News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Nov. 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

Fall Program Conference: Extension's past, present and future

Last week’s fall Program Conference looked at extension’s past and considered extension’s future. We learned about Seaman Knapp, a farmer and physician who spearheaded legislation that established the nation’s agricultural experiment stations. We saw a demonstration of Google Glass, learned about MU Extension’s strategic plan and explored reaching our audiences in the age of smartphones and social media.

Though our focus is on the future with an awareness of the past, we are taking some time here to recognize outstanding faculty, staff, friends and supporters of extension today.

Sen. Pearce receives Warren Land-Grant University Award

Henry Warren, left, son of Gordon Warren, announces that state Sen. David Pearce is the recipient of the 2013 Gordon Warren University Extension Land-Grant Award.

The 2013 recipient of the Gordon Warren University Extension Land-Grant Award was state Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), for his ongoing work to use the resources of the land-grant university to benefit the state. Sen. Pearce was a sponsor and key supporter of legislation giving county extension councils the option to work with one or more other county councils to form extension districts. Sen. Pearce is chairman of the Senate Education Committee and the Joint Committee on Education, guided the bill through two legislative sessions, met with extension councils to learn more about local concerns, visited legislators about the benefits and necessity of the bill, and testified on behalf of the bill. Sen. Pearce, who could not attend the Oct. 28 awards ceremony, personally accepted the award in September.


MU Extension Faculty Performance Awards

Lee Ann Woolery, right, is congratulated by Michael Ouart.

The Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a University of Missouri Extension faculty member for planning, conducting and evaluating one extension educational activity conducted in a given year. This year’s award went to Lee Ann Woolery, community arts specialist on the MU campus.

Across the United States, rural communities are discovering creative and innovative ways to use the arts to help reshape and bolster their social, physical and economic well-being. Woolery’s work with the Community Arts Program engages students, campus and regional faculty, and local citizens in creating vibrant communities that support a thriving economy through the arts—contributing to MU’s Strategic plan to “use the broad and deep resources of MU’s programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, professions and intercollegiate athletics to partner with schools, community organizations and citizens to enrich the intellectual and cultural lives of all Missourians.” A few of Woolery’s accomplishments include two creativity workshops for project idea generation; continual work with the five community arts pilot projects; and she has conducted community engagement workshops in conjunction with regional specialists.

Sharon Gulick with Michael Ouart.

The Ronald J. Turner Global Education Award, to support international professional development experiences, went to Sharon Gulick, director of the Extension Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (ExCEED) on the MU campus.

Gulick’s professional development opportunity is the 2014 International Association of Community Developer’s conference in Scotland. She is a core member of the Community, Workforce and Economic Development thematic team. Attendance at this conference will tie into the thematic team in three primary ways: She will present on how MU Extension approaches regional economic development; she will explain to participants how the thematic team process integrates societal need with research; and she will participate in visits with community and economic developers in Scotland to exchange ideas and expand her and MU Extension's network.

Wendy Brumbaugh, right, and Michael Ouart.

The Pat and Tom Buchanan Professional Development Award is given each year to a University of Missouri Extension faculty member to support professional development opportunities.

This year’s recipient is Wendy Brumbaugh, NE Region personal family finance specialist. She will use the $500 award to enroll in the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education self-study program to become an Accredited Financial Counselor. Her goal is to be more proactive and offer more classes and programs to keep people from entering a financial crisis. With knowledge of sound financial principles, people can avoid some of the problems associated with poor financial decisions.

Susan Mills-Gray, right, and Michael Ouart.

The Vice Provost’s Award for Outstanding Achievement honoring off-campus faculty is presented to a regional faculty member who has planned, conducted and evaluated a multi-year extension program.

This year’s award went to Susan Mills-Gray, West Central Region nutrition specialist. Mills-Gray is one of the most recognizable faces of Human and Environmental Sciences nutrition extension programming in Missouri. She is a vital member of the “Stay Strong, Stay Healthy” self-directed work team that has reached more than 2,500 participants since 2005. She has worked tirelessly with colleagues to write a curriculum on food preservation that is used statewide and sought after by other states. Over her 30-year career, she has received more than $1.5 million dollars in grants and gifts to support human nutrition programs she established in Cass, Henry, and Jackson counties.

