University of Missouri Extension council members from across the state learned about research and program development at MU during the 11th annual Council to Campus conference, June 17-18 in Columbia.
Among the attendees were members of Northwest Region County Extension Councils from Andrew, Buchanan, Clinton, Daviess, Holt, Nodaway, and Saline Counties. Attending were: Ernie Nold and Sallie Jo Potter, Andrew County; Jim and Regina Zapien Thompson, Clinton County; Jayla Smith, Daviess County; Jammi Daise, Holt County; Christopher Wallace, Nodaway County; and Wicky Sleight, Saline County. Northwest Region state extension council representatives attending were Beverly Schenkel, Nodaway County and Dan Hausman, Buchanan County. Also attending was Karma Metzgar, MU Extension Northwest Regional Director.
Council to Campus provides local extension council members an opportunity to share ideas and concerns with state-level faculty and administrators as well as with council members in other counties, said Tony DeLong, county council coordinator.
This year’s theme was “MU Extension: Opening More Doors in a Changing World.” “The theme signifies the new opportunities we are taking advantage of to reach more Missourians,” said DeLong.
For example, lunch speaker Kyle Flinn talked about an MU Extension initiative to develop a state-of-the-art e-commerce and e-learning website that will make extension programming and resources easier to find and available to a wider audience.
Keynote speaker James Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies, discussed the challenges affecting public perception of MU, the steps being taken to deal with them, and the opportunities that also come with those challenges.
Several breakout sessions looked at the research behind extension programs such as Master Gardeners, food and nutrition education, continuing medical education, and veterinary medical extension.
Other sessions focused on equipping council members to serve as effective advocates for extension.
Evening keynote speaker Tim Reinbott, director of MU Ag Experiment Station field operations, presented an overview of the MU Agricultural Experiment Station, a system of farms and centers throughout the state established to meet the research and demonstration needs of Missouri farmers, natural resource managers, and others.
MU Extension administrators, including interim director of extension L. Jo Turner, presented an administrative update and discussed budget trends.
In every county in Missouri, councils of elected citizens guide local extension programming and manage finances and personnel for local extension operations.