News for employees

MU Extension Insider
April 1, 2011


In the news

Upcoming events

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the first and 15th of the month. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

Severe weather

Tornadoes and other severe weather make their presence known in Missouri.

According to MU’s Missouri Climate Center, Missouri ranks seventh in number of tornadoes, 12th in fatalities and ninth in economic loss in the nation (based on all tornadoes between 1950 and 1994). La Niña may help in predicting where storms may break out this spring and summer. MU atmospheric science students study computer models to predict storms. The Mizzou Storm Chase Team uses those predictions to hunt down and understand these severe weather phenomena.

Kent Faddis explains more in his report. 

A print release written by Randy Mertens is available.


Disaster-readiness resources from MU Extension

 Online resources:

Articles/news releases

 Being prepared for spring storms is a necessity for Missouri residents:

MU guide helps you build family disaster plan:

 Prepare emergency supplies for spring storm season:

 Batten down the hatches; storm shelters make sense in disaster-prone Missouri:

 Coping with Disaster feature articles:

Publications and videos         

 EMW1001, Statewide Disaster Response/Recovery Contact List

EMW1011, Family Disaster Plan – A template to guide families through the process of developing a comprehensive disaster plan.

EMW1012, Disaster Supplies Kit – A downloadable guide to gathering the supplies your family will need if a disaster strikes.

EMW1015, Sizing and Safety Tips for Standby Power Generators

EMW1016, Generator Safety Concerns Video

EMW1019, Tornado Season: Are You Ready?

EMW1021, Taking Shelter From the Storm: Safe Rooms Video

G1905, Is Your Family Prepared for an Earthquake?

MP904, Resources for Your Flooded Home

 Other links

 MU Extension Community Emergency Management Program (CEMP):

Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) resources:

MU Extension news: | News feed:


U.S. agencies exercise caution with Japanese food imports

Federal regulatory agencies are closely monitoring the on-going situation in Japan and making decisions to keep Americans safe. Listen to Debbie Johnson’s podcast to learn more.

Also see a print release by Roger Meissen.


Macon holds first Farm and City Night


Roger Meissen/Coop Media Group
Kimberly Penton, an MU Extension Nutrition Program Assistant, explains how she works in classrooms to educate children about nutrition to a group that attended Tuesday’s Farm and City Night in Macon.

The local community joined MU Extension specialists and members of the Macon County Extension Council Tuesday, March 29, for its first Farm and City Night at the First Christian Church in Macon.

The program showcased the good work Extension specialists are doing in the region. From business and plant science, they talked about what they accomplish in local communities. Mary Smyser, coordinator for the Marion County Food and Nutrition Program, said she and other nutrition specialists make a difference in classrooms.

“It’s wonderful to be in classrooms and convince children to be brave and try something new,” Smyser said. “There are schools having trouble financially, and for us to come into classrooms and provide nutrition education is huge.”

The event included a lasagna dinner and demonstrations from local 4-H chapters on activities like archery, fly tying and cake decorating.

The event is the brainchild of Melissa Masten, former county council chair, who saw a regional program showcase two years ago and worked to organize a similar event in Macon.

“It’s such a good community outreach and is a good opportunity for the kids to exercise their speaking abilities and the community to just learn,” Masten said.


Missouri Livable Streets Training

Trevor Harris spent the past few weeks dotting the state as he trained community leaders and concerned citizens on how to organize behind a movement to make communities friendlier to bicyclists and pedestrians. The Missouri Livable Streets project coordinator hopes these efforts will help cities plan for a future that includes alternatives to the car.

Roger Meissen wrote about a recent training in Boonville.

Read more about Livable Streets on Tre’s blog


2011 Outstanding Service Award

Duane Dailey, MU Extension senior writer, received the 2011 Outstanding Service Award by the NEMO Beef Cattle Improvement Association. A plaque was presented during the annual BCIA meeting March 31 at Hannibal, Mo.

“If you have read any stories about our Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program it was probably written by Duane,” said Al Kennett, MU Extension regional livestock specialist, New London.

The banquet recognized both consignors and buyers at the BCIA heifer and bull sales. Zac Erwin and Wayne Shannon, regional livestock specialists, assist Kennett with the programs.


Extension Quarterly Teamwork Award – First Quarter

The West Central team was chosen to receive the University of Missouri Extension Quarterly Teamwork Award for their AgNewsline, a regional agriculture newsletter.

“This award was instituted within MU Extension to recognize excellence by a team that has developed, implemented and evaluated a specific educational response to a specific need,” says Michael D. Ouart, vice provost and director.

Congratulations to Marlin Bates, horticulture specialist Platte County; Al Decker, livestock specialist & Co-CPD Bates County ; Becky Gants, marketing consultant;  Travis Harper, agronomy specialist, Henry County; David Hoffman, livestock specialist & Co-CPD Cass County; Lala Kumar,  horticulture specialist Jackson County; Pat Miller, agronomy specialist & CPD Vernon County; Wayne Prewitt, interim WC regional director; Crystal Weber, community development specialist Jackson County; Whitney Wiegel, agriculture business specialist Lafayette County; and,  Julie Abendroth, agronomy specialist Ray County.

The WC team is being recognized for initiating a significant effort to revise and update AgNewsline.  This award recognizes that:

When survey respondents were asked how the newsletter had been utilized and benefited them, a few comments were:

“You are to be congratulated for this excellent achievement,” Ouart added. “Keep up the good work!”


Worth County 4-H clubs receive award


Brett Hardy of Grant City has been selected as a winner in the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, which gave farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their favorite local nonprofit organizations. He decided to give that money to Worth County 4-H.

