News for employees

MU Extension Insider
March 10, 2015


In the news

Dates to remember

Coming and going


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

In the news

Legislative Day 2015

Legislative Day

Hundreds of supporters from the UM system’s four campuses and MU Extension came to Jefferson City Feb. 25 to participate in the 41st annual Legislative Day, sponsored by the University of Missouri Alumni Alliance and MU Extension. University displays in the Capitol’s third floor rotunda featured extension, research and other programs from across the state. Participants capped the day with an open legislative forum in the House lounge, where several senators, representatives and state higher education leaders spoke to the group and answered questions.


2014 MU Extension annual report online

MU Extension’s 2014 annual report is available on the Web and as a downloadable PDF. This year’s report highlights MU Extension’s work in five thematic areas that represent the individual and societal challenges of the 21st century. Reading through this report will give you a sense of how MU Extension is helping transform lives, businesses and communities all over Missouri.


Kallenbach addresses Capitol Hill staffers


Rob Kallenbach, extension forage specialist and winner of the national Excellence in Extension award spoke on Capitol Hill March 3 at a lunch-and-learn event for congressional staffers hosted by the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research. Kallenbach discussed extension’s vital role in translating research results into improvements to the bottom line of agricultural producers in a presentation titled “The Wisdom of Crowds: Can the Public Guide Research and Extension Programs?”

A PDF of his presentation is available at


New website shows impact of land-grant universities

A new website chronicles the impacts of the nation’s land-grant universities through their teaching, research and extension activities.

The National Land-grant Impacts website, at, will “better inform the American people and the international community of the significant agricultural research, education and extension impacts taking place at land grant universities across our nation,” according to Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. He said the website also will “help policymakers and the public learn more about this work that is partially supported with NIFA funding.”

The site’s impact statements relay the results and impact of research and extension education programming.  Information lists include contact information for university research and extension project leads, and updates on funding, project implementation or extension education impact. The site currently has 60 University of Missouri impact statements, with more than half of them documenting extension programs.


MyExtension ISE: Program planning for FY 2016

From Mark Stillwell

When the MU Extension program reporting workgroup began designing a new reporting system about a year ago, the goal was to create an intuitive and easy-to-use system that integrated banner outcomes and program integration themes into the planning and reporting process, had the ability to roll up key outcomes across programs, complemented MyVITA with no duplication of data entry and a similar feel, and allow access to program impact data in a format needed for county, state and national reports.

The outcome of our efforts is myExtension, which is designed to work on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile platforms.

We are on an implementation timeline for myExtension to be used for FY 2016, with program planning available by April 15 and program reporting for FY16 available Sept. 15, 2015.

Detailed training on how to use myExtension for program planning will begin in early April.

MyExtension ultimately will make us a stronger organization.


Do it with style

Which name comes first? Updates to local identification styles

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

Land-Grant Larry

One of our strategic goals is to strengthen the awareness of MU Extension as the division of the university that carries out the university’s land-grant mission — bringing practical, research-based information to Missourians. Another goal is to create awareness that all of our varied functions make up “One MU Extension.”

So, do you say University of Missouri Extension in Barton County? Barton County Extension? Barton County Extension Center?

Always refer to the university when you are referring to your office, and remember that MU Extension is primary and location is secondary. Your office is “University of Missouri Extension in” a location. So, you would say University of Missouri Extension in Barton County.

To better reflect this, we’ve updated our “county and regional office identification” and “county council identification” style entries. We’ve also added multiple examples to help you wade through determining when to say what.

Often a customer’s first experience with us is when they call us on the telephone. Be aware of how you answer the phone, and be sure your office can be found in local telephone directories. These guidelines can also be found in the style guide under “telephone answering” and “telephone directory.”

Our house style and usage guide has more information and many examples. To quickly see all styles that are considered identity guidelines, including the ones mentioned above, 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.

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.”


Being mindful leaders

From the Mindful Leadership Team

One of the most important aspects of our jobs with extension, whether as a specialist, associate, assistant or staff, is leadership.

Would you like to focus more on what’s important rather than what’s urgent? Would you like to view obstacles as an opportunity to be creative instead of problems you just have to deal with quickly? Being mindful can help you make this shift, allow you to lead more effectively and better manage your stress levels.

Mindfulness is an evidence-based approach that anyone can use. When you are more mindful you will experience positive benefits in your work, relationships and health. Mindfulness is already having an impact in schools, health care, law enforcement, work sites, communities and many other places.

