Connecting broader impacts to extension programs

Because MU Extension's mission is to bring research-based information to citizens across the state, our specialists already partner with researchers on campus.

A current extension-researcher partnership is the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program, which is a partnership between CAFNR research faculty, regional extension livestock specialists and local veterinarians. This program targets improving production efficiency through increased use of existing technology.

A second example is the Stay Strong, Stay Healthy program, which is focused on improving the health and well-being of older adults through a safe, structured and effective strength-training program. MU campus faculty and extension field specialists partner to carry out this research-based training and education.

Program integration thematic teams

A recent move to increase program integration within MU Extension has formed five thematic teams. The following table shows how MU Extension's thematic teams might relate to National Science Foundation (NSF) broader impacts criteria.

NSF broader impacts criteria

Potential programming-research connection with MU Extension program integration thematic teams

  • Full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
  • Improved STEM education and educator development at any level
  • Increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology
  • Enhanced infrastructure for research and education

Educational attainment

The team connects individuals to learning opportunities where they can develop skills and knowledge to improve their lives and communities. They plan to use county extension offices as a “front door” to encourage higher and postsecondary education in Missouri.

The 4-H program, including the Youth Futures program and STEM programming through 4-H clubs, is a successful illustration of increasing educational goals in Missouri.

Extension faculty reach a large network of audiences throughout Missouri and can help researchers find particular audiences such as underrepresented minorities, women and persons with disabilities.

  • Improved well-being of individuals in society

Environmental concerns

The team serves audiences with an interest in environmental practices, such as academia, nonprofit organizations, trade associations and businesses across the state.

Extension faculty can help deliver information and research that improves understanding of policy, regulations, practices and other research-based offerings. The team hopes to increase understanding and adoption of best practices that deliver efficient, thoughtful solutions to environmental issues.

  • Increased economic competitiveness of the United States
  • Increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others
  • Development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce

Community, workforce, economic and business development

The team, through linkages with community leaders, businesses and key stakeholders, addresses current and emerging issues and challenges in community resilience, economic vitality, successful businesses and a trained, skilled workforce.

Initiatives include workforce training, especially around “soft skills;” community assessment, economic analysis, planning and leadership development; linking businesses with resources, training and data to help them grow; and addressing the importance of youth engagement.

The team seeks to engage extension and other University of Missouri faculty in research, development and consulting opportunities across the state.

  • Improved national security
  • Improved well-being of individuals in society

Global food systems

Through linkages with leaders, businesses and key stakeholders, the team works with different components of the supply chain of food production, such as processing, manufacturing, wholesale or retail distribution, and waste disposal.

Educational information offered to the public could be a current or emerging issue or could include topics such as proper food choices, balanced nutrition and proper food safety.

  • Improved well-being of individuals in society

Health systems

The current focus of the team includes promoting health-related research and education on topics such as health care, worksite wellness, aging and mental health. Extension offers educational opportunities to audiences throughout both rural and urban areas in the state of Missouri.

Local extension employees are positioned to connect University of Missouri researchers to any county in Missouri. We have a unique ability to speak directly to our constituents, including local community resource agencies, individuals, families, businesses, professionals and community leaders.