News for employees

MU Extension Insider
August 1, 2012


In the news

Upcoming events

Coming and going


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

In the news

Home energy score offers 'MPG' rating for houses

This video news story reported by Kent Faddis.


See also: Related print article by Curt Wohleber.


Extreme summer heat makes air conditioner maintenance a high priority

Marshfield, Mo. – Triple-digit heat has home air conditioning units working overtime. Simple maintenance can help keep an air conditioner running smoothly when it’s needed the most.

For the full story and related radio news story see the press release by Debbie Johnson.

More information on the summer heat and drought is available online:!/MissouriDroughtInfo


MU FRTI celebrates 30 years as an institute

MU Fire & Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) celebrated 30 years as an accredited institute within University of Missouri Extension on July 1. This year also denotes the Institute’s 80th year as a training program.

“The roots of MU FRTI can be traced back to 1933, when mid-Missouri fire departments joined with MU to address the need for more advanced training,” said David Hedrick, MU FRTI director. “Through these efforts, the first Missouri Central Fire School was conducted that same year.

The purpose of the first “school” was to provide “training that was needed for firefighters to perform their duties safely and efficiently.” Before the end of the 1940s, state fire training found a permanent full-time home with MU and by 1982, acquired the formal name, MU Fire & Rescue Training Institute.

The institute is renowned for its excellence in fire and emergency preparedness programming (essential occupational training) as well as its engagement with the community and emergency responders. MU FRTI is hailed as one of the leading statewide fire training systems in the country. On June 20, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recognized this anniversary with a proclamation declaring the outstanding value of MU FRTI.

“The dedicated work of our predecessors, university and extension administrators, program directors, and Missouri Fire Service officials, enabled the program to gain this recognition and designation as an Institute,” Hedrick said. “Their vision and planning have helped to ensure the long-term availability of training resources for Missouri firefighters.”

The training and education provided by the institute is designed to develop and enable more competent and safer firefighters as well as safer communities for the citizens of Missouri and beyond. During fiscal year 2012, MU FRTI provided critical training and education to more than 17,000 firefighters statewide.


Gulick to lead community development society


Congratulations to Sharon Gulick, ExCEED director who was named president of the international Community Development Society at its conference last week in Cincinnati.

CDS, which has its roots at the University of Missouri,  provides leadership to professionals and citizens across the spectrum of community development. The group's members represent a variety of fields including education, health care, social services, government, utilities, economic development practitioners and citizen groups.  More than 80 percent of members practice in the United States with the remaining members coming from 32 countries around the globe.

Gulick also was recently featured in a story by Harvest Public Media: 


Spirit Spark!

By Sarah Traub, human development specialist       

Has the thought crossed your mind that maybe your county (or campus) office needs to be freshened up?  Look up from your computer screen. Do you see a lot of clutter, something with the old logo, a layer of dust across your printer? 

Not only do first impressions count, but having a neat, organized, clean work area can brighten a workspace and improve production.  We all get busy with programming and the day-to-day requirements of our jobs. However, it may be beneficial in more ways than one to take some time to spruce up your office. 

  1. Declutter: Take a quick inventory of your office.  How much of the contents of your space are used continually?  How much of it has been sitting for weeks, months…maybe years?!  Before doing anything else, declutter!  Determine what office supplies you need and get rid of what’s not needed.
  2. Clean: When your environment is clean, it helps your mind to be creative and productive.  If you have trash, old newspapers, magazines, etc. cluttering your office, clean them up!
  3. Organize: Try dividing your office space into zones.
    1. Storage: Items that can go in a closet, such as office supplies, programming supplies, and rarely used reference materials.
    2. Desk Items: Only the bare necessities, pens/pencils, computer, stapler, and tape. Everything else needs a home inside of a desk drawer to prevent a cluttered desk.
    3. Display: For books and magazines use organizers that go on shelves.  A few pictures and mementos can be used to personalize your space.  For example, hang a diploma, award, or letter of appreciation above your desk that speaks to your accomplishments and represents your values as an employee.
  4. Light: If your office is dark, figure out how to lighten it up.  Open up windows, buy different window treatments, or bring in lighting that will brighten your space.  Try placing a small desk lamp in the top center of your desk near your writing hand to raise the wattage at your workspace and to offset harsh shadows cast by overhead fluorescents.  When you can see clearly you are more likely to stay in that space.

If there is some cleaning, organizing, and/or throwing out you and your officemates need to do watch for details of the upcoming contest that Team Spirit is holding in the next edition of the Insider!  Be sure to take “Before Pictures” if you decide to get started today!