Marcia Shannon and Michael Ouart.

The Vice Provost’s Award for Outstanding Achievement honoring on campus faculty is presented to a regional faculty member who has planned, conducted and evaluated a multi-year extension program. The 2013 winner is Marcia Shannon, state swine nutrition specialist and professor in the Division of Animal Sciences in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Shannon’s extension programming efforts have focused on helping swine producers increase efficiency of their operations. She was instrumental in the development of the National Swine Nutrition Guide, which is based on least-cost diet formulation. This project produced a 320-page book and an Excel-based nutrient estimator. More than 265 individuals have been trained to use the program, which in turn is estimated to have impacted 40 percent of the swine produced in the United States. Her research program has garnered $2.1 million in federal, state and industry funding. She has published 16 peer-reviewed research articles and given 10 presentations at national and international meetings.

Kathy Dothage and Michael Ouart.

The County Program Director Excellence Award recognizes distinguished performance and educational contributions to University of Missouri Extension and clientele by a county program director.

The 2013 award, which comes with a $1,000 stipend, went to Kathy Dothage, Osage County CPD. Dothage has served as county program director in Osage County since 1987. Starting with a budget that only allowed a half-time office, she has continued to build relationships and collaboration with the Osage County Commission. Now, Osage County has a full-time office with very good financial support from the commission. She has been an effective team player with specialists and CPDs in surrounding counties, and she thinks beyond her own human development specialty to capitalize on other programs that benefit her county.

From left, Kevin Wilson, Michael Ouart, Kara Lubischer, Mary Wissmann and Linda Rellergert.

The Extension Teamwork Award recognizes faculty who have collaborated on an interdisciplinary or cross-campus team to develop, implement and evaluate a specific educational response to a specific need. The team receives $5,000 to be used in support of the recognized program.

The 2013 winner is the St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project. Members include:

In 2009, MU Extension launched urban impact teams in Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield as part of a statewide initiative to strengthen urban programming and develop research-based partnerships. Spearheaded by MU Extension, the St. Louis Urban Impact Team focused on health disparities. The team found a need for access to healthy, affordable foods. The St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project was created to close the food gap in St. Louis neighborhoods.

The Corner Store Project was launched in 2011 through a unique collaboration of MU Extension, the City of St. Louis health and public safety departments, and the St. Louis Development Corporation. In partnership with communities and corner store owners, the project combines community development, nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, nutritious food. The project engages store owners and residents to identify barriers to accessing or selling healthy food items, increasing the availability and purchase of healthy foods, and promoting healthy eating.

Rebecca Nace, left, with Steve Devlin.

The Associated Industries of Missouri Extension Industry Award went to Rebecca Nace, assistant director of the Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, for leadership in providing educational programs that support the economic viability of Missouri firms. In the past year, her clients’ profitability increased to a combined total of $350 million, a 57 percent increase from the previous year.

This year’s Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Extension Business Award recipient is Richard Proffer, Southeast Region business development specialist, for exceptional guidance and instruction in starting or improving businesses in southeastern Missouri. Proffer, who won the Associated Industries of Missouri Extension Industry Award in 2010, manages business development in an eight-county area, helping entrepreneurs start a business, stay in business and plan for future growth.

Michael Ouart and John Hobbs.

The Vice Provost’s Diversity Award, which recognizes individuals or groups providing leadership to diversity initiatives, went to John Hobbs, Southwest Region agriculture and rural development specialist.

Hobbs has increased diversity in programming by expanding services to hard-to-reach Hmong and Hispanic/Latino farmers, making a concerted effort to tailor programming and services to meet the needs of these farmers. Respectful of cultural differences of the Hmong residents he has worked to earn trust among the community. He provides basic farming knowledge to help Hmong farmers adapt their practices to Missouri’s climate. Hobbs also works closely with a new program designed to help beginning Latino farmers and ranchers in Missouri and Nebraska enhance the viability of their operations.


FAPRI award

Rich Hoormann, left, and Pat Westhoff.

