2019 Spring Show-Me Select

Presented by David Hoffman, Livestock Specialist

2019 Show-Me Select Spring Catalog (PDF)

2019 Show-Me Select Spring Flyer (PDF) 



Learn How Your Landscaping Can Pose a Threat to Your Surroundings

Promoted by Pat Miller, Agronomy Specialist for Cass County 

Several common landscaping plants, such as Bradford pear, purple loosestrife, perilla mint and tree of heaven, are becoming invasive in the countryside.  Learn which landscaping plants can be a problem, how to control them and what non-invasive native plants can be used in their place.  Invasive Plants — Escapes from the Landscape, will be held Thursday, November 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Cass County Extension Center, 201 W Wall Street, Harrisonville, MO.  The speaker is Pat Miller, University Extension Agronomy Specialist.  Miller has 31 years of experience working with area Ag producers and home gardeners.  The class is free but please pre-register by November 13 by calling the Cass Extension Center at 816-380-8460. 





The Rural Online Initiative


Promoted by Stephen Mukembo, Ph.D Community Economic Development


Tai Chi Class to begin on September 24, 2019

by Melissa Cotton County Engagement Specialist Nutrition and Health

Tai Chi for Arthritis is an effective exercise program that improves health and well-being. Scientific studies have shown Tai Chi to improve health, quality of life, and balance.  

The MU Extension Cass County Center will host Tai Chi every Tuesday and Thursday beginning on September 24, from 9:30 - 10:30 am.  The cost for this class will be $40.00.  To register contact the Cass County Extension Office at 816-380-8460.  




Stay Strong Stay Health Fall Class to begin on September 30, 2019

presented by Melissa Cotton County Engagement Specialist Nutrition and Health

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy is an evidence-based strength training program designed for oder adults.  The eight-week program includes 16 exercise classes that meet twice weekly for one hour. For more information contact the Cass County Extension Office at 816-380-8460 or email us at cassco@missouri.edu.

2019 Stay Strong, Stay Healthy Enrollment Form (PDF)   





The Cass County Junior Livestock Show starts today at the Harrisonville North Park Activity Center located at 1500 South Jefferson Parkway.  Please see the scheduled list of events below & we look forward to seeing you!  If you are a business and would like to attend the CCJLA Auction on Thursday night, please contact the University of Missouri Cass County Extension Office at 1-816-380-8460. 

Dairy Cattle Show Monday, July 29 1:00 p.m.
Rabbit Show Monday, July 29 6:00 p.m.
Poultry Show Monday, July 29 6:00 p.m.
Bobby Calf Show Tuesday, July 30 9:00 a.m.
Beef Cattle Show Tuesday, July 30 9:30 a.m.
Cat Show Tuesday, July 30 6:00 p.m.
Swine Show Wednesday, July 31 8:30 a.m.
Boer Goat Show Wednesday, July 31 11:00 a.m.
Sheep Show Wednesday, July 31 2:00 p.m.
Ham Show Wednesday, July 31 6:00 p.m.
Auction Dinner Thursday, August 1 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Junior Awards Program Thursday, August 1 6:30 p.m.
Auction  Thursday, August 1 7:00 p.m. 
Dog Show Saturday, August 3 9:00 a.m.







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Ways to Prevent Dementia

by Melissa Cotton County Engagement Specialist Nutrition and Health

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. The World Health Organization estimates there are 47 million people worldwide who suffer from some form of dementia. People often have rising concern about memory loss and dementia, as they grow older.  Our bodies do experience wear and tear over the years, and our brain is no exception. Some normal cognitive changes we might encounter as we age include decreased ability to multitask, increased processing time of new information, and greater difficulty finding words you want to say.  Despite the large number of people who have some type of cognitive impairment, memory loss and confusion that interfere with daily tasks of living are not normal parts of the aging process. Many cases of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can be prevented or prolonged through healthy lifestyle behaviors.

To keep your brain and memory strong, strive to include the following in your daily life.

  •  Move your body. Physical activity has a positive impact on cognitive functioning. The goal is to get 150 minutes of moderate, aerobic exercise per week. However, any movement is considered a benefit to your body. Start where you are now and work to build-up additional exercise in the future.
  • Adopt a healthier diet. Choose an overall balanced diet that includes 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Leafy greens and berries are especially favorable for brain health. Eat fish twice a week to meet your omega-3 fatty acid needs. There has been some evidence that omega-3’s help protect the brain and improve memory. Also, choose healthy fat sources like olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.
  • Get quality sleep. Ensure your body has adequate time to recover. A tired brain does not work as well as one that has gotten the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Stay socially active. Conversation and human interaction help keep our brains in-tune. Socialization also does a great deal to stave off depression, which can have damaging effects on cognition.
  •  Challenge your mind. Keep your mind active. Like our bodies, the brain also needs to be exercised. Try changing up routines like your drive to the grocery store or morning walking route, learn a new activity, or do a puzzle. Find new opportunities and have fun with it!
  •  Quit smoking and limit the use of alcohol. Alcohol recommendations are one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

 If you or someone you care for is experiencing a decline in brain function, do not sit in silence. Talk to your health care provider, as there may be an underlying cause to your symptoms. Memory loss is not an inevitable part of growing older. Learn more about how you can promote brain health by contacting your local MU Extension Office.





