News for employees

MU Extension Insider
October 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

Fall Program Conference registration open


University of Missouri Extension invites you to the Fall Program Conference, “Positioning for the Future”, Oct. 29-31, at the Holiday Inn Select in Columbia. This is an opportunity for MU Extension faculty and staff engaged in programming to learn about new programming opportunities, celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act and network with colleagues.  

A great program is planned including A Historic Perspective presented by Dr. Tom Henderson, discussions on program positioning for the future, and a wide variety of professional development workshops. The MU Extension Strategic Plan and Program Integration opportunities will be presented during the conference. There is also an opportunity for professional associations to meet and a time for UMEA’s annual silent auction to benefit professional development. Plan to dress in jeans, poodle skirts and bobby socks for the ’50s sock hop. MU President Tim Wolfe will be the capnote speaker.

We look forward to seeing you at the Fall Program Conference.  The agenda and electronic registration for this event is available at


Tom Benton's Missouri


The walls of the House Lounge in Missouri’s state capitol in Jefferson City come to life with the vibrant, colorful paintings of Thomas Hart Benton. The mural and its creation are profiled in the documentary “Tom Benton’s Missouri,” which has been re-mastered in a high-definition format. The HD edition will premiere around the state this fall for the film’s 20th anniversary.

The award-winning 1992 documentary, directed by Dr. James J. Bogan Jr., Curators’ Teaching Professor emeritus of art history and film at Missouri S&T, and Frank Fillo, former director of University of Missouri Extension’s Cooperative Media Group, was shown widely around the country on PBS stations and exhibited in schools across the state on 16-millimeter film and VHS tapes.

Michael Hicks, film and video producer with the MU Extension Cooperative Media Group, oversaw the technical challenges of turning 16mm film into a digital HD format. “Advances in technology have given us a cost-effective way to distribute this to the classroom and, we hope, excite a new generation of Missourians about the art and history of our state,” Hicks says.

Learn more about “Tom Benton's Missouri” at

See a related print article by Jennifer Hollingshead.


Chancellor on Twitter!

Chancellor Brady Deaton is now on Twitter! Follow him at

Deaton began tweeting Thursday in New York from the United Nations General Assembly event “Feed the Future: Partnering with Civil Society,” featuring Malawi President Joyce Banda and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.


NELD participants Sought for 2013 Class

MU Extension would like to identify participants for the 2013 North Central NELD (National Extension Leadership Development) program. This program is designed to build leaders in Cooperative Extension at all levels and to provide them with vision, courage, and tools to lead in a changing world.

As a result of participation in this program, participants will: articulate their personal philosophy of leadership; apply leadership skills to their role in extension; analyze the role of leadership in achieving purposeful change; examine the value of diversity of thought and culture; and create a network of colleagues from across the region to share challenges and experiences.

The session dates, locations and themes:

More information can be found at

If you are interested in applying, please submit to your supervising RD or PD the application and a letter (no longer than 2 pages) expressing why you would like to participate in the program. Deadline is Oct. 3.

Once your supervisor (RD or PD) receives your application he or she will write a brief letter of support and sign the application.  He or she will then submit all documentation electronically to Julie Middleton at

“The internal selection process will include a committee recommendation and final selection by our Director of Extension,” says Middleton.  “Following our internal process, we will notify applicants (by October 16, 2012) of the outcome of the process and forward the applications of the selected Missouri participants to the North Central NELD leadership team.” 

Contact Middleton if you have questions.


Spirit Spark!

Take Time Off for Good Behavior

By Susan Mills-Gray, nutrition specialist, Cass County

Do you measure your worth by what you get done?  Well, it’s time to give your productivity-seeking self a break and go in search of some fun instead.

Many Extension folks were mentored to believe that you ARE what you produce. Come on, we all know that the Extension professional with the busiest calendar wins – right?  Wrong! Measuring our worth by what we get done, by what our job title is, and by how much status we have, doesn’t improve our lives – in fact, often is has the opposite effect.  One study by York University in Toronto, showed that the people who work the most have “significantly lower self-esteem” than those who are enthused about, but not captive to, their work.  Other research shows that the thrill of a job promotion or being named to lead a major project vanishes within two weeks – then you’re back to the grindstone and feeling overwhelmed just like before.

