News for employees

MU Extension Insider
June 28, 2016


In the news

Dates to remember

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month by MU Extension Communications and Marketing. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

MU Extension recognized for community engagement

MU Extension has been named one of five “exemplary awardees” in the Community-University Engagement Awards Program, a partnership of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The exemplary designation was in recognition of MU’s collaboration with Americare Systems Inc. and community representatives to develop a new model of elder care and a senior housing facility that allows elders to “age in place.” TigerPlace, an independent living center built by Americare in 2004 and affiliated with the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, has become a national model for better, more cost-effective care.

Read more about the 2016 awards.


Britt-Rankin addresses House ag committee hearing on SNAP ed

Jo Britt-Rankin

Jo Britt-Rankin, HES associate dean and extension professor, represented the Cooperative Extension System and its Extension Committee on Organization and Policy on a panel at a June 22 hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. The hearing was titled “Past, Present and Future of SNAP: Evaluating Effectiveness and Outcomes in Nutrition Education.” Britt-Rankin’s written testimony and an archived webcast are available.


Update on development of news releases

As reported in a previous issue of MU Extension Insider, funding reductions have resulted in a decrease in communications and marketing staff. This has limited our capacity to develop and distribute news stories.

We will shortly introduce an electronic process for faculty and staff to submit information that editorial staff will use to develop stories. In the meantime, if you have news or information you want to communicate, contact Curt Wohleber at or 573-882-5409.


Extension launching online leadership program

loft logo

An online leadership-development program aimed at millennials launches July 5.

Leadership Online for Today lets participants improve communication skills, build relationships and networks, and develop a collaborative project to benefit a community or organization, says research assistant Rebecca Mott.

“Traditional MU Extension programs are not effectively attracting the millennial generation (ages 18 to 34), so extension wanted to create something that was appealing to this audience that was innovative, research-based and incorporated the use of technology,” Mott says.

While the 11-week program is targeted at the millennial generation, anyone is able to apply for the program, she said.

There will be a launch party 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, in Room 113 of Gentry Hall. Prizes will be awarded in person and virtually.

Mott; Johanna Reed Adams, community leadership development state specialist; Connie Mefford, community development extension field specialist; and Georgia Stuart-Simmons, interim project manager, helped develop the program.

The program has been in development for 18 months, Adams said. MU faculty brainstormed leadership topics, and those topics were then brought to millennials for feedback and suggestions. Extension leaders also talked with focus groups comprising college students, Missouri 4-H and FFA members, and young professionals – all of whom were in leadership positions.

“Experienced leadership coaches will guide the learning process by posing questions and helping members make progress toward their goals,” Stuart-Simmons said. Participants will be able to share videos, audio recordings, text, photographs or images.


University purchasing guide changes

From Shelly DeJaynes, extension fiscal administrative management

The university has recently updated guidelines for purchasing goods and services with university funding. The main change is that purchases need to be verified as appropriate BEFORE placing the order. It is no longer sufficient to initiate a purchase and then just make sure it is paid for in the correct university method.

The updated Payment Reference Guide is being utilized now and will be strictly enforced starting July 1. There is an internal list version of the guide if you prefer that format.

Please keep in mind that if university funding is covering the purchase, a university purchase method should be used. Rarely and only with a good business reason should expenses be run through a county office or paid for out-of-pocket then reimbursed.

If you are thinking of making a purchase and need some assistance, you are in luck! Many campus and regional staff have been through a short training on the changes, so they should be able to help with your questions. And of course, Extension Fiscal is here to help as well!


New members join NTT promotion committee

Timothy Baker and Patricia Fisher will be the newest members of the NTT promotion committee, says Joy Millard, assistant to the vice provost for MU Extension and the administrative liaison to the committee.

The NTT promotion committee comprises one NTT faculty member from each of the MU Extension program areas—ANR, HES, 4-H Youth Development, Community Development and Business Development—as well as a non-tenure track extension faculty member with a rank outside the MU Extension NTT system (through CAFNR or HES, for example), and a tenured or tenure-track extension faculty member.

Baker has been elected to serve a three-year term that begins in September and will represent CAFNR. Fisher has been elected to fill the 4-H Youth Development vacancy left by a committee member who retired. Her term will be for two years.

