News for employees

MU Extension Insider
September 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

Quality beef by the numbers


This year’s drought has taken its toll on the livestock industry, which has sold off thousands of animals because feed is too costly. A University of Missouri Extension program may help these producers rebuild their herds with animals that produce more of the high-quality grades of beef that consumers are demanding.  This video news story is reported by Kent Faddis.



See related print article by Randy Mertens and radio news story by Debbie Johnson.


Emerald Ash Borer - there's time to make smart decisions

It’s estimated that more than 50 million ash trees are dead or dying in the Midwest because of the emerald ash borer (EAB). The immature stage of EAB destroys the spongy tissue under the bark, causing the tree to starve to death. There is no need to panic and there’s time for homeowners to do their homework and make wise choices. Debbie Johnson has more.



Spirit Spark!

The Way to Extension’s Heart

By Jim Ronald, MU Extension Boone County

Whether it’s a program category potluck, regional staff BBQ, or office holiday celebrations, MU Extension work can certainly be tasty. Just going back through the file of recipes shared by co-workers over the years can stir many delicious memories.  It’s true - sharing food is one of our most powerful ways to build stronger ties and lift everyone’s mood.  For your next get-together, here are some creative themes that your office may want to try:

Pick A Letter:  Though “q” and “z” may be a challenge, having everyone choose foods with the same first letter can lead to some interesting combinations.

Total Comfort: We all know them and love to share them - classic foods from our growing-up years. Hall of Famers include macaroni and cheese, chicken & dumplings, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, apple pie and chocolate chip cookies. (But please hold the green Jell-O…)

Show-Me Goodness:  The distinctive cuisine of Missouri abounds with toasted ravioli, thin crust pizza and gooey butter cake from St. Louis, Springfield-style cashew chicken and all-things BBQ from Kansas City. One person can even be designated to throw the rolls.

SEC Road Trip: Mizzou’s move to the Southeastern Conference promises to be a culinary goldmine.  Everyone can pick a state and watch the potluck table fill with fried chicken, corn bread, black-eyed peas, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, jambalaya and pecan pie.

If you have creative food-sharing themes that worked well at your office, please e-mail them to  and I’ll compile them for a future “Spirit Spark.”  And if you’re in the Columbia neighborhood at lunchtime on Friday, Oct. 12, bring a dish to the Boone County Extension Center and join us for a “Tailgate Classics” potluck in anticipation of the big showdown with the Crimson Tide!  


4-H Hall of Fame inductees

Anthony (posthumous) and Teresa Simon were nominated by Pettis County and inducted into the Missouri 4-Hall of Fame Aug. 18. They are parents of Mary Simon Leuci, community development program director. Congratulations and a big thank you to their continued legacy of leadership that makes a difference in the lives of children, youth and families.


eXtension national meeting set for October in Oklahoma

The eXtension 2012 National Conference is Oct. 1-4, at the Renaissance Hotel & Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City.

Spur on the Evolution of Extension, the conference theme, will bring excellent programming in the form of national keynote speakers, fast-paced breakout sessions, and enhanced opportunities for community building and dialog, all in an atmosphere of excitement, fun, and high spirits.

Meridith Berry, regional information technology specialist, serves on the planning committee and received a $600 scholarship to attend the meeting.

More information about NEXC2012 is available online:


"Battle: Change From Within" selected for Offshoot Film Fest

Congratulations to Michael Hicks, TV and film producer, and Julie Middleton, director, Organizational Development, on the documentary "Battle: Change From Within” being selected for The Seedling Film Association’s Offshoot Film Fest Oct. 4-7, in Fayetteville, Ark.

The official announcement party will be on Sept. 21, at the Matt Miller Studio on the Fayetteville Square at 7 p.m.

Similar to Columbia’s True/False Film Festival, the Offshoot Film Fest includes screening different types of independent films, educational opportunities with industry professionals and a post screening Q&A with filmmakers.


SBTDC client hosts KC visit of top SBA official


Kevin Stover (right), MU Extension business development counselor, talks to SBA Administrator Karen Mills (left) about the efforts of the SBTDC with Missouri entrepreneurs such as Rob Sweeney (center).

A long-time MU Extension business development program client played host this week to the highest ranking small business official in the Obama administration.

Rob Sweeney, founder and CEO of two mobile media technology companies in the Kansas City area, demonstrated to the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Karen Mills, why small businesses are critical to the framework of a national economic recovery.

“Today we are highlighting to SBA Administrator Mills ‘made in America’ and, more specifically, ‘made in Missouri’,” said Sweeney, who runs textCastor® and messageQube™. “It’s important that we reinvigorate the manufacturing sector in the U.S. Today we’re showing Ms. Mills how we’re playing our part in manufacturing to bring jobs to the United States while creating innovative products.”

Sweeney, a member of the BDP’s advisory board for the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers, has been a client of the University of Central Missouri SBTDC in Warrensburg for several years. He currently is working with Kevin Stover, SBTDC advisor in the MU College of Engineering.

“Mr. Sweeney’s business is a great example of entrepreneurship,” said Mills. “It shows we can compete here in Missouri, providing technological innovations nationally and around the world.
“Small businesses (like textCastor and messageQube) create the jobs in this country. In addition to loans, the owners of these businesses need the counseling and mentoring that the small business specialists with the Missouri SBTDC provide. It leads to more small business success.”