Give these three techniques a try:

  1. Do a guilt detox. Begin to eliminate work guilt by making conscious choices.  Instead of feeling trapped and resentful by doing something you are “supposed” to do, make a deliberate choice to opt for refueling or needed time with your family.  Remind yourself that the work can be done another day – staying healthy and connected with family needs to be a top priority.  Overall you are a more productive and satisfied employee when you make this choice.
  2. Know when to say when. A study at Harvard found that the key for successful professionals who have true career satisfaction is the “deliberate imposition of limits.”  Establishing your own guidelines about what you will do and when – and in knowing when you’ve done enough is crucial to mental health.  We all have structural and energetic limits – set healthy boundaries for improved quality of work and much-needed time for leisure.
  3. Choose your leisure activities wisely.  Down time should have three components:  reflecting your interests and passions, stretching your limits in a fun & creative way, and allowing you to connect with others. Seek active, rewarding activities that empower you to enjoy the moment.

(Sources:  Experience Life, March 2012; Taking Care of All of You: Body, Mind, and Spirit, MU Extension)


“Show Me Respect: Promoting Civility at the University of Missouri”

The Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative is kicking off a universitywide civility campaign called “Show Me Respect: Promoting Civility at the University of Missouri.”  The purpose of the campaign is to ensure a culture of civility that will be reflected through respectful discourse and behavior.

With this in mind, each MU college or unit is being asked to consider ways to increase civility and improve our learning and workplace climate.  The Regional Climate Teams are to develop a plan for their respective regions to carry out the campaign.   Julie Middleton, will be working directly with the Catalyst Team and the Regional Climate teams to provide information and tools for developing and implementing plans.

The universitywide “kick off” will occur during the Diversity Summit Oct. 29-30.  This conference overlaps with much of the Fall Program Conference so most extension faculty will not be able to attend. Extension Vice Provost Michael Ouart will highlight the initiative and Middleton will facilitate a diversity session during the Fall Program Conference.  Civility buttons and flyers will be available at the Fall Conference.

To learn more about the MU Civility initiative see Questions should be directed to Middleton.                       


Quinn NACAA award winner


James Quinn, Cole County horticulture specialist, received the National Association of County Agricultural Agents 2012 Achievement Award for Missouri. The award was presented at the association's annual conference July 15-19, in Charleston, S.C.

James has had a long and varied career in horticulture spanning three decades. Reflecting upon the award, he commented on an area of recent emphasis: "I have enjoyed working with my fellow regional and state specialists on programming targeting Amish and Mennonite vegetable producers," said Quinn. "I was fortunate to have a leadership opportunity with an EPA grant-funded statewide project the last four years.  The group effort from my extension colleagues has been outstanding."

Quinn is based in Jefferson City and represents MU Extension in horticulture throughout the Central Region, including three counties - Audrain, Moniteau and Morgan - with numerous Amish and Mennonite vegetable producers.


Reporting an automobile accident while on University business

“Don’t’ forget to submit a vehicle accident report if you have an accident on the job,” says Callie Glascock, extension fiscal officer. “Failure to report could affect your workman’s compensation, personal liability, and your health and automobile insurance.”

University employees should complete and submit Vehicle Accident Report UM-5 when involved in a vehicle accident while conducting University business. The report is important whether operating a University vehicle, rental car or personal vehicle.

The reports can be emailed to Callie and she will send them to an appropriate campus contact. If an employee is injured, an additional form will be required. Information on insurance coverage is available online or by contacting Callie at 573-882-4522.


Gibler selected homecoming queen at Hallsville High School


Congratulations to Rhonda Gibler, associate vice provost for management, and husband Kevin on their daughter Kelsie’s selection as Hallsville’s football Homecoming Queen. That’s Kevin escorting her during the ceremonies.  Kelsie thought a tuxedo t-shirt was fun and fitting for her dad.


Sparks is “Friend of 4-H”

Kay Sparks

Kay Sparks of La Monte wears many hats: rancher, grandmother, former teacher and current MU Extension 4-H youth specialist. For her service as the state 4-H council mentor Sparks was honored with the Friend of 4-H award at a ceremony Sept. 21, in Columbia.

“We are grateful for all that Kay does. One of her strengths is guiding youth to fulfill their potential as leaders,” said Morgan Beach of the State 4-H Council. “Kay goes beyond her job description. She serves as a great role model and has a heart of gold.”

In addition to her role as 4-H youth specialist for Benton and Pettis counties, Sparks served as state 4-H council mentor from 2010 to 2012. She volunteers at the Missouri State Fair, is a past president of the Missouri Association of Extension 4-H Youth Workers and a former Missouri 4-H Foundation trustee.

