Event is first in series of statewide forums that will bring awareness of MU Extension’s influence on every county in the state
MARSHALL, Mo. – University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe joined MU Extension officials and community leaders at a forum in Marshall today that focused on how Extension benefits Missouri communities, and how it can even better connect with citizens in the future. The event was the first of a statewide “Extension Connections” initiative, occurring in what is the 100th anniversary year of the establishment of MU Extension, whose aim is to bring similar town hall forums to counties across the state over the next year.
Today’s event at the Martin Community Center included local community leaders, Extension faculty and staff from Saline County, additional Extension leadership from the State Extension Council, and State Representatives Dave Muntzel and Dean Dohrman.
“For 100 years, MU Extension has been an integral part of communities across Missouri,” Wolfe said. “Serving as a one-stop source for practical education on almost any topic, Extension excels at connecting university resources and research with residents in communities in every corner of Missouri. I was pleased to take part in today’s first Extension Connections forum in Marshall, to visit with community leaders about how Extension is an asset to their community and how it can even better serve Marshall and Saline County in the future.”
The Saline County Extension Office had 10,369 contacts with local residents during 2013, where citizens received a variety of services including education programs covering topics in agriculture, lawn and garden, home and consumer life, nutrition and health, families, community and leadership development, business and careers, and emergency preparedness. The office also provided training in such areas as disaster planning and recovery, small business development, soil testing, private pesticide application, and plant and insect identification.
“MU Extension is a prominent example of how the University of Missouri System has a presence in Missouri communities across the state every day, but it’s not the only example,” Wolfe said. “We also touch residents every day through our health care system, MOREnet program, agricultural experiment stations, and in educating the state’s future workforce. An investment in the University of Missouri is truly an investment in Missouri’s future.”
There are currently 106 Saline County residents attending one of the four University of Missouri System campuses. In addition, more than 3,400 Saline County resident received either medical or dental care from a University of Missouri Health Care professional during 2013, and the Missouri Telehealth Network, which allows patients to have live, real-time interactions with university health specialists via telecommunications, has two locations in Saline County at the Marshall Habilitation Center and Saline County Burrell Behavioral Health. And the Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet), which provides Internet connectivity and video conferencing to schools, colleges, libraries and local governments across the state, provides services to such organizations as the Marshall Public Schools, Library and Municipal Utilities, Missouri Valley College and several area school districts.