Karla Parman, a Worth County youth program associate, said, “We’re very excited because we are the smallest county in the state of Missouri. We don’t have a lot of money-making projects, and we can use the money to grow our 4-H program. We really appreciate it.”

Read the entire release at


MU Extension Business Counselor to Lead National Government Procurement Group


A member of the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (MO PTAC) recently became president of the national Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) counselors at the group’s 26th annual conference last week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Bill Stuby, procurement counselor with MO PTAC at the MU College of Engineering in Columbia, was elected to a one-year term that began March 23.

APTAC represents more than 600 procurement counselors at 92 PTAC offices, ranging from Guam to Puerto Rico and throughout the United States.

As leader of APTAC, Stuby will be instrumental in developing, implementing and managing the organization’s professional development mission.

“I am pleased to accept the presidency of APTAC during these challenging economic times,” Stuby said.  “The national conference provides PTAC professionals with an opportunity to train and update their skills on the latest governmental procedures to help business clients interested in obtaining contracts with government offices.”

Stuby has been with MO PTAC – part of MU Extension’s business development program – for more than 10 years and serves as a counselor for business clients seeking to bid on contracts from federal, state and local government agencies. He covers a 34-county territory in central and northeast Missouri.

MO PTAC counselors are located in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Macon, St. Joseph and West Plains. They assist Missouri businesses in identifying government contracting opportunities for products or services associated with each company. Counselors also help client firms complete government forms, understand regulations, and fulfill necessary registrations and certifications. MO PTAC specialists also work to develop product-specific databases to help clients pinpoint timely bid leads.

Find out more about MO PTAC at or call 1-573-882-8058. In addition to MO PTAC, the University of Missouri Extension’s business development programs include the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC).

“All three programs are designed to foster Missouri’s economic development by helping enterprising Missourians meet the challenges presented by today’s ever-changing business environment,” Stuby said.


Upcoming events

Cooperative Media’s work hits KC FilmFest


A project edited and completed at MU Extension’s Cooperative Media Group will be shown at AMC Theatres during the five-day Kansas City FilmFest. The documentary “NAKED BRONZE: Louis Smart Sculptor in the Ozarks” will screen Saturday April 9th at 10:15 a.m.  James Bogan, Missouri University of Science and Technology professor, produced and directed the film, and the Coop Media Group provided post-production services.  Coop Media’s Michael Hicks, TV and Film Producer, was the film’s Creative Consultant and the project’s Final Editor.

Smart’s art is world caliber, while remaining uniquely Missouri.  Smart explained part of Missouri’s influence on his art, “One of my first experiences with sculpture and the awareness of form was afforded by the red clay deposits and limestone which had been exposed by the cut Highway 66 made through a cliff by my home.”

The half-hour documentary offers insight into the work of Missouri Ozarks’ Sculptor Louis Smart, his appreciation of Rodin and the long process Smart goes through in realizing one of his figures.  When asked why he chose this project, Bogan, a Curators' Teaching Professor of Art and Film, said “I have admired the expressive human figure sculptures of Louis Smart for 35 years.” Bogan added that “watching the pouring of molten bronze at 2,200 degrees is an unforgettable experience and I hope our film will be a true reflection of his great work.” In the film Smart constructs the Deer Dancer, which is housed in the lobby of the Missouri S&T Havener Center.  Another of Smarts works is the bust of Einstein at the Missouri S&T library, which students touch their foreheads to in hopes to raise their personal IQ’s.

MU Extension’s Cooperative Media Group has a long history of collaborating with other departments, campuses and state agencies.  “We’ve always worked with other offices and have made videos such as providing Help America Vote Act training for poll workers, documenting story tellers at the Arch or following the Mizzou Chancellor as he surprises Kemper winners with $10,000,” said Hicks. “In addition to being proud of the Smart project for its artistic achievement, I’m proud because it exemplifies MU Extension’s commitment to promoting Missouri heritage and community arts.”

“Hopefully after being entertained for a half hour, you will not only walk out and know what applying a patina is or why it is called lost-wax casting, but gain a greater appreciation of Missouri artists.”

Read more about Louis Smart at:

Watch a three-minute preview of the film at:

Or purchase a DVD of the documentary at:

Ticket info: 
Naked Bronze.  $10 at the door at 10am at on Saturday April 9 at the
AMC Mainstreet 6
14TH and Main
In the Power & Light District
1400 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64105-2166
(888) 262-4386
Tickets also available online at


Coming and going

Please welcome

Vickie Seiler, family nutrition program assistant, SE-Region.



Debbie Robison announced her retirement from the University of Missouri, effective Dec. 31.  As of April 1, Robison will begin working for the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, thus leaving Extension for the interim period prior to her retirement.



Our sympathy goes out to:

JoEtta Bowling, office manager Stone County, whose father Herschel V. Carr passed away on March 21, 2011.

The family of Mary Anne Baumann, retired NW-Region YPA, who passed away on March 20, 2011.

Rhonda Gibler, assistant vice provost-management, whose mother Janet Gruenloh passed away March 31, 2011. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m., Sunday, April 3, and funeral will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, April 4, at Pathway Memorial Funeral Home, 411 Union Avenue, Moberly. Condolences can be sent to Rhonda at 9725 E. Shelly Ln., Centralila, Mo 65240.


New beginnings

Congratulations to Amanda and Barrett Struchtemeyer on the birth of their son on March 15th. Amanda is a 4-H development specialist in the Central Region.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey or Curt Wohleber in the Cooperative Media Group. If you have questions, contact Mark Stillwell, CMG interim director.