News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Oct. 14, 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 MU Extension Communications and Marketing. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

Annual enrollment starts next week

Annual enrollment for benefit-eligible employees begins Oct. 20, and unlike previous years, you must select and submit your choice of medical plan or waive coverage. If you don’t, you and your enrolled family members will be defaulted to the Healthy Savings Plan for 2015 and pay taxes on the premiums. Take action between Oct. 20 and Oct. 31 to ensure your coverage for 2015 is the right fit for you! Go to (Retirees are not required to take action, but have the option of making changes to their elections Nov. 3-14.)


Faculty and staff Wellness Incentive underway

The university’s Wellness Incentive started Oct. 1. From October 2014 through September 2015, eligible faculty and staff can earn up to $450 in their paychecks for taking steps to improve their health. This year includes a two-tier incentive program:

  • Tier 1: Educate yourself – Complete Tier 1 by April 30, 2015, to earn $150 in May 2015.
  • Tier 2: Invest in yourself – Complete Tier 2 by Sept. 30, 2015, to earn an additional $300 in October 2015. 

Visit for information on the many activities that can earn you $450! Eligibility, privacy, tax and other details are also explained on this Web page.


Changes to registration for health screening during fall conference

If you are planning to complete a health screening during the fall conference, please note that the site to register for the health screenings has changed.  There are still appointments available 9-11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23.

Completing a health screening is one of the Tier 1 requirements for the university Wellness Incentive.

To schedule a health screening for fall conference: 

  • Log in to
  • On your Dashboard, hover over the word “Community” on the blue bar across the top.
  • Scroll down to “Event Registration” and click on it.
  • Click on Oct. 23 on the calendar and schedule a time.
  • You will receive a confirmation email of your registration, as well as a reminder the day before.  

PLEASE NOTE: If you are located on the Columbia campus, please wait for a spring health screening or use an alternative health screening option and allow non-Columbia extension employees to schedule a health screening at this conference. 

If you have any problems, please email


Get ready for the fall conference auction

An update from UMEA President Kathy Macomber

The fall conference is right around the corner—and so is the ever-popular auction!  This year it will be an action-packed 60 minutes, 7-8 p.m. on Wednesday.  That’s right—the dollar auction and silent auction will both take place during that fun-filled hour, so don’t miss it.

Start gathering those auction items to help raise funds for UMEA and your other professional organizations.  Your auction item is labeled with your county, and you determine the percentage of funds distributed to your favorite professional association (UMEA, MAEP, MACEDEP, ESP, etc.). Plan to drop off your item Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the Piccadilly Room at the Holiday Inn Executive Center.  

Remember, the more items you bring, the better the shopping selection is and the more money your associations will receive.  Plan to spend some time Tuesday and/or Wednesday browsing the terrific items up for bid—and get your name on as many as possible.  Avoid those crowded malls and plan to do all your holiday shopping at the auction!

Here’s the schedule:

  • Tuesday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.: Drop off your items in the Piccadilly Room and complete the brief form.
  • Tuesday, 1-5 p.m.: Browse, shop, bid!
  • Wednesday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.:  Browse, shop, increase your bid! (There might also be a chance for last-minute bid entries Wednesday evening.)
  • Wednesday, 7-8 p.m.: Live and dollar auction. 

Bring those dollars to bid on white elephant gifts, or something just for yourself.  During last year’s dollar auction I was the lucky winner of a fabulous lamp for my brother-in-law—a wine bottle stuffed with a string of tree lights.  Most of the bulbs worked.  I sent it to him in Long Island, New York, and said it was authentic Missouri décor—very trendy.  (He’s not my favorite relative.)  

Remind your colleagues, boss, friends and family that you are gathering items for the auction.  More items means better shopping for everyone, more money for your professional association and a fast-paced, exciting auction on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 7-8 p.m.


Missouri census tools updated with new data

The Missouri Census Data Center (MCDC) has updated its online tools to include 2013 data released in September by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).

The center’s ACS Profiles application lets users easily browse data for any geographic area included in the Census Bureau’s current and previous releases. A companion application, ACS Trends, allows comparison of a single area over multiple time periods.

“These tools provide timely, useful census data on demographic, economic, social and housing characteristics for use by communities, educators, policymakers, researchers and more,” says Glenn Rice, programmer/analyst for MCDC.

The ACS 2013 one-year estimates present statistics collected from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013. Data is available for all areas (including counties, cities and metropolitan areas) with populations of 65,000 or more.

There will be two more ACS data releases later this year: The three-year data for 2013, to be released in October, covers all areas with populations larger than 20,000. The five-year data, which will be released in December, covers all geographic areas down to the block group level regardless of population.

The Missouri Census Data Center, a partnership of the Missouri State Library, the MU Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis and the MU Geographic Resources Center, is the official U.S. Census data source for Missouri.


Trailer to aid disaster recovery in NW Missouri


LTRC members with the emergency response trailer, from left: Kitty Spafford, Paul Bergonzoni, Mark Maugh, Gary Kincaid, Beverly Maltsberger, Bill Brinton and Darrell Jones.

After extensive flooding in northwestern Missouri in 2011, extension community development specialist Beverly Maltsberger led efforts to organize a Long-Term Recovery Committee (LTRC) in Buchanan County. The LTRC successfully secured grant funding for an emergency-response trailer that will be available for disaster recovery efforts in 15 northwestern Missouri counties. The trailer and its stock of supplies, tools and equipment can be taken to disaster sites and serve as a central location for building-recovery projects, Maltsberger says.