They will join current committee members Van Ayers (CD), Steve Ball (tenure track at-large), Kathy Dothage (HES), Ray Massey (non-tenure track) and Chris Thompson (Business Development). Leaving the committee at the end of August will be Mary Sobba (ANR). Don Nicholson left the committee with his retirement in April.

“We want to sincerely thank those leaving the committee for all of their hard work, and we welcome the new members who will serve as of Sept. 1,” Millard said.

For more information about the NTT promotion process and a complete list of current committee members, go to


NELD participants sought for 2017 class

MU Extension would like to identify participants for the 2017 North Central NELD (National Extension Leadership Development) program. This program is designed to build leaders in cooperative extension at all levels and provide them with vision, courage and tools to lead in a changing world.

Participants will articulate their personal philosophy of leadership; apply leadership skills to their role in extension; analyze the role of leadership in achieving purposeful change; examine the value of diversity of thought and culture; and create a network of colleagues from across the region to share challenges and experiences.

Session dates, locations and themes for 2017:

  • Session 1: Jan. 23-27, Chicago area, Understanding My Role as Leader.
  • Session 2: March 31-April 8, Costa Rica, Entering the Realm of the Other.
  • Session 3: July 10-14, Washington, D.C., Leading in a Shared Power World.
  • Session 4: Sept. 19-22, St. Paul, Minn., area, Integrating Leadership for Change.

More information can be found at

If you are interested in applying, please submit to your supervisor the application and a letter (no longer than two pages) expressing why you would like to participate in the program. Deadline is Aug. 12, 2016.

Once your supervisor receives your application, he or she will write a brief letter of support, sign the application and submit all documentation electronically to Megan Martin at

“The internal selection process will include a committee recommendation and final selection by our director of extension,” says Martin. “We will notify applicants by Aug. 31, 2016, of the outcome of the process and forward the applications of the selected Missouri participants to the North Central NELD leadership team.”

Contact Martin if you have questions.


New marketing templates

From Laura Lindsey, senior marketing coordinator

template thumbnails

Additional templates have been added to the kits to better help you market your events and programs!

Check out the template webpage to view tri-fold and bi-fold brochures and one-page rack cards. These easy-to-use items can be customized with your own photos or you can use the pictures provided.

Use the accompanying fliers, handouts, signs and PowerPoint presentations to brand your program professionally.

Contact Laura Lindsey at or 573-884-2394 with questions.


Volunteers wanted for Missouri State Fair

It is already time to start preparing for the Missouri State Fair, Aug. 11-21 in Sedalia.  Would you like to volunteer in the MU Extension booth? For more information about volunteering for either a morning or afternoon shift, please email


Reader contest: The final chapter


Patricia Barret, EC Region ag business specialist, won an MU Extension polo by completing last issue’s crossword puzzle.

The prize for the final reader contest is a short-sleeve Tri-Mountain polo shirt, black with gold-accented contrast panels along shoulders.

Read this issue, fill out a crossword puzzle with questions based on this issue, and submit the completed crossword by noon Friday, July 1, for your chance to win MU Extension apparel.


Allotment to county offices in FY 2017

In case you missed it, here is a downloadable PDF with important information about recently announced changes in MU Extension’s FY 2017 county allotment process for providing county offices with mail expense funds and health and retirement benefits for county office support staff. If you are asked questions in your county, this can help you respond in an informed manner. Feel free to print out this document and share with anyone who has questions.


Dates to remember

Community development training this September with CDA

Join Community Development Academy, Sept. 26-30. From MU Extension’s Community Development Program, these intensive, hands-on, five-day courses enhance your ability to work effectively with a wide array of community issues. Take for professional development (CEUs), 3 hours undergraduate credit, graduate credit or noncredit. Graduate students can work toward a Certificate in Community Process.

CDA Course 1: Building Communities from the Grassroots (7341/4341) and Course 3: Creating Capacity for Dynamic Communities (7343/4343) will be at The Elms Resort and Spa in Excelsior Springs, Mo. Registration is now available at


ESP award nominations due Aug. 9

Epsilon Sigma Phi has many awards to recognize individuals and teams for their excellent work with MU Extension. Descriptions of the awards with eligibility requirements, nomination forms and past award recipients are available at A list of active ESP members is available at

Member awards

  • Outstanding Regional Extension Faculty (woman and man).
  • Outstanding State Extension Faculty.
  • Early Career, Mid-Career and Distinguished Service.
  • Continued Excellence.
  • Administrative Leadership.
  • Visionary Leadership.
  • International Service.
  • Diversity Multicultural Award (individual and team).
  • Distinguished Team.

