Rural showcase puts the spotlight on unique businesses

Sullivan County Rural Showcase (KTVO)

Rural businesses may not have a storefront to attract customers.

But on Tuesday, small businesses in Sullivan County got the spotlight.

“It’s a chance for people to get together and learn a little more about Extension in Sullivan County, and learn about agriculture and some things that you might not think are normally going on that are,” said Joe Koenen, agriculture business specialist and county program director for University of Missouri Extension and Outreach in Sullivan County.

From a business featuring local artists, to meat and produce farmers, to The Middle of Nowhere Ranch, attendees could see a sample of what the county has to offer.

“I’m coming out here to show that there are a lot of things to do in this county, and we cater to the outdoor enthusiast, especially horse enthusiasts, we have stables, we have miles of trails, we have over 500 acres and then we also cater to white tail deer hunters and turkey hunters, RV sites, lodging, just a place to really get away,” said Dennis Goldsmith, proprietor of Middle of Nowhere Ranch.

The Rural Showcase all featured what resources are available for those small business owners.

“We’re trying to highlight what extension can do for residents in Sullivan County and around the state, trying to bring Extension back into the spotlight and be more relevant in our communities,” said Penny Kittle, Sullivan County 4H youth program assistant for the University of Missouri Extension Office.

University of Missouri Extension Offices all across the state are re-vamping, working to figure out a new plan, and they’re looking for your input.

“One of the things people said they were kind of missing was a local touch,” said Mark Stewart, director of off campus operations for the University of Missouri Extension Office. “We’ve got faculty specialists, depending on what specialty they are, covering anywhere from three to 16, 17 counties, so we’re trying to be a little bit more efficient about the way we do that.”

An event like the Rural Showcase, demonstrating a prime example of community involvement.

“These are the kinds of things that we really think are community and Extension’s bread and butter, to really try and see ways to grow local economic development, local businesses,” Stewart said.

Tuesday’s event also included a tour of the Littrell’s Mule Foot pig farm.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off