News for employees

MU Extension Insider
May 1, 2011


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

Cooperative Media Group wins 5 Telly Awards

The Cooperative Media Group was recent honored with five Telly Awards, the premier awards honoring outstanding local and regional TV; cable commercials and programs; video and film productions; and web commercials, videos and films.

CMG’s winning videos were “Stepping Up to the Challenge,” the Greene County fundraising dinner video; “The Return of the Bedbugs”; “Share the Moment,” the 2010 Kemper Fellowships video; “2009 Internal Holiday Card” for the University of Missouri System president; and “Naked Bronze: Louis Smart, Sculptor in the Ozarks.”

Professional juries evaluate entries overall creative work — entries do not compete against each other but against a high standard of merit. Judges may award top honors to more than one entry or no entries at all. “What this means to me is our videos can hold their own with the big dogs that have a lot more to spend,” said Michael Hicks, CMG film and television producer.

“Stepping Up”

Hicks worked closely with Tim Siebert, the Greene County program director, to identify MU Extension success stories and supporters. Brenda Shannon and Becky Roark made necessary arrangements with local schools to highlight MU Extension’s food education efforts.

“The Return of the Bedbugs”

Film and television producer Rob Mize spoofed old horror movie trailers to educate people about some very real creatures we thought had been banished forever. Mize said that state entomology specialists Wayne Bailey and Richard M. Houseman were a pleasure to work with and gave him the flexibility to make a creative piece about a very serious topic. “We also got a lot of help from the MU Extension plant sciences division; Darryl Slade from the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and the USDA Pesticide Safety Education Program,” Mize said.

“Share the Moment”

For 20 years, Hicks has followed the MU chancellor into classrooms to surprise Kemper Fellows with $10,000 gifts. The video has become a much-anticipated tradition that past winners return to see. Watch the reactions as those surprise visits unfold.

“2009 Internal Holiday Card”

Hicks, Mize and Kurt Roehlke worked closely with UM System Strategic Communications and the UM President’s office to bring you this holiday cheer.

“Naked Bronze: Louis Smart, Sculptor in the Ozarks”

Working closely with Missouri University of Science and Technology Professor James Bogan, Hicks helped bring insight into the work of Missouri Ozarks’ sculptor Louis Smart, including his appreciation of Rodin and the long process Smart goes through in realizing his figures. The half-hour documentary is for sale on the MU Extension website at, and you can watch a three-minute trailer above.


Weed warrior

University of Missouri scientists are researching how best to control herbicide-resistant weeds, which present an ever-escalating challenge in farm fields across Missouri and the country. Kent Faddis reports.

See also: related news release by Roger Meissen.



Congratulations to state, regional and national award winners in the MU Extension Association of Family Consumer Sciences (MEAFCS), an affiliate of the National Extension Association of Family Consumer Sciences.

Mary Gosche-First place, State: Community Partnerships

Melissa Bess-First place, State: Communications—Internet Educational Technology

Rebecca Travnichek-First place, State; third place, Central Region: Communications—Educational Publication

Kris Jenkins-First place, State: Communications—Written Press Release

Kris Jenkins-First place, State; third place, Central Region: Communications—Newsletter

Rebecca Travnichek-State and National: Continued Excellence

Tammy Roberts-State and National, Distinguished Service

Rebecca Travnichek, MEAFCS vice president for awards, expresses her thanks to those who served on the judging panel: Janet Hackert (NW), Jane Hunter (NE), Maude Kelly (EC), Denise Schmitz (WC), Annette Fitzgerald (SW), Pat Snodgrass (SC) and Mary Gosche (SE). “My own special thanks goes to Janet Hackert, who also served as the point of contact for judging sheets related to the Continued Excellence Award,” Travnichek said.


Go green with electronic pay stubs

Employees can elect to stop receiving paper pay stubs, also known as pay advices, and instead access them online. "This not only saves on paper and envelopes but also on the cost of postage and the labor it takes to mail these," says Diane Dews, extension payroll and benefits manager. "If needed, you can still print these from your own computer."

To access pay advices online, go to Once logged in, navigate to View Paycheck (Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > View Paycheck):


Once inside the paycheck, you can click on the paycheck delivery link:


And then choose the ePay box:


Be sure to click "Save" at the bottom of the page!



MU Extension, Lincoln University sign new memorandum of understanding


On April 14, Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of extensiono, met with Steve Meredith, Lincoln University’s dean of agriculture and natural resources, to review and sign a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) on how the two institutions will work together and collaborate.

The MOU outlines how we will work in partnership in agriculture, 4-H and youth development, human environmental science, community development and diversity.


