Friday, January 18, 2013

Jay Chism Named Southwest Missouri Regional Director for MU Extension

University of Missouri Extension announced the appointment of five regional directors as part of its ongoing realignment on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The new regional directors join two existing regional directors as MU Extension adopts a structure that includes six geographic regions and an urban region focused on the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas.

Appointments are as follows:

• Southwest Regional Director, Jay Chism

• Northeast Regional Director, Shelley Bush-Rowe

• East Central Regional Director, Mark Stewart

• West Central Regional Director, Wayne Prewitt

• Urban Regional Director, Cynthia Zluticky

“I have great confidence in our regional leadership, as we focus on high-priority local programs and becoming nimble to meet increasing demands for educational programs and service,” said Vice Provost and Director of Cooperative Extension Michael Ouart. “Our regional directors understand we must adjust to uncertain public funding and meet the challenge of generating additional revenue.”

The newly appointed regional directors join Karma Metzgar, Northwest regional director, and Janet Kline, Southeast regional director, as part of a regional realignment announced on Sept. 11, 2012. The realignment process recognizes changes in the economic development needs of Missouri, population demographics, societal changes and funding constraints, according to Ouart. Regions have been reorganized taking into consideration the number of faculty and staff to be supervised, geographic distances for travel, and factors specific to each region.


Chism joined MU Extension in 2004 as an agronomy specialist for Polk and Barton Counties. For the past three years, he also served as interim director for the Southwest Region.

Additional leadership experience with MU Extension includes serving as a county program director, County Program Director Revitalization Committee, Fee’s Committee, Council Leadership Development, National Extension Leadership Development, and Agriculture Leadership of Tomorrow. Prior to joining MU Extension, Chism owned a farm/greenhouse business.

Chism received a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Missouri.

University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything.

Additional information on this topic is available online at or on the national Extension website


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