“Words cannot tell you how honored I was to receive the Friend of 4-H Award,” said Sparks. “These 4-H youth have truly touched my life and made me a better person. I feel blessed to have worked with them.”

The Friend of 4-H award is given to persons or organizations that provide outstanding service and partnership to the state 4-H council.


Nutrition & exercise physiology seminars available online

Tom Hagobian

Dr. Todd Hagobian, presenter.

Two recent nutrition and exercise physiology seminars are available through streaming video:

Nutrition & Exercise PhysiologyFaculty, Snap-shot of Current NEP Research

Todd Hagobian, Cal-Poly University, Exercise & Energy Intake: What’s the Connection

A list of NEP seminars is available online at


Upcoming events

2012 Leaders Honor Roll

“This is the time of year we recognize the excellence of county and community leaders,” says Beverly Coberly, associate vice provost for programs.  “Those nominated to the Leaders Honor Roll will receive recognition certificates presented in your county.”

Please work with your colleagues in the selection of one or two outstanding leaders in each county for recognition.  Keep in mind that this is to recognize lay leaders and not organizations.

Selections should be sent to your regional director via electronic mail. Each selection should include the county, the name(s) of individual(s) as they will appear on the certificate and address.  For example:
                Boone, John Smith, 17 Lilac Drive, Anywhere, MO (zip code)
                Boone, Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, 17 Lilac Drive, Anywhere, MO (zip code)
                Boone, Mary E. Smith, 17 Lilac Drive, Anywhere, MO (zip code)

Please submit your selections no later than Nov. 1, to your regional directorCarol Heffner, executive staff assistant to Rhonda Gibler, will create and mail certificates by the end of November.  If your county is planning a recognition ceremony prior to the end of November, please let your regional director know and we will handle those certificates individually.

Attached are a description and a spreadsheet for recording your selections.  Please call or e-mail Debbie Ricker (573-882-1313) if you have questions.


NAEPSDP conference registration is open

Registration for the 2nd Annual National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP) conference is now open.  This year’s conference will be held Dec. 11-13, in Denver, Colo.  A great series of presentations and activities has been set for this conference.  NAEPSDP provides a forum for extension program and staff development professionals who are actively engaged in program and staff development in the Cooperative Extension system.

Conference registration information and the agenda are available online

Contact Julie Middleton, president-elect of NAEPSDP, with questions.


Restorative justice team training

There will be a follow-up meeting for those who attended the Introduction to Restorative Justice ISE, and others who are interested, at the upcoming Fall Extension Conference.  We will discuss how specialists can incorporate restorative justice practices into their programs, and what training or mentoring they might need.  The meeting will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 29, before the Fall Conference starts.  A meeting room has yet to be assigned.

For more information contact Nina Balsam, St. Louis County program director at 314-615-7637 or .


Cultural Bricolage

Cultural Bricolage is a Mizzou Advantage Conference Nov. 11-13, in Columbia. It will focus on Artist Books of Cuba made from recycled materials focusing on aesthetics, politics of word and image, and cultural entrepreneurship. This conference is free to MU students, faculty and staff.   Register at


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:

Date Time
10/22/2012 10-11 a.m.
11/19/2012 2-3 p.m.
12/19/2012 10-11 a.m.


Other dates to remember

Nov. 8: MU Extension Administrative Support Conference. More information will be available soon.

Dec. 2: 4-H day with the Rams.  You are invited to join other Missouri and Illinois 4-H members, volunteers, family, and friends for 4‑H Day at the Edward Jones Dome at noon Dec. 2, to watch the St. Louis Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers.  Tickets for the game can be purchased over the phone (314-425-0528), or by mail or fax using the 4-H Ticket Order Form on the event flier at You can also order tickets online at using the promo code “4h”.  Credit card orders will be accepted.

Dec. 23: 4-H day with the Chiefs. Tickets are specially discounted for all 4-H members, families and friends at $25/seat. Tickets are subject to availability. Call or email Ryan Youngs at 816-920-4830 or


Coming and going

Please welcome

Mackenzie Thurman, student assistant technical, Ag Ext-Food Science & Nutrition.

Linda Geist, senior information specialist, Cooperative Media Group.

Jason Vance, senior information specialist, Cooperative Media Group.



Brenda Bell, human development specialist, SC-Region-HES.

Wayne Dietrich, community development specialist, SW-Region Community Development.

Dean Wilson, ag and rural development specialist, EC-Region-ANR.


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 Mark Stillwell, CMG interim director.