News for employees

MU Extension Insider
April 15, 2013


In the news

Upcoming events

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the first and 15th of the month by the MU Cooperative Media Group. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

Donor education, development pages published on MU Extension website

New pages on donor education and development were published recently on the MU Extension website, reports Cynthia Crawford, MU Extension director of donor education.
“Diversifying income streams is crucial to MU Extension’s bright future,” says Crawford. “Gifts and endowments will provide critically needed funds for meeting short- and long-term goals.”
Crawford outlines some of the things people can learn from these pages:

Also included on the pages:

“In addition, there are many short articles that would be perfect for Extension Council programs and can easily be printed as a one- or two-page handout,” notes Crawford.

As one of six test markets for the new development Web pages, the Greene County Extension Council has been focusing on development for the past several months. 

“Cat (Comley, MU Extension development director) and Cynthia have both been very helpful to work with on development projects,” says David Burton, Greene County program director. “The training and guidance they have given has helped to empower our council members and helped to advance our development efforts in Greene County. The features of this new website provide examples of the resources they can provide that help both councils and county program directors.”



House, Senate panels consider extension districting proposals

Legislation to allow MU Extension to form extension districts made progress in both chambers last week, reports Marty Oetting, UM lobbyist in Jefferson City. Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), was heard before the House agri-business committee on April 9.

Testimony was provided by Michael Ouart, MU Extension vice provost, and Tony DeLong, county council coordinator for MU Extension. The Missouri Farm Bureau, the Mizzou Flagship Council, and the Mizzou Legislative Network of the Mizzou Alumni Association also went on record in support. The committee did not take any action on the bill but is expected to consider it in executive session this week, says Oetting.

Meanwhile, a Senate committee substitute for House Bill 202, sponsored by Rep. Bill Rieboldt (R-Neosho), was passed by the Senate education committee on April 10 by a 7-0 vote. The bill will now make its way to the Senate calendar for consideration on the floor. The new substitute makes the bill identical to the Senate Bill 9, which has already passed the Senate. The only change was the inclusion of language that exempts St. Louis County from participating in the districting option.



Interim director appointed for MU Conference Office veteran of MU Extension Jewel Coffman has been appointed interim director of the MU Conference Office by Michael Ouart, vice provost for extension.

Coffman’s appointment fills the vacancy created when Joy Millard, former conference office director, was appointed interim assistant vice provost for MU Extension earlier this year.

Coffman joined the conference office in 1995 as conference coordinator and most recently served as assistant director of the office. She holds a master’s degree in higher and adult education from MU.

Part of MU Extension’s continuing education program, the MU Conference Office provides comprehensive planning and management services for meetings, workshops and other events. The office coordinates about 90 events each year, ranging from high-profile gatherings of world-renowned researchers, entrepreneurs and leaders to youth programs that might represent a high school student’s first visit to a college campus.

For more information about the conference office, go to or call 573-882-4349



Geneticist joins MU Extension to help cow herd owners breed quality beef

Owners of commercial beef herds baffled by all those numbers in bull catalogs should meet Jared Decker. has joined the MU Extension beef team as a geneticist, filling a long-vacant position. His first priority, he says, will be to help cow herd owners improve breeding decisions. He’ll teach how to use expected progeny differences (EPDs). Those numbers ease decisions when buying bulls, semen or replacement heifers.

Decker has been working in the MU bovine genomic lab led by Jerry Taylor, who was on the team that deciphered the original cattle genome in 2009.

The new MU geneticist grew up on a ranch in New Mexico and showed calves at the county and state fairs. He earned a degree in animal science at New Mexico State University. He received a Ph.D. in genetics from MU in 2012. Since then, he was a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral fellow at MU. He will continue his research on the cattle genome started in the Taylor lab.

Decker will work with 28 regional extension livestock specialists to reach Missouri producers. Contact him at



Seven state agricultural extension specialists honored


Dave Baker, CAFNR assistant dean and director of the MU Extension agricultural extension program, has honored seven extension employees for their continued service. The recognition came at an April 1 meeting of CAFNR state extension specialists. Honorees included (left to right): Ryan Milhollin, commercial ag economist; Joe Horner, dairy and beef specialist; Rob Kallenbach, forage specialist; Marcia Shannon, swine nutrition specialist; Brad Fresenburg, plant pathology specialist; Bob Broz, ag engineering specialist; and Hank Stelzer, forestry specialist.



Legislative Day highlights extension efforts

Legislative day representatives

State Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown), chair of the Senate’s agriculture, food production and natural resources committee, visited with MU Extension staff and faculty during MU Alumni Alliance Legislative Day earlier this month. (Left to right): Mike Kasten, extension coordinator of the Quality Beef by the Numbers program; Scott Brown, extension agricultural economist; Munzlinger; Mary Simon Leuci, director of MU Extension’s community development program; and David Patterson, state beef extension specialist.



