News for employees

MU Extension Insider
June 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

MU employees going the extra mile at work

MU Extension nutrition and exercise faculty and staff go the extra mile at work these days thanks to treadmill desks.

Recent health studies indicate exercise is canceled out by hours of sitting at a traditional desk.  Treadmill desks let workers walk 1-2 mph and burn up to 100 calories per hour.

Studies show there are other benefits such as reduced mental and physical stress, enhanced job satisfaction, improved posture and some weight loss, according to Steve Ball, MU Extension fitness specialist.  “Active employees are healthy employees,” says Ball.

For more information, see the MU Extension news release “Walk While You Work.”


MU Extension helps multicultural community cross barriers

group with yarn

Participants in the Clarkston Community Academy create connections with each other with yarn in a "closure activity."

Clarkston, Ga., a city of about 8,000 people in the suburbs of Atlanta, is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse communities in the U.S. Since the 1990s, Clarkston has been dramatically transformed by an influx of refugees from more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The Clarkston Development Foundation, established in 2010 to connect and engage the city’s multicultural community, drew on the expertise of MU Extension’s Community Development Program in May for a weeklong course designed to teach community leaders the skills needed to create a successful community development project.

The course was based on MU Extension’s Community Development Academy (CDA), which was created to explore ideas and develop practical skills for involving and empowering local citizens and leaders in community-based efforts.

Course facilitators for the Clarkston Community Academy included MU Extension community development specialists Johanna Reed Adams and Stephen Jeanetta.

“The goal is for participants to know what it feels like to be put in a diverse group of people that you don’t know and go through this group development process,” Adams said. “You learn, through doing your plan, how groups work together and how groups form.”

CDA has been used both locally and internationally. CDA has drawn participants from various U.S. states as well as Canada, Kenya and South Africa. CDA is offered twice a year for extension specialists and continues to provide a network and support system for community development professionals.


MELD VI is coming

Many veteran extension workers will know the wonderful experience called the Missouri Extension Leadership Development (MELD) program.

After a hiatus of almost four years, MELD is returning as a tool to help build future leadership from within the organization.

“It has been a truly life-changing experience for more than 100 extension faculty members since its inception in the late 1990s,” says Bud Reber, a member of the MELD VI training team.

Through MELD VI, MU Extension will provide a leadership development opportunity to 20 participants during a yearlong experience.

“MELD helped me make new friends within the organization that I probably wouldn’t have made otherwise,” said Gene Schmitz, livestock specialist in Benton County and participant in the 2001-2002 MELD program.  “It expanded my thinking about how MU Extension can serve the citizens of Missouri and my larger role within the organization beyond my specialty area.”

Rebecca Blocker, housing and environmental design specialist in St. Francois County, said, “I discovered how different personalities, leadership styles, skills and experiences complemented my strengths to help conquer team challenges and develop a shared vision for extension’s future.”

The MELD VI training team is seeking a diverse range of applicants who are

Past MELD participants are not eligible. To learn more about MELD VI and the application and selection process, go to

Applications for MELD VI must be received by Aug. 30, 2013.


Storm shelter expert featured on NPR’s ‘On Point’

Jeff Barber in safe room

Jeff Barber, center, tours the safe room that sheltered a Joplin family during the 2011 tornado that destroyed their home.

Jeff Barber, certified architect and housing and environmental design specialist in Greene County, was a guest on the May 22 broadcast of the National Public Radio program “On Point,” which discussed how communities in Tornado Alley might better prepare for twisters like the one that had ripped through Moore, Okla., two days earlier.

Barber was a consultant to Joplin following the city’s 2011 tornado and advised on tornado-proofing infrastructure and community preparedness. He also worked for the first FEMA Community Storm Shelter in Missouri following the 2003 Pierce City tornadoes.


You also can download a podcast of the program at


Lawmakers approve extension districting proposal

Language to allow MU Extension to form single- or multi-county districts to streamline programming was incorporated into three different bills that passed during the final days of the legislative session, reports Marty Oetting, UM director of government relations.

The proposal also gives districts the option of placing property tax questions on the local ballot to support local programming.

The original legislation was filed by Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) and Rep. Bill Reiboldt (R-Neosho). In the end, the language was passed as part of three different omnibus agriculture bills: Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Sen. Pearce, Senate Bill 342, sponsored by Sen. Mike Parson (R-Bolivar), and House Bill 542, sponsored by Rep. Warren Love (R-Osceola).

The bills that contain this proposal, which originated through the MU State Extension Council, now go to Gov. Jay Nixon for his signature.


