News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Aug. 1, 2013


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

Open for business

open house

From left, Kevin Zumwalt, assistant director of the Fire and Rescue Training Institute (FRTI), Bev Coberly, MU associate vice provost and associate director of extension, and MU Vice Provost and Director of Extension Michael Ouart were among attendees at a July 31 open house for new MU Extension offices at 1110 S. College Ave.

Located in a wooded setting at the intersection of College Avenue and Stadium Boulevard, the building is the new home for FRTI, the Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development, and Extension Technology and Computing Services (ETCS).

During the open house, FRTI director David Hedrick recognized Coberly and Ouart for their long-standing support of FRTI. In keeping with FRTI tradition, Hedrick presented them with fire helmets naming them “Honorary Chiefs.”

The building formerly housed offices of the Missouri Department of Conservation. Friends and retirees of MU Extension are invited to visit the new facility on College Colors Day, Aug. 30.


MU Extension connects Latino farmers with resources for success

Latinos are the fastest-growing population in the nation. But according to the USDA, the number of Latino farmers in the U.S. has actually decreased. In this video news story, learn about an MU Extension program that works with Latinos in southwestern Missouri who want to farm.


Back-to-school news package available

back to school

The MU Extension Cooperative Media Group has compiled a news package to help local media with back-to-school special editions, Web pages and broadcasts. The series offers information, advice and ideas from extension specialists in child development, nutrition, family financial planning, safety and other fields. To see all entries in the series to date, go to


Funkenbusch receives national AgrAbility award

Karen Funkenbusch, co-project director of the Missouri AgrAbility Project, was awarded the Breaking New Ground Achievement Award at the 2013 National AgrAbility Training Workshop in Minneapolis.

The AgrAbility Project provides on-farm assistance, technical information, referrals and training to disabled individuals who want to continue to farm. Missouri is one of 24 states participating in the USDA-funded project.

Funkenbusch, who has been involved with the Missouri AgrAbility Project since its inception in 1994, was unable to attend the national workshop due to illness, so she received the award recently in Columbia from fellow co-project director Willard Downs.

“This award is one of only two awards that are made each year to AgrAbility staff at the national AgrAbility conference,” Downs said. “Besides providing guidance and leadership for Missouri AgrAbility for almost 20 years, Karen has always been very active in service and program development at the national level. She has been particularly successful in helping many of the clients our project serves find support to attend and participate in the national AgrAbility conference.”


Porth joins Lexington Community Arts Program


Mark Porth has been named a regional specialist for the Lexington Community Arts Program.

Lexington is the site of a two-year pilot project designed to provide an economic boost through community development in the arts. Porth will be developing an audio architectural and history tour of historic Lexington during his one-year appointment.

Porth holds bachelor’s degrees in architecture and interior architecture from Auburn University. He also holds a master’s in rural sociology from MU.

He previously worked for MU Extension’s Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (ExCEED) program and has worked as a sociologist and researcher for community and economic development projects in Missouri, Alabama and Utah.

Porth will work with Lee Ann Woolery, MU Extension community arts specialist. He can be reached at


2013 County Clerical Awards announced

Twelve county clerical staff members received honors for their contributions to the MU Extension mission and service to their communities.

County Clerical Staff Recognition Awards recognize extension support staff members who exhibit outstanding performance with the University of Missouri, MU Extension and county extension councils.

Senior Clerical Award

Junior Clerical Award

Rookie of the Year Award

Use of Technology Award

For more information about the awards, including nomination forms and selection criteria, go to


NELD participants sought for 2014 class

MU Extension would like to identify participants for the 2014 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 2014:

More information can be found at

If you are interested in applying, please submit to your supervising RD or PD the application and a letter (no longer than two pages) expressing why you would like to participate in the program. Deadline is Sept. 1.

Once your supervisor (RD or PD) receives your application, he or she will write a brief letter of support, sign the application and submit all documentation electronically to Julie Middleton at

“The internal selection process will include a committee recommendation and final selection by our Director of Extension,” says Middleton. “We will notify applicants by Sept. 26 of the outcome of the process and forward the applications of the selected Missouri participants to the North Central NELD leadership team.”

Contact Middleton if you have questions.


Get your Black and Gold on Aug. 30

Come see us if you can!

