On the road with Cynthia

Earlier this year I left Marshall and headed toward a regional extension council meeting in Clinton. On the north edge of Sedalia, I was happy that the light changed to green just as I got to the intersection. I was the first one through the intersection from my direction. Then a squeal of tires got my attention.

An old blue car coming perpendicular into the intersection turned left to narrowly miss me and zoomed into the traffic ahead. The car wildly weaved between lanes and onto the shoulder to go around other vehicles, and at times swerved into the two oncoming lanes of traffic to dash around slower vehicles. At one point, car parts came off and dust flew as the car hit a guardrail.

What? Are they filming an episode of “Law and Order” in Sedalia, I thought. No, this was real life unfolding.

A second sound got my attention as local law enforcement officers pursued the driver. I complimented how they were careful not to escalate a volatile situation while they kept the car in sight and called for colleagues to approach and get the driver off a busy highway and into handcuffs. Panic clearly added to the driver’s problems that morning.

That day I had a renewed appreciation for the drivers around me who were driving carefully and steadily as they moved toward their goals in a manner that let me travel safely, too.

I also thought about MU Extension. It is an organization that continues to move forward — even in challenging funding times — to make profound positive differences in the lives of Missourans.

It is heartening to see the federal budget getting back to fiscal year 2012 funding levels. We have a Farm Bill in place. There is progress in restoring some funds that were missing in recent years from the state. We so appreciate our county funding levels, too.

As we move steadily forward into the next 100 years of MU Extension, public dollars remain critical. In addition, fees, grants, contracts, gifts and endowment building will help us move steadily into the next century of MU Extension success.

You’ve been an important part of building a proud 100 years of history. You can help steer MU Extension to more opportunities, more answers and more solutions for the next 100 years. Ask us how.

Cynthia Crawford
Director of Donor Education