News for employees

MU Extension Insider
August 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

4-H programs featured on JCTV

 Jenny Flatt, 4-H youth specialist in Cole County, and 4-H member Shannon Yokley were interviewed recently on "Live United," a program from Central Missouri United Way broadcast on JCTV, Lincoln University's public-access station.


Budget update

From Rhonda Gibler, associate vice provost, administrative management:

On June 10, Gov. Jay Nixon announced that the total reduction to the University of Missouri for the 2012 fiscal year would be 8.1 percent rather than the 7 percent we had believed would be the case.

As reported by the UM President’s office, the university system decided to cover half of the additional 1.1 percent through a reduction in funding to the Enterprise Investment Program.  This decision at the system level makes the effective reduction in state funding to the MU Extension budget 7.63 percent.

We were positioned through the work of the budget task force to deal with a 7 percent reduction, so we are not making any drastic adjustments based on the additional 0.63 percent reduction.

We announced a reduction in recurring investment in the TCRC Network in November 2010.  This change involved numerous partners and will be completely implemented by November 2011, addressing nearly 40 percent of the FY12 state reduction.  We also made significant reductions in projects funded with Outreach Development funds; line items in our general operating budget that were completely state-funded faced higher reductions and reallocations than items funded by multiple revenue sources; and we reduced costs through the reassignment of duties within the administrative cabinet – reducing the cabinet from four members to three at the retirement of Debbie Robison.

The FY13 budget is no more certain now than the 2012 budget was at this point last year, so our strategy needs to continue to be flexible enough to deal with what the future holds.  We are going to need to continue to hold positions funded with general operating resources as they become open to ensure reasonable management of future cuts.

For our longer-term future, we recognize that to continue to hold positions that become open is not a permanent solution, so we will be examining our overall staffing plan and program structure with the intention of maintaining the highest-priority positions and programs.  Over time our recurring commitment to positions will need to be trimmed to fit the available GO resources.  We expect this will happen in two ways: 1) Other revenue sources will continue to be developed that pick up positions (or parts of positions) that were formerly funded by GO; and 2) We will reduce the number of positions funded by GO on a permanent basis. 

With either approach, we have the flexibility through maintaining some vacancies to move to a new staffing structure over time so we have a greater ability to be respectful of employees, partnerships and priorities. 

We will continue to communicate what we see on the horizon with respect to the budget as well as initiatives and changes that may need to be made to address the challenges of maintaining the budget in the current environment.


Herbicide blamed in tree deaths

Thousands of eastern white pines and Norway spruces across the country began dying and showing damage this year, and a key suspect in the mystery is Imprelis, a weed killer many lawn companies and landscapers started using this spring, says Chris Starbuck, state woody ornamentals specialist. Kent Faddis reports.

Also see related news release by Roger Meissen.


Gov. Nixon salutes Randolph County EXCEL

excelMeeting in the governor's office were, from left: Johanna Reed Adams, Gov. Nixon, the Rev. Mike Wondel and Sam Richardson.

Leaders of Randolph County EXCEL, a community leadership-development program, met with Gov. Jay Nixon in his office in the Capitol earlier this year. Randolph County EXCEL (Experience in Community Enterprise and Leadership Development) was founded in Moberly in 1984 and has graduated over 300 community leaders.

Meeting in the governor's office were Johanna Reed Adams, community leadership development state specialist; Rev. Mike Wondel, pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Moberly and representative of the 2011 EXCEL class; and Sam Richardson, immediate past president of Randolph County EXCEL. Randolph County EXCEL is now recruiting area high school students for its 2012 youth program. Learn more at


Writing tip from Duane Dailey

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, mentored middle managers to write business plans as one-page summaries. “The Pitch” to the board must contain details and sizzle. This remains good for presenting ideas to extension councils, county commissions, farm groups and chambers of commerce.

Now comes Christopher Johnson with a shorter approach in his new book, “Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little,” from W.W. Norton & Company.

Our attention economy shrunk, he says. We’re heading toward the world of Twitter, where 140-character messages carry the load.

At least heed his ideas, whether you’re writing a PowerPoint presentation, a newsletter item or a news story. Write with power. But be concise.

The headings in the first section of the book, “Meaning,” give clues: Be clear. Choose the right word. Paint a picture. Push buttons. Evoke specific situations. Zoom in on telling details. Tap into metaphors…and much more.

Under metaphors, Johnson cites the successful one from the National Pork Board: “The other white meat.” But he also cites Miller’s “The champagne of bottled beer.”

It’s OK to wax creative in your writing.


Upcoming events

MU Extension to celebrate College Colors Day, Sept. 2


Win prizes, have fun and tell everyone that you are a part of Mizzou by decorating your county MU Extension office with black and gold on National College Colors Day, Friday, Sept. 2.

To participate, here’s what you need to do:

A panel of judges will evaluate submissions and designate winning offices.

Before Sept. 2 each county extension office will receive a bag of Mizzou items to help you decorate and promote MU.

Questions? Contact Barb Casady, director of development, at


Sept. 17 is MU Extension Day with the Mizzou Tigers

The Mizzou football team is partnering with MU Extension to offer significant savings off the ticket price for the Sept. 17 Mizzou-Western Illinois game (time TBA). Tickets are available for $20 instead of the regular price of $47. The order form must be postmarked by Aug. 31.

