Governor Jay Nixon's proposed budget released last week included a $14.6 million cut for the University of Missouri Extension budget. This is a 50% reduction in the state funding for Extension. Based on Extension's core budget this is equivalent to a reduction of about 37%. This certainly has created concern for what this might mean to Extension as a whole, and the individual units within. Many of you have expressed these same thoughts specifically a concern of what this might mean to the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI). I share your concerns.
At this time the Institute has been given direction to continue to meet the Institute's mission of delivering education and training to Missouri's emergency first responders. As always we continue to be cost conscious in providing state-wide accessible fire and emergency response training. I believe the importance of MU FRTI's fire service training mission is understood by the University and Extension.
Extension employees cannot lobby the Governor or the Legislature. They can provide information about programs and their impact to the state and those we serve. Provided below is some information specific to MU FRTI, as well as Extension as a whole.
- For over 75 years the University of Missouri has been involved in providing firefighter training. The University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI), a premier unit of the Division of Extension, provides a statewide training outreach to the state's fire and emergency services. MU FRTI is the state's "classroom" and skill training program for Missouri's fire and emergency service responders.
- To meet Missouri's fire and emergency response training needs, the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) conducted 849 courses, 20,374 enrollments, and 311,522 instructional hours in FY08. MU FRTI courses were conducted in 87 counties, with recorded student enrollments from all 114 counties of the state during FY08. Instruction was delivered throughout Missouri to make training as accessible as possible in order to meet the varied needs of the state's fire service. Every hour of instruction received and every emergency first responder trained translates directly into safer firefighters, safer citizens, and safer communities.
- Currently, MU Extension Community Emergency Management Program teams are deployed in Southeast and South Central Missouri to respond to effects of ice storms. CEMP teams provide education and technical assistance to individuals and families, local governments, businesses, schools and organizations in preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters. Information provided includes messages about safety tips for stand-by power generators, disinfecting well water, preparing meals safely, electrical and heating safety, and more. MU Extension works hand-in-hand with the State Emergency Management Agency and local groups.
- Extension's continuing and distance education programs annually enroll more than 100,000 professionals and nontraditional students of all ages, providing access to credit and noncredit courses as well as degrees, seminars and conferences. The complete content of most Extension publications is posted free of charge on the Internet with an average of 35,400 documents in the publications area viewed each day and more than 5,800 printed publications distributed each business day. Annually, 475,000 unique users download 12.7 million pages from MU Extension's Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis.
- More than 20,400 Missourians are among the 1.1 million national visitors to extension, an online, interactive learning environment that provides research-based information from a network of 3,000 extension offices and 75 land-grant institutions. MU Extension faculty members contribute articles, curricula and educational resources and provide leadership in the areas of Beef Cattle, Horticulture, Extension Disaster Education Network, Family Caregiving, Diversity, Financial Security and Home Energy. See: www.extension.org.
- Agriculture remains one of Missouri's top two industries. The Show-Me Select Replacement Heifer program helps livestock producers improve their production efficiency and marketing. More than 77,780 animals on 640 farms have been enrolled in the program in the past 10 years. Since 1997, producers have gained $20.7 million in sales. The program contributes more than $3.5 million to Missouri's economy annually.
University and Extension Administration are working on addressing current funding concerns. I will keep you informed as more information becomes available. Please don't hesitate to call me if you have questions.
David E. Hedrick, Director
Fire & Rescue Training Institute
University of Missouri
Click Here for “Statement from University of Missouri President Gary Forsee regarding Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State address” - Jan. 28, 2009
Click Here for “Vice provost's letter on Governor's budget recommendation” - Jan. 28, 2009
Click Here for A Summary of the University of Missouri Extension Program Funding - Feb. 5, 2009
Click Here for If MU Extension loses $14.6 million?
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