MU weather expert predicts eastward shift of Tornado Alley this storm season

Tornado Alley will probably see slightly fewer tornadoes this storm season, while areas to its east will see a more than average number of tornadoes, says an MU climate expert.

Tony Lupo, professor of atmospheric science at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, said that higher sea temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean will shift the jet stream pattern eastward over Tennessee, Kentucky, eastern Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. The jet stream will funnel more moisture and instability over these areas, creating ingredients for strong thunderstorms that spawn tornadoes.

Typically during storm season – March through June – the jet stream passes over Tornado Alley, a swath of the Great Plains states from Texas and Oklahoma into Kansas and Nebraska.

For more information read the expanded article and view the video.



CAFNR announces 2013 field day schedule

The MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources has released its 2013 field day schedule, according to John Poehlmann, director of the MU Agricultural Experiment Station’s field operations.

“Research presented at our field days is almost totally driven by those we serve,” said Poehlmann. “Our scientists gather information about problems farmers are facing and work to solve those. Research is done in collaboration with farmers, industry, government and other universities in order to determine the best approach – economically, environmentally and socially – for the challenges that confront Missouri farmers.”

The CAFNR field day schedule includes events on the following dates at locations around the state:

June 20: Bradford Research Center Bobwhite Quail Management Field Day, Columbia

Aug. 6: Greenley Research Center Field Day, Novelty
Aug. 27: Graves-Chapple Research Center Field Day, Rock Port
Aug. 28: Hundley-Whaley Research Center Field Day, Albany
Aug. 29: Delta Research Center Field Day, Portageville

Sept. 5: Bradford Research Center Tomato Festival, Columbia
Sept. 10: Bradford Research Center Ag Education Day, Columbia
Sept. 12: Southwest Research Center Ag Education Day, Mount Vernon
Sept. 13: Southwest Research Center Field Day, Mount Vernon
Sept. 17: Thompson Research Center Field Day, Spickard
Sept. 21: South Farm Research Center Showcase, Columbia
Sept. 25: Forage Systems Research Center Field Day, Linneus
Sept. 26: Hundley-Whaley Research Center Ag Education Day, Albany
Sept. 27: Graves-Chapple Research Center Ag Education Day, Rock Port

Oct. 3: Wurdack Research Center Ag Education Day, Cook Station
Oct. 4: Wurdack Research Center Field Day, Cook Station
Oct. 5: Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center Field Day, New Franklin

For more information, visit or



Upcoming events

Nominate your county clerical staff for a 2013 award

Regional faculty and staff members can submit nominations for the county clerical staff recognition awards through May 15, according to Carol Heffner, MU Extension executive staff 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 Heffner.

Nominees will be judged on:

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



Fee-generation workshops set

Workshops have been scheduled to explain additional functions and updates to the Fee Generation Worksheet-Online Tool. Register through ISE for the following workshop dates:




2-3 p.m.


10-11 a.m.


2-3 p.m.


10-11 a.m.


2-3 p.m.


Other dates to remember

April 3: UM Almuni Alliance Legislative Day, Jefferson City. “In connection with the day, all faculty members attending Legislative Day are encouraged to participate in a mid-day ISE,” says Sandy Stegall.  “The theme this year is ASAP: Action for Sustainability and Progress.”  Registration is available at for both Legislative Day and the ISE. Deadline for registration is March 27.

Series of MU Extension retiree meetings set for April and May



Coming and going

Please welcome

Susan Williams, office manager, Carroll County.




Amy Hodges, youth program assistant in Ralls County, and her husband Mark are the proud parents of a daughter, Annie Jo, born April 10. Cards can be sent to Amy and Mark at the Ralls County Extension Center, P.O. Box 540, New London, MO 63459.



Saying goodbye

Katie Hamilton, office manager, Carroll County, resigned to move out-of-state.




Bud Younger, father-in-law of Texas County nutrition and health education specialist Cammie Younger, died on April 12. Cards of sympathy may be sent to Cammie and her family at HC4, Box 74, Birch Tree, MO 65438.

Melvin K. McLean, longtime MU Extension professional who retired in 1978 as director of the four county ABCD area based in Buchanan County, died April 7 in St. Joseph. Surviving are his widow, Kathleen; two children, Kirt McLean and Cynthia Schrader; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held March 11.

Patricia M. Stewart, mother of Mark Stewart, EC region director, died April 13.  A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., April 18 at West Lake Christian Church in Laurie.  



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.