News for employees

MU Extension Insider
February 1, 2012


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

The tax man cometh

After the last holiday cards straggle in, the W-2s and 1099s start showing up. What are the treasures and pitfalls found in the 2011 tax rules? Surprisingly, there are very few changes, according to Andrew Zumwalt, MU Extension financial planning specialist.  Debbie Johnson reports.


Cooking Matters for Kids

Cooking Matters for Kids is a six-week course for third- through fifth-grade children that connects learning about health and nutrition to hands-on experience in the kitchen. Kent Faddis reports.

See also: Related news release by Curt Wohleber.


New UM President Tim Wolfe visits Greene County Extension Center


Extension State Council volunteer Anita Hampton, left, talks with new UM President Tim Wolfe Jan. 18 at the Greene County Extension Center. Wolfe heard from several extension specialists about their work in the region, talked with clients and traveled to Joplin to see how MU Extension has been working there.


Team Spirit!

To do something well you have to like it. In other words, "Do what you love."   Check out research in this area and you will find that the single most efficient way to increase your productivity is to be happy at work. Alexander Kjerulf,  aka "The Chief Happiness Officer," lists why loving what you do increases productivity:

Check out the full article on Alexander’s website.

Team Spirit is interested in knowing why YOU love your career with MU Extension.  So send an email with your response to the email group “MU EXT TeamSpirit”!

Team Spirit will be hosting a quarterly article discussion. More details will be included in the Insider in March, but go ahead and get started by checking out this quarter’s Journal of Extension article:

Strengthening Communities Through an Engaged Citizenry: Opportunities for Extension Programming


St. Louis County Stakeholder Campaign receives teamwork award

Participants in the St. Louis County Extension Center Stakeholder Campaign have been recognized with an Extension Quarterly Outstanding Teamwork Award.

The impending  MU Extension funding crisis led  St. Louis County’s Extension Council, faculty and staff, EC regional director Bud Reber, state Rep. Pat Yaeger and OSEDA information technology specialist Ted Gallion to implement the St. Louis County Extension Center’s Stakeholder Campaign.

The campaign's goal was to develop stronger relationships with state legislators and to educate them on the value MU Extension programs bring to St. Louis County and the state of Missouri.   Materials showing the location of county programs were developed with OSEDA’s assistance.  Extension council members, faculty and staff were trained so that they would be comfortable meeting with legislators.  Teams of participants contacted five or six legislators apiece before Legislative Day to increase the legislators’ familiarity with extension programs.

Several legislators were so impressed with the impact of extension programs that they asked for information to include in their constituent newsletters.  At Legislative Day, the legislators knew the council delegation and were uniformly eager to see them.  Because of the relationships, the St. Louis County delegation was introduced on the House floor four times that day, each time by a different legislator.  The Stakeholder Campaign helped develop positive relationships with state legislators and built closer ties between extension council members, faculty and staff.



Please consider joining the University of Missouri Extension Association.  UMEA is a professional organization that works on behalf of University of Missouri Extension campus and field faculty. Organizational objectives include:

Faculty with MU Extension programming responsibilities are eligible for membership. A complimentary membership is given to new faculty employed after UMEA's annual membership meeting for that membership year.

Here are some of the past and ongoing contributions by UMEA members:

The UMEA board meets bimonthly with Dr. Ouart to share faculty concerns and suggestions.

For more information on UMEA and a membership application, go to


Co-workers gather as Al Kennett retires after 43 years

Al Kennett retirement

Al Kennett, in gold Tiger vest, gathered current and former MU Extension co-workers at his retirement party, Jan. 21, in Hannibal. Al put in 43 years as regional livestock specialist out of the office in New London. Some 230 people bought tickets, but uncounted others came to wish him well during a two-hour reception before the dinner—and roast.

In his talk Kennett said his best work was coaching 4-H livestock judging teams that consistently won trips to national contests.

Some of those 4-Hers, now professionals, spoke on how tough he was. Now they can thank him for being demanding.

Kennett joined extension just as the area specialist system (later called regional) went into effect. He started in Macon County, but moved after one year to Ralls County.

His career program featured genetic improvement in livestock. First he resurrected a boar-testing station. Then he enrolled beef producers in bull performance testing. They formed the NEMO Beef Improvement Association. This transitioned easily into promoting Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers.

The NEMO members contributed, at last count, $3,700 for retirement trips. They speculate Al and wife Linda will miss few Tiger Bowl games from now on.

Al’s job ended Jan. 31. Daniel Mallory is already on the job as his replacement.