May is Mental Health Month

by Kyliegh Sullivan Human Development & Family Science Specialist & the U.S. Ag Safety and Health Center 

In 2019, American farmers and their families are facing tough challenges – economic uncertainties of tariffs, drops in commodity prices, and spring weather challenges have added to the normal stresses of farming.  Barriers to getting help may be equally challenging. Where can farmers go for support to deal with these stressful times?  

Professionals dedicated to agricultural safety and health promotion from across the country have banded together to pool resources and share tools with farmers and those working to support farmer mental health.  Eleven federally-funded Agricultural Safety and Health Centers have compiled resources and identified experts to talk about understanding mental health resources available to farmers.  Throughout May, these centers will join the national Mental Health Awareness campaign to provide resources designed to be useful to farming and rural communities in which they live.

“With increased pressures on today’s farmers, we want to let farmers know there are ways to fight stigma and provide a safe environment to address mental health concerns of farmers,” says Kyleigh Sullivan the Human Development & Family Science Specialist for the Cass County University of Missouri Extension Center.  “We want to help our rural communities develop and maintain a support system for our farmers.”  Since 1948, May has been used to observe Mental Health Awareness.  This year, the Ag Centers are bringing the “Break the Stigma” campaign to our rural and agricultural communities, providing resources and tools specific to the concerns of our farmers. 

The campaign begins April 29, 2019 and runs through May 26. Topics include:

Week 1: Science of Stress and Suicide Risk 

Week 2: Referral Resources

Week 3. Coping with Substance Abuse/Opioids

Week 4: Cultivating Resiliency

Week 5: Break the Stigma

We will be posting new resources every week during the month of May. Follow us on Facebook to get the video resources.  University of Missouri Cass County Extension Facebook page. 



2019 Show-Me Select Fall Calving Heifers






Janice Parris YPA for Cass County

SPIN Club is a new term to our 4-H world.  It is a new kind of 4-H club.  With society changing with busy lives, the 4-H program has added components to efficiently and effectively try to meet the needs of our audiences.  So 4-H is implementing a new club model for families that may not be able to participate in a yearlong club. The SPIN Club model has the flexibility to provide positive youth development over a short period of time as 4-H members.

What is a 4-H SPIN Club?  SPIN stands for Special Interest. e.g. photography, rabbits, volleyball, aerospace, etc.  4-H SPIN clubs allow youth ages 5 to 18 with common interests or hobbies to meet as a club and share their special interest. Whatever their passion is, youth can gain knowledge and enhance their skills through a positive group experience. A 4-H SPIN club can be started with a minimum of one adult volunteer and five young people with an interest in a particular topic. While the adult provides expertise and guidance, club members take an active role in planning and running their own activities.  The SPIN Club meets over a short period of time, e.g. 6 – 8 weeks.

Cass County has successfully launched 3 SPIN Clubs and have plans to begin the fourth.  Youth attended the Dining Around the World 4-H SPIN Club where they learned about 6 different countries, prepared dishes and tasted the cuisine.  Youth also attended the Board Game 4-H SPIN Club where they used their problem solving skills, luck and had fun learning new games.  Youth actively participated in these clubs with a caring adult developing life skills.   An Outdoor Skills 4-H SPIN Club has just begun where youth are learning about land navigation, animal identification, safety and first aid.  Soon to follow, will be a Sand Volleyball SPIN Club and maybe more!

 SPIN clubs reach out to youth and families with common interests and brings them together.   If you have an interest and would like to lead a 4-H SPIN Club, contact Janice Parris at:  parrisja@missouri.edu

  Adapted from Texas A&M ; Texas 4-H






Showing Your Partner Love isn’t Breaking the Bank… it’s Saving for a Rainy Day

Kyleigh Sullivan, Field Specialist in Human Development & Family Science, University of Missouri Extension


Valentine’s Day is over and plenty of people never batted an eye, they feel it’s commercialized.  This may be true; however, have you ever considered that the money (and time) you may be spending is actually an investment in your relationship? 

