News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Dec. 15, 2010


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

Opportunities exist for small biz despite economy

Despite the tough economy, studies show more and more people are starting their own business. In some cases, people who were laid off decided to create their own job. University of Missouri Extension business counselors lend a hand to help open doors. Kent Faddis reports.

For more information, see


White Christmas?

If you live in the Northeast or Alaska, you almost never have to wonder about a white Christmas. Here in Missouri most of our Christmases will be brown. Debbie Johnson has more.


See related news release from Curt Wohleber.


MU Extension table covers available

County and campus offices have a new resource available to them: 6- and 8-foot table covers with the MU Extension logo. The new tablecloths debuted at the 2010 Missouri State Fair to rave reviews.  The black table covers have gold corner box pleat inserts and a gold imprint of the MU Extension logo on both the front and back.


Orders are currently being taken for purchasing the table covers.  The cost is $90 per cover. The deadline for ordering is Dec. 31.  If you would like to purchase a tablecloth, please fill out the order form and return it to Vicki Bach, HES Extension, 162 Stanley Hall, Columbia, MO  65211.


Mizzou Advantage

University of Missouri faculty, students and alumni worked together to identify competitive assets that set MU apart from other universities. These assets underlie five dynamic initiatives that collectively are called the Mizzou Advantage.

A new five-minute video produced by Academic Support highlights the Mizzou Advantage concept.

Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of MU Extension, offered a few examples of how MU Extension uses the competitive assets of the Mizzou Advantage during a recent meeting at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis.

A Mizzou Advantage Transformational Technology deployed by MU Extension is a remote-sensing system that helps corn producers meet the world’s growing demand for food, deal with price uncertainty and still be good stewards of the land. Through the work of Gene Stevens, extension agronomist, and regional extension faculty, farmers are using electronic sensors to calculate the amount of nitrogen fertilizer needed by corn plants in any specific area of the field. Fertilizer is applied only where it is needed and in the amount needed.  Use of this technology, developed at MU, avoids costly over-application of nitrogen while maintaining or increasing yields. Use of the technology also lessens the potential for fertilizers to enter our rivers and lakes as pollutants. Yield data collected on producers’ fields allows researchers on campus to fine-tune this technology for even greater improvements.  Here’s a brief video clip showing use of remote sensors on cotton in the Bootheel.

See related 2009 news release: Seeing green

Another Mizzou Advantage initiative is Food for the Future .  Through faculty based in St. Charles and St. Louis counties, MU Extension assists people who live in what is known as a “food desert.”  Along Interstate 70, just north of downtown St. Louis, “Old North” residents live far from fresh food sources, and many do not have transportation to a full-fledged grocery store. MU Extension, in partnership with local and state agencies, is linking fresh-food growers to families with weekly produce deliveries. This past July, the Old North partnership opened a community-owned grocery co-op. The co-op, along with a weekend farmers market and community garden, provides residents year-round with healthy and affordable foods.

Did you know that MU ranks eighth in the United States and 15th in the world in impact in plant and animal sciences from 1999-2009?  That fact from the Essential Science Indicators database of Thomson Reuters marks an amazing accomplishment, and MU Extension is proud to contribute to that ranking.

MU Extension is an integral part of the University of Missouri, Mizzou Advantage and the economic revitalization of our state.  By living and working in Missouri’s communities, both rural and urban, MU Extension faculty are part of the cultural and social fabric … leading transformational change.


County clerical award winners

The University of Missouri Extension County Clerical Staff Recognition Awards honor extension support staff members who exhibit outstanding performance with the University of Missouri, MU Extension and county extension councils.

Congratulations to the 2010 winners:

Senior Clerical Award
1st place – Denise Hodson, Barton County
2nd place – Donna Eldridge, Webster County
3rd place – Kathy Loth, Oregon County

Junior Clerical Award
1st place – Melinda Farrar, St. Louis County
2nd place – Cindy Otte, Ste. Genevieve County
3rd place – Kelsey Jincks, Mercer County

Rookie of the Year Award
1st place – Crystal Lutgen, Jackson County
2nd place – Jan Brown, St. Charles County
3rd place – Kathy Hoffman, Andrew County

Technology Award
1st place – Vanessa Miller, Adair County
2nd place – Nancy Chambers, Greene County
3rd place – Melinda Farrar, St. Louis County

More information is available at:


Baker receives Farm Bureau Outstanding Service to Ag Award


Missouri Farm Bureau President Charles Kruse, left, presents David Baker with MFB’s Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award.

