News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Jan. 12, 2016


In the news

New marketing materials available

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

4-H YDA draws youth professionals to Columbia


Among 20 youth development professionals attending this week’s semiannual Youth Development Academy (YDA) are five MU Extension staff members. Seated, from left: Samantha O’Riley, NW Region 4-H youth program assistant in Atchison County; and Daniel Cash, west Urban Region community development specialist in Jackson County. Standing, from left: DeeDee Martin, NE Region 4-H youth program assistant in Ralls County; Annette Deering, NW Region 4-H youth development specialist in Nodaway County; and Ann Reeder, coordinator with the state 4-H youth office’s school-age program.

The five-day YDA in Columbia has attracted youth development professionals from around the state and nation, according to Steve Henness, state 4-H youth specialist. Henness coordinates the weeklong workshop with colleague Allison Copeland. Attendees lead youth development programs in public, private and civic settings. Sessions are being conducted at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center on the MU campus.


AgrAbility helps 93-year-old keep growing food for farmers markets

Harry Keutzer in a wheelchair looking at livestock

Lifelong farmer Harry Keutzer, 93, grows produce for Kansas City-area farmers markets. The Missouri AgrAbility Project educated Keutzer about safe practices and adaptive devices to help him continue farming. Read more.


Announcement from budget director Callie Glascock

Amy Rosson has accepted a position in the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration, effective Jan. 4. We wish her well and thank her for her dedicated service to MU Extension. She will certainly continue to be an asset for us in OSPA.

As we work toward a permanent solution for Extension Fiscal, please contact Carol Heffner ( or 573-882-7756) or Dustin Oehl ( or 573-882-4719) with any questions or concerns.


BDP economic impact exceeds $2.25 billion during past 3 years

MU Extension’s Business Development Program has achieved more than $2.25 billion of economic impact across the state in the three years ending Sept. 30, 2015, according to BDP Director Steve Devlin.

The program helped its business clients across the state create or retain 24,180 jobs, increase sales by $439 million, attract $419.6 million in new investments and successfully apply for government contracts totaling $1.4 billion.

Devlin said BDP’s efforts during the three-year period resulted in statewide economic impact of $119 for every $1 invested in the program.


County office deadlines

From Kevin Hansen, QuickBooks coordinator

The county extension offices are extremely busy with the many winter programing opportunities being planned and the yearly office requirements such as annual reports, council elections, closing of finances and budgeting, to name a few. 

Meeting all these demands at the same time calls for efficiency and planning.  I offer these deadlines and references to aid in creating an efficient office.


  • January: election of councils
  • Feb. 1: annual reports
  • Feb. 12: QuickBooks closing
  • March 1: submit budget
  • Twentieth of the month: submit retirement contribution
  • Monthly: health insurance premiums due


Knowing the deadlines ahead of time and planning to meet those deadlines will enhance the productivity of all the employees who need and use the information you are providing and reporting on.


Outside interest reporting

Beginning this week, the MU Conflict of Interest Office will be sending Outside Interest Disclosure Forms.

Under the Collected Rules and Regulations (CRR) 330.015, employees must disclose all potential conflicts of interest they might have due to activities outside of the university. All faculty and exempt staff have the additional requirement to disclose all consulting activities outside of the university on an annual basis.


Participate in the EAP Stress Analysis Questionnaire to combat faculty and staff stressors

From UM System Total Rewards

Although some stress is unavoidable, prolonged or excessive stress impacts individuals physically, psychologically, socially and professionally. The UM Employee Assistance Program (EAP) works to combat stress by supporting employees experiencing a range of personal or professional concerns. Now the EAP needs your help. Please take the 10-minute Stress Analysis Questionnaire. Information collected from the survey will help the EAP target sources of stress, as well as develop and implement future services based on need.

Complete the questionnaire at

Learn more about the Employee Assistance Program at


This month on Community Commons: 7 ways GIS enables smart communities

From Jamie Kleinsorge, Community Commons project director

This month we're highlighting a recent guest post from the Esri Insider blog. This article outlines seven ways GIS can enable community planning and development. Here's a quick overview of the seven strategies:

1. GIS provides a comprehensive view and understanding.

2. GIS helps you go deeper with spatial analysis.

3. GIS sensors provide a valuable source of data.

4. Community engagement adds to your data.

5. 3-D modeling and visualization improve planning.

6. GIS is at the intersection of new community technologies.

7. Geodesign is critical for more sustainable and healthy communities.

As members of MU Extension, you have access to a free online GIS tool via Community Commons, allowing you to test out many of the strategies mentioned by the author.

Read the full article on Community Commons and think about ways you can use GIS in your day-to-day work. Share your ideas, questions and maps in the MU Extension Hub.


Reader contest returns


Patty Fisher, NE Region 4-H youth development specialist in Pike County, won a new MU Extension polo by submitting a completed puzzle entry.

This issue’s prize is a short-sleeve micro piqué polo shirt with a two-color embroidered logo. Made from moisture-wicking 100 percent polyester. Choice of white, black or gold.


Read this issue, fill out a crossword puzzle with questions based on this issue, and submit by noon Friday, Jan. 15, for your chance to win MU Extension apparel.


Get in on the act! Promote random acts of wellness!

From UM System Total Rewards

Have a passion for health and fitness? Consider becoming a Wellness Ambassador. Spread a culture of health. Attend special events. And promote Healthy for Life initiatives like Caught in the Act.

Caught in the Act ( rewards faculty and staff for random acts of wellness. As a Wellness Ambassador, you’ll honor colleagues for embracing wellbeing.

Dates: Jan. 18– Feb. 29.

What are random acts of wellness? Things like …
• Leading a walking challenge.
• Walking with a coworker.
• Hosting a healthy potluck.
• Supporting standing/walking meetings.
• Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Learn more about Wellness Ambassadors at

We welcome multiple ambassadors per department.