WANTED: A few good MU Extension advocates

Do you feel strongly about MU Extension’s value to the state?  Do you have ideas about how best to promote and market MU Extension to clients and stakeholders?  Are you concerned how MU Extension is seen by the public?

“If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, we invite you to consider joining BAM, MU Extension’s Branding and Marketing self-directed work team,” says Gordon Carriker, ag business specialist and BAM member.

BAM is one of the original self-directed work teams that convened back in 2010.  “Our mission is guided by our principal objective: One message, one voice, one look, resulting in recognition of MU Extension’s value by 70 percent of Missouri’s population and 100 percent recognition of MU Extension’s value by MU graduates.” 

BAM currently has members representing all administrative regions except West Central, and all categories except 4-H Youth Development and Business Development.

“We feel each of the regions and each of the categories brings a diverse viewpoint to the table, so we especially encourage new membership from these underrepresented regions and categories,” Carriker says.

Current members are Johanna Reed Adams, Meridith Berry, Rebecca Blocker, Wendy Brumbaugh, Gordon Carriker, Pat Farrell, Janet Kline, Vivian Mason, Pat Snodgrass and Cindy Zluticky.

“As is the case with any self-directed work team, success depends on active participation, a thriving interest in the mission and rejuvenation through new ideas,” he says.

If you are interested in joining BAM or have questions, contact any of the current members by email.  The team meets several times a year via Adobe Connect and tries to meet face-to-face once per year.


New counselor joins downtown Columbia SBTDC


Collin Bunch is a new counselor at the downtown Columbia Small Business Technology and Development Center (SBTDC).

Part of MU Extension’s Business Development Program, SBTDCs across the state help businesses at every stage, from concept to startup, growth to renewal, maturity to succession.

Bunch was previously a business development specialist for the SBTDC at the University of Central Missouri, where he had earned his bachelor’s and master’s in business administration.

He is a member of the SBTDC Missouri Business Growth Services team, which focuses on “economic gardening,” an entrepreneur-centered economic growth strategy for developing sustainable job growth in local economies. Bunch has been certified as an economic gardening specialist by the Edward Lowe Foundation's National Center for Economic Gardening.


Miller receives provost’s award for extension programming

lee miller

Lee Miller, assistant professor in plant sciences, was awarded the 2013 Provost Award for Creative Extension Programming by New Faculty.

The award recognizes faculty with a current extension assignment who have made exceptional accomplishments in their first four years of service to MU in the field of extension or continuing education.

Miller directs research and extension programs focused on disease control in turfgrasses. His extension responsibilities are to provide disease diagnosis and control recommendations for the lawn, golf, sports turf and sod industries.


FNEP congratulates graduating staff

Sue Wille, Family Nutrition Education Program project director, Urban East Region, congratulates FNEP Urban East Region staff who earned degrees this spring:


Grant Incentive Plan enrollment open for FY14

MU Extension’s Grant Incentive Plan (GIP) for FY14 is now open to all extension faculty principal investigators (PIs) and co-PIs. To participate for the next fiscal year, faculty must complete an election form and return it to the Administrative Management fiscal office by July 1.

Extension’s plan has two options: one for faculty who are eligible to receive an incentive payment under an approved GIP in their academic home department, and another for faculty who are not eligible to receive an incentive payment through their academic home department.

The complete plan, eligibility requirements and the election form are available on the MU Extension grant and contract processing page at


Next Professional Development Award deadline is Aug. 1

The second deadline for the UMEA Professional Development Award is Aug 1.

“This is an exciting benefit to your UMEA membership,” says Sarah Denkler, horticulture specialist and member of the award committee. “Please take advantage of the option to earn an award for professional development that can be put to use in your extension programming and planning.”

Up to $500 per award will be granted. Priority will be given to first-time applicants. Successful applicants will not be considered in consecutive years.

Applicants must be a current member of UMEA and have been a member the last two years.

Complete guidelines, application form and other information can be downloaded at


Upcoming events

Council to Campus set for June 28-29

The eighth annual University of Missouri Extension Council to Campus event will take place June 28-29 on the MU campus. The event connects county council members to the research and program development on the flagship campus of the University of Missouri.

“MU Extension hopes that county and regional council members will attend to become better acquainted with MU staff and the research-based information in what we do and how we all work together to implement extension programs across the state,” said Tony DeLong, MU Extension county council coordinator.

