By Marlana Smith
The University of Missouri Extension of Shelby County held its annual banquet on Monday, February 17 at the Fest Hall in Bethel.
Community Engagement Specialist Carrie Elsen welcomed everyone to the banquet.
Mauricio Toro from Heartland gave the invocation.
Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart talked about meeting Norm Stewart. Stewart said he and Coach Stewart talked about basketball.
“It was interesting to talk to a legend about other legends,” said Stewart.
Stewart said his wife and he came from North Carolina to Missouri four years ago.
“The most affirming decision I have ever made in my career. Coming in 2016 and really beginning to rebuild the University of Missouri and thinking about what the institution could be and the context of extension.
“Everyone hears us talk about being a land-grant university and people immediately think they know what that means. Maybe it’s something with agriculture or land.
“In 1862, Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States and signed something called the ‘Morrill Act’ which we refer to as a ‘Land-Grant Act.’
“That act was the first piece that leads us to extension. I think it’s really important to understand that because Justin Morrill was a senator from Vermont and he had this idea that the public university should be the peoples’ university.
Prior to 1862, according to Stewart, public universities were for the affluent and well-connected. If a potential student was not in a certain societal class, they didn’t attend because they didn’t have a way to get in.
“What Lincoln and Morrill wanted to do was open up education for all. They felt the way to grow the economy was to make education a priority. What they had in mind is that the whole university should be available for everybody.
Stewart told council members, it’s incredibly important that they remember where they have been and why they got started.
“It’s a phenomenal time to be here. I don’t think it’s always been like that in Missouri. As many people who have worked in extension know, there were many years it was cut, cut, cut. Thankfully, I think we’ve turned the corner from that.
“It’s about how do we grow, grow, grow. I do believe over the next three years you are going to see it creep out and begin to grow. It’s something we should be very proud of,” said Stewart.
Stewart emphasized to the council, “All of you know young people and know that it is an opportunity. Encourage them to go somewhere (for education).
“It’s not about Mizzou, it’s about the state of Missouri. Education is key. We need to encourage the students to go somewhere. If we want grow Missouri, it starts with education.”
Council Chairman Kevin Kattelman recognized the Mark and Susan Wilson family for being named the 2019 State Fair Farm Family.
Kattelman presented Dennis Carothers and Marlana Smith with certificates the 2019 Leaders Honor Roll. They had the honor of having their names added to the 2019 Leaders Honor Roll for their support of University of Missouri Extension programs.
Human Development Specialist Sherry Nelson recognized Abigail Shaw as the Youth Representative. Nelson said, “Abigail came to our office, volunteered her help and was asked if she would be on the council as a student representative.”
Carothers and Kathy Lund were recognized by Elsen as they are retiring from the council.
Laura Mason, David Barton and Toro were introduced as new council members.
Shelby County Clerk Stephanie Bender gave the oath of office to the new and returning council members.