News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Sept. 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

FilmFest 4-H links youth with professionals

Young filmmakers from across the United States learned to create professional-looking films on a teenager's budget during the recent FilmFest 4-H in Branson. Read more.


Extension photo booth makes fairgoers smile

CAFNR Dean Thomas Payne and his wife, Alice, were among the more than 750 fairgoers who visited MU Extension’s photo booth at the Missouri State Fair.

More than 750 photos were taken at MU Extension’s booth at the Missouri State Fair this year.

Fairgoers at the Tiger-studded booth could don black and gold hats, scarves and boas and have their free souvenir photo taken in front of a Tiger-striped background. The booth appealed to MU fans of all ages, and even a few pets. More than 100 volunteers worked the booth.

The photos were posted daily on Mizzou Central’s Facebook page and the “Likes” on the HES Facebook page increased by about 30 percent, said Becky Mott, who helped coordinate the booth.

Mott said the popular stopping-spot provided many opportunities for extension personnel to reach out to the public. 

“An interesting comment that I heard several times throughout the fair from extension personnel was that having a presence at the fair was very important, especially with the restructuring of the regions. They felt that the people we serve need a chance to put names and faces together,” Mott said.


Nominations sought for ESP awards

Do you know someone deserving of an Epsilon Sigma Phi award? Awards include:

For most awards, the nominate must be an Epsilon Sigma Phi member. However, there are two exceptions: the Friend of Extension Award and the State Meritorious Support Service Award. For team awards, at least 50 percent of the team members eligible for ESP membership must be ESP members.

You can find the list of active ESP members at

For award descriptions, nomination forms and past award recipients, go to

Award nominations are due Sept. 13. Email your nominations or questions to Lynda Zimmerman,, ESP Recognition and Awards chair.


Nwadike is new state food safety specialist

Londa NwadikeHealthy eating doesn’t mean just eating the right foods. It also means choosing, storing and preparing foods to make sure your meals are safe as well as nourishing.

Helping consumers understand how to keep their food safe is the goal of Londa Nwadike, who became MU Extension’s new state food safety specialist in July. She has a joint appointment with Kansas State University Extension and divides her time between the Mizzou Center in Blue Springs and KSU’s Olathe campus. She is working with extension health and nutrition specialists in both states to develop programming and resources.

Nwadike was previously a food safety specialist for University of Vermont Extension, where she worked with producers, including makers of Vermont’s famous maple syrup. In Missouri and Kansas, her work will center mainly on the consumer side.

Every year, about one out of six Americans—almost 50 million people—becomes sick with foodborne illness, according to estimates by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and about 3,000 people die. Many of these cases are preventable, Nwadike says, and the consumers who buy and prepare food are the last line of defense against disease-causing microbes invading our meals.

Increased interest in home and community gardens, home food preservation and locally produced foods heightens the need for consumer awareness of food safety, she says. Her projects include educating consumers to be on the lookout for potential safety problems when shopping at farmers markets.

Nwadike grew up on a farm in South Dakota, where she was active in 4-H. She earned her master’s from KSU before completing a doctorate in public health from the University of Iowa. She and her husband, Candidus Nwadike, have a 19-month-old daughter and are expecting a second child in October.

Nwadike’s bi-state extension appointment gives her a lot of ground to cover, but she says she’s ready for the challenge. “While there are some differences, the issues are basically the same on both sides of the border,” she said.


Extension hosts legislators on Jefferson County farm tours

De Soto Farm Tour

MU Extension hosted U.S. Rep. Jason Smith (center), state Rep. Elaine Gannon (right) and Jefferson County Councilwoman Terri Kreitler (left) for two farm tours in the De Soto area on Aug. 20, reports Sue Wille, FNEP Urban Region program coordinator.

Also on hand were county, regional and state extension council members, representatives of local cattlemen associations and a foreign exchange student from Holland who was interested in interactions in local governments.

One of the tour stops was Ott Farms, which sells produce grown in a high tunnel at the De Soto Farmers Market, which MU Extension helped launch in 2009. The visitors also toured Roop Farm, where they saw corn and soybean fields.

“Rep. Smith is very interested in locally grown produce,” Wille says. The visit was part of Smith’s weeklong tour of farms in 11 counties in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District.


Report provides county-by-county data on Missouri’s senior population

As baby boomers age, older Americans will make up a growing proportion of the population. By 2030, about one in five Missourians will be 65 or older. This trend has important implications for communities on issues such as housing, health care, infrastructure, transportation and social services.

The Missouri Senior Report, produced by MU Extension’s Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, presents county-by-county data on older Missourians to help policymakers, health care providers, businesses, families and others make informed decisions about plans and priorities.

A newly redesigned website at lets users easily browse data, compare differences over time or from county to county, and generate custom charts and maps. Users also can download data as spreadsheet files.

Read more.


Call for posters at fall conference

This is an invitation to all MU Extension specialists, educators, and youth and nutrition program associates and assistants.

