News for employees

MU Extension Insider
June 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

Growing a perfect tomato

 Video produced by Kent Faddis.

Experimenting with new tomato varieties can provide an adventure in taste, says Tim Reinbott, superintendent of the MU Bradford Research Center. Reinbott offers growing tips and suggestions for expanding your tomato experience in this video news story reported by Kent Faddis.

See also: Related news release by Roger Meissen.


Spirit spark!

By Beverly Maltsberger, community development specialist

When was the last time you saw one of your program participants experience that “ah-ha” moment?  I will never forget the first time it happened to me.

It was my first year with Extension and I was at a summer camp for low-income children in the Ozarks.  I was trying to teach a young girl how to do cross-stitch.  She had a mild developmental disability, really wanted to learn to cross-stitch and I was determined to teach her.  We worked on her project every day.  I kept trying to teach her how to make the X, but it just wasn’t working.

Finally, out of desperation, with only one day of camp left, I tried something new.  Instead of making the X, I had her make a row of “\”s and then come back with a row of “/”s.  Eureka! It worked and her face lit up.  That made sense to her!  She finished her project and was so very proud of her work.

Remembering the look on that little girl’s face and her excitement at learning something new has motivated me many times since then.  I hope you have experienced some of these ah-ha moments with your Extension clients.  The thrill of teaching someone a skill or providing them knowledge that is of personal benefit to them is what we do in Extension.   Sometimes we have to depart from our ordinary routine and develop new ways of presenting information to reach our audiences.  This can be a refreshing change for us as well. 

I encourage you to remember your ah-ha moments and use them to motivate yourself to create those same moments for your clients.  If a program has become routine, change it up, try a new approach and challenge yourself to be more enthusiastic  You will create more excitement for your program participants and in the process you may even experience a new ah-ha moment for yourself!


Development director named

Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of MU Extension, and Bill Sheehan, associate vice chancellor for development-constituent units, have announced the appointment of Catherine Comley as director of development in MU Extension. She will start work June 4.

Catherine is returning to Mizzou from Illinois after serving as the development director at the Peoria Zoological Society. Before that, Catherine worked at the Concordia Lutheran School in Peoria and the United Way of McLean County, Ill.  Some may remember when she was the assistant to the director of the MU Jefferson Club in 2006.    

Catherine has a Bachelor of Arts degree from William Jewell College, a Master of Public Affairs from MU and is CFRE-certified.

Ouart and Sheehan extend their thanks to Nancy Schultz, Darcy Wells, Bill Shiflett and Melinda Adams for serving on the selection committee.


CEED recognized by APLU

Congratulations to Sharon Gulick, director of the MU Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (CEED) program, which was recognized as an Exemplary Project by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in the 2012 Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Awards and the Outreach Scholarship W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Awards.

 “Your a wonderful example of the spirit of the higher education engagement movement and an outstanding reflection of the University of Missouri,” said Mortimer H. Neufville, APLU. 

Sharon will receive a special plaque at the National Outreach Scholarship Conference in September at the University of Alabama and will be recognized during the APLU annual meeting in November in Denver.


 MU Extension wildlife efforts garner Quail Forever Partnership Award


From left: Bob Pierce, MU Extension wildlife specialist; Elsa Gallagher, Quail Forever regional biologist for Missouri; and Ray Wright, research associate at MU Bradford Research Center.

MU Extension’s wildlife program and the MU Bradford Research Center recently received national recognition from Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation.

In recognition for outstanding wildlife extension educational programming, a Quail Forever Partnership Award was presented to Bob Pierce, MU Extension wildlife specialist; research associate Ray Wright, and Tim Reinbott, superintendent of the Bradford Research Center, at the 2012 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic in Kansas City.   

Bradford Research Center hosts numerous educational programs, field days and tours featuring bobwhite quail management activities and demonstrations that provide research-based information on enhancing habitats for wildlife that can be integrated with agriculture production. Several thousand youth, agriculture producers and private landowners participate in these educational events each year. 

This year’s field day, June 21, will include a focus on native pollinators and their role in supporting agriculture and wildlife.

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, has more than 130,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada.


Get a taste of mindfulness

Do you want a mindful relationship with your food, your body and your life, but often forget your good intentions?  You might be interested in connecting with the social media support community called Tasting Mindfulness,  created and maintained by Lynn Rossy at Healthy for Life, the University of Missouri System employee wellness program designed to support you in your quest for a happier, healthier lifestyle.  Through these sites you can find encouragement, advice and support from Rossy and others. Subscribe to a weekly blog at, “like” Tasting Mindfulness on Facebook at, and follow the program on Twitter at

With the help of Extension, Rossy has numerous audio and video recordings of mindfulness practices (e.g., breath meditation and yoga) that you can use at your office or home.  Check them out on the Healthy for Life website at


Craisins CEO tells story of marketing

The CEO of Ocean Spray, the cranberry farmer cooperative, told his story to neophyte co-op managers last month at the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership in Columbia. The four-day training, led by Mike Cook, MU professor of cooperative leadership, is designed to teach vital skills to managers on the rise.