Keynote speaker Jim Dickerson, the first president of the MU Extension State Council, will share his view of how extension has met the needs of citizens over the past two decades since the MU Extension State Council was formed. Other speakers include Mary Paulsell, director of communications and stakeholder relations for the Business Development Program; Cat Comley, director of development; Don Nicholson, extension transition leader; and state extension climatologist Pat Guinan.

The event includes discussions and breakout sessions on a variety of topics and walking tours of the MU campus. Vice Provost and Director of Extension Michael Ouart, Associate Vice Provost Beverly Coberly and other team members will meet with county council members.  H.C. Russell, Extension State Council chair, will speak on “State Council, Who We Are and Why We Are Here” on Saturday.

For the conference schedule, online registration and other information, go to For questions about registration, contact Debbi Haskamp at 573-882-4038.


Colleagues share international experiences in ISE webinar series

Grab your lunch and log on to the first in a series of ISE webinars on global connections, June 12. 

Making connections is what extension professionals do. Increasingly, they are making those connections all over the world. The Global Relations Committee of Epsilon Sigma Phi is sponsoring the monthly webinar series to help extension professionals learn about the opportunities and rewards of international work and travel, and how others have used their international experiences to enhance their work right here in Missouri. 

Sign up for one or all of the webinars through the regular ISE process in WebApps. These ISEs will be held the second Wednesday of each month, starting June 12. Webinars will feature extension colleagues talking about their global experiences and what it has meant to them. June’s speaker is Melissa Scheer, 4-H youth development specialist in Jefferson County. 

The webinars are scheduled for the noon hour and are expected to last about 45 minutes. Participants will have time to ask questions and learn about the impact that study abroad, student exchange and other global experiences have had on the lives and careers of their colleagues. 

“We encourage you to participate in the ISEs and find out more about how rewarding global experiences can be for you, your community and extension,” says Mary Leuci, chair of the Global Relations committee. “Please join us to share your experiences and learn about opportunities to engage in rewarding and life-changing experiences.”


Breimyer Seminar set for July 17

“The Future of the Missouri Cattle Industry” will be the topic for the 2013 Breimyer Seminar. It starts at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 17, at the Reynolds Alumni Center.

Speakers include MU Extension economist Ron Plain, who will open with “U.S. Cattle History, Cycles and Trends.” Scott Brown, MU livestock economist, will tell the importance of cattle to Missouri. Glynn Tonsor, economist from Kansas State University, will talk on current and future beef demand. Justin Sexten, MU beef nutritionist, will talk about “Opportunities with Animal Performance.” Rob Kallenbach, MU agronomist, will follow with “Opportunities with Forages.” A panel of beef industry leaders will discuss the business.

The $40 fee, which is waived for extension specialists, includes a meal, breaks and parking permit. Register by July 10 with Joyce White at 573-884-6572 or


FilmFest 4-H returns to Branson, Aug. 4-7

The third annual FilmFest 4-H will take place Aug. 4-7 in Branson, said Bradd Anderson, state 4-H youth specialist and a co-founder of the national youth film festival.

 "The presenters are all working professionals in the film industry," Anderson said. Workshop topics include cinematography, special effects and makeup for films, with a focus on quality filmmaking on a teenager’s budget.

FilmFest 4-H kicks off with a reception and special screening on a six-story-high screen at the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex. The festival features screenings of youth-produced films and workshops designed to help young filmmakers immediately improve their skills.

For more information, go to


Fee-generation workshops set

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




2-3 p.m.


10-11 a.m.


2-3 p.m.


MU Extension to celebrate College Colors Day Aug. 30

Show your school spirit on College Colors Day and win a prize! Three MU Extension county offices will win prizes for displaying their Mizzou pride on Aug. 30. Learn more at


Other dates to remember

June 5-9: Summer Fire School and Midwest Wildfire Training Academy, Jefferson City.

June 12-14: Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) - Latinos in the Heartland conference, St. Louis.

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

Melanie Worley, clerical, Youth and 4-H.



Glenda Williams, administrative assistant, LETI.

Patricia Jones, nutrition program assistant, SE-FNP.

Donna Taake, extension professional associate, SE-Youth.

Alfred Decker, livestock specialist, WC-ANR.

James Jarman, agronomy specialist, EC-ANR.

Judith Lueders, nutrition specialist, SE-HES.

Wanda Kibbe-Bowman, nutrition program associate, SW-FNP.

Evelyn Ragsdale, nutrition program associate, SW-FNP.

Mary Patten, 4-H specialist, WC-Youth.



Our sympathy goes to:

The family of Virginia L. Shain, former NW and WC 4-H and continuing education specialist, who died on May 25.


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.