News for employees

MU Extension Insider

Special Galaxy Awards issue
October 8, 2010


Missouri Galaxy Conference awards

Association award winners


MU Extension Insider is published on the first and 15th of the month. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news: Missouri Galaxy Conference

Jim Lindquist

Jim Lindquist, assistant director of extension field operations at Kansas State University, was the keynote speaker for the Galaxy Joint Association banquet. A native Kansan, Jim grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm near Waterville in Marshall County. Jim started his extension career in 1974 as Riley County extension agriculture agent. Jim and Michael Ouart were fraternity brothers in college and continue as good friends and colleagues today. Jim entertained us with stories from his career and how extension is making a difference.

President Forsee speaks at Galaxy


President Forsee met with extension faculty at the 2010 Galaxy Conference and shared his vision of the university's future. His PowerPoint presentation, with audio, is available on the share drive at S:/UMSystem/Coop Media/Photos 2010/UMEA Galaxy Conference 2010/presentationCD.


Missouri Galaxy Conference awards presentation

Thanks to Lisa Wallace, chair of the statewide awards and loan and fellowship committee, and committee members Barb Casady, Bud Reber, Dave Baker, Jim Thompson, Barry White and Joe Koenen for their hard work and leadership in making the Galaxy awards presentation a success.


Pat and Tom Buchanan Professional Development Award

Presented by Barb Casady.


Retired extension faculty members Tom and Pat Buchanan know firsthand how important it is to have up-to-date skills, and they established an endowment to ensure that future generations of extension educators have those opportunities.

Pat and Tom could not be here today, but they send their congratulations and best wishes to Cynthia Crawford, family financial education specialist.

Cynthia is an innovative presenter and is always looking for ways to make programs more interesting and easily understandable. Her enthusiasm about a project is contagious. Cynthia's excellent evaluation skills and ability to express the data in a meaningful manner have shown significant program impact.

Cynthia demonstrates how to be an innovative educator as she begins her portion of the new faculty program in costume as house painter “Eva Lu Ation.” Eva Lu's teaching about evaluation is as entertaining as it is educational. The tools of a house painter become props and teaching points that help cohort members understand the importance of conducting program evaluations at the level of participant outcomes and conditions.

Cynthia will use this $500 award to attend the 2010 national conference of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education in Denver, Colo.


Farm Bureau Awards

Presented by Dan Cassidy, chief administrative officer, Missouri Farm Bureau.


Farm Bureau Outstanding Agriculturalist Award - Travis Harper, agronomy specialist headquartered in Henry County, West Central Region, also serving Cass and Johnson counties.

Though Travis is relatively new to Missouri, he has made his mark as a knowledgeable extension professional who is interested in meeting new people and providing programming to meet local needs.

A beekeeper himself, one of Travis’ most recent endeavors was to develop a beginning beekeeping short course and aid in the formation of the Golden Valley Beekeepers Association. Twenty-five members of the Golden Valley Beekeepers Association meet monthly to find information, exchange equipment, listen to speakers and receive support from each other.

Like other agronomy specialists, he reviews and makes recommendations on soil test results. Last year he gave recommendations to more than 7,500 soil tests. Travis communicates with producers through his monthly postcards, periodic radio shows, newspaper columns and a quarterly newsletter.

One supporter wrote, “If he doesn’t have the answer at his fingertips, he digs until it is found.” This is a good testament for an extension specialist—always ready to help solve problems and ready to search for information not already known.


Farm Bureau Outstanding HES AwardMelissa Bess, nutrition and health education specialist headquartered in Camden County in the South Central Region. She also serves Laclede, Miller and Pulaski counties.

Melissa began with extension five years ago and hit the ground running with Stay Strong, Stay Healthy classes. She has held five 10-week sessions this year as well as two 10-week sessions of the advanced Stay Strong, Stay Healthy series.

She has also made a positive impact in her counties with 10 new food preservation classes held in three counties during the summer of 2010.

Melissa uses her technology skills and her wellness knowledge to write a weekly blog as the South Central regional wellness ambassador. She also made a YouTube video for faculty and staff related to physical activity stretches.

One of her supporters wrote, “Melissa has a very positive, pleasant attitude that makes people feel at ease. It is apparent that she is well-versed in her field and enjoys what she does.”

Farm Bureau Outstanding 4-H AwardNancy Mense (picture not available), youth specialist in Clay County in the West Central Region.

