Eclipse 2017 - August 21

On Monday, August 21, Columbia was in the direct path of totality for a total solar eclipse! The last time a total eclipse of the sun was visible over Missouri was in 1869. The Extension office took a few minutes break from their busy day to witness this once in a lifetime event over our beloved state. Kent Shannon, Natural Resources Engineer, was able to snap a picture of the partial eclipse (left). We were able to enjoy a few moments of the total eclipse before the clouds moved in and covered it completely.


Local Council Member Elected to National Office

Please join us in congratulating and thanking HC Russell, volunteer member of the Boone County Extension Council (and former chair), on being elected to the national executive committee of CARET, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Council for Agriculture, Research, Extension and Teaching. HC's commitment to Extension and his vast knowledge (he really is a walking history book) are inspiring to all of us.

SkillUP Program Comes to Columbia

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. The 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

TOPIC 1: Individual Strengths
TOPIC 2: Communication: It's More than just Talking
TOPIC 3: Responsibility
TOPIC 4: Conflict Resolution/Anger Management

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 Managment School

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