News for employees

MU Extension Insider
November 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

MU FRTI teaches swiftwater rescue at Six Flags St. Louis

Reported by Kent Faddis.

See also: Related news release by Roger Meissen: Firefighters learn the ropes through Swiftwater Rescue training


"It's not about the rice"


From left, Mark Stillwell, Cooperative Media Group interim director; Karma Metzgar, NW regional director; Don Nicholson, 4-H youth specialist, Marion County; Mary Simon Leuci, assistant dean and MU Extension Community Development program director;  Shelley Bush Rowe, community development specialist and Warren County CPD; Johanna Reed Adams, community leadership development state specialist.

That was the take-home message from Scott Peters, associate professor of educational studies at Cornell University, speaking on “Extension Reconsidered” at the ESP National Conference in Syracuse, N.Y. “Extension’s foundation is in the development of people and communities,” he said. “It’s as true today as in 1914 when the Smith-Lever Act was passed.”

Peters told a story of a young mother who attended an EFNEP class and wanted to learn to cook rice for her family. The nutrition program assistant told her it was “one cup of rice and two cups of water” and gave her suggestions for easy-to-prepare rice dishes. The young mother was beaming with pride when she brought rice to the next training to share. “It’s not about the rice. Extension is about developing confidence, self-esteem and pride in citizens.”

Distinguished Ruby award winner Edward Smith, director, Texas AgriLife Extension, emphasized that we need to be proud and tell our legislators and campus leadership “that we are EXTENSION.” 

University of Missouri Extension “The MU Extension logo is a good example of how we should be marketing extension,” Smith added. “'Extension' is dominant and distinct, showing we are proud to be EXTENSION.”

Smith complimented Shelley Bush Rowe and MU Extension for legislative workshops. Shelley had just delivered the presentation “Engaging Legislators in Understanding of Context and Economic Changes,” which she, Sandy Stegall and Mary Simon Leuci had prepared.

Other presentations by MU Extension faculty:

"A Focus on Self-Directed Extension Teams In Missouri," Shelley Bush Rowe and Don Nicholson.

"Global Leadership Education: Building Extension Bridges with Thailand," Mary Simon Leuci, Shelly Bush Rowe, Sandra Hodge and Susan Tharp.

"Using 'PUBLIC VALUE' Language to Communicate Relevancy of MU Extension Programs," Karma Metzgar.

Video of the keynote speakers is available online at


Reporting public value

The Public Value Self Directed Work Group (SDWG) reminds colleagues that the template for annual reports is available for faculty and county staff who are beginning to work on their 2011 annual reports.  The template was approved by Michael Ouart and Bev Coberly early in 2011.  Andrew, Randolph and Saline were among the counties using the template for their 2010 reports.

The format focuses on how programming benefits not just participants but people who weren’t in the room. This makes the case for public funding.

Kathy Connett, a Saline County Extension Council member and journalist, likes the template's focus on what people learned, what they did and how it benefits people in the county and in Missouri who were not in attendance (the public value).  “As a council member and especially as a taxpayer, I want to know, ‘What have you done for me lately?’  Pointing out how people in the county and state benefit helps me support the tax dollars that support your work.  It also is something I stress when I’m talking with other leaders about Extension’s important work.”

When Brady and Anne Deaton were keynote speakers at the Saline County Annual Meeting, Commissioner Dick Hassler held up the annual report and said, “We get lots of reports. This is the best one we’ve seen.  It makes us proud to support these types of efforts and to see how the entire county benefits from Extension’s work.” 

“Making public value a key part of annual reports can give University of Missouri Extension a competitive edge for tax dollars at the county, state and federal level.  It can distinguish our reporting,” says co-chair Cynthia Crawford.

For further information, contact members of the Public Value SDWG:  Tony DeLong, Candy Gabel, Nellie Lamers, Ina Linville, Vivian Mason, Karma Metzgar, Mark Stewart or Cynthia Crawford.


MEAFCS well-represented at NEAFCS national conference

MU Extension was well-represented at NEAFCS, Sept. 26-30 in Albuquerque N.M. 

