Handshakes and hugs

Fall meeting dates

Mark your calendar for this fall’s retirees and friends luncheons:

Oct. 1 — Gallatin

11:30 a.m. at Gallatin Lion’s Club Building
Local arrangements: Bob Teegarden
Presentation: “South Africa ag safari” by Brent Carpenter

Oct. 7 — Nevada

11:30 a.m. at Nevada Senior Center
Local arrangements: Leonard Ernsbarger
Presentation: “Financial safety — Unfortunately, retirees are too often targets” by Doug Scotten

Oct. 8 — Ozark

11:30 a.m. at Bric’s Family Restaurant
Local arrangements: Tom Hansen
Presentation: “Financial safety — Unfortunately, retirees are too often targets” by Doug Scotten

Oct. 16 — Sedalia

11:30 a.m. at Best Western State Fair Inn
Local arrangements: Owen Fox
Presentation: “South Africa ag safari” by Brent Carpenter

Oct. 23 — Jackson

10:30 a.m. at extension center followed by lunch at a local restaurant
Local arrangements: Rick Sparks
Presentation: “Quilts, barns and money” by Vivian Mason Anderson

Oct. 27 — Columbia

First day of program conference at Holiday Inn Executive Center
Local arrangements: Bryan Pfifer
Presentation: Dennis Gagnon, director of Extension Communications and Marketing

Nov. 12 — Online retiree meeting

10–11 a.m., Log-in information to follow
Arrangements: Cynthia Crawford
Presentation: “Financial documents every retiree needs” by Janet LaFon

Spring meeting highlights

Nevada meeting

photo: Megan Webb and retirees at the Sedalia meeting
Megan Webb, nutrition and health education specialist, gave retirees tips for staying strong and flexible.
photo: retirees reconnect at spring meetings
John Morehead and Marion Gentry were happy to renew friendships at the Sedalia meeting.

Leonard Ernsbarger hosted the first meeting of the spring season at the Nevada Senior Center. Doug Scotten was introduced as a new faculty member based in Vernon County. Family Financial Education Specialist Janet LaFon presented “Financial documents everyone needs.” She highlighted a list of important documents and where they are located; up-to-date beneficiary designations; durable power of attorney; wills, trusts and non-probate transfer documents and written plans for nontitled or untitled property.

She reminded the group that it is important to have a completed child care authorization form when caring for grandchildren or other minors. She also pointed out the need for an advance directive and health care durable power of attorney. The Missouri Attorney General’s office provides these documents for use in a Life Choices booklet, found online at https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/publications/lifechoices.pdf?sfvrsn=6.
Ozark meeting

Jim Kennel called the enthusiastic group to order in Ozark. Regional Director Jay Chism brought greetings from MU Extension and the Southwest Region. The group welcomed several new participants. Family Financial Education Specialist Janet LaFon repeated her program on “Financial documents everyone needs.”

Sedalia meeting

The next stop for Friends of Extension meetings was in Sedalia. Owen and Vera Fox are always first on the scene to greet people with a warm smile and handshake. Bob Heitmeyer mentioned he has completed his 40th year as a Rotary member.

Back by popular demand, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist Megan Webb talked about how to prevent falls. The ankle is one of the most important joints to help with stability. Work on keeping that joint flexible and the ankle and leg muscles strong. She led the group through some flexibility and strength exercises that will help.

Online meeting

Some retirees find that the online retiree meeting is a time-efficient way to reconnect with MU Extension for updates and a program. Participants log in to a website and are able to see presentation slides and hear presenters. So far, all our participants have been in Missouri, but participants can be anywhere in the world with a computer and Internet connectivity. Questions and comments can be submitted in realtime by typing in the chat box. It’s time efficient too, involving one hour and no travel.

Vivian Mason Anderson presented a thoughtful program on “Quilts, barns and money.” Cooper, Howard and Saline counties have a goal of 20 barn blocks per county, 60 total. The project promotes rural tourism development, community arts, leadership development and the preservation of traditional rural barns. Vivian showed pictures of some rural-themed quilts and paralleled how they illustrated contemporary family financial strategies like thrift, saving and investing, debt reduction and the need for estate planning.

