science, engineering, technology and applied math.

Employers save health care costs

Work site wellness programs increase worker productivity, reduce absenteeism, improve morale and increase employee retention. On average, employers save $3.48 for every $1 invested in these programs.

4-H prepares youth for success

4-H Center for Youth Development reaches 282,000 youths ages 5 to 18. 4-H’ers are 70 percent more likely to go to college than non-4-H peers, increasing their lifetime earnings by more than $2.01 million each.

Inner-city residents enjoy fresh produce

The St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project, a joint program of MU Extension, City of St. Louis Departments of Health and Public Safety, and the St. Louis Development Corporation, currently works with four neighborhood corner stores to increase access to healthy, affordable foods for neighborhood residents. Participating small food retailers have increased the percentage of healthy food inventory by 12 to 35 percent in the first year of the program, allowing the stores to become more profitable.

Healthy Corner Store
With help from MU Extension, Old North St. Louis residents can sell and buy healthy, affordable locally grown produce from June through October.

ExCEED helps communities strengthen their economies

For the past seven years, the interdisciplinary ExCEED program has fostered regional collaboration to reinvigorate local economies through developing leaders, creating an entrepreneurial culture and retaining local wealth. In the past year, the Mississippi River Hills Region saw five businesses add a new product line or service, five new businesses develop and 10 businesses expand. Also, more than 90 percent of the 1,500 students from 20 high schools participating in the Ozark Heritage Region Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour indicated that they would start a business at some point in their career.

ExCEED has partnered with Missouri communities to

  • leverage more than $2.03 million in community endowments and grants,
  • generate more than $298 million in new business investments,
  • spur 283 business start-ups (51 youth-owned) and 32 business expansions, and
  • create 2,127 new jobs and retain 865 additional jobs.

Community development results in Herculaneum

MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute’s training enables Missouri’s emergency responders to better protect the lives and property of the citizens of our state and nation.

Herculaneum reported these latest accomplishments, implementing its plan facilitated by MU Extension several years ago: A $7 million bridge, opening in August, will divert Doe Run lead mine trucks away from the center of a residential area; a new high school has been built; new, improved and additional storm warning sirens have been installed; Herculaneum Today and Tomorrow is investigating the establishment of a Healthy Community Program for the residents; new renovations are planned for the upcoming year; and the city has committed to building an all-inclusive playground and to working with Trailnet to develop a community plan for active walking and biking options.

Firefighter training promotes safer communities

Training by the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute enables firefighters and emergency responders to better handle or mitigate fires and disasters. This results in safer firefighters, safer citizens, safer communities and a safer state. During the past year, the institute trained 13,868 fire and emergency service responders from all 114 Missouri counties.