Nancy is in Clay County this week facilitating radical challenges with hundreds of students at the Earnest Shepherd Youth Center, so the award will be presented to her at the Clay County extension council fall event.

Nancy has been with extension for 33 years and she is certainly not showing signs of slowing down. Her love for youth is evident in all her creative activities and challenges she develops and leads with groups of students and 4-H members.

She is excellent at her job and is always willing to share her knowledge with other staff. Whatever she does, she does well and with enthusiasm.

When not working with a traditional 4-H group, you can find Nancy presenting a workshop on True Colors for individuals to learn more about themselves and others.

One supporter wrote, “Nancy is a 4-H icon in Clay County. She is enthusiastic and fun as well as organized and informed. She is an outstanding youth development specialist and well-deserving of this Farm Bureau award.”


Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Extension Business Award

Presented by Chris Bouchard.


Chris Shoemaker is being recognized for his leadership in providing programs that support the economic viability of Missouri businesses.  He has been recognized by his peers for his teamwork and expertise.  He has become a statewide expert in a program called Profit Mastery, which teaches small business owners how to better manage their finances and improve the financial health of their business. 

Chris and Charles Holland worked as a team to apply for a SBA Disaster grant. This grant provided services to small businesses that were affected by severe flooding in 2008.  This effort helped companies recover from the floods and the loss of business income through training, helping with loan applications and one-on-one business consulting. 

In the past two years, Chris’s outcomes in helping business increase their sales has grown by 312%, the number of loans he has helped companies receive has almost doubled, and in a time of high unemployment, he has increased the number of jobs created by 20%.

Congratulations to the winner of the 2010 Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry award, Chris Shoemaker. 


Associated Industries of Missouri Extension Industry Award

Presented by Chris Bouchard.


Richard Proffer’s dedication and expertise can be listed in many forms.  However, all the expertise in the world doesn’t mean much if people don’t benefit from it. A small business in SE Missouri reported they created 10 jobs in a small town and generated over $1million in sales since they started working with Richard.  “Without his help and the program available through the University of Missouri Extension office, our dreams of becoming small business owners would not have come true.” 

Another client says that Richard is genuinely interested in helping his clients succeed.  “He has been an uplifting and encouraging voice from outside the company structure pushing us to strive for the goals that we set.  Richard has gone above and beyond his duties in assisting us which shows he truly cares about our success.”

Here’s more from a client has generated over $1million in sales and created 6 jobs:  “His work has been a major factor in my business being approved for the SBA loan.  I do not think I would have gotten through the process without his help, I am very grateful for his willingness to work with me.”


FAPRI Research to Producer Award

Presented by Lori Wilcox, program director for research and operations.


Since 2005, the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at MU has recognized a regional specialist for outstanding contributions to farm outlook and policy education.

It is our pleasure to award Northeast Region agri-business specialist and Knox County program director Karisha Devlin with the Research to Producer Award.

Karisha has been a leader in developing a multifaceted educational program that benefits farm families in her region and beyond. She has worked with producers, key USDA agency personnel, FAPRI faculty and staff and others to deliver timely information and state-of-the-art analysis. She is a careful student of policy and farm business issues. Her preparation for covering the new provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill began early and launched a successful series of educational activities targeted at producers across the region. She currently serves as an adviser to the FAPRI representative farms and beginning farmer research projects.

Her long-term contributions are an exceptional application of the land-grant concept, providing a valuable link between researchers and users in the interest of Missourians. FAPRI is proud to work with Karisha to advance producer understanding of markets and agricultural policy.


County Program Director Excellence Award

Presented by Michael Ouart.


The County Program Director Excellence Award has been established to recognize distinguished performance and educational contributions to University of Missouri Extension and clientele by a CPD.

The county program director is an integral part of the extension organization and local communities. This award has a $1,000 monetary stipend as well as the associated recognition for outstanding work in this important position.

Our first annual County Program Director Excellence Award goes to Jay Chism, agronomy specialist and CPD of Barton County.

Jay has only been county program director for four years, yet in this short time, he has made positive changes that impact lives. He excels at marketing extension, finding money for extension and programming for extension. Jay developed a monthly “Reaching Out” report summarizing faculty reports that is given to the county commission. He knows that funding follows programming. As CPD, he sees that extension programs occur regularly in all three major communities in his county and that the commissioners and community members know they are extension programs. Jay saw a need for additional funds and sought and received $8,000 financial support from the city of Lamar.