Wrong use of “effect” affects your writing

Writing tips from Duane Dailey

Two goofs in a row. First a graduate student used the wrong word in a PowerPoint. This week, a national beef magazine gets the words twisted around in a headline.

Affect and effect are quite tricky. When in doubt, look 'em up.

For most of our uses, affect is a verb. It means to influence.

Effect is usually a noun, the result of that influence.

Now, the confusing part: Both words can be either noun or verb. The AP Stylebook says affect as a noun is best avoided. “There is no need for it in everyday language.”

When effect is used as a verb, it means to cause. So, in most uses for plain writing, we can avoid effect. Just write cause. That gets it out of our everyday usage. If you use effect as a highfalutin verb, I’ll just get confused.


Upcoming events

Nominations for 2012 Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Awards due Feb. 3

Nominations are being accepted through Feb. 3 for the 2012 Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Awards.

These awards will be presented during the annual Staff Recognition Awards ceremony on Monday, May 14.

Please take a few minutes to nominate one of the many deserving staff here at the University of Missouri for one of these prestigious awards. A total of seven awards will be presented:

The Staff Advisory Council's website has links each nomination forms, descriptions and qualifications for each award. Please call the council office at 573-882-4269 for additional information or to have hard copies mailed to you. Volunteers will be needed to assist with the award selection process. If interested, please email no later than Feb. 3.


Media training webinar offered

ISE 234, Social Media Presentation Overview, Feb. 15, 10:30 a.m.- noon OR Feb. 16, 1-2:30 p.m.

This workshop will explore the current trends of social media as a marketing tool, looking at platforms such as Digg, Flickr, Google+ and LinkedIn, with a focus on Facebook and Twitter and their uses in business.

The  ISE will be led by MU graduate Anna Lawrence, associate partner at Word Marketing.

For more information, see In-Service Education on the MU Extension website.


4-H day with the St. Louis Cardinals

University of Missouri Extension faculty and staff members are invited to join Missouri and Illinois 4-H members, parents, volunteers and alumni at the 11th annual 4-H Day with the Cardinals on Saturday, May 12.  The world champion Cardinals will play the Atlanta Braves in a 6:15 p.m. game.  Tickets for the game are $24 each and include a specially designed T-shirt featuring the 4-H Clover on the back and the Cardinals emblem on the front.

4-H Day with the Cardinals participants will have the opportunity to participate in a parade around the Busch Stadium outfield.  Families can also take part in a raffle for great prizes, including the autographed baseballs and tickets to Cardinals games.  Pre-game ceremonies will include a recitation of the 4-H pledge and ceremonial first pitches by an Illinois and Missouri 4-H member.

Tickets for the event must be ordered on the 4-H Day with the Cardinals order form.  Ticket order forms are available at  Ticket orders must be postmarked by April 2.  Tickets usually sell out before the order deadline, so order early.  Staff who would like to be seated together must send their orders in the same envelope.

Contact Rhonda Shafer or Dave Hileman if you have questions about the event.


Cambio de Colores - Latinos in the Heartland conference, June 12-15

Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) is an annual meeting that brings together researchers, practitioners, decision-makers and community members to discuss the issues that Missouri, the Heartland and other states face as a result of the demographic changes made evident by the 2000 Census.  Led by the University of Missouri, Cambio de Colores is a collaborative effort that includes MU Extension, other educational institutions in the Midwest and the South, and governmental and private organizations.

Full call for abstracts available at Submission deadline for abstracts is Feb. 20.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Daniel Mallory, livestock specialist, Ralls County.

Kelly Rich, nutrition program associate, Marion County.

Jarita Lindsey-Carter, 4-H youth development program associate, Jackson County.


New arrivals

Congratulations to Mary Sheller, human resources associate, on the new addition to her family.  Mary’s daughter Deseri, husband Michael and big brother Mason welcomed Madison to their family on Jan. 18.  Madison weighed in at 7 pounds and was 19 inches long.  All are doing well.


Leaving us

Sara Brooke-Stiens, FNEP program manager, Nodaway County, resigned Jan. 20 to further her education.



Our sympathy goes to:

The family of Jacquie Stuart, youth program assistant, Monroe County, who lost her battle with cancer on Jan. 15.  In lieu of flowers, Jacquie would appreciate a show barn built for the kids of Monroe County.  The fund is set up at Paris National Bank. You can send also donations to the Monroe County MU Extension Center in Paris.  The fund name is “Jacquie Stuart Barn Fund.” 

Karla Parman, youth program associate, Worth County, on the passing of her father, Bob McDaniel, on Dec. 20, and her brother, Scott McDaniel, on Jan. 16.  Both were from Bethany, Mo.


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.