Columbia meeting

As a treat, Columbia retiree and friends meeting met on campus at the Old Alumni Center. Bryan Pfifer, local arrangements chair, greeted a number of retired specialists and administrators. Northeast Regional Director Shelly Bush-Rowe gave the group an update. Director Michael Ouart gave a list of opportunities and issues in his organizational update:

  • The budget process is as complex as it has ever been.
  • Program integration is working.
  • Continuing education efforts are still growing.
  • The recent delegation that went to PILD (Public Issues Leadership Development) represented Missouri well. The 4-H’ers were integral to the team and were outstanding.
  • County funding is our bright spot and is up 2.9 percent overall, but a flat federal budget is anticipated. On the state level, any new money will go to campus central administration plus 2 percent of the budget (2 percent per year for four years) to invest in AAU criteria and reinvestment in research. Any salary increases will be a reallocation of existing funds.
  • 48 percent of the budget is now self-generated funds including fees, grants, contracts and gifts; 52 percent is from appropriated dollars. He predicted it won’t be too long until the self-generated funds exceed appropriated dollars.
  • Mercer County is the first county to pass the district option. It also appeared on the Wright County ballot in the same election.
photo: Dave Baker speaks to retirees before his own retirement
At the Columbia meeting, Dave Baker discussed today’s biggest challenges for ag and natural resources. This fall, he will join the ranks of extension retirees.

Dave Baker, assistant dean and program director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension, began his extension career in Illinois before coming to the University of Missouri. After 45 years of distinguished service, he will retire Sept. 1. The group appreciated his keynote presentation for the event.
Dave Baker listed grand challenges for agriculture and natural resources:

  • The diversity of our state’s geography and crops
  • Bi-modal distribution of farm size and scale
  • Barriers to entry for beginning farmers
  • Feeding the world’s population of 9.6 billion people by 2050 will require a 70 percent increase in production
  • Increased vertical integration of production
  • Increased use of consultants
  • The aging and changing farm workforce — the average age of farmers is 58
  • Increasing need for entrepreneurship skills for small and midsize farms
  • An expanding demand for locally-grown foods
  • Water quality and quantity
  • Climate change
  • Energy — food vs. fuel
  • Consumers that are three and four generations removed from ag production

Jackson meeting

The next stop for retiree and friends was the MU Extension Center in Cape Girardeau County. Local coordinator Rick Sparks was traveling to visit a new grandchild, so Donna Taake graciously greeted the group.

Will Wade went on to a second career in real estate for 20 years after retiring from extension in 1978. What was his slogan in his second career? “Have Boots, Will Wade.”

Speaker Cynthia Crawford had a presentation about “Putting the Gold in Your Golden Years.” Research provides valuable insights about what really makes a difference:

  • People over age 60 show a tendency for increased optimism, less stress and increased appreciation of others.
  • Try something new. Those over 50 who had a high resistance to change were less likely to be optimistic about their future.
  • People over age 50 who do not think of themselves as old were more likely to be happy.
  • Be decisive. Make the best decision you can, and then don’t second guess it.
  • Volunteering increases life satisfaction.
  • Find a physician you like. You will be more likely to seek medical attention and more likely to follow medical instructions.
  • Studies comparing people over age 65 with those under age 35 found those in the older group were more likely to feel happy.
  • Never stop learning. People over age 50 who continue to learn about topics that interest them are more likely to feel satisfied with their lives and to feel vital.
  • What if you aren’t retired yet? Take note: While virtually all those surveyed had done some planning for their retirement, more than half felt they had not planned enough.

Gallatin meeting

Extension specialist Bev Maltsberger presented to a captivated audience in Gallatin. This tornado season, be prepared and stay mindful.

The final stop for the spring Friends of Extension meetings was in Gallatin where Bob Teegarden greeted an enthusiastic group.

Northwest Regional Director Karma Metzgar reported nine open positions in the region and asked retirees to recommend people they have mentored and know who would meet the qualifications for open extension positions.

Bev Maltsberger, a 40-year veteran, urged the group to be prepared for dangerous weather in Missouri. Since spring is tornado season, she challenged the group to discard some myths about tornadoes.

Myth 1. Highway overpasses are safe to shelter under if you are on the road. In reality, overpasses tend to make a wind tunnel.

Myth 2. Opening the windows in a building will help to equalize air pressure. No, a pane of glass will not stand up to 200 mph winds. Mother Nature will “open” the windows. Take shelter; don’t take time to think about windows.

Myth 3. Tornadoes never strike big cities. Wrong. A tornado can strike anywhere, anytime.

Myth 4. Some areas are protected by geography. Wrong. Another folklore.

Myth 5. The southwest corner of a basement is the safest location during a tornado. Not necessarily. Go to the lowest level of the building. Move to the northeast corner or the strongest constructed area on the lowest level.

Bev urges everyone to have an emergency supplies kit and a weather radio at home and at the office. Weather radios should be S.A.M.E. (Specific Area Message Encoder) technology rated. She also recommended downloading weather apps on your smart phone. Two free apps are Intellicast, which can be set to show either past storm track or projected future storm track, and the Red Cross Tornado app.