News for employees

MU Extension Insider
August 15, 2011


In the news

Upcoming events

Coming and going


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

In the news

Expert advice coming to a playlist near you

New MU Extension podcast launches on iTunes.

“Now everywhere you go, advice from MU Extension can go with you,” says Debbie Johnson, radio producer/director. “Extension on the Go, a new weekly podcast available on iTunes, will give specialists a platform to share their knowledge and highlight programs.”

Created by MU’s Cooperative Media Group, Extension on the Go hopes to draw attention to MU Extension’s expertise and program areas in a user-friendly way.

Podcast episodes will be about 3-6 minutes long and will cover topics ranging from health and nutrition to personal finances to home and garden.

Statewide participation is encouraged. MU Extension specialists, program directors and regional directors can pitch ideas for topics of future episodes of Extension on the Go.

Specialists can come to Cooperative Media Group’s studio near the MU campus and record topics. This option produces the best audio and is preferred. However, recording sessions can come to people outside of Columbia. Interview by telephone is also an option.

Once the interview is recorded it will be added to the podcast schedule.

The first guest was Vera Massey, nutrition and health education specialist and trainer/teacher for MU Extension’s Taking Care of You program. She talked about the importance of understanding all the dimensions that make up a whole person and how they are vital for keeping you healthy and happy.

Listeners are encouraged to suggest topics, comment on episodes and ask questions.

Extension on the Go podcasts will be available every Friday on iTunes and at

For more information, contact podcast producer Debbie Johnson.


Aerospace Camp teaches rocket science

“It’s not rocket science.” The phrase is often used to assure people that something is simple and easy to understand. At the same time, it pushes the idea that actual rocket science is really hard—and certainly not for kids. But rocketry's intimidating reputation didn’t scare off youth ages 10-13 from Aerospace Camp, a three-day program sponsored by Missouri 4-H, University of Missouri Extension and Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, which hosted the event in July. Kent Faddis reports.



Why eXtension?

 “eXtension is a powerful tool,” says Julie Middleton,  director of organizational development and chair of Missouri’s Institutional Team. “Our team goal is to help faculty and staff become more involved in eXtension. It is a great way to expand the reach of our local programs.”

There are many ways to become involved with eXtension. The easy first step is to visit eXtension to explore the valuable resources. Be sure to sign up for an eXtension ID.

Faculty can also join one of the many Communities of Practice or register to help answer questions that are posed on “Ask an Expert.”

There is a wealth of professional development opportunities available on eXtension. You can learn how to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter effectively in your programs.

Questions about eXtension should be directed to Middleton or to any member of the Missouri Institutional Team:  Share Bane, Meridith Berry, Gordon Carriker, Sharon Gulick, George Laur, John Myers, Michael Ravenscraft, Ray Walden and Crystal Weber.


Summers @ Mizzou Build-a-Business Camp


Thirteen teens from Missouri, Kansas and Tennessee completed the 2011 Summers @ Mizzou Build-a-Business Camp on the MU campus, July 24-28. The program introduced youth to entrepreneurial aspects of the MU campus and the Columbia business community. Campers assessed their entrepreneurial traits, identified business startup opportunities and took first steps toward starting a business while in high school.

Camp concluded with each young entrepreneur delivering an elevator pitch on his or her idea at the Summers @ Mizzou closing assembly.

“The program is beginning to do what we envisioned,” says Steve Henness, extension associate, 4-H Center for Youth Development. “The camp is helping young aspiring entrepreneurs get a start by connecting them with business resources and creating tangible opportunities for them to carry their ideas forward.” 

To learn more, see the Evaluation and Wrap-Up (PDF).


Grazing Dairy Models Now in Web Guidesheets

The MU Grazing Dairy team has converted their pasture-based-dairy teaching aids from computer models to MU Guidesheets. The guides will help producers grasp the economics of going with grass. The new guides are Web based only.

Ryan Milhollin, project manager, led rewrite efforts. Cooperating were Joe Horner, Stacey Hamilton, Tony Rickard and Wayne Prewitt.

The guides are based on models for four (75-cow, 150-cow, 300-cow and 600-cow) farms. All based on costs, benchmarks and assumptions of existing Missouri farms, Horner said. There is at least one publication for each size herd.

Each guide contains a farm description plus discussion of herd management, milk marketing, labor management, and capital and financial analysis.

The Guides, G3051 through G3055 are on the Extension Website. Publications may be downloaded as PDFs or click on “printer friendly” for paper copies. All are free, accessible and user friendly.