Sweeney says his long relationship with MO SBTDC has been beneficial: “You know the old saying ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’? Well the folks at the SBTDC help folks like me figure out how to overcome that situation by helping us solve the major hurdles and small details we need to master in order to run and improve our small businesses.”


Sweeney (right), introduces Mills to some of the clients of his firm textCastor, a mass-notification service used by schools, media outlets, health care institutions and government agencies around the country.


Specialists’ research in Journal of Extension

Congratulations to Beverly Maltsberger and Wilson Majee who have an article published in Journal of Extension: "Building Regional Networking Capacity Through Leadership Development: The Case of Leadership Northwest Missouri."


Showing animals has become a tradition


The Rankin family, which shows animals each year, waits to show their pigs at the Missouri State Fair.  Dani Vanderboegh | the Columbia Missourian

Jo Britt-Rankin, human environmental science program director, and her family were featured in a recent issue of the Columbia Missourian.

The Rankins have been raising animals for show as a family for the past 13 years. In addition to the pigs, they raise sheep, meat goats and steers. The family's fair tradition dates back to patriarch Bobby Rankin's first year in the 4-H Club when he was 8 years old.

Showing animals has become a tradition


Upcoming events

Leon Moon retiring

After 46 years with MU Extension, Leon Moon, 4-H youth development specialist, WC-Region, has decided it is time to retire and go fishing. 

You are invited to a retirment reception for Leon from 4 to 6 p.m., Friday Sept. 14, at the Pioneer Community College Auditorium, 2700 E 18th Street in Kansas City. Program starts at 5:15 p.m.  Appetizers and punch will be served.

If you are unable to make the celebration, you can send your wishes to Leon at 307 Boston Street, Jones, OK 73049.


4-H Day at the Edward Jones Dome

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 on Sunday, 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.

This year you have two seating options.  You can purchase a $45 upper terrace level seat or a $90 field level seat.  With each ticket purchased you will receive a $10 food and drink voucher and a special t-shirt featuring the 4-H and Rams emblems (four sizes available).  If your order is for 10 or more tickets, you will receive an additional $10 food and drink voucher for each ticket.  Orders of 10 or more tickets can include some $45 tickets and some $90 tickets, or all the ticket values can be the same.  As an additional benefit, $5 of each ticket order will be used to support Missouri and Illinois 4-H and Extension program initiatives.

There are a limited number of tickets available, so order soon.  Questions can be addressed at the phone number and e-mail address on the 4-H Day at the Edward Jones Dome flier, or by contacting Dave Hileman at


Fee-generation workshops set

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

Date Time
9/18/2012 2-3 p.m.
10/22/2012 10-11 a.m.


Other dates to remember

Sept. 1: Third quarter Extension Quarterly Teamwork Award applications are due to Beverly Coberly

Sept. 10: Learning to Eat for Health and Enjoyment – Online 10-week class – ENROLL NOW!
Discover the benefits of this innovative approach to weight management. If you have a history of chronic dieting, have rigid “healthy” rules about eating, or find yourself eating when you’re stressed, bored, or unhappy, this may be the program for you. The Eat for Life 10-week program uses mind-body practices, the principles of intuitive eating, and group support to guide you in making lifestyle changes that will help you create a healthier relationship to your food, mind, and body.

The online class run the weeks of Sept. 10 – Dec. 3 (except Thanksgiving week). Cost is $50 ($25 refunded with full participation). For more details watch the videos and to enroll send in your registration form by Sept.10.

For more information, contact

Sept. 14: Epsilon Sigma Phi awards due. According to Vera Massey, ESP awards committee chair, ESP has 17 different awards available to recognize extension colleagues or friends of extension:

Sept. 15: CANCELLED - Susan Mills-Gray reports the Team Spirit/UMEA Extension Game with Tiger Football for Sept. 15, has been cancelled due to changes in the non-conference football schedule as a result of the Missouri Tigers’ move to the SEC.  The organizing committee appreciates your patience in this matter and looks forward to working toward hosting this event in 2013.

Sept. 20: Non-Tenure Track Dossier workshop – Question and Answer.  For questions regarding the NTT process, contact Marcia Shannon ( or Nicki Eatinger-Sprague (, or visit the NTT website for more information:

Oct. 29-31: 2012 Extension Annual Conference

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


Coming and going

Please welcome

Eugenia Houston, nutrition program associate, WC-FNP.

Michelle Boillot, nutrition program assistant, SE-FNP.

Estrella Carmona, nutrition program assistant, SE-FNP.

Margaret Lidisky, nutrition program assistant, SE-FNP.

Jennifer Paes, nutrition program assistant, SE-FNP.

Lindsay Bellm, nutrition program associate, SW-FNP.

Theresa Dalby, nutrition program associate, SW-FNP.

Amanda Robbins, nutrition program associate, SW-FNP.

Monica Spittler, nutrition program associate, SW-FNP.

Tracy White, nutrition program associate, SW-FNP.

Juliann Hadfield, nutrition program associate, WC-FNP.

Sara Hazan, nutrition program associate, WC-FNP.

Veronica Hernandez, nutrition program associate, WC-FNP.

Nicole Ludolph, nutrition program associate, WC-FNP.

Anna McIntyre, nutrition program associate, WC-FNP.

Keri Preston, nutrition program associate, WC-FNP.

Samantha Schemmel, nutrition program associate, WC-FNP.

Lachelle Simpson, nutrition program associate, WC-FNP.



Linda K. Gill, nutrition program assistant, SW-FNP.


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.