Federal appropriations bill to benefit extension

With the recent passage and signing of the 2014 omnibus appropriations bill (HR 3547) federal funding for MU Extension programming has been restored to fiscal year 2012 levels.

“This comes as welcome news as MU Extension enters its 100th year of service to the state of Missouri,” said Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of MU Extension.

“We are appreciative of the U.S. representatives and senators who supported this omnibus bill and, by doing so, demonstrated a commitment to the value and concept of extension, which provides education for all,” said Ouart. “The Missouri delegation in particular demonstrated especially strong support, which should make all Missourians proud.”

Supporting delegation members included Reps. Lacy Clay, Ann Wagner, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Vicky Hartzler and Sam Graves, and Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill.

Prior to the passage of HR 3547, MU Extension’s administration was cautiously optimistic that federal funding might be restored, but also keenly aware that programs might face disruption without action by Congress.

In late 2013, the federal government shutdown led to the temporary suspension of MU Extension’s nutrition education programming. This disruption affected elementary schools and communities throughout the state.

“MU Extension’s commitment to enhancing the lives of Missourians in their communities has remained steadfast despite financial uncertainty at the federal level,” Ouart said. “This legislation plays an important part in MU Extension meeting the needs of more than 1 million Missourians who participate in extension programs each year.”