Proudly Helping Missourians
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. Our primary emphasis in today's economy is on jobs. MU Extension faculty advise small business owners; help displaced workers in finding 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 community leaders to help them make wise choices for their economies. 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 recent examples of how MU Extension helps to grow Missouri's economy.
Business development programs help entrepreneurs
During the past three years the specialists in the Business Development Program helped their business owner clients around the state acquire $978 million in government contracts, increase sales by more than $885 million and create 27,153 jobs.
Construction engineer Floyd Simms, founder of St. Louis-based Simms Building Group, depends on business counseling from the BDP's Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers.
Employers save health care costs
Worksite 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'ers pursue science careers
One of every 10 youths in Missouri participates in 4-H. Their involvement in science, engineering and technology projects is shifting 1,500 Missouri youths annually into science-related jobs.
Many 4-H projects, such as Robotics, encourage hands-on learning in the fields of science, engineering, technology and applied math.
Firefighter training promotes safer citizens and communities
Training provided by the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI), enables firefighters and emergency responders to gain the knowledge and skills that will improve their abilities to handle or mitigate fires and disasters. This results in safer firefighters, safer citizens, safer communities and a safer state and nation. During the past year, MU FRTI trained 17,096 fire and emergency service responders from all 114 Missouri counties.
Inner-city residents enjoy fresh produce
With help from MU Extension, Old North St. Louis residents can sell and buy healthy, affordable produce that is grown locally from June through October.
The recently formed Old North St. Louis community-owned grocery contracts with about 10 small businesses to supply locally roasted coffees, locally produced ice cream, locally grown fresh produce and other products to residents who formerly had little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet.
Displaced workers find career options
Last year 258 Missourians learned about starting a business via the FastTrac NewVenture course. The Take Control of Your Finances workshop, which teaches stress and finance management techniques, reached 444 participating Missourians. Restricted to one quarter in the Southeast Region, the Career Options workshop assisted 80 displaced workers with resume writing, interviewing and job search skills.
ExCEED helps communities strengthen their economies
During the past six years, ExCEED partnered with Missouri communities to leverage more than $2.5 million in community endowments and grants; generate more than $298 million in new business investments; spur 283 business start-ups (23 youth-owned) and 32 business expansions; create 2,127 new jobs; and retain 865 additional jobs.
New dairies add value to state
During the past five years new pasture-based dairies, modeled on MU Extension's rotational grazing systems, have created $100 million in new investment, added 1,100 new jobs, and generated more than $124 million for Missouri's economy.
Letting dairy cows graze in fields rather than feeding them in centralized facilities makes good economic sense. More and more dairy farmers are using MU Extension's pasture-based dairying practices.