News for employees

MU Extension Insider
May 10, 2016


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

Information sessions on university budget set for May 13

MU Extension employees are invited to take advantage of an opportunity to learn more about the university’s budget assumptions for FY17 and the impact on MU Extension, May 13 in the Memorial Union’s Mark Twain Ballroom.

8-9:30 a.m.: MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley, Provost Garnett Stokes and Vice Chancellor of Finance Rhonda Gibler will conduct a session about the university’s budget assumption and respond to questions.

10-11 a.m.: Jo Turner and Callie Glascock will present a session concerning impacts on MU Extension and respond to questions.

Live streaming will be available for both presentations, and recordings will be posted following the event.


2015 ACPI results available

Annual County Program Input process draws on community stakeholders for insight into needs.

Results of the 2015 Annual County Program Input process are available on the “Share” or “S” drive at Special Projects/Annual County Program Input/2015.

Since 2011, MU Extension and doctoral students have engaged community members and county extension councils in the ACPI process.

“This process has directly involved hundreds of local council members annually, spurring meaningful dialogue around key issues and critically examining extension programming to assess how well it was meeting community needs,” says Sarah Cramer, a doctoral student in ag education who has worked on the 2015 ACPI process.

In a shift from previous years, the 2015 process gathered input from county extension council members to aid in the design of revamped training for councils, CPDs, faculty and staff, said Mary Leuci, Community Development program director and associate extension professor.

More than 900 first- and second-term council members in 104 of 114 counties met for facilitated discussions on how they perceived their roles as advocates for extension, what they found fulfilling about their work and what help they needed to foster effective partnerships within their counties and MU Extension.

The results of the data analysis are contained in seven regional and one statewide report. Data for each county are also available, as well as supporting documents for the input-gathering process. RDs, CPDs, faculty and staff are encouraged to look at the responses for the counties they serve, said Leuci.

“We’re already busy putting to work what we’ve learned from the process,” says Tracy Feller, director of extension constituent relations.

For example, a “Council resource toolbox” has been developed in response to requests for easier access to information about bylaws, programs, budgets, events, impacts, policies and other issues of interest to council members. A similar toolbox is being developed to help elected officials and their aides use MU Extension as a resource for sound decision-making.


Nominate your county clerical staff for a 2016 award

Regional faculty and staff as well as other full- or part-time professional, paraprofessional and clerical staff, and county council members can submit nominations for the County Clerical Staff Recognition Awards through June 15, says Karin Burgess, MU Extension administrative assistant.

Awards are presented in four categories: Rookie of the Year, Junior Clerical, Senior Clerical and Use of Technology.

“All county-paid office support staff members are eligible for the awards, which include cash prizes,” says Burgess.

Nominees will be judged on:

  • Conduct and courtesy within the extension community.
  • Service to MU Extension, the University of Missouri or Lincoln University, exclusive of job responsibility.
  • Pride in work.
  • Outstanding performance in one or more job-related areas.
  • Dependability and reliability.
  • Human relations skills.

Visit the County Clerical Staff Recognition Awards page for more detailed information about the nomination process.


4-H club raises $4,800 for cancer charities

4-H fundraising

The Star Banner 4-H Club in Stoddard County presented donations to local cancer charities the United Cancer Assistance Network and 18 FORE Life in honor of Gavin Thompson and in memory of Carson Head, two pediatric cancer patients.

The club raised $4,800 with its Charity Trivia Night in February. Members presented both organizations with a $1,600 check and will be sending a check to St. Jude Children’s Hospital later this month.


Marketing tips

How will you stand out?

From Laura Lindsey, senior marketing coordinator

In the last two issues, I shared tips on identifying your target audience (it isn’t everyone) and why it is so important to really know the people who make up your audience and understand their needs.

To compete with all the other marketing out there, your communication has to be unique. It has to be professional, creative, personal and emotional. Oh, and it has to be short and clear.

The purpose of fliers, brochures and rack cards is to attract attention so people will want to find out more. The point is NOT to explain every detail. That comes later.

Three seconds. That is all the time you have to get your customer’s attention.