David Baker, assistant dean and program director for agricultural and natural resources extension, was among three individuals honored by Missouri Farm Bureau with the Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award during its 96th annual meeting.  “The award is the highest honor bestowed to an individual by the state’s largest farm organization,” said MFB President Charles Kruse. These individuals have a close working relationship with Farm Bureau and have supported agriculture throughout their careers.

David Baker grew up near Kankakee, Ill., where he was a member of 4-H and FFA. He received bachelor’ and master’s degrees from Illinois State University before working as a county agent with the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service. In 1975, he moved to Missouri to become our state’s extension safety and occupational health specialist. Known as “Safety Dave” to students at the University of Missouri, he developed curricula and educational materials on a broad range of agricultural safety and health topics, including machinery, protective equipment, hearing loss prevention, grain storage and chemicals. Baker’s work with Farm Bureau focused on fiscal allocations, legislation, promulgating rules and regulatory compliance. Farm Family Day and the Century Farm program are two more of his collaborative efforts with Farm Bureau.

Baker is newly married to Robin Walker and the couple lives in Columbia. He has two daughters and two granddaughters.


Kenneth Suter recognized at the 2010 Livestock Symposium

“Extension does improve people’s lives,” says Bruce Lane, livestock specialist and CPD.  Kenneth Suter received the Agriculture Educators Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Livestock Symposium in Kirksville, Mo. Suter is one of three people from northeast Missouri honored at this year’s Missouri Livestock Symposium.

Suter is known statewide for being an innovator, early adopter and advocate of  management-intensive grazing.  The Suter Farm was selected to be a host farm for a University of Missouri co-sponsored statewide beef cattle tour where Kenneth shared his experience with managed grazing. In addition to hosting pasture walks, instructing at grazing schools, conducting on farm research and hosting beef cattle tours, Kenneth has further contributed by assisting University of Missouri Extension with beef cattle budgets available to north Missouri cattle producers over the Web or in print.


Ball cited in Wall Street Journal

“In the past, PE teachers always emphasized aerobic programs that left bigger kids feeling like failures, but the weight room is where those kids will develop a love of physical activity. The risks of weight lifting are blown out of proportion.”

-Stephen Ball, associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology in the College of Human Environmental Sciences and MU Extension state specialist, discussed child fitness with the Wall Street Journal.


Show-Me-Select Heifer sales set records

Records were broken by Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer sales this fall. The final sale at Palmyra averaged $1,665 on 174 head. The top pens averaged $2,100. These were new records in the 14 years of sale, said David Patterson, MU Extension beef reproduction specialist, founder of the program.

The average price of $1,423 all fall sales set a new record for a season.

The 57 consignors sold 908 heifers totaling $1,283,340. Christmas will be merrier at farms that added value. Most of the value remains on the home farms of enrolled producers.

Making the local sales work were the regional livestock specialists working with farmer committees. The specialists and their sales were Eldon Cole and Dona Goede, Joplin regional sale; David Hoffman, Kingsville; Roger Eakins, Kendra Graham and Ben Davis, Fruitland; Jim Humphreys and Chris Zumbrunnen, Green City; and Al Kennett, Zac Erwin and Wayne Shannon, Palmyra.

Judy Burton maintains the database for the sales.

Initially, the Show-Me-Select program emphasized adding calving-ease to the heifer genetics. Now much more is taught in the yearlong reproductive management program.


Upcoming events

Legislative Day is Feb. 24

Mark your calendar for University of Missouri Alumni Alliance Legislative Day, Feb. 24, 2011.

All county, regional and state extension council members, program clients and volunteers are encouraged to participate.  Legislative Day is an opportunity to thank legislators for their support of University of Missouri and MU Extension and to share examples of how MU Extension has improved your life and added jobs and public value to your community and the state.

Watch the UMEA website for more information coming soon:


Coming and going

Please welcome

Etoya White, temporary administrative, EC Region-Youth

Paula Barr Skillcorn, temporary 4-H youth development program associate, SE Region-Youth

Olivia Gill, administrative assistant, Small Business Development Centers

Amy Jo Bowman, nutrition program assistant, WC Family Nutrition Program

Gina Conde, nutrition program assistant, WC Family Nutrition Program



Our sympathy goes to:

The family of Tom Brown, retired county agent (agronomy specialist), who passed away Dec. 1 in Dexter. Condolences may be sent to to the attention of his stepson, Jessie Ayres, Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home, 125 W. Stoddard, Dexter, MO 63841

Lesli Bruce, administrative assistant at the Tri-Lakes TCRC whose father, Carl Roberts, passed away Dec 5. Condolences may be sent to Lesli Bruce, 2026 Bird Rd., Apt. 102 Branson, MO 65616.


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.