Become a council member — A unique opportunity

If you live in Jefferson County, we invite you to become a nominee for the University of Missouri Extension Council for your county. We appreciate your efforts to be in tune with your community, have your community's best interests at heart and open the doors of opportunity for your county's residents through University of Missouri Extension.

As a member of the Jefferson County Extension Council, you can put any issue, interest or concern on the county's educational agenda, and help work towards developing programs and resources to help your neighbors.

County extension council members and MU Extension faculty act as educational brokers, putting the interests and concerns of local people together with the resources of our land-grant university so people can obtain their goals. Throughout Missouri, extension councils and MU Extension professionals have identified an array of issues and have found ways University facilities and people can help.

Because extension councils, through federal and state laws, have a legal foundation for operation and a working partnership with MU Extension, the variety and scope of educational programs are nearly unlimited.

We believe in what we do and it shows in our history, in our programs, and most importantly, in the people we serve.

As representatives of their community, extension council members are in the best position to discover what local people want and need from Missouri's land-grant university. MU Extension professionals and council members, acting as the front door to every unit in the University, put residents in touch with those who can help. Together, faculty and local citizens shape MU Extension programs to enhance the local quality of life.

MU Extension faculty and council members have access to a wide range of expertise through collaboration with state agencies and other organizations and groups. As members of the nationwide Cooperative Extension System, MU Extension faculty can draw from research and knowledge centers across the nation and the world.

If you choose to be nominated for this partnership and are elected, you will be expected to:

  • Understand and advocate for the goals, aspirations and concerns of people of your county.
  • Provide regular, thoughtful participation in MU Extension programs and to assist MU Extension faculty and educators in reaching their goals.
  • Be an advocate for access to education that empowers people.
  • Learn about the wealth of resources provided by MU and the University of Missouri System.
  • Assist with council elections.
  • Work with MU Extension faculty and others to generate support from outside sources.
  • Secure and administer the county's share of funding for MU Extension programming in collaboration with the legislature of your county and other outside resources.
  • Advise and consult with University administration concerning the assignment of MU Extension faculty to your county.
  • Commit 3-5 hours per month to attend monthly council meetings, committee meetings, and training opportunities.

Many people gain great satisfaction as an MU Extension council member.

First, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a positive difference in the lives of people in your community.

Second, you will enjoy the friendship and camaraderie of other knowledgeable leaders.

Here is what you, as an extension council member, can expect from MU Extension:

  • A continuous flow of information about University and council programs, resources and activities.
  • Social and economic data that outline trends and conditions in your county and surrounding area.
  • Opportunities to learn about your role, responsibilities and opportunities through county, regional and state training and other experiences.
  • A network that connects you with people in other counties and states.

MU Extension cannot fulfill its mission of extending the educational resources and knowledge base of the University of Missouri to people without a full partnership with local residents.

Each year we have opportunities to recruit new council members to join County Councils. Once nominees are approved by the council, elections are held every January. Election dates for Jefferson County are:

  • November — Select nominees, at least two for each elected position and secure nominee’s approval. Nov. 30, 2023 deadline to receive nominations.
  • December — Provide public notice of nominees (Section 262.620) “not more than 50 days or less than 30 days” per state statutes (Section 262.577). Notification will be published in the Community News publication on Dec. 7, 2023.
  • January — Announce dates/times for voting. Voting will be open on respective County Council webpages. Voting will be open from Jan. 12 to Jan. 19, 2024.
  • February — Notify elected and appointed members of date, time and place of the Annual Council Meeting. New members will be notified by Feb. 1, 2024.
  • March — Term for newly elected Council Members begins March 1, 2024. The first Council Meeting will take place on March 7, 2024.
  • March — Hold Annual Council Meeting to organize governance, elect council officers and set dates of council meetings. All council officers of the council shall within five (5) days after their election, take and sign the usual oath of public office, which shall be filed with the county clerk. (Section 262.583.2 and 262.583.3) This may be done at the annual meeting.

The Jefferson County University of Missouri Extension Councils consists of elected representatives and mayoral appointees from the cities of Arnold and Festus, and appointees from Farm Bureau, Jefferson County Cattlemen’s Association, and Jefferson County Beekeepers Association.

Council members, both elected and appointed, serve a two-year term and can be reelected or reappointed to a second two-year term. County extension councils are statutorily created to work with the University in carrying out the local extension program (Sections 262:550 to 262:620, Revised Statutes of Missouri).

These state statutes indicate that any city in the county over 10,000 residents in the last 10-year census is eligible to appoint a member to the local extension council.