News for employees

MU Extension Insider
June 10, 2014


In the news

Dates to remember

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month by the MU Cooperative Media Group. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

Mobile lab diagnoses turf problems on the go

The Mizzou Mobile Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab is a laboratory on wheels that can respond to turf problems on golf courses and sports fields quickly and effectively. “The lab is outfitted with lab tools, microscopes and a workbench, which allows me to take a close look at the sample and identify the disease-causing agent,” said Lee Miller, turfgrass pathologist for University of Missouri Extension. “With the lab, turfgrass managers don't have to wait while samples are shipped back and forth to a plant diagnostic lab.” Read more.


Northland Ethnic Festival celebrates diversity

The Northland Ethnic Festival showcases the diversity of the Kansas City area’s Northland region. MU Extension in Platte County is a key sponsor and organizer of the annual event.  This year’s festival attracted more than 1,700 people for a day of dancing, music, food and fun.


Alianzas: A resource for your work with Hispanics/Latinos in Missouri

Alianzas (Alliances) works to foster inclusive Missouri communities that recognize and address the unique qualities and challenges of Hispanic residents. Since 1997, the program has been a collaboration between MU Extension and University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Institute for Human Development.

Alianzas’ website,, and newsletter are resources that inform extension specialists and the public of current MU Extension efforts, as well as provide useful information and resources that can support future activities with Hispanics.

In order to assist you with your efforts, we need to hear from you. What information, tips and tools can we provide to help strengthen your work with Hispanic and Latino populations? What issues are you currently facing unique to this group of residents?

You can also help your fellow specialists by letting them know about the work you’re doing that is important to local Latinos. What has worked? What lessons have you learned that you can share?

Send us a short article about your recently completed, current or upcoming programs. We’re interested in any extension programs or events that are responding to the current needs of Missouri’s Hispanic/Latino population. We’ll share the information we receive from you with the eight extension regions.

Please send your ideas and articles to Danielle Underwood at, 816-235-5359 (phone) or 816-235-1762 (fax).


Missouri 4-H Foundation announces partnership with Crader Distributing Co. to fund service learning projects

Crader Distributing Co.-Blue-Mountain Equipment and the Missouri 4-H Foundation announced a new partnership to provide community service grant funding to 4-H faculty, county 4-H councils and 4-H clubs throughout Missouri, beginning in July.

“We are committed to the growth, prosperity and stability of the community as a whole,” said Stan Crader, president of Crader Distributing Co. “We see this as an exciting new opportunity to extend our support to families throughout Missouri, while encouraging Missouri youth to take an active role in community service and civic engagement.”

Founded in 1944 in Marble Hill, Missouri, Crader Distributing Co. is a family-owned business and the exclusive distributor of Stihl outdoor power equipment in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and southern Illinois. Along with its sister organization, Blue Mountain Equipment, which services Texas and Oklahoma, CDC provides Stihl outdoor power equipment to more than 1,300 dealers throughout the Midwest.

Through this generous new partnership, Missouri 4-H youths, who learn the importance of giving back to their communities very early on in their 4-H involvement, will be eligible for grants to match funding for 4-H service learning projects in their local communities.

“We are deeply grateful to Crader Distributing Co. for their generous support of the Missouri 4-H Foundation’s community service grant program,” said Missouri 4-H Foundation executive director Cheryl Reams. “Service learning is a key component of the Missouri 4-H program and these projects have a lasting impact on 4-H members and the communities they serve.”


Do it with style: Identity guidelines

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

Land-grant Larry

Style isn’t just about what you wear. (Pictured: “Land-Grant” Larry Boehm.)

A common question from extension employees is: When do I capitalize the word “extension”?* You’ll find the answer in MU Extension’s “Style and usage guide” found in the “For faculty and staff” pages on the website. Look in the “Communications and marketing” section under “DIY communications.” Here’s a direct link.

The guide includes many style decisions about how to present MU Extension’s identity to the public. Decisions such as how to use the official MU Extension logo and how to refer to county offices, MU Extension publications and county councils are also found in the style guide.

To quickly see all styles that are considered identity guidelines, click “Show advanced search options” in the blue box, then check the box next to “Identity guidelines.” Now the styles shown are only those that are tagged as relevant to identity. If you want to print only the set of identity-related styles, use the “Print selected styles” button. Keep checking back. More identity guidelines are coming soon.

* Hint: Capitalize the word “extension” when it is used as part of a formal name, such as “University of Missouri Extension Association.” Lowercase in all other instances, such as “the extension program.” The paragraph below further illustrates usage.

Jane Doe, extension associate and entomologist, offers answers about plant pests for homeowners, farmers, gardeners and businesses across Missouri. MU Extension specialists in county offices frequently send her samples from residents in their region. Doe and other entomologists from extension programs across the nation share sample data at the Insects of Northern States Extension Collaboration Team (INSECT) meetings.


