News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Feb. 4, 2014


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

MU Extension to benefit from federal appropriations bill

With the recent passage and signing of the 2014 omnibus appropriations bill (HR 3547) federal funding for MU Extension programming has been restored to fiscal year 2012 levels.

“This comes as welcome news as MU Extension enters its 100th year of service to the state of Missouri,” said Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of MU Extension.

“We are appreciative of the U.S. representatives and senators who supported this omnibus bill and, by doing so, demonstrated a commitment to the value and concept of extension, which provides education for all,” said Ouart. “The Missouri delegation in particular demonstrated especially strong support, which should make all Missourians proud.”

Supporting delegation members included Reps. Lacy Clay, Ann Wagner, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Vicky Hartzler and Sam Graves, and Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill.

Prior to the passage of HR 3547, MU Extension’s administration was cautiously optimistic that federal funding might be restored, but also keenly aware that programs might face disruption without action by Congress.

In late 2013, the federal government shutdown led to the temporary suspension of MU Extension’s nutrition education programming. This disruption affected elementary schools and communities throughout the state.

“MU Extension’s commitment to enhancing the lives of Missourians in their communities has remained steadfast despite financial uncertainty at the federal level,” Ouart said. “This legislation plays an important part in MU Extension meeting the needs of more than 1 million Missourians who participate in extension programs each year.”


1944 4-H trip inspired $250,000 endowment

A story of devotion and dedication, more than 70 years in the making, continued last month with the pledge of $225,000 to the Missouri 4-H Foundation by a former MU Extension specialist and his wife.

In January Walt and Norma Wilkening pledged the six-figure sum to fully fund their namesake National 4-H Congress Endowment Fund, which they started four years ago with an initial $25,000 gift.

The story behind the gift goes all the way back to the 1944 National 4-H Congress at Chicago’s Union Stock Yards. Discover the background behind their quarter-million-dollar donation and why the Wilkenings continue their lifelong support of 4-H youth development in the Show-Me State.

Walt Wilkening

Walt Wilkening, far left looking at camera, was pictured on the cover of a magazine published by International Harvester, which sponsored a performance of the musical 'Oklahoma!' at the 1944 National 4-H Congress. Credit:  Photo courtesy International Harvester.


MU Extension specialist receives national honor from ESP

A member of MU Extension’s field faculty is a winner of an elevator-speech contest conducted recently by the national office of Epsilon Sigma Phi. Meridith Berry, MU Extension family financial education specialist based in Grundy County, was one of three ESP members from across the country receiving the honor late last month. The national extension professional development group held the contest during its annual conference last September in Pittsburgh.

Berry received a nominal cash prize for the following entry:

Extension is the part of our University that fulfills the mission of land grant universities to bring the research and knowledge to the people and communities of Missouri. You may be familiar with our youth program – 4-H. We also work with farmers, help community governments, teach nutrition to school children and provide resources for people who need information on just about anything. We have an extension office in almost every county. Where do you live?


MU FRTI appoints new training coordinator in mid-state region

Clinton Hays

Clinton Hays of Linn, Mo., is the new training coordinator in Region F for MU Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute, announces Dave Hedrick, MU FRTI director. Regional training coordinators serve in part-time positions within the institute.

Hays is a firefighter/EMT with the Jefferson City Fire Department, and served with the Linn Fire Protection District as an assistant chief and training officer from 2005 to 2012. He will be responsible for coordinating MU FRTI training courses and activities in central-Missouri Region F, which includes Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Gasconade, Howard, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan and Osage counties


Half of county extension websites now have donation pages

 Nearly half of MU Extension county donation pages have been published, according to Cynthia Crawford, MU Extension director of donor education.

“The CPDs of these counties chose to publish the page first and demonstrate it for their councils later,” says Crawford. “Other CPDs plan to demonstrate the page for their councils before publishing it.”

The new online giving page allows donors to make online donations to MU Extension with ease and assurance. The form includes lists of the county gift and endowment funds. All it takes is a click to select the desired fund.

To activate a county donation page, a CPD simply needs to email the request to Crawford. For more information on the new MU Extension online giving experience and how to customize your county’s giving page, see Giving to MU Extension made easy.

In other donor-related news, Crawford reports the winter 2014 issue of Friends of Extension— news for people who champion MU Extension—has just been published electronically and in print. Please contact Crawford with ideas for stories and pictures for future issues.

Also, dates have been set for the spring round of meetings for MU Extension retirees and friends: April 9, Nevada; April 10, Ozark; April 18, Sedalia; April 23, Jackson; April 24, St. Peters; May 1, Columbia; and May 7, Gallatin.

In addition to retirees, active faculty and staff also are welcome to attend the Dutch-treat luncheons and programming, says Crawford. Contact her for details about the meetings. 


4-H dairy judging team invited to international event

Missouri’s 4-H dairy judging team, already ranked among the best in the United States, is heading to international competition, according to Karla Deaver, Lawrence County-based 4-H youth specialist.

The three-member team—Steven Nelson, son of Mike Nelson of Grove Spring; Tucker Peterson, son of Janet Peterson of Mountain Grove; and Bailee Whitehead, daughter of Tony and Nikki Whitehead of Conway—has been invited to compete in the 2014 International Dairy Judging Tour of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland from June 18 to July 2. The team was invited in recognition of its outstanding results from the national 4-H dairy judging contest at the World Dairy Expo last October.

