The Missouri Value Added Center provides technical assistance for value-added agricultural endeavors by developing business and feasibility plans, providing financial assessments and applying for grants. Economic activity resulting from the center’s business facilitation efforts is projected at more than $14.6 million annually.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Source: MU Extension Annual Report, FY 2009
Missouri thrives on its diverse natural and human resources, as well as a sophisticated business base, on which it builds a progressive agricultural and state economy. Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension continues to focus efforts on enhancing economic viability, protecting Missouri’s environment and natural resources, and improving quality of life.
Especially in rural Missouri, the health of future economies and quality of life will depend on developing a new viable agricultural business economy that promotes value-added production models and alternatives while improving the business skills of those in the industry. An example of this is Annie’s Project — a multi-state extension program that promotes professional skills in women who operate or manage farms and on-farm businesses. During FY 2009, MU Extension’s Annie Project provided 18 hours of training to local farm women on financial, marketing, legal, human resources topics, as well as understanding production risk management and how to develop business plans specific to individual farm needs.
More than 90 crop advisers, who influence decisions on 21 million acres of Midwest cropland, attended the MU pest management field day at MU’s Bradford Research and Extension Center in June 2009.
Missourians are committed to protecting the state’s environment and natural resources. Since 2005, MU Extension has assisted citizen groups in developing management plans for 26 watersheds, with three of the groups securing $1.4 million in funding to implement their plans last year. At the same time, landowners participating in the Missouri Woodland Steward program prepared 270 forest stewardship plans representing 50,130 acres statewide and having an estimated economic impact of $41 million. Similarly, landowners who took part in MU Extension’s Master Wildlifer program developed and implemented wildlife habitat plans on approximately 30,566 acres.
Missouri’s livestock and crop producers continue to look to MU Extension for answers to efficiency and productivity questions involving research, science and technology. Following are some examples of the economic successes MU Extension programs have helped those producers to create throughout the state.
Ninety percent of producers plan to adopt the pasture management practices they learned while attending MU Extension grazing schools. The MO-PORK feeding program resulted in an economic benefit of more than $1.6 million for Missouri pork producers.
The Show-Me Replacement Heifers program’s economic impact on rural Missouri the past 12 years has exceeded $40 million. The addition of 6,000 pasture-based dairy cows during FY 2009 has generated more than $10 million in direct sales and $31.2 million in total economic impact.
Adoption of MU Extension’s tall fescue toxicosis management practices by half of Missouri cattle producers will result in an additional $30 million in profits.
In FY 2009, Master Gardeners contributed 127,663 volunteer hours, with an estimated impact on their communities of nearly $2.6 million. Simeon Wright, coordinator of MU Extension’s Plant Disease Clinic, instructs participants in a rose workshop, held at the Bradford Research and Extension Center. Wright assists with the Master Gardener program through his teaching of workshops and short courses.