News for employees, Sept. 1, 2008

Active 4-H members excel in leadership, service

A national study has shown that kids who are active 4-H members excel in leadership and volunteer service. These young people also report fewer unhealthy behaviors such as drinking, smoking and using drugs, according to Jo Turner, study director for MU Extension.

Young people who participate in 4-H activities are more likely to excel in leadership and volunteer service, according to results of a national longitudintal study. Steve Morse photo/Cooperative Media Group Young people who participate in 4-H activities are more likely to excel in leadership and volunteer service, according to results of a national longitudinal study. Steve Morse photo/Cooperative Media Group

The national 4-H Study for Positive Youth Development is tracking patterns of growth and change in young people over time. MU Extension joined the study in 2007. The 338 Missouri students who took part were evenly divided between 4-H and non-4-H participants, Turner said.

“Among Missouri students, we’ve found some significant differences between active 4-H participants and non-4-H’ers,” Turner said. “Most importantly, active 4-H’ers have higher scores on contribution or service, more leadership experiences and more adult mentors. Plus, they have lower scores on unhealthy behaviors.”

Active participation was defined as taking part in a 4-H activity at least twice a month.

The Missouri results confirm findings from the national study, which started in 2002.

Nationally, youths who participated in 4-H at some point during fifth through eighth grades were 3.5 times more likely to be at highest levels of contribution, a measure of service activities and volunteering.

"Among Missouri students, we’ve found some significant differences between active 4-H participants and non 4-H’ers."

At the other end of the spectrum, 4-H youths were 1.3 times more likely to have lower scores on risk behavior and depression measures.

Ina Linville, MU Extension’s 4-H program director, said: “The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is helping us understand the kinds of experiences, opportunities and support that young people need to be healthy and thrive. This research will benefit all young people, not just 4-H members.”

The study is funded by National 4-H Council and led by researchers from Tufts University. MU, Lincoln University and other land-grant institutions are partners in the research. Plans are to continue surveying these youths through high school and into college.

National study director Richard Lerner said: The true value of 4-H programs comes not from short-term results or the effects over a few years. It comes from the programs’ influence on lifelong pathways of development.”

More than 104,000 young people, ages 8-18, take part in MU Extension’s 4-H youth development program. Last year, 11,000 adults volunteered time to 4-H activities across the state.

4-H Study of Positive Youth Development

Complete FY08 reporting by Sept. 15

On Sept. 15, WebApps will be locked down for reporting and editing events held in FY08 or earlier. This includes scheduling, reporting and editing of events or sessions occurring before July 1.

After the lock-down date, no changes, except in the event notes, will be allowed to activities reported in previous fiscal years. However, users will still be able to access those data in preparing reports.

Along with these changes, users will see cleaned-up entry/edit screens that will show only events scheduled from July 1 forward.

As you develop programming for the current fiscal year, be sure to schedule events so that they appear on your county, regional and statewide calendars. Remember to keep your reporting up to date by reporting on sessions occurring in the previous month by the 10th of the following month.


ISE targets flood recovery for homes and businesses

An inservice on flood recovery and cleanup is scheduled for Sept. 30. The ITV session, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., will be offered in 11 locations.

ISE 526: Flood Recovery for Homes and Business Structures topics will cover removing debris, evaluating flooded structures and repair needs; treating flooded basements; reclaiming wells; using moisture meters; salvaging household items; controlling pests, mold and mildew; and choosing replacement materials for interior surfaces. Presenters also will discuss the lessons learned from the 1993 and 1995 floods.

All regional extension specialists are welcome to participate. “Even if you haven’t been involved with the recent flood recovery efforts, this ISE will help you prepare for future flooding events,” said Eric Evans, MU state community emergency management specialist.

ITV locations included St. Joseph, Poplar Bluff, Salem, Portageville, Kirksville, Springfield, Reeds Spring, Nevada, Jackson, Palmyra and MU.

Individuals may register through WebApps until Sept. 25.


Regional conferences address chronic pain management

Farming, forestry and fishing rank as the most dangerous occupations, with risk factors two to five times greater than other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many agricultural workers find that they must live and work with ongoing pain as a result of workplace mishaps.

MU Extension’s AgrAbility Project will host one-day workshops on coping with chronic pain in northwest and southwest Missouri. Growing Well with Pain will be Oct. 2, at the St. Joseph Holiday Inn. A second workshop is scheduled for Oct. 3 at the Webster County extension office in Marshfield. Both workshops from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Growing Well with Pain is designed to help agricultural workers, their families and heath-care providers understand the challenges of living with chronic pain and strategies for coping.

Penney Cowan, founder and executive director of the American Chronic Pain Association, will speak at both events.

“Living with chronic pain can seem like an impossible task,” Cowan said. “But it is possible to improve the quality of your life, increase your ability to function and reduce your sense of suffering.

“Our goal is to empower people with chronic pain, and their caregivers and families, with information and resources to help them better manage their pain,” she said.

The program is designed to foster productive dialog between people with chronic pain and health care providers to facilitate better diagnosis and treatment outcomes.

Karen Funkenbusch, AgrAbility program director, encouraged extension faculty and staff in the region to attend the program. “This workshop isn’t just for farmers; it’s for anyone who is dealing with chronic pain,” she said.

Registration for either workshop is due Sept. 26. To register for the St. Joseph program, contact Bev Maltsberger, NW community development specialist; for Marshfield, contact Bob Schultheis, SW ag engineering specialist.


UM offers weekly podcast

The University of Missouri System communications office produces a weekly podcast, available each Monday. The most recent podcast features Monica Beglau, executive director of the eMINTS National Center, discussing the benefits of technology in the classroom. UM System Podcasts

Many coaches, parents and exercise professional believe lifting weights is unsafe for children despire research to the contrary. Debbie Johnson reports in this University of Missouri radio story

Kids and weight training

Many coaches, parents and exercise professionals believe lifting weights is unsafe for children despite research to the contrary. Debbie Johnson reports in this University of Missouri radio story.

New employees

Welcome to those who recently have joined the MU Extension team:

• Nathan Brandt, horticulture specialist, St. Louis County

• Lesli Bruce, administrative assistant, Tri-Lakes TCR

• Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist, Greene County

• Velynda Cameron, 4-H youth specialist, Greene County

• Christy Hicks, 4-H youth program assistant, Henry County

• Kate Kammler, agronomy specialist, Ste. Genevieve County

• Rae Lee, business trainer and consultant, Missouri Training Institute, MU

• Susan Mackley, office support III, MU Conference Office

• Maureen McCollum, radio producer, KBIA

• Donna Mehrle, extension associate, human development and family studies-extension, MU

•Brie Menjoulet, agronomy specialist, Hickory County

• Shaun Murphy, youth extension associate, Livingston County

• Alexis Roam, clinical instructor, Nursing Outreach and Distance Education, MU

• Jennifer Taber, nutrition and health education specialist, Pettis County

• Rebecca Tipton, 4-H youth program assistant, Sullivan County

• Dustin Vendreley, ag business specialist, Pettis County

• Rebecca Wheeler, 4-H youth program associate, Cass County

• Joshua Williams, 4-H youth program associate, Jackson County

• Erika Winkler, 4-H youth program associate, Dallas County


Condolences are extended:

Dan Downing, MU water quality extension associate, on the death of his mother, Doris Downing.

Robin Davidson, NW nutrition program associate, on the death of her father-in-law.

The family of Anna Catherine Yost, retired MU home economics professor, who died Aug. 17.

MU Extension Insider is published on the 1st and 15th of each month for MU Extension faculty and staff. Send comments to Editor, Eileen Yager.