Team members and their families, coaches and other judging supporters are working to raise the $24,000 needed to finance the trip. Potential contributors may contact either of the team coaches: Deaver, at 417-466-3102; or Ted Probert, dairy specialist, at 417-741-6134. Donations also may be sent to the Missouri 4-H Foundation in care of the Missouri 4-H dairy judging team.


Meeting attendees respond to last-minute reminders

A communications tip from Duane Dailey

You get more people at your meeting if you ask them to attend. Then remind them.
Tell people to come. Then tell them again. And again. That third time helps.
Rob Kallenbach, state forage specialist, discovered he gets better attendance at planning meetings if he reminds members by email three times.
He sends an early notice: “Put this on your calendar.” That’s not enough. He sends a reminder the morning of the meeting. Finally, he adds a last blast an hour before the start. “Attendance improved,” he says.
Another state specialist (nameless) has stopped going to meetings announced broadly by email— unless information shows what’s vital for him.
All meeting management stories I’ve read, say: Have an agenda. Send it to participants in advance, or at least list some vital news.
All this fits what I found years ago for boosting attendance at MU Extension field days. Send out three news stories. One far in advance lists date and details, plus an inducement.  Follow with a detailed story. The third brief story should be on the radio in the 24 hours ahead of the event. That works.


Apps to keep fitness resolutions on track

If you’re losing your way instead of your weight, MU Extension specialists have evaluated and recommended several smartphone and tablet apps that might help you get your New Year’s resolution back on track.
“Monitoring or tracking what you eat each day, as well as tracking your physical activity, can help you incorporate healthy food choices and regular activity into your lifestyle,” said MU Extension nutrition specialist Ellen Schuster.

Not all apps are created equal, Schuster said. That’s why MU Extension created two new publications with recommendations and information on apps evaluated by MU experts.

“Apps to Know from the Nutrition and Health Pros” (N580), available for free download at, lists nutrition and health apps that have been evaluated and recommended by MU specialists. Reviews and tips are also included.

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

Learn more about reviewing and selecting appropriate nutrition and health apps.


Upcoming events

Quarterly Teamwork Award nominations due March 1

Quarterly Teamwork Award nominations for the first quarter of 2014 are due March 1, according to Bev Coberly, MU Extension associate vice provost. The award recognizes MU Extension campus and/or regional faculty and staff members who have collaborated on teams of three members or more to develop, implement and evaluate a specific educational response to a specific need.

Additional information, including eligibility and evaluation criteria, is available. Submit nomination forms to Coberly at 108A Whitten Hall, Columbia, MO 65211 or


4-H Day with the St. Louis Cardinals set for May 17

Extension faculty and staff are invited to join Missouri and Illinois 4-H members, parents, volunteers and alumni for the 13th annual 4-H Day with the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, May 17, at Busch Stadium, according to Dave Hileman, 4-H youth specialist based in Franklin County. The Cards will play the Atlanta Braves at 1:15 p.m.

Tickets cost $25 each and must be ordered on the 4-H Day with the Cardinals order form, which is available at Orders must be postmarked by April 7. Ticket purchases include a specially designed T-shirt featuring the 4-H clover on the back and the Cardinals emblem on the front.

“Families who purchase 4-H Day with the Cardinals tickets will have the opportunity to participate in a parade around the Busch Stadium outfield,” says Hileman.  “Families also can take part in a raffle for great prizes, including the chance to throw out the first pitch, autographed baseballs and tickets to Cardinals baseball games.”


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 alternative date.

2014 workshops

Feb. 20

2-3 p.m.

March 19

10-11 a.m.

April 17

2-3 p.m.

June 19

2-3 p.m.

July 16

10-11 a.m.

Aug. 21

2-3 p.m.


Moodle workshops

Extension Technology and Computer Services (ETCS) is conducting half-day online Moodle course-development workshops. The next offering: Feb. 19, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Other dates to remember

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

Feb. 18: Almost 200 sites across the country, including eight locations in Missouri, will host a free, live broadcast from the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health in Omaha, Neb. The broadcast begins at 9 a.m. Read more for additional details and specific locations of the eight host sites in Missouri.

Feb. 21-22: Missouri Blueberry School Conference, on the Missouri State University campus in Springfield. Additional information is available.

Feb. 24-28: Dairy farmers will hear moneymaking tips at a series of one-day dairy profit seminars across Missouri. Read more about the sessions, which run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at each of five locations.

March 1: Quarterly Teamwork Award nominations are due.

March 3: Ratchford award nominations due (award submission guidelines).

March 8: Small Acreages and Land Entrepreneur (SALE) Conference, St. Joseph.

May 17: 4-H Day with the Cardinals. Forms are available on the web at


Coming and going


Jessica Trussell, MU Extension human development & family studies specialist based in Livingston County, and her husband, Matt Trussell, Chillicothe SBTDC director, are the proud parents of a son, Levi Robert, born Nov. 12.


Please welcome

Jonathan Lamb, assistant video producer, MU Extension Communications

Pablo Arroyo, extension professional assistant, EC Region

Katherine Bartkoski, 4-H youth development educator, EC Region

Tracy Daugherty, community development specialist, N -Region



Kelly Dale Spencer, 55, brother of Karla Deaver, 4-H youth specialist based in Lawrence County, died Jan. 21 in Stotts City. Services were held Jan. 25.

Marguerite Young, 88, wife of MU Extension retiree Vilas Young, died Jan. 25 in Maryville. Services were held Jan. 29. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the First Christian Church, 201 W. 3rd St. Maryville, MO 64468, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Robert Earney, father-in-law of Presha Earney, Crawford County administrative assistant, died Jan. 20. Services were held Jan. 22 in Rolla.


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.