Dr. John Gottman uses a bank account analogy called the “Emotional Bank Account” this wonderful and quick video explains the concept well.  But basically it’s the idea that your relationship has to have a stock pile of positives (deposits) for when conflicts arise or feelings get hurt (withdrawals) come        along so you don’t overdraft.  However, emotional bank accounts aren’t as equal as bank accounts.  If I spend $20, $20 comes out of my checking account.  If I deposit a $100, I add $100 to my checking account.  But, if my feelings get hurt in one instance it actually takes multiple good instances in the relationship to balance it out.  In fact, Dr. Gottman has determined that the “Magic Ratio” is 5:1.  So essentially our relationships shouldn’t be going bad half the time and well the other half.  There should be 5 times as many good instances in the relationship!

So even though Valentine’s is over, today and every day, is an opportunity to make a deposit into your relationship bank account.  It doesn’t have to cost you a lot- if any- actual money.  Make dinner for your partner, buy their favorite candy (even if the heart shaped boxes are gone for the year), watch a romantic movie on Netflix and cuddle up close on the couch.  Build up the bank account so when the inevitable rainy days (as in negative not boring) come along you have enough to pay your debt and you can go right back to building your relationship wealth.  

Image result for dr. john gottman Dr. John Gottman. 







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What is 4-H? 

Janice Parris, Cass County 4-H Youth Program Assistant

4-H is all about kids!  4-H is kids making friends and lasting relationships. 4-H is kids working together creating blankets to give to the homeless and singing Christmas carols to shut ins. 4-H is kids learning to build robotics or bird houses.  4-H is learning photography or cake decorating.  4-H is working with an animal whether it is a steer, rabbit or dog.  4-H is fair time and the excitement of entering exhibits, interviewing with a judge and receiving fair ribbons. 4-H is holding an office and running a club meeting developing leadership skills.  4-H is kids giving demonstrations enhancing their public speaking skills. 4-H is summer camp filled with activities, nature, friends and fun and learning to get along.  4-H is smiles and laughter, encouraging and bonding with one another.  4-H is kids working with caring adults to learn life skills.  4-H is kids reaching out to others. 4-H is all of this and so much more.  It is a community of youth and adults working together to make our world a better place.  4-H is our investment in the future. 4-H is what our kids and our world needs today!

The National 4-H Council states,” In 4-H we believe in the power of young people. We see that every child has valuable strengths and real influence to improve the world around us. 4-H is America’s largest youth development organization, empowering nearly six million young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime. 4-H is changing kids’ lives.”

Consider donating some time to the 4-H organization and help provide more kids the hands on experience, support and encouragement they need to thrive.  Let’s watch our kids make the world a better place for all of us. 

If you would like to volunteer time to 4-H, please contact me at parrisja@missouri.edu or call 816-380-8460



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February is American Heart Month

Melissa Cotton, County Engagement Specialist in Nutrition and Health Education, University of Missouri Extension


Promoting heart health is greatly important, as heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 1 in 4 deaths is a result of heart disease. Heart disease includes many conditions that affect the cardiovascular system. Three major risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking cigarettes. Developing cardiovascular disease is preventable if we take hold of the risk factors within our control. By adopting and maintaining certain lifestyle behaviors, we can lower our risk of developing heart disease. Here are a list of some of the healthy habits we should focus on.

Healthy Eating – choose more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains. Limit fatty meats and select leaner options instead. Cut down on salt and added sugar. By preparing most meals at home, you are more likely to be successful meeting these goals. Many pre-packaged and restaurant foods are packed with extra sugar, sodium, fat, and calories.

Physical Activity – Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. That breaks down to about 30 minutes of activity on most days. Weight maintenance and lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels are all benefits of increased physical activity.

Stress Management – Keep stress in check by practicing relaxation and mindfulness techniques. Make sure to take time for socializing with friends and family. In addition, try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

Stop the Use of Tobacco Products – Cigarette smoke greatly increases your risk of heart disease and many other poor health outcomes. Ask your doctor about smoking cessation programs in your area.

Practice Moderation – Limit the use of alcohol and caffeine. Both can dehydrate the body, which is harmful to the heart. Men should limit alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day. Women should have only one.

Some risk factors like age, gender, ethnicity, and family history are outside of our control. You can better understand your risk by discussing these matters with your health care provider.

The good news is by following a healthy lifestyle you will also reduce your risk of developing other serious chronic conditions like diabetes. This February, identify a heart-healthy behavior that you could improve on. Even a small change can help you reduce your risk for heart disease or help you manage and existing condition.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 6 tips to keep your heart healthy.  Retrieved February 8, 2019, from    https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/pdf/HeartHealth-H.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Preventing heart disease: Healthy living habits. Retrieved on February 8, 2019, from         https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/healthy_living.htm

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2018). Heart Health Tips for Men. Retrieved on  February 8, 2019, from https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/heart-and-cardiovascular-health/heart-health-tips-for-men

Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). Heart health. Retrieved on February 8, 2019, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/heart-health