Mental Health First Aid:
Military Members, Veterans and their Families

Family members and personnel working with military and families are often not aware of how to engage veterans with mental illnesses and addictions. In addition to the impact of military service on the veteran, each has a circle of family (significant other, children, parents, siblings, etc.) and friends who are also impacted by their military service.

Mental Health First Aid offers a simple, proven combination of information and techniques for effective interventions. A tailored module builds upon the effectiveness of the standard Mental Health First Aid curriculum by focusing on the unique experiences and needs of the military, veteran and family population.

If you are interested in becoming a Mental Health First Aider, please contact Sarah Traub at (660) 882-5661 for more information (or click here for the flyer).

57th Annual Town and Country Dinner Held

The Boone County University Extension Council hosted the 57th Town and Country dinner on Thursday, August 24, 2017.  The dinner was held at Red Top Ranch and Buckman Farms located just outside of Hallsville.

The evening started with tours of the Buckman Farm at 5:30 pm followed by a carry-in dinner at 7:00 pm.

The hosts for the evening were the Boone County University Extension Council and supporters of the county extension programs saying “thank you” for their support of Boone County University Extension, the Boone County 4-H Program, the Agricultural Recognition Dinner, and other activities for the rural community.

The evening program was an opportunity to visit with others in Boone County, enjoy fine food, and recognize people who have contributed to agriculture in the community. Our hosts, the Buckman family, shared their importance to Boone County and their specific role in the agriculture community. One highlight of the evening was the importance of Boone County 4-H to the Buckman family and the Hallsville Community. Greg Buckman, owner and operator of Red Top Ranch and Buckman Farms, also stressed the importance of agriculture to the citizens of Boone County.

Recognition of a Century Farm of Boone County was also be part of the evening program. This year’s Century Farm Family recognized was the farm of Herb and Judy Owens.  The 80-acre farm was acquired in 1911 just south of Harrisburg. 

SkillUP Program Comes to Columbia

The SkillUP Program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The SkillUP program offers SNAP recipients in Missouri the opportunity to gain skills, training, work experience or a combination of all three. SkillUP is offered at no cost to the participant and helps promote employability and self-sufficiency. A SkillUP Associate will be partnered with the participant thru every step of the program. 

SkillUP offers a variety of services to participants based on an Individual Employment and educational Plan, which is created between the participant and SkillUP staff. These services include:

  • Staff Assisted Job Search
  • Job Search Training
  • Work-Based Learning
  • Vocational Training
  • Education
  • Supportive Services

Boone County will host the SkillUP program on a regular basis at the Boone County Extension Office and at the Family Impact Center here in Columbia. This flyer explains the SkillUP program and includes dates/times for each session. The classes are mainly from the Tackling the Tough Skills Curriculum with some additions from the Transitions Curriculum (soft skill job training). 

These FREE classes are open to any and all residents. If you are interested or need more information, please contact Sarah Traub at 660-882-5661, or by email at

Additional information:  855-278-0354 or visit

2nd Annual Missouri Sheep & Goat
Conference October 27-28, 2017

The fun starts Friday, Oct 27th, with training & parasite management in the morning and farm tours in the afternoon. Day two, Oct 28th, will be filled with presentations covering forages, multi-species grazing management, management tools for flock improvement, fine-tuning breeding animal selection for your farm, rental agreement/lease options, and more! Click the above logo for more information.

Missouri Farm Life Photo Contest
(sponsored by Mo Livestock Symposium)

The contest is open to amateur photographers in the state of Missouri. Photographers may submit up to three entries. Entries must show some aspect of agriculture including farm life, farm scenes, or livestock. The winning photograph will appear on the cover of the Missouri Livestock Symposium program book. The winner will also receive a $100 cash prize from the Missouri Livestock Symposium and a framed print of the winning photo.

