The University of Missouri Extension Banquet was held Feb. 7 at The Gathering Place at Grace Community Church. The annual dinner was potluck style, with Extension providing meat and tableware.

Linda Shelton provided the welcome and introduction to close to 100 attendees. Shelton serves as the 4-H Youth Program Associate with the University Extension Dent County office.

Ted Cunningham, Livestock Specialist and Co-County Program Director, introduced several people in attendance, including Dr. Marshall Stewart, Vice Chancellor of MU Extension and Engagement.

Dr. Stewart is a native of North Carolina and recently moved to Missouri in August 2016.

Stewart shared “a history lesson for free” including facts about Missouri and its history with the extension.

In 1914 extension was created as the university attempted to “extend out.” The University of Missouri was the first land grant university west of the Mississippi. The three-part mission of University Extension still exists today, research, extension, and teaching.

Stewart shared three things Extension is completing currently to evaluate where to head next: a quantitative assessment on health, economy, agriculture, environment; a qualitative assessment that is listening to what residents of Missouri say; and a third party review to check efficiency and consult on data collected. Stewart says some of the main goals are to “stimulate better healthcare and economic development” and “give kids a reason to stay in our rural communities.”

In closing comments, he stated he “believes we are a state of tremendous potential.”

• Thom Haines and Larry Galloway were named to the 2016 Leaders Honor Roll, Sarah Massengale announced.

• Recognition of outgoing and newly elected council members was presented by two-year outgoing president Mike Thompson.

• Outgoing members are Tom Forbes, Heath Garrison, David Groves, Justin Headrick, Joyce Jones, Tracy Strange, and Thompson. Newly elected members are Jason Edwards, Karla Tiefenthaler, Thom Haines, Lane Howard, Kendra Mobray, Teel Wisdom, Krystal Sims, Mark Tohlen, and Traci Wulff.

Other council members are Kyle Case, Bob Parsons, Patty Paul, Alan McBride, Chris Welch, Janelle Blair, Don Major, Kennis Crocker, and Dan Riley.

• The Dent County Farm Family of 2016 is the Brent and Amy Martin family. The Martins have a commercial cow/calf and show pig operation. The family was unable to attend due to one of the show pigs being in labor.

• An annual report was provided for attendees to view, including highlights of several projects completed or organized by the Dent County Extension office.