One useful resource is, part of an “initiative that celebrates being mindful in all aspects of daily living.” This comprehensive website includes articles on mindful leadership and the benefits of mindfulness in education and in the workplace. You can also find information about mindfulness in other areas of life, such as money and finances, health, relationships, and parenting. These are relevant issues we address in extension programming and in our personal lives.

For more information about mindful leadership, contact Vera Massey,; Nellie Lamers,; or Linda Rellergert,


‘Facilitating Difficult Conversations’ webinar recording available

From Julie Middleton

Many of you were not able to join the recent webinar, “Facilitating Difficult Conversations,” that was sponsored by eXtension’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Community of Practice.

The panel did an excellent job of providing tools, strategies and approaches to facilitating conversations when talking about emotionally charged issues such as race. We have recorded the webinar and I invite you to listen to it at

Other webinars on a wide variety of extension-related topics are also available through eXtension. Go to for a schedule of upcoming webinars and recordings of past sessions.


Dates to remember

Building extension Web pages webinar/ISE offered March 12

Extension Communications and Marketing is offering the webinar “Building Extension Web Pages: Strategies and Tools,” on March 12, 10 a.m. to noon. This session, conducted over Lync, will cover using the WebTool content management system to create MU Extension Web pages, what constitutes good content, and how to avoid common style pitfalls.

The session is targeted to employees who haven’t previously used the system, but it can also be a refresher for previously trained employees. To attend, register in WebApps for ISE 300. Additional sessions will be offered in the future as needed. Contact Michael Salmons,, with any questions.


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.

March 18 10-11 a.m.
April 16 2-3 p.m.
May 20 10-11 a.m.
June 18 2-3 p.m.
July 16 10-11 a.m.
Aug. 20 2-3 p.m.


Other dates to remember

March: UM Human Resources Retiree Listening Tour. Sessions in Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Rolla, Springfield and St. Louis.

Through May: In-person Title IX reporter training. For more information, see the schedule of on-campus and regional trainings and the registration form.

March 11: Womack Missouri Ag Outlook & Breimyer Policy Seminar, Bradford Research Center.

March 23-27: Community Development Academy. Registration deadline is March 16.

March 31: Revised deadline for completing mandatory online trainings Harassment: What It Is and How to Stop It and Mandated Reporter Training. If you have any issues accessing or viewing either of the courses, please contact the Human Resources Service Center at 573-884-6996 (or toll-free at 855-524-0002) or email

April 1: Deadline for next round of extension fellowship applications.


Coming and Going

Please welcome

Dustin Oehl, business support specialist, administrative management.

Ashley Bales, family financial education specialist, Madison County SE Region.

Gus Robinson, 4-H youth specialist, St. Louis City, Urban Region.



Scott Killpack, CPD for St. Charles County and agronomy/natural resources specialist, is retiring March 31. He plans to move to Idaho shortly thereafter to “enjoy new opportunities with my family.”



Oscar Uel Blank, 93, of Columbia died on Nov. 29, 2014. After graduating from MU in 1941, Blank served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II, earned a Ph.D. in agricultural economics and worked for extension services in Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri. He later helped organize the Columbia chapter of Veterans for Peace and co-founded Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity. Read more.

Norma Lee Wilkening, 89, wife of retired county extension agent Walt Wilkening, passed away Dec. 24, 2014. Norma and Walt established the Missouri 4-H Foundation’s first National 4-H Congress endowment fund and helped organize the Columbia Fairview 4-H Club. Cards may be sent to Walt Wilkening at 13 Springer Drive, Columbia, MO 65201. Read more about Norma in her obituary.

Joe Bankhead, father of SE Region nutrition and health education specialist Maude Harris, died on Feb. 21. Two days earlier, Maude also lost her father-in-law, Alonzo Harris Sr.  Expressions of sympathy can be sent to Maude and Michael Harris, 401 Malcolm St., Sikeston, MO 63801.

Henry Perkins, 68, father-in-law of administrative associate Janice Perkins, died Feb. 24 in Columbia. Cards may be sent to Janice and Brian Perkins at 1022 County Road 442, New Franklin, MO 65274.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey, Curt Wohleber or Phil Leslie in MU Extension Communications and Marketing. If you have questions, contact Dennis Gagnon, director.