Which one of these fliers is going to be effective doing that?



  • Use short sentences with active verbs.
  • Use familiar key words that resonate with your audience.
  • Use interesting pictures and graphics.
  • Tell them what’s in it for them.
  • Make the MU Extension logo prominent. It builds credibility.


  • Use acronyms.
  • Cover the piece with text.
  • Be afraid of white space.
  • Leave your reader guessing.  Tell them what you want them to do. 

The detailed information about your event or program should be on your website or on another piece that your potential customers can take with them. Get their attention first, then go into the details. Make them want to find out more.

Next time we’ll discuss the fascinating world of logos! In the meantime, contact me with any questions or marketing requests at or 573-884-2394.


Insider reader contest

Brad Lademann

Last issue’s winner was Bradley Lademann, resource center coordinator for the Missouri Afterschool Network.

There are only four opportunities left to win MU Extension apparel through this contest! The days are getting warmer, but the nights are still chilly, so we will give away a jacket to keep you warm. This will be the last time this prize is offered! It is a black Port Authority waterproof jacket with fleece lining; it sells for $44.99, so it is definitely worth your time to compete in this contest for a chance to get one for free!

Complete this issue’s crossword puzzle by noon Friday, May 13.



Benton, St. Louis county offices moved

The MU Extension Center in Benton County has moved to 1623 Commercial St., Warsaw. The mailing address is P.O. Box 969, Warsaw, MO 65355. Phone is 660-438-5012.

The MU Extension Center in St. Louis County has moved to 132 E. Monroe Ave., Kirkwood. Phone is 314-400-2115.


New hours for Christian County office

The MU Extension Center in Christian County has new hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.


Staff open forum video available

If you missed the April 26 Staff Open Forum, a recording is available at


New communication items available

Facebook cover photos

Refresh your Facebook presence. Six new cover photos are available from extension Communications and Marketing at

Research poster templates

Do you have plans to present your research at a conference soon? Make sure your research poster is effective and stands out from the rest. Research poster templates in the most popular sizes (30 x 21, 48 x 36) are now available.

These templates are in PowerPoint format and can be sized appropriately for printing. Adding your text, charts, graphics and pictures is easy. You can find the templates, along with tips on creating the content for your poster, at


Dates to remember

Attend Staff Recognition Week seminars, earn Wellness points

In partnership with the Staff Advisory Council, Human Resource Services is holding 24 educational seminars during Staff Recognition Week, May 23-27.

Sessions cover a variety of topics, including benefits, personal finance, career development, nutrition, website development and work-life balance.

This year’s sessions are also sponsored by Healthy for Life. Eligible participants can receive 25 Wellness Incentive points for each session attended, up to a maximum of 100 points. Participants must sign in at the presentation to be eligible for the Wellness Incentive points.

For more information, go to


Diversity 101, interactive online training

Diversity 101, a free, four-week online class, is a highly interactive introduction to diversity, particularly as it pertains to working at MU. A core aspect of the course design is peer-to-peer learning through discussion boards in order to draw upon the rich and diverse experiences of colleagues across campus. Other aspects of the class include videos, reflection journal and self-guided activities. Register for the June 3-June 30 or July 8-Aug. 7 session at


Panel on federal retirement benefits set for May 12

A panel discussion on federal retirement benefits (CSRS and FERS) will take place May 12, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., at 1110 S. College, Room 113.

The panel will include Cari Lyman, UM System Total Rewards; Randy Hallier, Financial Workshops, LLC; Tamra Robbins, extension retirement and benefits coordinator; Interim Vice Provost for Extension Jo Turner, Associate Vice Provost for Extension Beverly Coberly and Assistant Vice Provost for Extension Joy Millard.

Anyone interested in learning more about federal retirement is welcome to attend. It will be conducted via Adobe Connect and recorded for faculty who cannot attend.

The goal of the workshop is for employees with federal retirement benefits (CSRS and FERS) to understand the specific federal benefits, MU benefits and eligibility requirements, and how to best plan to use those benefits, before they retire.

Please reply to Janice Perkins at so lunch arrangements can be made.