The FAPRI Research to Producer Award went to Rich Hoormann, agronomy specialist and Montgomery County CPD, for outstanding contributions to farm outlook and policy education.


Missouri Farm Bureau awards

Tim Schnakenberg with Diane Olson, Missouri Farm Bureau promotion and education director.

Farm Bureau Agriculture Award: Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist, Southwest Region.

From left, Patty Fisher, Diane Olson and Michael Ouart.

Farm Bureau 4-H Award: Patty Fisher, 4-H youth development specialist, Northeast Region.

From left, Lynda Zimmerman, Diane Olson and Michael Ouart.

Farm Bureau Outstanding HES Specialist: Lynda Zimmerman, nutrition and health education specialist, East Central Region.


Epsilon Sigma Phi awards

Meritorious Support Service Award: Ruth Jeffries, administrative associate NE Region in Marion County.

Mid-Career Service Award: Rebecca Travnichek, family financial education specialist and Andrew County CPD.

International Service Award:  Julie Middleton, director, Organizational Development, extension professional.

Outstanding Regional Extension Faculty Award: Vivian Mason, family financial education specialist and Callaway County CPD.

Distinguished Team Award: “Composting 101 – A Train-the-Trainer program for Master Gardeners”

Visionary Leadership Award: Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of extension.

Distinguished Service Award: Vera Massey, nutrition and health education specialist and Boone County CPD.


University of Missouri Extension Association awards

Rookie of the Year Award: Stephanie Schindler, 4-H youth specialist, St. Francois County

Rookie of the Year Award: Gentrie Shafer, livestock specialist, Sullivan County

1st Place Outstanding Program Award: Friends of Greene County Extension
David Burton
, civic communications specialist, Greene County

2nd Place Outstanding Program Award: Pilot Grove Grocery Store
Connie Mefford,  community development specialist, Benton County

3rd Place Outstanding Program Award: Taking Control of Your Finances
Vivian Mason, family financial education specialist, Callaway County

Meritorious Award: Jennifer Schutter, horticulture specialist, Adair County

Meritorious Award: Kent Shannon, natural resource engineering specialist, Boone County

2013 UMEA Professional Development Scholarship Winners


Nina Balsam, Urban Region St. Louis County Program Director
To attend the National Conference on Restorative Justice in Ohio


Kathy Bondy, Northwest Region 4-H Youth Development Specialist
To attend the Mid-States Camping Conference in Illinois


Kandace Fisher-McLean, Urban Region Housing and Environmental Design Specialist
To attend the Galaxy IV in Pennsylvania


Sarah Hultine Massengale, East Central Region Community Development Specialist
To attend the American Planning Association Conference in Missouri.


Lala Kumar, Urban Region Horticultural Specialist
To attend the SEAVEG Families, Farm and Food in Bangkok, Thailand


Sherry Nelson, Northeast Region Human Development Specialist
To attend the National AgrAbility Training Workshop in Minnesota


Jodie Pennington, Lincoln University Small Ruminant Specialist
To attend the Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and American Society of Animal Science in Indiana


Lucy Schrader, State Specialist Human Environmental Science Associate
Toward online Educator Graduate Certification Program


Enter the Show-Me MU Extension photo contest

Improve your photography. Win an MU Extension polo shirt.

Cooperative Media Group photographer Jessica Salmond’s picture of former MU Extension swine specialist Seanicaa Edwards, left, and graduate student Joseph Dolginow is an example of a good photograph:

  • It shows real people in a real situation.
  • Its composition emphasizes the subjects with minimal distractions.
  • The subjects are in focus.

We are looking for photos that tell a story about MU Extension. Photos will be judged on content, composition, exposure and focus.

Prizes will be awarded for best composition, most meaningful content and best caption. Winning pictures and photographers will be announced in the Insider.

All submitted photographs might be used in MU Extension promotional and educational materials.

How to enter:

1. Read “Practices to improve your pictures,” a short collection of simple tips to help you take better pictures.

2. Take pictures of MU Extension and apply the practices to improve your pictures:

3. Pick your best picture and submit it with your name, a caption and a signed photo release form from all the people in the photo by 5 p.m., Nov. 15 to

Look for the winning pictures in the Dec. 1 Insider.