Seasonal and simple App available now

By Janet Hackert, nutrition and health education specialist

The smart phone application for Seasonal and Simple is free to download and is available online at: 

The application is based on the MU Extension publication Seasonal and Simple, a guide for selecting and using Missouri produce. It describes a variety of vegetables and fruits that are grown locally in Missouri. It includes familiar produce such as apples and broccoli, and others like okra and kohlrabi that not everyone knows how to handle. The guide has a seasonal chart showing when to expect each item to be available locally. It gives nutritional information, explains how to select ripe produce, what part(s) are edible, how to prepare the fruit or vegetable, and how to store it.

The app has a variety of serving suggestions and recipes for each item. They include hot and cold options and a mix of cooking methods. Many recipes are simple to make. You can watch Chef Brook Harlan demonstrate four of the recipes online:  

A feature that was added to the application version is a “Find it” option that enables consumers to find farmers markets in or near each Missouri county.

The app can be downloaded:



Download Seasonal and Simple for free and take it with you to your local farmers market, produce stand or grocery store and know for sure what the perfect fruit or vegetable should look, feel and/or smell like before it is purchased. Check out the recipes while shopping and get the other ingredients you will need while you are at it. Then go home and have your fresh produce in a seasonal and simple meal or snack.

For more information on this great resource contact Janet Hackert at or your local MU Extension office.


Mediterranean diet tour reveals culinary charms of Italy

By Vera Massey, nutrition and health education specialist

The word diet is derived from the ancient Greek term diata, which was defined as a “way of living/lifestyle.” It’s not only about the food we eat, but how we live in our daily lives. 

A few weeks ago MU Extension regional specialists and dieticians and professionals from Nebraska, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas and Oklahoma had the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle.

The Mediterranean Diet: Food, Culture and Policies for Nutrition and Health study tour was offered June 2-15 in Florence, Italy, by the MU nutrition and exercise physiology department.  Legreta Hudson, MU dietetics faculty member, and Ann Cohen, MU Extension nutrition and health specialist, led the study tour in partnership with Apicius International School of Hospitality in Florence.

MU Extension nutrition and health education specialists participating in the study tour included: Karen Elliott, Susan Mills-Gray, Lynda Johnson, Denise Schmitz, Vera Massey and Kathy Dothage, human development specialist.

The study tour provided countless opportunities to learn about the food, culture and policies that contribute to the health-promoting Mediterranean diet and how they can be applied in the U.S.

Highlights of the study tour included:

The food…


Seeing the fresh milk coming in from local Parma, Italy dairy farms and being transformed into one the world’s most famous cheeses….Parmigiano Reggiano (and we’re not talking about the stuff you shake out of a container).

The rows of Parma hams curing at a production facility, and when cured to the perfect stage, will be thinly sliced and served as the prized prosciutto.

Breathing in the sweet, acidic aroma at the Balsalmic Vinegar Consortium production facility in Modena, Italy where they create the champagne of all vinegars…..the Aceto Balsamico.

The small staff at Cucina Carducci, a school facility that prepares more than 12,000 meals each day for local Florentine pre/elementary schools, use primarily local fresh foods, and almost 70 percent are organically  produced.  

Spending time in a small kitchen where some of the most famous creative Florence chocolatiers magically transform ingredients into the most amazing chocolates…..and then the gift of savoring seven different flavored chocolate creations……ahhhhhhh.   

Taking in the sights, smells and sounds at the bustling Florence central food market, the San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale, where you find hundreds of food vendors selling local produce, cheese, fish, meats and other popular Tuscan food products.  

The vino…..


Touring the Bindella vineyard and winery, located in the breathtaking Tuscany countryside, where they produce some of the top wines of Tuscany. Tasting some of their prized wines was a highlight too. 

The people....


The many instructors who inspired us with their knowledge and passion for promoting local food and health like: Dr. Francesco Sofi, Mediterranean Diet researcher at the University of Florence, who shared insights into the past, present and future of the Mediterranean Diet.

Professor Sandro Bosticco, a slow food leader, who was involved in the late 1980s in helping form the slow food organization in Italy as a counter response to the rise of fast food and fast life and the disappearance of local food traditions and declining interest in the food people eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. 

Italians are passionate and proud of their country and their history.  They also are passionate about the food they grow and prepare, and they delight in sharing the gift of food for others to enjoy.

The Mediterranean Diet study tour proved to be a life-changing experience for participants and has not only impacted our own lives but will have an impact on how we approach our work in helping individuals and communities improve their health and well-being.


MU Extension St. Louis meets success with open house

  open house

The University of Missouri Extension St. Louis office hosted a group of visitors for its open house on July 11.

“It was a great opportunity for the community to meet the faculty and hear about the programs MU Extension offers in St. Louis,” reports Judith A. Culp, civic communications specialist. Many attendees were unfamiliar with MU Extension or were unsure of what role Extension could play in their lives or businesses.  After meeting with MU Extension specialists, one businessman stated that we were “sitting on a goldmine of resources.” He was better able to strategize how to use his grant money and he was interested in partnering with a MU Extension community development specialist in the future.