To celebrate MU Extension Day, UMEA is holding a pregame tailgate party at the Hearnes Center featuring barbecue, Marching Mizzou, Truman the Tiger and the cheer squad. Tailgate tickets (which do not include game tickets) are $20. Order forms with payment are due Aug. 23.


Volunteers needed for the Missouri State Fair

MU Extension volunteers are desperately needed to work the booth during the 2011 Missouri State Fair.

“We’d like to have representation from all of our units -- Continuing Education, Business Development, Community Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4-H Youth Development, Human Environmental Sciences and other extension program-support units,” says Vicki Bach, HES Extension coordinator. “Please pass the message along to others within your area and coordinate with your supervisor for permission to work.”

See the current 2011 Staffing Schedule and let Vicki know if you can work a shift by contacting her at 573-882-5117 or


Time to apply for statewide awards

Toot your own horn and apply for an individual award or consider nominating a colleague for great programming.

Are you a part of a team that is doing great work? Apply for the teamwork award and you could win $5,000 to use toward your programming.

University of Missouri Extension Performance Awards recognize the commitment and dedication of extension employees in carrying out the extension mission — serving the people of Missouri with research-based education that meets their highest priorities.

New last year…County Program Director Excellence Award: Recognizes distinguished performance and educational contributions to University of Missouri Extension and clientele by a CPD.

What are the other awards? There’s an award category for everyone…don’t miss out!
Vice Provost's Award for Outstanding Achievement
Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award
Extension Teamwork Award
Missouri Farm Bureau Federation Outstanding Specialist Awards
Missouri Extension Business Award
Missouri Extension Industry Award
Pat and Tom Buchanan Endowment  
Dr. Ronald J. Turner Endowment Global Education Award

How do I apply? Applications and supporting materials must be postmarked by Aug. 19. Send to Janice Perkins, 109F Whitten Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. Contact Lisa Wallace with questions at or 660-885-5556.

The awards will be presented at the Galaxy Conference on Nov. 1-2 at Camp Windermere. Please take time to nominate yourself or others.


Today is the application deadline for UMEA Professional Improvement Scholarships

One of the great benefits of belonging to UMEA is that you are eligible to apply for UMEA Professional Improvement Scholarships. This year UMEA is giving $3,000 in scholarships.

The next deadline for applying is Aug. 1—that’s today! Awards are for up to $500. Applicants must be a current member of UMEA and have been a member the last two years. Priority will be given to first-time applicants.

Download the application form, which needs to be signed by your supervisor, and e-mail, fax or mail the form to Cindy Zluticky, UMEA treasurer, at the address indicated on the form. Applicants will be notified by Sept. 1. Apply today! Seriously, today is the deadline.


Hone your skills at making a difference in your community

Learn how to promote participation, create leaders and move through conflicts without being stopped. Sign up for the Community Development Academy, Sept. 19-23 in St. Louis.

The Community Development Academy is an intensive, experiential, five-day program offered by MU Extension. The two courses in this fall’s program are “Building Communities from the Grass Roots” and “Creating Capacity for Dynamic Communities.”

The Academy is designed for community organizers, community planners, faith-based professionals, extension and outreach professionals, teachers; members of neighborhood associations, city councils, chambers of commerce and community nonprofit organizations; and anyone else out to make a difference in the community.

Learn more at Registration information is available at Participants may be eligible for continuing education units or college credit (undergraduate and graduate). Limited scholarships for registration fees are available.


Galaxy Conference is Nov. 1-2

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the Galaxy Conference, Nov. 1-2 at Windermere Conference Center at the Lake of the Ozarks, says Lisa Wallace, human development specialist and CPD, Henry County.

“We’ve had several people indicate they didn’t know the dates,” Lisa says. “Though we are not ready to announce specifics, the dates need to be on people’s calendars.”


Coming and going

Please welcome

LaWana Wright, secretary, NW Region.

Carrie Anne Edwards, coordinator, publications/media relations, Human Environmental Science Extension.

Heather Nicole Eoff, EC nutrition program associate.

Carol Heffner, who has worked in the fiscal management office since 2007, takes on a new role there as executive staff assistant to Rhonda Gibler, associate vice provost, administrative management.


Bob Weaber heads to Manhattan, Kan.

Colleagues gathered last Thursday for a going-away reception without any purple punch for Bob Weaber at the MU Animal Sciences Center. He is moving to Kansas State University to become cow-calf extension specialist. He follows a long list of animal scientists and veterinarians who’ve made the switch.

Marc Linit, CAFNR associate dean for research and extension, told Bob, “You will be missed. Already, members of the MU beef team have been banging on our doors asking that your position be refilled.”

Latest word: The MU Extension beef genetic position will be refilled.



Claudette Roper, coordinator, Mineral Area TCRC.

Kevin Anderson, coordinator, Poplar Bluff TCRC.

Ann Matthews, coordinator, Portageville TCRC.

Leslie Carroll-Bartlett, WC Region information technologist, Nevada TCRC.

Janis Collins, coordinator, Nevada TCRC.

Elizabeth Reinsch, EC Region nutrition program associate.

Waneta Frazer, extension associate, statewide business and industry.


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.