Grant Incentive Plan open for FY2015

MU Extension’s Grant Incentive Plan (GIP) for FY15 is open to all extension faculty principal investigators (PIs) and co-PIs. To participate, faculty must complete the FY15 election form and return it to Tiffany Hughes in the Administrative Management fiscal office by June 30.

Extension’s plan has two options: one for faculty who are eligible to receive an incentive payment under an approved GIP in their academic home department, and another for faculty who are not eligible to receive an incentive payment through their academic home department.

The complete plan, eligibility requirements and the election form are available on the MU Extension Grant Incentive Plan page at


Total Rewards task force recommendations

Last year, a task force formed to  assist the vice president for human resources in developing and communicating recommendations to improve theUniversity of Missouri System’s Total Rewards Program, which includes all benefits and compensation for benefits-eligible faculty and staff, retirees, and their respective benefits-eligible dependents.

The Total Rewards Ad Hoc Task Force presented its recommendations in an April 2014 report. Kelley Stuck, UM System associate vice president for Total Rewards, shares some information regarding the timing of the task force’s work on the recommendations:

First, I want to assure you that there are no changes to the value of your University of Missouri core retirement plan benefit. This is a vested benefit that cannot be taken away. The Task Force has recommended simplifying the retirement plan options and exploring the opportunity for current employees to elect to participate in any new plan if they so choose.

Secondly, the Task Force recommends the university explore how to leverage marketplace opportunities for retiree medical benefits. Comparable-value but lower-cost retiree medical plans are now available to retirees in the marketplace. The university will work closely with retiree groups, consultants and the appropriate committees to review the types of plans available that may better serve both retirees (current and future) and the university. We will ensure retirees continue to have access to affordable medical coverage. This process will take time and will be a thoughtful and inclusive process in which you will have an opportunity for input if you choose to participate. This discussion is expected to take place over the next two years and we will remain transparent and will keep faculty, staff and retirees updated throughout the discussions.

I want to reinforce that no decisions have been made at this point and a significant amount of information must be gathered, which will take time. We have developed a website, Reimagining Our University Experience, which has the Task Force’s full report, an email address that you can use to provide comments and feedback, as well as other points of information. I encourage you to check the site from time to time, which will provide updates on our work regarding the Task Force recommendations.


Dates to remember

Cambio de Colores: Latinos in the Heartland conference, June 25-27

The Cambio Center at the University of Missouri will host the 13th annual Cambio de Colores: Latinos in the Heartland conference, June 25-27 at the Reynolds Alumni Center on the MU campus.

The Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) conference focuses on issues related to the integration of Latino and other immigrants in the American heartland. This year’s theme, “Growing Together in New Destination Areas,” is meant to encourage the discussion of research and best practices that can be used by communities to assist integration efforts in areas with a recent intake of immigrants.

Speakers and workshops will address the many interest areas that fall under this theme, including health, education, change and integration, civil rights and political participation, and entrepreneurship and economic development.

Two nationally recognized keynote speakers will present at the conference: Roger Campos, president, CEO and founder of Minority Business Round Table; and Alejandro Portes, professor of sociology and founding director of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University, who will be presenting via video.

Conference sessions are open free of charge to all members of the Mizzou community. Paid registration is required to receive conference materials and partake in the meals at the event. For more information, go to


Education thematic team to report via Adobe Connect, July 7

Faculty and staff interested in MU Extension’s program integration efforts will have the opportunity to hear the Educational Thematic Team report on current activities via Adobe Connect on Monday, July 7, at 4:30 p.m. Team members will discuss their work and the status of projects in process, then have a question and answer session. If you are unable to attend the live session, it will be recorded for viewing at your convenience.

We hope you will find time to join this important effort, as it is one of the strategies developed from MU Extension’s strategic plan to position us for a sustainable future. To join this meeting, go to


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

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.

Dates and times for the balance of the year:

  • July 2, 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 8, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 10, 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 6, 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 5, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Come join us for a Moodle Online Course Development workshop. These are 4-hour face-to-face sessions scheduled through the remainder of the year at the dates and times listed below. We meet in room #160 at 1110 S. College Ave. in Columbia. If you have a program you would like to put online, come prepared to share your idea and material and begin work on developing your course. There are travel funds available for this ISE, and you may contact Rhonda Clayton at for details.

To register, go to


Other dates to remember

June 10-11: 2014 CPD conference in Columbia.

June 15: Deadline to nominate for County Clerical Staff Recognition Awards

June 20-21: Council to Campus conference, Columbia.

July 1: Nominations for Shelter Insurance excellence award; contact Joe Moseley or call 573-214-4324.

July 8-9: North American Manure Expo in Springfield. For more information, go to

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

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

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


Coming and going


Please welcome

Amber Williams, nutrition program associate, Webster County, NE Region

Amanda Perry, 4-H youth specialist, Jackson County, Urban Region

William Halleran, agronomy specialist and CPD, Hickory County, WC Region



Ruth Ann Jefferies, administrative associate I, Marion County, NE Region

Daisy Lance, nutrition program assistant, Butler County, SE Region

Lucille Douglass, 4-H youth development program associate, Jackson County, Urban Region


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.