When he has time to be an agronomy specialist, he is innovative and tireless. One of his newest innovative programs is called Field Crop Reporting. He walks fields to check for pests and diseases and then leads a teleconference with multiple producers to report the results. The reports are immediate, personal and allow producers to get a head start on problems with crops.

A supporter wrote, “He is an extremely dedicated agronomist and CPD. He makes big things happen with his progressive thinking and sheer hard work.”


Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award

Presented by Barb Casady and Michael Ouart.


As a former extension director, Carl Scheneman knows the value of professional development and the importance of high-quality education that meets the needs of our clientele. Dr. Scheneman could not be here today, but he sends his congratulations and best regards to Karen Elliott, nutrition and health education specialist.

Eating from the Garden is Karen’s latest programming endeavor and focuses on at-risk youth in the urban areas. The program offers urban children an understanding of food production and helps them to be better stewards of the environment by designing, cultivating and harvesting school gardens. Children learn about nutrition by relating nutrition to garden activities.

Data is gathered from students, teachers and parents. Survey results indicate the following behavior changes:

-53 percent of the students reported they eat more vegetables than they did before.
-94 percent are more willing to try new foods.
-94 percent showed a sense of responsibility in caring for plants.
-18 percent of parents indicated their child had asked them to grow a garden.

Partners for the program include Missouri Master Gardeners, Kansas City Community Gardens, Family Nutrition Education Program, 4-H Afterschool Program and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. This program is funded from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City with a $500,000 grant.


Ronald J. Turner Global Education Award

Presented by Barb Casady and Michael Ouart.


Professional development is essential to our success as extension educators and we are fortunate that we have benefactors who support our desire to expand our skills and knowledge.

Dr. Turner is an advocate of professional development and he is especially supportive of international experiences for extension faculty members. When he retired, friends and colleagues established the Ronald J. Turner Global Education Endowment to provide ongoing support for international experiences.

As part of her MU Extension leadership role, Julie Middleton, director of organizational development, currently serves as section editor for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion community of practice for eXtension. It is her responsibility to provide content, articles and best practices to educational institutions, businesses, agencies and any organizations that are concerned about improving their multicultural workplace.

As part of her work with eXtension, she was invited to present a paper at the 2010 Global Communication Forum in Shanghai, China.


Extension Teamwork Award

Presented by Bud Reber and Michael Ouart.


Flood Recovery ISE team:

Marsha Alexander, housing and environmental design specialist.
Beverly Maltsberger, community development specialist.
Robert Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist.
Frank Wideman, natural resource engineering specialist (not shown).
Barbara Buffaloe, former state housing and environmental design specialist (not shown).

Missouri has had 27 disaster declarations between 1990 and 2009. Many of these were the result of floods, yet there had been no in-service education training for extension faculty to assist in flood recovery since 1993.

A cross-category faculty team developed and delivered ITV training to eight sites around Missouri. The ISE initiative presented through an ITV network provided this team of extension specialists an effective way to disseminate information statewide in a timely, organized and cost-effective format.

Ninety-seven percent of those participants indicated they had learned and used information from the ISE.

One supporter wrote, “If you have witnessed a sandbagging brigade that is synchronized like clockwork, you can then visualize how in sync the Flood Recovery ISE team has been in their efforts.”


The Vice Provost’s Awards for Outstanding Achievement

Presented by Michael Ouart.


Off-campus -- Debbie Davis, 4-H youth specialist, serving Caldwell, Clinton and DeKalb counties in the Northwest Region.

Debbie’s brainchild was the Missouri 4-H equine tour developed in 2007 for 4-H youth ages 14 and older to showcase varied occupational opportunities within the equine industry. The program has a four-year rotational plan for participants to travel to other states to learn about the equine industry. Destinations include Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.

Seventy-three percent of the participants on the trip have currently selected an equine-related career.

A participant commented, “When I started college last fall, I started with a major in ag ed, but when I remembered the equine tour and our visit to the University of Kentucky, I changed my major to animal science with an emphasis in equine.”

Carol Parmenter, retired 4-H youth specialist from Vernon County and co-developer of the program, wrote, “We averaged about 50 4-H youth for each tour. The youth learned life skills and met some of the foremost equine experts in the country.”