Showcase of Excellence Poster sessions:

Concurrent sessions:

Other conference highlights :

Also attending was NEAFCS past national president, Kathy Dothage, as well as NEAFCS past national secretary, Diana Milne.  The Missouri delegation also included three spouses: Jim Kelly, Jim Gosche and Bill Gray.


Get well soon

An Outlook “Out of Office” reply alerted us that Susan Mills-Gray, nutrition/health specialist, was home recovering from a broken ankle.  Susan reports that she hopes to get her doctor's clearance to attend Galaxy!  We wish her a quick recovery.


MU Extension College Colors Day results

colors day

Fifteen counties waved the Black and Gold on Sept. 2 for College Colors Day – the most entries MU Extension has had. The results are in and the following counties will receive prizes:

First – Jackson County
Second – Laclede County
Third – Monroe County

Honorable Mention:  Texas and Clinton counties

Thanks to the other counties that participated: Pike, Johnson, Knox, Madison, Mercer, Nodaway, Franklin, Lincoln, Vernon, Washington and Wayne.

Thanks also to the staff of the MU Licensing and Trademark Office for their support!  Check out all of the photos on Facebook (MU Black and Gold).


Goof-proof your writing

Tips from Duane Dailey:

Writing errors slip into the best of prose by writing pros. But, good writers catch their mistakes before the final draft. The first rule: Read what you write. That’s neglected too often on email. Don’t hit send until you have read your text.

The spell-checker is a wonderful tool. But don’t trust it, as it can be fooled by “there” and “their” for example. Be wiser than your machine.

I find it difficult to proof stories on the computer screen. So, I print a hard copy to edit with a pencil to find sneaky errors.

Let your copy chill before final edit. When I read right after writing, I seem to read what I intended to write. On big stories, let them marinate overnight.

To improve your chances of catching errors read your story word by word. Move your lips. Speak the words. Just don’t scan.

Some editors proof the story backwards. They read the last sentence first. Then, they read the next to last sentence. That prevents getting caught up in the flow of the story.

Check the content for factual errors, reading forward. Then look for mechanical errors by reading backwards. Let me know if that helps.


Upcoming events

Funds available for faculty professional development

Mizzou Advantage announces a fund for faculty professional development. Awards of up to $2,000 each are open to all regular and non-regular faculty. Awards are not intended to fund activities already within a faculty member's given fields or for activities that are already planned. Rather, they are intended to help faculty better position themselves for interdisciplinary endeavors in Mizzou Advantage areas.

Proposals should demonstrate an attempt to bridge disciplines and explain how the project will result in new interdisciplinary scholarly or creative activity.  The awards committee will rank proposals/applications according to how well they would contribute to the overarching goals of Mizzou Advantage–to increase the visibility, reputation and stature of the University of Missouri. 

Examples could include, but are not limited to, the following:

Awards will be made monthly until the $200,000 annual budget has been expended.  For further information and application guidelines, visit


2012 Annual Enrollment announcement

You are now able to initiate enrollment changes online through UM’s myHR.

Be Prepared

 Take Action


Coming and going

Please welcome

Justin Adcock, livestock specialist, SC Region-ANR.



Bill Elder, director of OSEDA, is retiring Dec. 31 in order to enjoy time with his retired wife and enjoy grandchildren, etc. Bill has been using some of his vacation time and will be using more after Nov. 1, when Tracy Greever-Rice will begin serving as the interim director for OSEDA until a permanent director has been hired.

Leslie Carroll Bartlett, computer support specialist, Nevada TCRC.

Mary Ball, extension assistant, WC Region HES.

Annette FitzGerald, family financial education specialist, SW Region HES.

Donald Pinckney, 4-H youth development program assistant, SC Region.



To Wendy R. Flatt, livestock specialist and Howard County CPD, on her marriage to Dean Rapp on Sept. 24.

Tracie Moore and family welcomed Allie Kay Moore to the family on October 16th she weighed 7lbs 7oz and was 20 inches long. 


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.