The trailer and equipment was purchased with federal Homeland Security funds through the Regional Homeland Security Oversight Committee for northwestern Missouri.

“Currently we are finalizing trailer use policies,” Maltsberger said. “The trailer is a getting a trial run with a volunteer crew that is helping repair damage at a small church.”

Retired contractor and current LTRC board member Bill Meyer serves as construction manager, supervising volunteer crew members.


New signs welcome drivers to Audrain County

MU Extension sign

Photo courtesy of Virgil Woolridge

Newly erected signs welcome visitors to Audrain County and remind them of the many services offered by University of Missouri Extension in collaboration with agriculture groups. Read more.


‘Battle’ at the Emmys

Battle video at the emmy's

From left, Michael Hicks, Sophia Frazier, Michael Cook, Juanamaria Cordones-Cook, Julie Middleton, Michael Middleton and Muriel Jean Battle Browder (daughter of Eliot Battle) at the Sept. 27 Mid-America Emmy Awards in Kansas City. 

The MU Extension-produced film “Battle: Change From Within” competed for a 2014 Mid-America Emmy in the historical documentary category at a Sept. 27 awards gala in Kansas City. While the film did not win, co-director Michael Hicks said it was “tremendously exciting for ‘Battle’ to be nominated and we hope the recognition will increase interest in distributing the film to the public.” 

“Battle: Change From Within” looks at the life and career of educator Eliot Battle and the pivotal role he played in desegregating schools, housing and the Columbia community. It won best heartland feature documentary at the 2013 Kansas City Film Festival and has been featured at several film festivals across the country.

“Battle” was co-directed by Hicks with Julie Middleton, MU Extension director of organizational development; Juanamaria Cordones-Cook, MU professor of Spanish; and Barbara Williamson, associate teaching professor in the MU College of Education.

“It is truly an honor for our film to be nominated for an Emmy,” Middleton said. “The three other films in the documentary category were each outstanding and we are thrilled to have been included and recognized in this way.”


Effort verification process going electronic

Effort verification reports (EVRs) are used by the university as a way to document 100 percent effort of those employees who are paid from a grant or federal appropriated funds, or have salary committed as cost share. The reports are generated based on the university’s payroll records.  EVRs are produced on a semiannual basis (or more frequently, if required by an outside entity), and must be signed by the employee or a person with the ability to verify that the work was performed (e.g., a supervisor or principal investigator).

In the past, the AMT-Fiscal staff has routed paper EVRs through a regional office or campus fiscal office. In February 2015, EVRs will be distributed directly to each employee electronically. Employees should watch their inbox in February for a message that their EVR is ready for their review.

AMT-Fiscal will provide training to help familiarize you with the new electronic certification process. In the meantime, you can learn more about EVRs and review a sample report on the Effort Verification page of the MU Extension website. If you have specific questions, please contact Amy Rosson in the AMT-Fiscal office at


Dates to remember

CWEB thematic team to present update Nov. 3

From Sherry Howard, administrative assistant for the Extension Transition Team:

Faculty and staff who are interested in extension’s program integration efforts can hear the Community, Workforce, Economic and Business Development (CWEB) team report on current activities and focus via Adobe Connect, 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3.

Team members will discuss their work and the status of projects in process. A question-and-answer session will follow.  If you are unable to attend the live session, it will be recorded for later review at your convenience. 

We hope you will find time to join this important effort.  Program integration 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


Administrative Support Conference is Dec. 3-4

Information about the Dec. 3-4 Administrative Support Conference is available at

The conference is for all field-based and campus-based MU Extension administrative support staff.

Conference goals:

  • Connecting or reconnecting with the vision and mission of MU Extension.
  • Specific training for skill development.
  • General program updates.
  • Sharing ideas and networking with others throughout MU Extension.


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.

Oct. 16 2-3 p.m.
Nov. 19 10-11 a.m.
Dec. 18 2-3 p.m.
Jan. 22 2-3 p.m.
Feb. 19 2-3 p.m.
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

Through Nov. 19 (dates vary by location): Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course. Columbia,; Kansas City,; Rolla,

Through Dec. 10: Eat for Life course. For additional information, watch informational videos or find more details online.

Through Oct. 28: Retiree meetings.

Oct. 20-31: Annual enrollment.

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

Nov. 7-8: Pearls of Production: Women in Agriculture conference, Columbia.

Dec. 3-4: Administrative Support Conference for all extension administrative support staff at the campus and field level, on the MU campus in Columbia.

Dec. 9-11: 2014 NAEPSDP annual conference, San Antonio, Texas.

Dec. 31: Deadline for completing UM information security training. Visit to access the online training modules.

Jan. 12-16, 2015: Youth Development Academy: Raising the Potential of Professionals, Columbia.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Elizabeth Gastineau, office support, Missouri Training Institute.

Brittany Kemper, youth program associate, Holt County, NW Region.

Daniel Cash, community development specialist, Jackson County, Urban Region.

Amanda Davis, 4-H youth educator, Vernon County, WC Region.



Sharon Eubanks, health professions, Extension/CE.

Kathryn Workman, 4-H youth development program assistant, Christian County, SW Region.

Ted Gallion, Community Development administration.



James W. Perry, 87, died on Aug. 10 in Joplin.  His career with MU Extension included five years in 4-H/youth development programming, three years in farm management work and 24 years of practice in community development and tourism in the Branson area.  His wife Ralpha survives.  His obituary may be found at


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.