Another person stated that she learned strategies for keeping her house cool during the extreme summer heat and remarked that “she understands the crucial role Extension plays in keeping people informed.”

“It was a great networking event and provided a chance for many people to finally put names with faces,” said Culp. “We even had some of our Twitter followers “tweet” about the event. It is our hope to continue to familiarize the St. Louis area with the wonderful work that MU Extension does, not only here but across the state!”


 NE Region director announces retirement

Soneeta Grogan, Northeast Region director, will retire Aug. 31, according to Michael Ouart, MU vice provost and director of Extension.  "Dr. Grogan has provided excellent leadership in the Northeast Region," says Ouart.  "The entire Extension family wishes Soneeta well as she moves into retirement."  

Beverly Coberly, associate vice provost for programs, will temporarily assume the interim regional director role in the NE Region Sept.1.  Coberly will be assisted by Tony DeLong, county council coordinator, who will work with the NE Regional Council and NE Region county councils.  Ruth Jeffries, administrative associate for the NE Region, will continue as the primary point of contact to provide ongoing communication with faculty, staff and councils.  Details on regular faculty meetings, CPD meetings and other important contact and connection points will be forthcoming soon.


Upcoming events

Extension Quarterly Teamwork Award – Third Quarter 

The University of Missouri Extension Quarterly Teamwork Award recognizes MU Extension campus and/or regional faculty and staff members who have collaborated on program teams.

“This award was instituted within MU Extension to recognize excellence by a team of three members or more that has developed, implemented and evaluated a specific educational response to a specific need,” says Beverly Coberly, associate vice provost programs. “Teams may include members of the community who have made significant contributions to the success of the project or program.”

Nominations for the third quarter are due to Coberly Sept. 1.


UMEA awards nominations due

The UMEA Awards nomination forms are available for 2012.  This is a great way to be recognized or to recognize one of your colleagues.  The awards will include funds to use for programming or professional development.  All nomination materials are due by Aug. 31.

Awards will be presented in three award categories.

Please take the time to nominate yourself or a colleague to be recognized at the Extension Fall Conference in October.  Nomination materials can be found on the UMEA website:

Award materials should be submitted electronically to Randa Doty (


Learning to eat for health and enjoyment

Online 10-week class – ENROLL NOW!

Discover the benefits of this innovative approach to weight management. “If you have a history of chronic dieting, have rigid “healthy” rules about eating, or find yourself eating when you’re stressed, bored, or unhappy, this may be the program for you,” says Lynn Rossy, health psychologist T.E. Atkins University of Missouri Wellness Program. “The Eat for Life 10-week program uses mind-body practices, the principles of intuitive eating, and group support to guide you in making lifestyle changes that will help you create a healthier relationship to your food, mind, and body.”

The online 10-week class runs from Sept. 14 through Dec. 7, except Thanksgiving week.

The cost is only $50, and $25 is refunded with full participation.

For more information watch the online videos. To enroll send in your registration form by Sept. 10 to:

University of Missouri - Columbia
Healthy for Life
Attn:  Lynn Rossy
205 Heinkel Building
Columbia, MO  65210

For more information, contact



Fee generation workshops set

Workshops have been scheduled to explain additional functionality and updates to the Fee Generation Worksheet-Online Tool. Register through ISE for the following workshop dates:

Date Time
8/16/2012 10-11 a.m.
9/18/2012 2-3 p.m.
10/22/2012 10-11 a.m.


Other dates to remember

Aug. 10: Deadline for statewide award applications.

Sept. 14: Epsilon Sigma Phi awards due. According to Vera Massey, ESP awards committee chair, ESP has 17 different awards available to recognize an extension colleague or a friend of extension:

Sept. 15: CANCELLED - Susan Mills-Gray reports that due to changes in the non-conference football schedule as a result of the Missouri Tigers’ move to the SEC the Team Spirit/UMEA Extension Game with Tigers Football for September 15th has been cancelled.  The organizing committee appreciates your patience in this matter and looks forward to working toward hosting this event in 2013.

Sept. 20: NTT dossier workshop: Questions and Answers.  For questions regarding the NTT process, contact Marcia Shannon ( or Nicki Eatinger-Sprague (, or visit the NTT website for more information:

Oct. 29-31: 2012 Extension Annual Conference in Columbia.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Maria Imhoff, data entry operator, Human Environmental Science Extension.

Chelsea Lippincott, nutrition program associate, NE – Family Nutrition Program.

Lydia Kaume, extension professional assistant, SW – HES.

Phil Leslie, writer and editor, Cooperative Media Group.



Mary Lee Libeer, nutrition program assistant, WC – Family Nutrition Program.



Wilson Majee, NW community development specialist, has resigned effective Aug. 6, to accept a position as assistant professor of health sciences with the MU School of Health Professions.

Shaun Murphy, 4-H youth specialist, Livingston County, assumed the county program director responsibilities in Mercer County on Aug. 1.


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