News for employees

MU Extension Insider
July 8, 2014


In the news

Dates to Remember

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

Loftin tours Cape Girardeau County extension activities

JACKSON, Mo.– University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin visited Cape Girardeau County July 1 to learn about MU Extension’s role in strengthening the community through extension programs that benefit area businesses, farms, schools and youth.

Loftin’s daylong visit included morning stops at Element 74, a website design company that benefited from the marketing and sales expertise of extension business development specialists, and Arena Park, where the community as well as business and civic leaders came together to support construction of the 4-H Exhibit Hall.

In the afternoon, Loftin toured the gardens at South Elementary School, where students, through extension’s Eating from the Garden program, learn firsthand how food makes its way from the field to the table; and Glen Birk Farm, longtime participant in MU Extension’s Show-Me Select Replacement Heifer Program.

Read more about Loftin’s visit in a news article that appeared in the July 2 edition of the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian.

Chancellor Loftin (right), Vice Provost Michael Ouart and Larry Simon (center) visiting Eating from the Garden plots at an elementary school in Jackson Missouri

Chancellor Loftin (right) tweets about his day’s activities while visiting Eating from the Garden plots at an elementary school in Jackson. Vice Provost Michael Ouart and Larry Simon (center), a local volunteer teacher with the garden program, joined Loftin on the tour.


Hannibal tourist attraction benefits from BDP expertise


During the past five years an MU Extension business development specialist has helped the owner of Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal broaden her small business and increase its revenue. Learn about how it happened and why it’s important for the region’s economy and the tourism industry in Missouri.


El Nino/La Nina can help forecast crop yields


Water temperatures in the tropical Pacific can end up having a lot to do with the price of corn in Missouri, thanks to El Nino and La Nina, says a University of Missouri atmospheric scientist.

El Nino is what atmospheric scientists call the recurring period of warmer than normal waters in the equatorial Pacific. This period can persist for two to seven years, and it affects weather in different ways in different parts of the world.

In the American Midwest, the transition to El Nino tends to bring milder summers with more regular rainfall, says Tony Lupo, professor and chair of the MU soil, environmental and atmospheric sciences department.

By contrast, the transition to La Nina—a period of cooling waters in the eastern equatorial Pacific—tends to bring the Midwest hot summers and irregular rainfall. There are also “neutral” periods of normal water temperatures. The whole cycle is called the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Read more about Lupo’s research on the effect of El Nino and La Nina on Missouri crop yields.


Do it with style: Second references, titles, academic degrees

By DeeAnna Adkins, Web coordinator, MU Extension communications and marketing

Larry BoehmIf Larry Boehm’s name is mentioned in a newsletter article, what should you call him on second reference? Mr. Boehm? Larry? Boehm? Following MU Extension (and AP) style, you would use his last name, Boehm, and no courtesy title (such as Mr.).

Professional titles such as director, professor, doctor and reverend should be capitalized when used in front of the person’s name but lowercased when used after. Examples: President Tim Wolfe spoke at the meeting. Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of extension, presented the 4-H awards.

Often a faculty member or guest speaker will want academic degrees listed. If mention of degrees is necessary to establish someone’s credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and use a phrase. Example: Sally Ray, who has a doctorate in rural sociology, applied for the position. You’ll find examples for other situations in the style guide.

Related style entries in our guide include academic degrees, academic titles, courtesy titles and name on second reference, titles of people, and vice provost and director of cooperative extension.

Find the style guide at To find it through the website navigation, go to the “For faculty and staff” pages and look in the “Communications and marketing” section under “DIY communications” for the “Style and usage guide.”


Reminder: Please complete OSU survey soon

If you have completed the Organizational Survey sent to all MU Extension staff by Dr. Ouart on June 23, thank you for your time and effort. If you have yet to complete the survey, please take a few minutes to do so.

Results of the study, which is being conducted by Ohio State University, will benefit MU Extension and our fellow states in the North Central Region. So, please take the time to offer your opinion.


Dates to remember

Statewide extension award nominations due Aug. 29

It’s time to submit nominations for statewide extension awards, according to Lisa Wallace, Henry County CPD and chair of the awards committee. Deadline for nominations is Aug. 29.

MU Extension Performance Awards recognize the commitment and dedication of extension employees in carrying out the extension mission—serving the people of Missouri with research-based education that meets their highest priorities.

New this year, award applications have been streamlined and may be submitted electronically, reports Wallace.

Go to for information on all awards and nominations forms.

Submit electronic nominations to Paper copies should be hand-delivered or mailed to Rhonda Clayton, 103 Whitten Hall, Columbia, MO 65211.

Send questions about nominations to awards committee members: Wallace, Vera Massey, Randa Doty, Janet Kline, Dave Baker, Candy Gabel, Virgil Woolridge or Paul Rainsberger.


Educational grain marketing game runs July 14-Sept. 19

Marketing commodities ahead of harvest carries some big financial risks, but not for participants in an online grain marketing game.

University of Missouri Extension is coordinating the “Show-Me Market Showdown,” an educational online grain marketing simulation, reports Whitney Wiegel, an MU Extension agricultural business specialist based in Lafayette County. The overall goal of the program is to improve farmers’ knowledge of grain marketing strategies and encourage them to develop sound marketing plans. 