Join your extension colleagues to learn best practices for MU Extension programs and share your knowledge and experience by submitting a poster presentation proposal to present at our 2013 MU Extension Fall Program Conference, Oct. 28–30. We encourage you to submit proposals for new posters or posters that you have already presented at national, regional or state conferences within the past three years.

Complete the proposal form and send it to Shelley Bush Rowe at by midnight, Sept. 20. You will receive an email confirmation of your submission.


Reading-ease score helps you learn to communicate

Communications tip by Duane Dailey

Reading-ease level of extension writing shoots over the heads of most audiences. You won’t know if you don’t check your writing grade level.

It took digging, but I found that score in Word 2013 on my new PC. It’s well hidden, but you need it as much as spell-check.

Here’s the path to grade-level scores in Microsoft Word 2013: Go to “File” on top left of the Word toolbar. Click and go way down to “Options,” and then “Proofing.” Click and look at the second tier for spelling and grammar. Finally, click “Show Readability Statistics.”

Return to your Word document, and then highlight what you want spell-checked. When spell-check is done, a box pops up with word count and, at the bottom, “Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level.”

I learned from Dick Lee, my extension mentor, to strive for grade 8.0. “That’s not dumbing down,” he said. “You will be writing at a level for most readers, including Ph.D.s.”

Try it. You might not like it, but you can become a communicator, not just a writer.


Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame inducts 47 members

2013 4-H Hall of Fame

“Making the best better” for generations of Missouri 4-H club members, 47 luminaries joined the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame on Aug. 17 at the State Fair Community College campus in Sedalia, Mo. Inductees from 40 counties established a legacy totaling 1,465 years of service to 4-H. Family members and friends attended the seventh annual event. Inductees were nominated by their counties for outstanding volunteer work in local 4-H programs. Read more.


Lync offers a more efficient office communications tool

Flexibility, independence and time savings are three big reasons many university offices have updated their Office Communicator software to include the communications tool Lync, according to John Myers, director of technology and computing services for MU Extension.

“Lync is a more efficient alternative to Adobe Connect,” says Myers. “It’s great to see so many people using Lync. If you haven’t updated your Office Communicator software to Lync, you should.”

Several articles in recent editions of the ETCS blog Inner Circuits can help you install and use the Lync software:

“Among its many advantages, Lync can help you instant message, make Internet-protocol audio calls, conduct video calls, and share either your screen or applications running on your computer,” says Myers. “It also offers a whiteboard for collaboration and a polling module for creating polling questions.”

Lync also allows you to:

“Lync has a lot of advantages over more cumbersome communications tools currently in use,” says Myers. “Please give it a try and see if it works for you.”


Upcoming events

Register for Community Development Academy by Sept. 6

The Community Development Academy is an intensive, experiential, five-day course offered by the University of Missouri Extension Community Development Program.

The registration deadline is Sept. 6.

Who should enroll? Participants come from diverse backgrounds—local, national and international. They include CEOs, project administrators, educators, graduate and undergraduate students, and neighborhood and community organizers, among others.

Register for an ISE:

Course 1: Building Communities from the Grassroots (ISE 260)

This course provides participants with a theoretical framework for community development focusing on themes of group dynamics, diversity, action planning process, evaluation and monitoring, among others. It may be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit.

Course 3: Creating Capacity for Dynamic Communities (ISE 129)

This course focuses on advanced processes in community development, exploring topics like community organizing, working in small groups, working in large groups, managing conflict, and helping people get “unpoor.” It may be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit.

Register by Sept. 6 at


Stop eating when you're stressed or bored! Join Eat for Life in person or online!

Discover the benefits of this innovative approach to weight management through Healthy for Life’s Eat for Life course. This 10-week program uses mind-body practices (meditations and yoga), principles of mindful and intuitive eating, skills training, and group support to guide you in making lifestyle changes that will help you create a healthier relationship to your food, mind and body. 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.

For more information, watch these informational videos.

In-person class (Columbia):

Online class:

Program is taught by University of Missouri health psychologist Lynn Rossy. Register by emailing Craig Deken at


Fee-generation workshops

More 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

Sept. 18

10-11 a.m.

Oct. 17

2-3 p.m.

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

Sept. 5: Bradford Research Center Tomato Festival, Columbia.

Sept. 6: Application deadline for MU Extension Performance Awards.

Sept. 26: Webinar on “Making the most productive use of your time without getting eaten up by your calendar, ” 9 a.m. at

Oct. 1: NTT Training for Applicants 2, “Last Minute Tips with Questions and Answers.”

Oct. 4: Retirement reception for Rex Ricketts, 2 p.m., Reynolds Alumni Center. If you would like to contribute photos for a memory book and slideshow, email them to Hannah McClure at or mail to 223 Mumford Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 by Sept. 20.

Oct. 28-30: Extension Fall Conference, Columbia.

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


Coming and going


To Lucinda Carr, Jackson County youth program assistant, whose husband, James Carr, passed away Aug. 20. Cards may be sent to Lucinda at 3713 Cypress Ave., Kansas City, MO 64128.


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.