Contact Maggie Berglund at 573-882-3721 or with questions.


2 new publications look at nutrition and health apps

Yes, there’s an app for that. Chances are, there are a lot of apps for that, whatever “that” is. Two new MU Extension publications can help users of smartphones, tablets and similar devices make smart decisions about health and nutrition apps. Both are available as downloadable PDF files.

“Apps to Know” (N580), This handout lists nutrition and health apps that have been evaluated and recommended by MU Extension nutrition and health education specialists. Reviews and tips are also included.

“A SMART Start to Finding Nutrition and Health Apps” (N581) This handout offers tips on deciding if an app is right for you before you download it.


Be in the know about when to say ‘no’

Knowing when to say “no” and who to say “no” to are critical to your extension career and extension’s success, said Marlin Bates, horticulture specialist in Platte County.

Bates discussed this during “Making the most productive use of your time without getting eaten up by your calendar,” a recent webinar for extension faculty and staff.

He received two pieces of advice when he started his extension career: “Learn to say no, and never say no.”

Those conflicting words of wisdom can be confusing for new staff and faculty. Learning to find middle ground is the key to a happy, successful career.

Extension specialists, including Bates, receive “a flood of requests and questions.” Before saying yes, he asks himself, “Does it elevate the visibility of extension? Does it generate funds?” He then prioritizes the request by impact and how it relates to the specialty he has carved out within extension.

He gave an example of a request from someone who wanted him to examine a tree for disease. The tree was 15 miles from the office, so rather than making the time-consuming trip to the farm, he asked the individual to send him a photo of the tree for him to examine. By re-evaluating the way he handled this request, Bates was able to devote time to other projects that served a greater number of people.

Networking with community leaders is a vital part of specialists’ jobs, Bates said. “The old adage of ‘It’s all about who you know’ is truer than you think,” he said. Networking elevates the specialist’s position and extension’s image, and is vital. “Take time to build relationships to help us do our jobs better,” he said.

Bates said it is important to be personally satisfied and balance work with home and family, and that balance comes through knowing when to say “no.”


Upcoming events

Webinar series looks at everyday work challenges

Extension transition team leader Don Nicholson is hosting a short series of informal Adobe Connect seminars to discuss everyday challenges of extension staff at all levels. These may be especially useful for newer staff, but each will deal with issues most of us face now and then.

The seminar “Keeping yourself sharp as a professional, and keeping your bucket full” is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 21, 9-9:45 a.m.

This seminar will feature the experiences and perspectives of three well-known MU Extension staff:

Also scheduled is “Managing and strengthening relationships within your office, with commissioners, and with council members,” Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, 9 a.m.

Mark your calendar for either session and register through the ISE system at:


Fee-generation workshops

Workshops have been scheduled to explain additional functions and updates to the Fee Generation Worksheet-Online Tool. Register through ISE up to one week before the workshop. Sessions that do not have at least four registrants will be canceled and registrants will be asked to choose an alternate date.

2013 workshops

Nov. 20

10-11 a.m.

Dec. 19

2-3 p.m.

2014 workshops

Jan. 15

10-11 a.m.

Feb. 20

2-3 p.m.

March 19

10-11 a.m.

April 17

2-3 p.m.

May 21

10-11 a.m.

June 19

2-3 p.m.

July 16

10-11 a.m.

Aug. 21

2-3 p.m.


Other dates to remember

Nov. 1: Deadline for NCR-SARE Youth Educator Grant proposals.

Nov. 15: Proposals due for 2014 eXtension national conference.

Nov. 21: Webinar on “Keeping yourself sharp as a professional, and keeping your bucket full,” 9 a.m. at

Dec. 3-5: NAEPSDP conference, Kansas City.

Feb. 18, 2014: University of Missouri Alumni Alliance Legislative Day, State Capitol, Jefferson City.


Coming and going


To the family of Glenda J. Hawkins, retired CPD and consumer and family economics specialist, who died Oct. 22 at the age of 76. Read more about Hawkins at


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.