The game employs a website called to link real-time market information with players’ ability to execute virtual marketing transactions. The website monitors players’ market positions, executes their trades and summarizes players’ virtual marketing account balances.

Read more about the Show-Me Market Showdown, which will run July 14-Sept. 19, according to Wiegel.


New online Moodle course development training starts this month

By Steve Giesel, instructional designer, Extension Technology and Computer Services

We are pleased to announce that we have the first of our one-hour online sessions ready for signup in WebApps.  These sessions are designed to focus on one tool or educational activity to assist your course development efforts in a more focused manner.

You don’t have to take the sessions in any particular order, nor is one better than the others. All should be of benefit to you. The list below itemizes the first three courses and the dates they start each month through December 2014.  Additional topics will be added over the next few weeks.

  • Should my course be online? Dates: July 18, Aug. 14, Sept. 15, Oct. 9, Nov. 14, Dec. 12.
  • Get your PPT ready for Moodle! Dates: July 23, Aug. 19, Sept. 5, Oct. 16, Nov. 10, Dec. 9.
  • Conquer the proposal/budget process. Dates: July 25, Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 4, Dec. 3.

Each monthly offering consists of two sessions.  Session 1 will be the start of self-directed activities where you finish a brief assignment prior to the live Moodle session. On average there are three days available to finish the assignment in Session 1.

Session 2 is the day of the actual live meeting in Moodle and occurs one day after Session 1 ends.  During this live meeting we will discuss and evaluate each other's efforts on the assignment.  These exercises are designed to give you practice in Moodle while you learn the material.

Please note that signup is a two-part process; first is in Webapps at, where you can browse the sections and times.  Within the ISE descriptions for these workshops will be an explanation of what to do and how to enroll in the Moodle course itself.  This is the second part of signup.  Instructions for the assignment portion (Session 1) and the live session (Session 2) will be available in the course once you enroll.

If you have any questions or problems with the process, please don't hesitate to contact me at or 573-884-6267, or Paula DeBates at or 573-882-7130.


Administrative support staff urged to attend Columbia conference

Administrative support staff at all levels in extension are invited and encouraged to attend the Administrative Support Conference, Dec. 3-4 on the MU campus, says Don Nicholson, MU Extension transition team leader and a member of the conference planning committee.

“Whether you are a county-based secretary/bookkeeper or a campus-based assistant, this conference is for you,” says Nicholson. “Mark your calendars now, and make plans to attend.”

The conference will focus on connecting to the broader mission of MU Extension, and will include program updates and opportunities for personal skill development.

Other conference planning committee members include Sarah Grubaugh, SW Region administrative associate; Darlene Beaman, MU administrative associate; Jane Kempker, Cole County administrative support staff; and Bud Reber, transition team leader.


NAEPSDP annual conference set for December in Texas

The National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals will hold its annual conference Dec. 9-11 in San Antonio, Texas.

“This is usually an outstanding conference for faculty, HR professionals, program developers, designers, evaluators, IT professionals and administrators,” says Julie Middleton, MU Extension director of organizational development.

Learn more about the 2014 NAEPSDP annual conference  and discover the details about a new membership drive.


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

July 16

10-11 a.m.

Aug. 21

2-3 p.m.


Moodle workshops

Extension Technology and Computer Services (ETCS) is conducting half-day face-to-face Moodle course-development workshops.

Date and time for the balance of the year:

  • Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

To register, go to


Other dates to remember

July 13-17 & 20-24: Summers @ Mizzou. For more information, contact Teresa Bishop at 573-884-0554 or go to

July 14-Sept. 19: Show-Me Market Showdown, online grain marketing game.

July 16: MU Pest Day, starts 8 a.m., MU Bradford Research Center, Columbia; off-site visit in the afternoon.

July 17: Farmer Technology Field Day, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., MU Bradford Research Center, Columbia.

Aug. 1: NELD applications are due. More information can be found at

Aug. 5: A one-hour non-tenure track dossier training workshop is set for 9 a.m. Register for ISE #232, “NTT: Dossier Synopsis,” through the ISE system.

Aug. 29: Statewide extension award nominations due.

Sept. 22-26: Community Development Academy, Excelsior Springs.

Oct. 21-23: MU Extension Program Conference, Columbia.

Dec. 3-4: Administrative Support Conference for all extension administrative support staff at the campus and field level, on the MU campus in Columbia.

Dec. 9-11: 2014 NAEPSDP annual conference, San Antonio, Texas.

Dec. 31: Deadline for completing UM information security training. Visit to access the online training modules.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Shanshan Chen, nutrition specialist, Lafayette County, NW Region

Kelli Hamilton, office support assistant IV, nutrition program, Jackson County, Urban Region

Celeste Tilley, office support assistant II, nutrition program, Jackson County, Urban Region

Mark Pelmore, educational program associate I, extension youth program, Jackson County, Urban Region



George W. Graham, retired dairy specialist in Cedar, Jasper and Vernon counties, died June 24. Services were held June 27 in Nevada, Missouri. Contributions may be made in his memory to Vernon County Cancer Relief or a charity of choice in care of Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada.

Kay McLean, widow of the late MU Extension area director Mel McLean, died June 26. Services were held June 30 in St. Joseph.


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.