Photos will be accepted through 5 p.m., Friday, September 8, 2017. Email photos (jpg) to Include your name, complete address, phone, age, title of photo and a little bit about your photo, in the email. All photos must be 8.5 x 11 inches and portrait orientation. Complete details at

Missouri Livestock Symposium committee members will select the top 10 photos from all photos submitted by the deadline. These photos will then be displayed on the Missouri Livestock Symposium Facebook page during the week of September 17 through 12 p.m. on September 25, 2017, where individuals can vote for their favorite photo by sharing, commenting and liking! Share - 3 points, Comment - 2 points, Like - 1 point.

The top five photos receiving the most points will then be reviewed by a committee selected by the Missouri Livestock Symposium. From those top 5, the committee will select the photo most representing the Missouri Livestock Symposium. The winning photo will be recognized at the evening program of the Missouri Livestock Symposium on Friday, December 1, 2017.

Want to check out this year’s competition? Check out our Flickr stream at

Free Classes for Entrepreneurs

The National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program will offer free classes for Missouri entrepreneurs at multiple locations, and on several dates, beginning in August. Content will cover numerous topics including how to get products to market, how to address supply chains, how to secure micro grants for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) related projects, and how to collect feedback from customers. Open discussion allows attendees to ask relevant questions about their businesses and products.

The classes are being offered at NO COST to entrepreneurs, faculty, students (college level classes or above) and community members. Participants are not required to have previous experience in business or entrepreneurship.

Class dates, locations, and contacts throughout the state include:

Additional information may be found at:

Intensive Grazing Management School
Oct. 10-12, Centerville, MO

University of Missouri Extension in Reynolds County will host a Management Intensive Grazing School October 10-12, at the Reynolds County Educational Building in Centerville, MO. The three-day program will include guest speakers covering the topics of grazing system layout and design, watering systems, fence systems, soil fertility, livestock nutrition, and forage growth and quality. Additionally, extensive farm tours will be included to allow participants to receive training on grazing system utilization.

Your local Soil and Water Conservation District has a program to cost share in “Planned Grazing systems (SDP-3).” To participate in this program you are required to attend an approved grazing school. For more information on this practice or other cost share programs call your local Soil and Water Conservation District at 573-663-2262.

Space is limited for this program, and registration along with full payment is required by September 21. For more information, please contact Joyce Pyles, Office Manager at 573-648-1035 or email at

Need Help with Your Lawn and Garden, Trees, or Bushes?

The Master Gardeners of Cole County staff our gardening hotline and can be reached by calling the hotline at 573-634-2824, Tuesday and Friday afternoons, 12:30-4:30, or you can email your question(s) and pictures at any time to If you need immediate help, feel free to contact the Greene County Master Gardener hotline directly at 417- 874-2963.

Planting Guide: First time gardeners and seasoned professionals can benefit from the “Vegetable Planting Calendar” guide. Read story.

Soil Test: Bring in your soil and make sure you don't waste money on your lawn, garden or field. Soil Test Brochure (PDF). For more information, including a video on how to collect a sample, see "Soil Test Central."

Private Pesticide Applicator Training

Farmers and ranchers who need to use "restricted use" pesticides in their operations need to have a license to purchase those products. The Boone County Extension Center offers you the opportunity to obtain or renew your private pesticide applicator license for only $12. To schedule your training, please contact us at (573) 445-9792 or by email at

Support Local Extension Programming With Your Gift

For over 60 years, Boone County Extension has served its community by offering programs that help its citizens create a better life. These programs include but are not limited to: agriculture, health and nutrition, community and leadership development, natural resources, business development, family finances, horticulture, even housing and energy management. Our current ongoing programs include 4-H, Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners.

Over the past several years, our funding has been dramatically reduced. The MCES Endowment is designed to provide program support for all Boone County Extension Specialists by way of office support, supplies and equipment, so they can continue delivering quality education. Now you can give directly to this endowment by following the MCES Endowment link below.

The Boone County Extension office is housed on the former Schotte Farm, a gift of the late Frank Graham. Now you can give directly to the Frank Graham Endowment, which will go towards the upkeep of the building and grounds. Click on our "donate" button on the left, or follow the Frank Graham Building Endowment link below.

MCES Endowment

Frank Graham Building Endowment