Now the team is revising the popular Missouri Dairy Grazing Manual into Guidesheets. Those will be available by the end of this year. That’s the plan.


News Writing Tips from Duane Dailey

Local media extends your teaching to a larger audience than you reach in meetings. If 30 people attend, you feel good. But, you can reach 10 times, no hundreds of times, that many with your news story.

Editors gripe that we do an advance story; but, we forget to deliver a story on what happened.

Readers of local press are an attentive audience. Your story delivers the content, but also gives you credibility as a source.

Today, media operate with limited staffs. Likely you’ll be the only reporter in the room. Learn what local editors and news directors require: Then meet their needs. It’s win-win.

Write your stories in news style. Writing news is quite different than guide sheets. Use quotes and add sources.

What I see too often are stories with Extension content; but no mention of the specialist giving the message. That should be in the story. 

I speculate that a content-laden story was written and your byline added at the top. At the paper, which doesn’t give bylines, the name is whacked. The source is lost. Extension gets no credit.

When you quote yourself, don’t add your byline. That looks odd.


Upcoming events

Apply to 2012 North Central NELD program

Leadership continues to be a priority in MU Extension. Applications are sought for participation in the 2012 North Central National Extension Leadership Development program.

NELD is designed to build leaders at all levels in cooperative extension and to provide them with vision, courage and tools to lead in a changing world. The successful applicant will participate in four interactive learning sessions.

To apply, submit an application and cover letter (two pages maximum) to your regional director or program director expressing why you would like to participate in NC NELD. Apply by Aug. 29.

The internal selection process will include a committee recommendation and final selection by Michael Ouart. Applicants will be notified by Oct. 1 of the outcome of the process.

More information may be found at Direct questions to Julie Middleton, director of organizational development.


Call for nominations for UMEA awards

UMEA awards nomination forms for 2011 are available.  This is a great way to be recognized or to recognize one of your colleagues.  The awards will include funds to use for programming or professional development.  All nomination materials are due by Sept. 2.

Awards will be presented in three categories. Except for nominees for the Rookie of the Year award, all entrants must be members of UMEA, with dues paid as of Jan. 31, 2011.

Please take the time to nominate yourself or a colleague to be recognized at the Galaxy Conference in November.


 Other dates to remember


Symposium Will Honor Abner Womack, Sept. 23

Fans of Abner Womack, founder of FAPRI, can mark Sept. 23. He will be toasted at a symposium in the Old Alumni Center.

Sept 1, Womack will go “half time” at MU Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute.

For 25 years FAPRI provided economic analysis to the U.S. Congress. Every farm bill and trade agreement was studied. With “what-if” scenarios, FAPRI catches unintended consequences that sneak into laws. They’ve had worldwide impact. And, saved taxpayers money.

Stay tuned for details, but save the date.


If making hay, make quality hay

Tim Schnakenberg will give tips on making quality hay at the MU Southwest Center Field Day, Sept. 9. This will be a sneak preview of “Quality Hay Schools” planned for this fall by Tim, John Hobbs and Brei Menjoulet.

So far they are set for Nov. 29-30 in Neosho and Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Bolivar. 

Rob Kallenbach, state specialist, gets credit for the estimate that about half the hay made in Missouri never makes it through a cow. 

“The schools will help our producers cut losses and gain quality,” Tim says. They’ll discuss harvest, storage and feeding losses. Hay testing, cattle feed requirements and economics round out the agenda. The fee-based programs start with a dinner and an evening program. The course finishes at lunch the next day.

Meanwhile, Tim hasn’t given up on his priority: Teaching producers to grow more stockpiled fescue for winter grazing. Stockpile provides higher quality and less expense than hay. Tim uses local newspapers to help tell his story.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Jennifer Blair, administrative associate and business manager for the 4-H Center for Youth Development.

James Lichtenegger, 4-H youth development program assistant, Cape Girardeau.


New beginnings


Maisy Ann Henness, born to Steve and Kerri Henness. Their two boys (Eli, 5, and Liam, 3) now have a little sister!


Jayce William Faddis, born to Kent and Jennifer and sister Kaylee.



Roberta Jenkins, WC human development specialist.



Our condolences go to the families of:

Drue Anderson, retired 4-H youth specialist and county agent in Gasconade County, who passed away July 16.

Bruce Florea, retired extension ag economist in Missouri and Washington states, who passed away July 22.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey or Curt Wohleber in the Cooperative Media Group. If you have questions, contact Mark Stillwell, CMG interim director.