PILD conference gives attendees the 'big picture'


(From left, front to back)
Row 1: Mark Stewart, Roxanne Miller, Kay Sparks, Amie Schleicher
Row 2: Lynn Heins
Row 3: Damaris Karanja, Barb Casady, Karma Metzgar
Row 4: Linda Rellergert, Johanna Reed Adams, Dave Baker
Row 5: John Grissom, Kent Shannon, Tish Johnson, Ed Mobley

The 2011 Public Issues Leadership Development Conference (PILD), April 3-6 in the Washington, D.C. area, gave participants a look at the “big picture” of how the extension system and our government work at the federal level, said Mark Stewart, CM regional director and chair of the 2011 PILD planning committee.

The conference is designed to inform members of extension’s professional associations and volunteers across the nation about current national programming issues; offer opportunities to network with peers and others, such as national program leaders in USDA; and to provide experience in communicating in the political arena.


(From left) Lynn Heins, EC agricultural business specialist; Linda Rellergert, EC nutrition & health education specialist; Deborah Sheely, assistant director, Institute of Food Production & Sustainability, USDA-NIFA; Karma Metzgar, NW Regional Director; Damaris Karanja, EC nutrition & health education specialist; and Roxanne Miller, EC civic communications specialist

Participants had an opportunity to gain insight into the structural changes taking place nationally from Ralph Otto, deputy director for food and community resources at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA); learn about NIFA programming priorities from the national program leaders; and learn the importance of branding extension programs when communicating with program stakeholders.

Concurrent conference sessions focused on professional growth, pertinent issues and preparation for meetings with federal and local decision-makers.  Missouri led three of the concurrent sessions:

State teams traveling to Capitol Hill for visits with elected officials were well prepared for this important experience.

Debby Sheely, assistant director at NIFA's Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, explained that the integrated and competitive grant process has three components: extension, education and research.  She said one of the best ways to learn about grant writing is to be a reviewer or panelist. To be considered, send a resume or vita to any of the national program leaders; also communicate with your regional and program directors.

The delegation also met briefly with Barton Hewitt, NIFA accountability and reporting leader, and Ellen Frank, director of communications at NIFA. They emphasized the importance of reporting outcomes in our state and federal reports. The reports are shared with federal government and Congress, documenting the impact of federal USDA/NIFA funds in communities.

“These conversations help me understand the importance of reporting impacts and will motivate me to continue doing the best job I can with gathering and reporting impact data,” said Rellergert.  “In other words, our reports do not just go into some ‘black hole,’ as they are rumored to do.”


Upcoming events

County program plans


State Council Chair HC Russell and Beverly Coberly, associate vice provost for programs, share the thoughts on the importance of county program plans

The ISE for annual county program review is open for registration. See

The training, offered by Adobe Connect, will be led by Mark Stewart, CM regional director, and Mary Leuci, community development program director.

This ISE will provide information on an annual county program review process for CPDs and facilitators. The annual program review will replace the five-year plan-of-work development process.

“CPDs are asked not to facilitate their own county,” Stewart said. “We feel in this process that councils and other stakeholders will be more comfortable being frank about some program issues if they are responding to questions asked or framed by someone other than the CPD or other faculty member they see on a regular basis.”

The facilitator is a faculty member or council member who is comfortable providing a structured framework for a group to address a set of issues, understands group process, is skilled at soliciting information from small groups, and is able to help the participants synthesize the information.

“We expect both the CPD and facilitator to participate in the Adobe ISE,” Leuci said. “They will be 60 to 90 minutes in length. Five training dates have been scheduled for May. More are currently being scheduled.”

Program review resources are available on the extension share drive: S:\Special Projects\Annual Program Review.


Coming and going


Our condolences go to:

Johnda Darby, CM-TCRC, whose father, Roger Trimpe, passed away on April 26.
Cards can be sent to Johnda at 418 Meadowlake Drive, Mexico, MO 65265.


New beginnings

Congratulations to Rick Sparks, SC regional director, and his wife, Pam, on the birth of their new grandson. Silas James Sparks was born at about 5:30 pm on April 20. He weighed in at 8 pounds, 14 ounces and was 21 inches tall. Mom, baby and dad are all doing well. Jim and Paige live in Cape Girardeau. Grandpa Sparks reports, “This is our first grandchild. We are pretty excited.”

Congratulations to Mark and Suzanne Stillwell on the birth of their third grandchild. Alton Michael Stillwell was born at 3:01 pm on April 20, weighing in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces.  Mother and dad are doing fine. Grandma reportedly has her bag packed and plans to fly to Austin, Tex. in early May!


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.