COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension generated an estimated $1.2 billion economic impact throughout Missouri in fiscal year 2021, according to a recent impact analysis. That amount contributed to the University of Missouri System’s overall $6.5 billion economic impact statewide. The analysis, prepared by the consulting firm Tripp Umbach, measured the economic value and effects of the UM System’s four universities, as well as extension, academic medicine, research, athletics and alumni.

Every year, more than 1 million Missourians turn to MU Extension for education and support designed to respond to current needs in areas such as agriculture and the environment; business and community development; family and youth development; and health and safety.

MU Extension’s core areas generated $1.2 billion for Missouri’s statewide economy, representing a return of about $13 on every public and private dollar invested in MU Extension.

Additionally, MU Extension’s business development program area

  • Generated and/or retained 37,000 jobs.
  • Increased client sales by more than $1.6 billion.
  • Attracted $451 million in capital investments and $1.5 billion in government contracts.
  • Generated $3.1 billion in overall economic impact.

The report confirms the extent of the tangible impact MU Extension programs have on improving economic, educational and health opportunities for individuals and communities across Missouri, said Marshall Stewart, chief engagement officer for the UM System and MU vice chancellor for extension and engagement.

“This is the fulfillment of our land-grant mission,” Stewart said. “It is us showing up and doing our job for the citizens of this state. This $1.2 billion impact does not just demonstrate the commitment of the university: It shows the commitment of communities, counties, our state and federal and private and public partners, our donors — all of whom invest money and effort. We are a partnership.”

A similar analysis four years ago estimated an impact of $945 million. The growth in impact is particularly striking given the continuing challenges to program delivery during the pandemic.

Stewart was co-chair of the economic impact report project with Bill Turpin, director of the Missouri Innovation Center.

“It is a tremendous testament to the incredible work of our specialists off and on campus, their deep commitment to community, their understanding of needs and their capacity to translate science and research into application to individuals and communities across Missouri in ways that help transform and improve lives,” Stewart said.

Report highlights include the impact of the Missouri Small Business Development Centers (Missouri SBDC) and its Elevate Program, as well as the Community Health Engagement and Outreach program.

Missouri SBDC

The Missouri SBDC helps business owners and entrepreneurs get the information they need to make confident decisions and helps Missouri businesses succeed, whether the business is a metro area startup or a rural company looking to expand. The business experts of the Missouri SBDC are neighbors, dedicated to helping businesses grow.

Hosted by MU Extension, the Missouri SBDC is an accredited member of America’s Small Business Development Centers and funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, institutions of higher education, economic development organizations and other public and private funding partners.

The Missouri SBDC’s Elevate Program, developed in 2021, equips companies in the 1099 employee category with information aimed at moving their businesses forward as key drivers of economic sustainability and success. These businesses may not have sales/marketing, business development or human resources teams, which are all crucial to sustainable growth.

Community Health Engagement and Outreach

The Community Health program’s goal is optimal health and well-being for every Missourian at every stage of life. Its projects include the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative and dissemination of COVID information focused on rural and underserved communities.

For more information

“Economic and Community Impacts of the University of Missouri System” is available at

Learn more about MU Extension programs and local impact in 2021 at

Updated UM System Impact Reports, customizable by geographic and governing areas, are available at The reports are prepared annually by UM System Institutional Research with MU Extension’s Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems.