Ever wonder who to go to for questions about starting a backyard garden or advice on improving your budget? Ever wonder where to get hands-on training in computer or cooking skills? Ever wonder how Missouri’s 4-H program is managed? Thanks to various acts in Congress over the past 150 years or so, the answer to all of those questions is your University of Missouri (MU) Extension Service.
MU Extension is a partnership of the University of Missouri campuses, Lincoln University, county extension councils, and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The University of Missouri is a land-grant university, which means it was mandated by Congress to take the benefits of university research and education outside of campus. Today, through statewide offices, publications and web-based services, MU Extension faculty share research and resources throughout the entire state. Additionally, the 4-H youth development program is managed by the extension service.
Each county in Missouri has an extension. According to the MU Extension website, these institutions address a wide range of needs that fall into three grand challenges for the state of Missouri:
- Economic opportunity
- Educational excellence
- Healthy futures
The MU Extension direction and offerings in St. Charles County and throughout Missouri have changed throughout the years. Initially, extension programs concentrated on helping farmers and their families. As more and more people moved to St. Charles County and other suburban areas, the MU Extension Service evolved from helping farmers to helping all citizens. Today, for a nominal fee, there are various continuing education opportunities, including seminars and a wide variety of courses, to help any citizen who wishes to learn something new or broaden their knowledge. Courses cover gardening, cooking, natural resources, home and consumer life, finance, nutrition and health, families and relationships, community and leadership, business and workforce, and emergency management.
As an elected official in St. Charles County, I have served as the liaison between St. Charles County Government and the MU Extension for several years. I have seen first-hand how the extension helps citizens. It is truly an asset in our community. I encourage you to check it out. Visit www.extension.missouri.edu/stcharles or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of available courses. You can also stop by or call the MU Extension office at 260 Brown Road, St. Peters, or 636-970-3000.