For individual awards, the nominee must be an ESP member. For team awards, at least 50 percent of the team members who are eligible for ESP membership must be ESP members.

There are three awards for extension staff, retirees and volunteers:

  • Meritorious Support Service.
  • Retiree Service.
  • Friend of Extension.

Both individual and team award nomination forms may be saved as a completed PDF file and emailed to Amy Patillo at

Please consider nominating someone for an ESP award. The deadline is Tuesday, Aug. 9. If you have questions, contact any of the awards committee members: Amy Patillo, Andrew Zumwalt, Johanna Reed Adams, Van Ayers, Pam Duitsman, Damaris Karanja, Janet LaFon, Tammy Roberts, Rebecca Travnichek.


Fee-generation workshops

Workshops have been scheduled to provide instructions for using the Fee-generation Worksheet-Online Tool. The training is intended for anyone who is new to using the tool or anyone who feels they could benefit from a refresher. Sessions will be conducted via Adobe Connect. Register through WebApps for ISE 271 or send an email with your preferred session to Carol Heffner at Sessions that do not have at least four registrants will be canceled and registrants will be asked to choose an alternative date.


July 20

10-11 a.m.

Aug. 18 - canceled

Sept. 21

10-11 a.m.

Oct. 13

2-3 p.m.

Nov. 16

10-11 a.m.

Dec. 15

2-3 p.m.


Diversity 101, interactive online training

Diversity 101, a free, four-week online class, is a highly interactive introduction to diversity, particularly as it pertains to working at MU. A core aspect of the course design is peer-to-peer learning through discussion boards in order to draw upon the rich and diverse experiences of colleagues across campus. Other aspects of the class include videos, reflection journal and self-guided activities. Register for the July 8-Aug. 7 session at


Religious holidays

The communities we serve are home to individuals from a variety of cultural and religious traditions. The following is a list of religious holidays that individuals in your community may observe in the coming weeks.

Through July 5: Ramadan (Islamic) is an occasion to focus on faith through fasting and prayer, and is one of the most important Muslim holidays.

July 4-5 (begins at sundown): Eid al-Fitr (Islamic), a holiday with significant work restriction, is the last day of Ramadan, marking the end of a month of fasting.

July 13-14 (begins at sundown): Tisha B’Av (Jewish) commemorates a series of Jewish tragedies, including the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem.

Aug. 1: Lammas/Lughnasadh (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) celebrates the beginning of the harvest. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

Aug. 17: Raksha Bandhan (Hindu) falls in the holy month of Shravan; the origin and history of Rakhi can be dated back to the mythological Pouranik times.

Aug. 25: Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu) celebrates the birth of Krishna, a widely worshiped Hindu god.

Sept. 12-13 (begins at sundown): Eid al-Adha (Islamic) is a major festival that celebrates the willingness to make sacrifices in the name of one’s faith.

Sept. 13-14 (begins at sundown): Rosh Hashanah (Jewish) is a day of judgment and remembrance marking the beginning of the Jewish New Year.

For more information, go to


Other dates to remember

Aug. 9: Deadline for ESP awards nominations.

Aug. 11-21: Missouri State Fair. If you’re interested in volunteering for the MU Extension booth, email,

Sept. 26-30: Community Development Academy, Excelsior Springs, Mo.

Oct. 25-27: MU Extension Summit.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Deborah Smith, nutrition program associate, Saline County, NW Region.

James Spencer Jr., ag business specialist, Christian County, SW Region.

Krista Tate, 4-H youth development specialist, Howell County, SW Region.


New arrivals

Heather Conrow, EC Region livestock specialist in Callaway County, and her husband, Omar, announce the birth of son James Peter (PJ) Conrow, who arrived June 16, weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces, and measuring 20.5 inches in length.

Carol Heffner, business support, Statewide Administration, and her husband, Don Michael, announce the birth of son James Michael Heffner, who arrived June 14, weighing 8 pounds, 2.2 ounces, and measuring 20.25 inches.