Get a new lease on life! Register now for stress reduction classes

From UM System Internal Communications

Three decades of research show the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program ( is effective in helping you cope with job- or family-related stress, medical problems and anxiety/depression.

Tuesday offering
Orientation: May 31.
Classes: June 6-July 26.
Retreat: July 16.

Wednesday offering
Orientation: June 1.
Classes: June 8-July 27.
Retreat: July 16.

Cost: $40 for faculty/staff/retirees, which can cover you and your spouse/partner ($20 rebate if you attend seven of eight classes).

Eligible participants earn 100 points for the Wellness Incentive (


Change how you think about eating! Enroll in Eat for Life now

From UM System Internal Communications

Have a history of chronic dieting, or eating when stressed, bored or unhappy? Enroll in Eat for Life now. Create a healthier relationship to your food, mind and body.

In-person course starts June 1.

Online course starts June 3.

Cost: $50 for faculty/staff/family ($25 rebate with full participation); $180 for others.

More info:

Earn 100 points toward the 2016 Wellness Incentive, paying up to $450 (

Sponsoring department: Healthy for Life: T.E. Atkins Wellness Program for employees.


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.

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


Religious holidays

The communities we serve are home to individuals from a variety of cultural and religious traditions. The following is a list of religious holidays that individuals in your community may observe in the coming weeks.

May 14: Buddha Day/Visakha Puja (Buddhist) is the major Buddhist festival, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha.

May 29: Ascension of the Baha’ullah (Baha’i) commemorates the death of the founder of the Baha’i faith, who died May 29, 1892.

June 5-July 5 (begins at sundown): Ramadan (Islamic) is an occasion to focus on faith through fasting and prayer, and is one of the most important Muslim holidays.

June 11-13 (begins at sundown): Shavuot (Jewish), a holiday with significant work restrictions, commemorates receipt of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

June 21: Litha/Midsomer/Alban Hefin/Summer Solstice (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) celebrates the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

July 4-5 (begins at sundown): Eid al-Fitr (Islamic), a holiday with significant work restriction, is the last day of Ramadan, marking the end of a month of fasting.

July 13-14 (begins at sundown): Tisha B’Av (Jewish) commemorates a series of Jewish tragedies, including the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem.

For more information, go to


Other dates to remember

May 12: Panel on federal retirement benefits, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at 1110 S. College, Room 113. Please reply to Janice Perkins at so lunch arrangements can be made.

May 13: Information sessions on university budget, 8-9:30 a.m. (MU) and 10-11 a.m. (MU Extension) in the Mark Twain Ballroom, MU Memorial Union.

May 16: NTT training workshop via Adobe Connect. Register for ISE 220 through WebApps.

May 16-20: Youth Development Academy, Columbia.

May 21: 4-H Day with the Cardinals.

May 23-27: Staff Recognition Week.

June 1: Friends of Extension Quilt Day Camp, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Missouri Star Sewing Center, 114 N. Davis St., Hamilton. A $15 fee covers cost of catered lunch. RSVP by May 25 to or 573-884-8570.

June 8-10: Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors): Latinos in the Heartland, 15th annual conference, Columbia.

June 15: Nomination deadline for County Clerical Staff Recognition Awards.

June 17-18: Council to Campus.

Oct. 25-27: MU Extension Summit.


Coming and going

New arrival

Jill Scheidt, SW Region agronomy specialist and Dade County CPD, and her husband, Jack, are the proud parents of Jackson Stephen Scheidt, born April 28 at 4:02 p.m. He weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 21 inches long. If you would like to send a card, Jill’s home address is 421 N. State Highway 39, Greenfield, MO 65661.


Please welcome

Jean Day, nutrition program associate, Pulaski County, EC Region.

Ernest Lee III, agronomy specialist, Montgomery County, EC Region.

Landon Sullivan, 4-H youth development specialist, Vernon County, WC Region.

Melissa Cotton, nutrition and health education specialist, Pettis County, WC Region.



John Hobbs, agriculture and rural development specialist/CPD, McDonald County, SW Region.


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.