On-campusKevin Bradley (picture not available), associate professor and state weed scientist

Dr. Bradley develops cost-effective and environmentally sound weed management systems for use in grain crops and forages, and he provides timely and accurate weed control information and recommendations to regional extension specialists, agribusiness representatives and producers throughout Missouri.


Association award winners

ESP Awards

Outstanding Regional Extension FacultyPat Snodgrass, housing and environmental design specialist and CPD.

Outstanding Regional Extension FacultyMick Gilliam, business development specialist and CPD.

Distinguished Service Award Marsha Alexander, housing and environmental design specialist.

Visionary LeadershipBeverly Coberly, director off-campus operations.

Team Award – Dent County Healthy Lifestyles: Ray Walden, HeLP coordinator and Salem TCRC coordinator, Rick Sparks, SC regional director, Ted Cunningham, livestock specialist and CPD, Sarah Hultine Massengale, community development specialist, Mick Gilliam, business development specialist and CPD, Karen Branstetter, 4-H youth specialist, Cammie Younger, nutrition and health education specialist and CPD, Sherry Lea, Salem TCRC administrative assistant, Ann Cohen, Associate State Nutrition Specialist, Stanley Woronick, HES extension associate, Dale E. Brigham, state nutrition fitness specialist, Andy Read, horticulture specialist, Melissa DuBois, nutrition program associate, and Linda Shelton, 4-H youth development program assistant.


UMEA Awards

Meritorious Award -Jim Humphrey, livestock specialist.

Meritorious Award - Wayne Prewitt, agri-business specialist and CPD.

Rookie of the Year Award - Clint Dougherty, PTAC business specialist.

Rookie of the Year Award - Whitney Wiegel, agri-business specialist.

Rookie of the Year Award - Mary Wissmann, nutrition and health education specialist.

First Place, Outstanding Program Award - Farm and Small Business Estate Planning:
Joe Koenen, agri-business specialist and CPD, Karisha Devlin, agri-business specialist, and Darla Campbell, agri-business specialist and CPD.

Second Place, Outstanding Program Award - Eating from the Garden:
Karen Elliott, nutrition and health education specialist, Lala Kumar, horticulture specialist, Cindy Zluticky, community development specialist and CPD,  Rachael McGinnis Millsap, nutrition and gardening educator,  and Molly Fusselman, horticulture educator.



Distinguished Service Award - Mick Gilliam, business development specialist and CPD.

Educational Technology Award - Application of GPS in Community Issues Management -- Dean Larkin, community development specialist and CPD.

Excellence in Teamwork Award - Capitalizing on Your Community’s Heritage team: Connie Mefford, community development specialist, Larry Dickerson, community development specialist, Kathy Dothage, human development specialist and CPD, Sharon Gulick,ExCEED director, Mark Stewart, CM regional director, and community members Dave Sapp, Nancy Grant, Nancy Holloway, Charlotte Schaperclaus and Mary Berhorst.


NACAA Awards

Previously recognized at the national meeting and featured in August 1, 2010 Insider:


MAE4-HYW Awards

Achievement Service Award - Karla Deaver and Beth Rasa,, 4-H youth development specialists.

Distinguished Service Award - Karen Branstetter and Meg Sage Mach, 4-H youth development specialists.

MSA - Kim Mehl Hall, 4-H youth development specialist.

25 Year Award - Patty Fischer, 4-H youth development specialist.



Continued Excellence Award - Brenda Bell, human development specialist and CPD.

Distinguished Service Award -- Maude Kelly, human development specialist and CPD.

New Professional AwardSarah Traub, human development specialist and CPD.

Dean Don Felker Financial Management AwardRebecca Travnichek, family financial education specialist and CPD.

Early Childhood Child Care Training AwardBrenda Bell, human development specialist and CPD.

Internet Education Technology AwardMelissa Bess, nutrition and health education specialist.

Written Press Releases AwardTammy Roberts, nutrition and health education specialist.

Second Place Radio Award - Central Region – Rebecca Travnichek, family financial education specialist and CPD.

Community Partnership AwardMary Gosche, human development specialist.


More Galaxy Conference pictures are available at S:/UMSystem/Coop Media/Photos 2010/UMEA Galaxy Conference 2010. Thanks to Roger Meissen, senior information specialist, for providing photos and Debbie Johnson, audio producer/director, for linking audio into the president's PowerPoint presentation.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey or Curt Wohleber in the Cooperative Media Group. If you have questions, contact Mark Stillwell, CMG interim director.