2015 J.W. Burch State Specialist: Dan Downing
Dan Downing started his Extension career in 1985 working with youth from a county office. In 1996, he came to Mizzou's Extension Water Quality program. Downing provides leadership in watershed plan development, and has developed guide sheets, planning guides and a section in a book on watershed planning, "Pathways for Getting To Better Water Quality - The Citizen Effect," to help regional specialists and communities. He recently became MU's coordinator for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension (SARE) program and has been identified as the MU representative for the North Central Region Water Network.
Downing has awards for service including the USDA Award for Outstanding Watershed Management, Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence, and the Missouri and National Extension Association - Distinguished Service Award. He has authored or co-authored more than $3 million in funded grant proposals.
In working with Mr. Downing on various watershed projects and meetings, I have seen firsthand his ability to impart knowledge and facilitate discussion while keeping things interesting, on task and lively. He imparts words of wisdom at just the right moment to steer the conversation in the direction needed. He is well versed in an endless variety of topics, and is not only personable, but an ardent proponent of utilizing all available resources. His passionate dedication to his profession inspires that same level of commitment in others.
T.R. Dudley, mayor of Potosi, Mo.
"Dan is an essential component of the teaching program in the agricultural systems management program," said Leon Schumacher, professor and chair of ASM. "His impact has extended far beyond the classroom, too. He partners with research faculty when he feels he can contribute."