News for employees

MU Extension Insider
December 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

Holiday Greetings


Learn how Mizzou athletes and MU Extension helped in the aftermath of the Joplin tornado as MU athletic director Mike Alden and Tigers football coach Gary Pinkel join Michael Ouart for an MU Extension holiday greeting.

Produced by Rob Mize.


One Mizzou – 2020 Vision for Excellence

In the midst of economic crises, many institutions choose to retrench. "At Mizzou, we choose instead to seize the moment to shape our destiny," says University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton.

This is accomplished through a strategic planning process and careful, long-range budget and enrollment planning that emphasizes investment and reallocation of resources in areas with the most potential for growth.

Our three overarching goals:

MU Extension is an integral part of the strategic plan, capitalizing on our strength as a statewide delivery system, our ability to deliver the latest research findings to citizens to address real-word applications, and our providing continuing education opportunities for professionals across the state.

The complete One Mizzou strategic plan is available online.

We are still seeking your feedback on our new MU Extension Strategic Plan. Allow about 30 minutes to read the strategic plan and complete a short questionnaire on how well it pulls together the themes under which our high-priority work will take place in the coming years. Please keep in mind that at this level the plan is not intended to voice all the specific high-priority activities but to create a framework for annual work plans.

MU Extension Strategic Plan Feedback Questionnaire


Drought down below

It may not look it, but many Missouri fields are hiding a deep, dry secret. University of Missouri soil scientist Randy Miles says dried-out subsoil at depths of 3 feet or more could trouble next year's crops in Missouri even if there is plenty of moisture in the topsoil.

Audio news story by Debbie Johnson:

Video news story by Kent Faddis:

News release by Roger Meissen:

Missouri drought more than skin deep.


EPA honors Old North St. Louis revitalization

The Old North St. Louis Revitalization Initiative received the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 award for Overall Excellence in Smart Growth.

Old North, a historic St. Louis neighborhood, has been transformed over the last several years through a comprehensive, locally driven redevelopment strategy that has turned a largely abandoned area into a flourishing community.

One of the highlights of the initiative is the Old North Grocery Co-op, which opened in 2010 and prides itself for bringing food grown “from 100 feet to 100 miles” of the neighborhood. Previously, only fast food and convenience stores were within easy walking distance of the neighborhood. Kara Lubischer, St. Louis County community development specialist, and  Kay Gasen, community partnership project director and MU Extension urban program leader, played key roles in developing the co-op.

More information is available on the EPA’s website and from St. Louis Public Radio.


Memorial for Rick Mammen under construction by 4-H youth

Barton County and the city of Lamar, in partnership with 4-H youth, are working on a memorial sidewalk in honor of Rick Mammen, former extension agronomist and SW regional director, who died last February.

To start the project, the youth team received a $100 Monsanto seed grant at the Youth Civic Leaders Summit in March. The team also received community service grant dollars from the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

“The youth  have raised $3,640 to date and are still taking donations,” said Elaine Davis, Barton County 4-H youth program assistant. “Both the construction and concrete company are local and donating labor and a percentage of supplies.”

Construction began in November and is expected to be completed by the end of December. A dedication for the memorial will be held this spring.


Mills-Gray article on national website

The Hidden Valley Ranch Corporation contacted Susan Mills-Gray for permission to use her article on safe crockpot use on its national website. The author of an article on converting oven recipes for crockpots built on and linked to Mills-Gray’s article, Crockpot Tips for Tasty Family Meals.


NEP seminars available online

Two nutrition and exercise physiology seminars are available through streaming video:

A list of NEP seminars is available online at


Download extension video to your smartphone

MU Extension Cooperative Media Group describes how to download extension video news stories for viewing on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and other mobile devices.


Pesky personal pronouns create problems

Writing tips from Duane Dailey:

Mark and me write stories for the Insider. Oops! Edit that to Mark and I….

Listen to people talk. You’ll hear the first version too often. Pronouns are handy for personalizing your writing. And they prevent repeating the noun they represent.

To clean up that sentence, read it without the first subject. That clarifies when to use “I.”

Here’s the scoop. The pronoun “I” is a subject. But “me” is an object. “I” goes up front and “me” goes after the verb. Here’s the order: Subject, predicate, object. Or, as parts of speech: Noun or pronoun, then a verb, finally another noun or pronoun. Examples:

I help you with writing tips.

You help me with story ideas.

Pronouns present a tangle of ways to sound confused. Patricia O’Connor wrote the book on it: “Woe is I.”

I’m not a grammarian, but I play one for the Insider. Let’s worry more about getting ideas on paper. Writing suffers more from poor thinking than bad grammar.

Write it first. Let it cool. Then edit to fix grammar and thinking.


Upcoming events

Legislative Day is April 3

Mark your calendar for University of Missouri Alumni Alliance Legislative Day, April 3, 2012.

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.

For more information and online registration, see the University of Missouri Extension Association website.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Deb Stratmann, new office manager for the Mercer County MU Extension Center.

Ray Walden, business development specialist, Phelps County.

Sandra Cabot, interim director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Wendy Thomas, 4-H youth development program associate, EC Region.

Joseph McCune, assistant editor, HES.

Kelly Thomas, 4-H youth development program assistant, SC Region.

Stephanie Milner, 4-H specialist, SE Region.

Brent Carpenter, agriculture business specialist, Pettis County.



Eleanor Kloeppel, 4-H specialist, Audrain County.

Melodie Avery, office support staff II, SE Region.

Myrna Noble, nutrition program assistant, SE Region.



Stacy Robb, Saline County nutrition program assistant, accepted CM FNEP program manager responsibilities effective Dec. 1.


New arrivals

Taney County business development specialist Chrystal Irons and husband Cody are proud parents of a new baby boy. Cameron Irons was born Nov. 17 at 12:18 p.m. He was 7 pounds, 8 ounces.   He is welcomed home by big brother, Cayden.


Leaving us

LaWana Wright, office manager, Mercer County, resigned to pursue her education in Idaho.



Our sympathy goes to:

Pam Walker and family upon the loss of her husband, Ron Walker, 4-H youth development specialist, NW Region, who passed away on Dec. 7. Cards can be sent to PO Box 318, Stewartsville, MO 64490.

The family of Russell Ramsey, retired agribusiness specialist, SE Region, who passed away on Dec. 10 at his farm. Condolences can be sent to his wife, Wanda, at 6877 State Highway J, Puxico, MO 63960.


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.