The CEO, Randy Papadellis, told of a crisis in the co-op that made him an “accidental CEO.” He went to work as interim leader in turning around a troubled farm group. Three key words in his success: Alignment, communications and repositioning (emphasis added).

Alignment gets folks working toward the same goal.

His best story was about turning dried cranberries into Craisins. What was a $5 million market on the baking shelf became a $250 million market on snack-food shelves. That’s repositioning.

The new CEO came out of marketing. But he talked half a day without mentioning “marketing” more than three times. Mainly he said be open and “tell your story.” People must know you if you’re going to get your message across.

Extension workers can learn from that concept. Tell your story. It doesn’t require a marketing director. Good stories are needed in all media.

As a public resource, Extension gets open access to newspapers, radio-TV and social media. All of that’s free.

It does require recognizing a story and some simple writing skills. Mostly it takes creative gumption.

That’s from a highly paid CEO who wasn’t tied down by tradition.


Talking the talk, before walking the walk

Communications tips from Duane Dailey

Randy Papadellis, the inspiring leader of Ocean Spray, gave dozens of tips on communications that Extension workers can use.

He was not a farm boy, but he had to learn to talk to farmers. He became aware there was a language barrier. Both spoke English, but they talked different lingoes.

His audience members were successful cranberry growers in charge of multimillion-dollar farms. They were good farm managers. The highly educated CEO learned he was using terms farmers didn’t understand. And farmers used terms he didn’t understand.

In Extension we can shoot over the heads of our intended audiences. It is not dumbing down to talk at the level of your audience. Start by getting on the same wavelength.

The CEO said that often he and the farmers were saying the same things, wanting to reach the same goals, but were using different words.

The key: Start by listen to your audience. Then define your words in their language. Isn’t that simple? Don’t make it difficult.

I found that if you start by writing at a reading-ease score of eighth grade, you can communicate with most people, including Ph.D.s.

Send your words to


Upcoming events

Fee generation workshops

Workshops have been scheduled to explain additional functionality and updates to the Fee Generation Worksheet-Online Tool:

Register through ISE for following workshop dates.

Date Time
6/11/2012 10-11 a.m.
7/12/2012 2-3 p.m.
8/16/2012 10-11 a.m.
9/18/2012 2-3 p.m.
10/22/2012 10-11 a.m.


Correction: Introduction to Restorative Justice ISE is June 7

The date of the Introduction to Restorative Justice ISE was listed incorrectly in the May 15 Insider. The ISE will be 10 a.m., June 7, via Adobe Connect. The ISE will introduce Extension faculty to the theory, principles and practices that form the basis of restorative justice. Participants will learn how restorative justice practices can be used internally and externally for conflict resolution, planning and communication skill-building.  


2012 NTT dossier workshops scheduled

Non-Tenure Track dossier training workshops are scheduled for anyone preparing dossiers or who will be writing evaluation letters for candidates. There will be two 90-minute sessions.  Individuals planning to submit a dossier for promotion in the fall are strongly encouraged to attend both workshops. The workshops will be presented via Adobe Connect; register through the ISE system to attend.

The voluntary NTT promotion policy is for full-time, non-regular faculty members within MU Extension. This process applies to regional faculty members and to campus faculty members in an academic unit that does not have an NTT process. Extension faculty members may apply for one of three ranked positions: assistant extension professional, associate extension professional or extension professional.

For faculty members who elect to participate, the NTT promotion system provides a mechanism to recognize extension scholarship and professional growth. Regional and campus faculty members who plan to apply for the next round should discuss their plans with their supervisors as they build their performance expectations for FY 2013.

The next round of applications is due to supervisors by Nov. 1.

For questions on the NTT process, contact Marcia Shannon ( or Nicki Eatinger-Sprague (, or visit the NTT website at


Other dates to remember

June 5-10: Summer Fire School and Midwest Wildfire Training Academy, Jefferson City.

June 6 to 8: Climate Change Adaptation Conference.

June 12-15: Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) - Latinos in the Heartland conference.

June 22: The Impact of Federal Health Care Reform in Missouri.

Sept. 15: MU Extension tailgate event prior to the football game with Arizona State.

Oct. 29-31, 2012 Extension Annual Conference.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Sandra Montgomery, clerical, CM Region-Youth.

Elizabeth Burns, graduate research assistant, Coop Extension Publications/Information.

Judith Culp, admin/professional, EC Region-Administration.

Heather Hathaway, nutrition program associate, NE Region-Family Nutrition Program.

Kory Davis, system support analyst, OSEDA.

Shyla Baxter, admin/professional, SC Region-Youth.



Our sympathy goes out to:

Jenny Kirchner, nutrition program associate, Miller County, whose stepfather passed away.  Cards may be sent to the Miller County Extension Center, P.O. Box 20, Tuscumbia, MO  65082.

Linda Shelton, 4-H youth program assistant, Dent County, and her husband, Joe, for the loss of her mother-in-law, Virginia Shelton, on March 28.

Alan Mundey, 4-H youth specialist, Bates County, whose brother-in-law, Dean Crist, passed away May 24. Send cards to Alan and Lucille, 715 Country Club Drive, Butler, MO 64730.


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.