The University of Missouri is a land-grant university, meaning it is a part of a federally mandated mission to carry the benefits of university research beyond campus. Through locally-based offices, web-based services, and publications, extension faculty carry the benefits of the University’s research to the entire state.

The Extension Council, consisting of elected and appointed residents of the county, serves as the link between the University of Missouri and the people of Missouri. They assist in planning educational programs, making recommendations to the local faculty and the University, oversee the finances of the local office, and employ office support staff.

Council members represent the broad educational needs and backgrounds of people of McDonald County. Nominees must be at least 18 and must reside in McDonald County. The McDonald County Extension Council begins accepting nominations in November and the election is held the third week in January. Council members are elected to two-year terms and begin officially on March 1.