New marketing materials available

Master Gardener brochure and rack cards

Brochure (UED1126 and UED1126ADD)

This colorful 5½-by-8½-inch brochure is a great tool for educating prospective Master Gardeners on the program. Concise messaging and interesting photos offer a professional look that adds credibility to the program.

The best part? They can be customized with your extension center’s address!

We can print the contact information for you for a small fee, or you can print it yourself with an easy-to-use template. Note: You will receive the full-color brochure. All you will print is your center’s street address, phone number and Web address.

Reasons to use this new brochure

  • Professional printing provides clear images and vibrant colors on high-quality paper.
  • You don’t have to design or update marketing materials.
  • Saves money on paper, toner and work hours.


You print information:

$0.24 each

5 or more copies

We print information:

$0.28 each

50 or more copies

$0.35 each

1-49 copies

Rack cards (UED1128)

rack card
(Click for larger image)

These 4-by-9-inch cards fit perfectly in brochure display racks and give a brief description of the Missouri Master Gardener program. Extension centers are encouraged to add their contact information by adhering a label to the back of the card. These rack cards are free to all MU Extension centers.

Order these materials at


Event template designs

Per your suggestions, we’ve added two new event template designs:

· Alternative family structure
· 4-H robotics

Check out all the available flier, sign, handout and PowerPoint designs at



Shark fin flag banner (UED1159)


The 9-foot flag banner features the MU Extension logo on both sides and is the perfect way to attract the attention of your target audience at indoor or outdoor events. The easy-to-assemble banner comes with a handy carrying case, a ground stake for outside events and a cross base for indoor events. Two banners are available for checkout. Contact Andy Emerson at to reserve for your next event.


Dates to remember

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.

CANCELED Jan. 20 10-11 a.m.
Feb. 18 2-3 p.m.
March 16 10-11 a.m.
April 21 2-3 p.m.
May 18 10-11 a.m.
June 16 2-3 p.m.
July 20 10-11 a.m.
Aug. 18 2-3 p.m.


Trainings for myVITA scheduled

From Mark Stillwell, project administrator – operations

Please recall that myVITA is the new reporting system for all University of Missouri faculty.

MyVITA and myExtension are complementary in that myVITA focuses on individual faculty accomplishments and professional development activities while myExtension focuses on extension programs.

MyVITA “Profile” went live Dec. 1, 2015, and is currently available online at

MyVITA “Overview and Profile” training will be held Jan. 21 via Adobe Connect, with registration through ISE 305. We plan to offer four sessions that day. At least one of the sessions will be recorded and available for those who cannot participate.

We hope to have myVITA “Activities” go live by the end of this month. MyVITA “Activities” training is planned for Feb. 11 via Adobe Connect, with registration through ISE 278. Again, at least one of the four sessions will be recorded.

We look forward to introducing you to myVITA!


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.

Feb. 1-2: Imbolc/Candlemas (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) celebrates the coming of spring.

Feb. 3: Setsubum-sai (Shinto) marks the beginning of spring and is known as the “bean-throwing festival.”

Feb. 8: Chinese New Year (Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist) is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.

Feb. 10: Ash Wednesday (Roman Catholic, Protestant) is the first day of Lent, the period of 40 days before Easter.

Feb. 22: Magha Puja Day (Buddhist) commemorates the day when 1,250 disciples traveled to join the Buddha.

March 20: Palm Sunday (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox Christian) commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

March 23-24: Purim (Jewish) commemorates the time when the Jews were living in Persia and saved by a woman named Esther.

For more information, go to


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

From UM System Total Rewards

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 class starts Jan. 20, noon-1 p.m., Memorial Union S304, MU campus. Register at

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

More info at

Eligible first-time participants can earn 100 points toward the 2016 Wellness Incentive, which pays up to $450 (

Sponsored by Healthy for Life: T.E. Atkins Wellness Program for employees.


Other dates to remember

Feb. 26 (noon): Deadline for Provost's Award for Creative Extension Programming by New Faculty submissions.

Feb. 26 (noon): Deadline for The Donald W. Fancher Provost Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension and Continuing Education submissions.

March 1 (noon): Deadline for C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship nominations.

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


Coming and going

Please welcome

Rachel Hopkins, ag business specialist, Washington County, EC Region.

Jodie Leifer, youth education assistant, Pulaski County, EC Region.

Dhruba Dhakal, associate extension professional and agronomy specialist, Chariton County, NE Region.

Heather Kruessel, youth program assistant, Chariton County, NE Region.


New arrival

Randa Doty, ag business specialist in Nodaway County, and her husband, Phillip, announced the birth of their son, Ross Cleo, who arrived around 2 p.m. on Dec. 23, 2015. He weighed 8 pounds and 12 ounces and was 21 inches long. Ross joins big sister Jordann Cate. Randa will be on leave until early March.



Julie Middleton, extension professional and director of organizational development, announced that she will be retiring Feb. 27. There will be a reception honoring her 24 years of service to the University of Missouri and MU Extension 3-5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26. More details to come.

Stacy Jo Robb, FNP program manager, EC Region.

Nina Balsam, county program director, St. Louis County, Urban Region.

John Nickler, 4-H youth specialist and co-CPD, St. Charles County, Urban Region.

Ronald Mueller, specialist, SBDC.

Max Summers, MU Extension Transition Team leader.



Retired ag engineering specialist Don C. Rains, 90, passed away Jan. 10 at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cameron. Services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, at McWilliams Funeral Home in Gallatin. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Wednesday; friends may call after 11 a.m. Burial will be at Hillcrest Cemetery near Gallatin. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Christian Church of Gallatin or Wounded Warriors in care of McWilliams Funeral Home.


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.