The day before the first home game is traditionally College Colors Day. MU Extension looks forward to being a part of the campus tradition.

Many county offices will be participating as well. Wherever you are on Aug. 30, please wear your black and gold proudly.

For those of you who can visit campus, there will be an open house in Whitten Hall from 10 a.m. to noon for friends and retirees of MU Extension. We also encourage you to stop in 1110 S. College Ave. the morning of Aug. 30 to see the new location of 4-H state offices, Fire and Rescue Training Institute, and Extension Technology and Computing Services.


Volunteers wanted for Missouri State Fair

MU Extension will again have a booth at the Missouri State Fair August 8-18. If you are interested in working a shift, please contact Becky Mott at


Upcoming events

Community Development Academy, Sept. 23-27 in St. Louis

The Community Development Academy is an intensive, experiential, five-day course offered by the University of Missouri Extension Community Development Program. Fall 2013 registration deadline is Sept. 6. Visit for registration details.


Fee-generation workshops

More workshops have been scheduled to explain additional functions and updates to the Fee Generation Worksheet-Online Tool. Register through ISE up to one week before the workshop. Sessions that do not have at least four registrants will be canceled and registrants will be asked to choose an alternate date.

2013 workshops

Aug. 15

2-3 p.m.

Sept. 18

10-11 a.m.

Oct. 17

2-3 p.m.

Nov. 20

10-11 a.m.

Dec. 19

2-3 p.m.

2014 workshops

Jan. 15

10-11 a.m.

Feb. 20

2-3 p.m.

March 19

10-11 a.m.

April 17

2-3 p.m.

May 21

10-11 a.m.

June 19

2-3 p.m.

July 16

10-11 a.m.

Aug. 21

2-3 p.m.


Get control of your stress!

Healthy for Life invites you to engage in a program with three decades of research showing its efficacy at helping people who are coping with job or family-related stress, depression, anxiety or other medical problems.  The eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program provides tools for responding to the stress associated with illness and everyday life with greater skill and creativity using mindfulness meditation, yoga, and body scan and information about stress, communication and wellness. The program is taught by Lynn Rossy, health psychologist for the Healthy for Life program.

Orientation: Wednesday, Sept. 25 (Memorial Union) at 5:30 p.m.
Class: Wednesdays (Oct. 2-Nov. 20), 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Retreat: Saturday, Nov. 16, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $40, includes a manual, DVD, and CD ($20 refunded if you attend seven of eight classes).  Spouses/partners (18 or over) can join with you free of charge if they use the same materials.

For more information or to register for the orientation meeting, please contact Craig Deken at


Other dates to remember

Aug. 4-7: Missouri FilmFest 4-H, Branson.
Aug. 30: Application deadline for MELD VI.
Aug. 30: College Colors Day.
Aug. 31: Deadline for UMEA awards nominations.
Sept. 1: Deadline for Quarterly Teamwork Award nominations.
Sept. 5: Bradford Research Center Tomato Festival, Columbia.
Sept. 6: Application deadline for MU Extension Performance Awards.
Oct. 1: NTT Training for Applicants 2, “Last Minute Tips with Questions and Answers.”
Oct. 28-30: Extension Fall Conference, Columbia.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Jana Groner Skopec, trainer, Missouri Training Institute.



Crystal Weber, community development specialist in Clay County, Urban-West Region, and her husband, Steven Cowen, welcomed daughter Caroline Loretta Cowen on July 16. She weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19 inches long.



Bernice Branstetter, mother-in-law of Karen Branstetter, 4-H youth specialist in Crawford County, passed away on July 20.

Kathleen Klein, mother of Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health specialist, Green County, died on July 20. Cards may be sent to Pam and Dalen Duitsman, 2065 N. Steeplechase Court, Nixa, MO 65714.

Cecil Rogers, father of Celeste Vanderbrugen, community development specialist in Madison County, passed away on July 13. The family has requested that no flowers be sent, but condolences may be sent to the Madison County Extension Center at 137 W. Main St., Fredericktown, MO 63645.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey, Curt Wohleber, or Phil Leslie in the Cooperative Media Group. If you have questions, contact Dennis Gagnon, director, MU Extension Communications and Marketing.