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MU Extension regional directors appointed

Media contact:

Michael D. Ouart
Vice Provost and Director
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-7477
Email: OuartM@missouri.edu

Photos available for this release:

MU Extension's new regional structure includes six geographic regions and an urban region focusing on the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas.

Credit: University of Missouri Extension

MU Extension's new regional structure includes six geographic regions and an urban region focusing on the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas.

Credit: University of Missouri

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013

COLUMBIA, Mo.– University of Missouri Extension announced the appointment of five regional directors as part of its ongoing realignment. The new regional directors join two existing regional directors as MU Extension adopts a structure that includes six geographic regions and an urban region focused on the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas.

Appointments are as follows:

  • Southwest Regional Director, Jay Chism
  • Northeast Regional Director, Shelley Bush-Rowe
  • East Central Regional Director, Mark Stewart
  • West Central Regional Director, Wayne Prewitt
  • Urban Regional Director, Cynthia Zluticky

“I have great confidence in our regional leadership as we focus on high-priority local programs and becoming nimble to meet increasing demands for educational programs and service,” said Vice Provost and Director of Cooperative Extension Michael Ouart. “Our regional directors understand we must adjust to uncertain public funding and meet the challenge of generating additional revenue.”

The newly appointed regional directors join Karma Metzgar, Northwest regional director, and Janet Kline, Southeast regional director, as part of a regional realignment announced on Sept. 11, 2012. The realignment process recognizes changes in the economic development needs of Missouri, population demographics, societal changes and funding constraints, according to Ouart. Regions have been reorganized taking into consideration the number of faculty and staff to be supervised, geographic distances for travel, and factors specific to each region.

“I want to thank the search committee for conducting a very thorough and professional interviewing and facilitation process,” Ouart said.

Southwest Regional Director, Jay Chism

Chism joined MU Extension in 2004 as an agronomy specialist for Polk and Barton counties. For the past three years, he also served as interim director for the Southwest Region.

Additional leadership experience with MU Extension includes serving as a county program director, County Program Director Revitalization Committee, Fees Committee, Council Leadership Development, National Extension Leadership Development, and Agriculture Leadership of Tomorrow. Prior to joining MU Extension, Chism owned a farm/greenhouse business.

Chism received a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Missouri.

Northeast Regional Director, Shelley Bush-Rowe

Bush-Rowe has served MU Extension as a regional community development specialist for 20 years. As such, she worked with citizens to coordinate effective responses to local issues that impact lives.

Additional MU Extension leadership experiences include serving as a county program director, Self-Directed Teams co-leader, Missouri Extension Leadership Development, Kellogg Leadership Development and the Chancellor’s Emerging Leaders Program.

Bush-Rowe received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Drury University, a master’s degree in regional and community planning from Kansas State University, and a master’s degree in adult education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

East Central Regional Director, Mark Stewart

Stewart has served MU Extension as a livestock specialist for more than 30 years. His program efforts focused on production and management, improved forage utilization, business planning for alternative enterprises, water quality and food safety. For the past three years, he also served as interim director of the Central Missouri Region.

Additional MU Extension leadership experience includes serving as a county program director, New Regional Faculty Cohort coordinator, Annual Program Review co-coordinator, Water Quality Focus Team, Program Integration Development Team, Missouri Extension Leadership Development, National Extension Leadership Development, and National Association of County Ag Agents Board of Directors.

Stewart received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri.

West Central Regional Director, Wayne Prewitt

Prewitt joined MU Extension in 1985 and has served as a regional agriculture specialist in the areas of farm management and agricultural business. Since 2010, he has served as interim director for the West Central Region.

Additional leadership experiences include serving as a county program director, Metropolitan Foods Team co-leader, County Program Director Revitalization Committee, Nevada Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees, Missouri Association of Extension Professionals president, Missouri Extension Leadership Development, and National Extension Leadership Development.

Prewitt received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Central Missouri State University and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas.

Urban Regional Director, Cynthia Zluticky

Zluticky joined MU Extension in 2002 as county program director in Jackson County. Prior to joining MU Extension, she served as an extension educator at the University of Nebraska. She has more than 24 years’ experience working on urban extension issues in three states.

Additional extension leadership experience includes serving as a multi-agency family services collaborative coordinator, Urban Self-Directed Work Team co-leader, project director for grants, University of Missouri Extension Association treasurer and executive board member, Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association president, and Nebraska 4-H Foundation Board of Directors.

Zluticky received a bachelor’s degree in home economics and a master’s degree in adult and continuing education from the University of Nebraska.


Using science-based knowledge, University of Missouri Extension engages people to understand change, solve problems and make informed decisions. Through offices in every county of Missouri, publications and Web-based services, extension faculty continue to carry the benefits of MU research throughout the entire state. MU Extension programs includes Agriculture, 4-H Youth, Business Development, Continuing Education, Human Environmental Sciences and Community Development. For more information, visit http://extension.missouri.edu.