News for employees

MU Extension Insider
July 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

Stepping up to the challenge

Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller speaks at fundraiser for MU Extension programs in Greene County

This video overview of MU Extension programs in Greene County was screened at a July 10 fundraising dinner in Springfield.

Nearly 300 people attended the inaugural "Stepping up to the Challenge" fundraising dinner, July 10 at the Ramada Oasis Convention Center in Springfield to support University of Missouri Extension in Greene County.

The guest speaker was Shannon Miller, the most decorated gymnast in American history. Miller earned seven Olympic medals (two gold) and nine World Championship medals (five gold) and was a member of the 1996 women's gymnastics team, which won a team gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Miller, who was born in Rolla and grew up in Oklahoma, talked about how her community helped her overcome obstacles and reach her goals.

"I'm here to help raise funds for University of Missouri Extension to keep the local programs they have going," Miller said. "So I'm hoping that people will learn about all of the different things they have here and help pitch in to keep those programs going."

The fundraising event came about because of a 72 percent cut in the budget allocation toward the operation of the local MU Extension office by the Greene County Commission.

"We are still working through our expenses and getting gifts and pledges by mail, but it looks like a very successful first-time event," said Tim Siebert, urban program specialist and county program director. "An event of this magnitude does not happen without a team effort from staff, council members and volunteers."


Black spot fungal disease

Black spot is a fungal disease that can destroy a rose bush. When it's hot and humid, black spot is easy to catch, spreads quickly and is very difficult to get rid of. Hear more from MU Extension horticulture specialist Mary Kroening at


Missouri 4-H shooters top national competition


"Missouri 4-H members packed their bags, bows and firearms and traveled to the 4-H Shooting Sports National Invitational and returned with the Tom Davison trophy in recognition of compiling the top results by a state program," said Gerry Snapp, 4-H youth development specialist. The traveling trophy had been awarded only to Texas 4-H since its inception eight years ago. The national competition took place in Kerrville, Texas, June 28-July 2. Thirty states were represented by 515 youth at the competition.


Oregon County 4-H teen leaders take on community program

4-H youth in Oregon and Ripley counties recently participated in a two-day seminar on youth-adult partnerships and community engagement, said Steve Henness, 4-H youth development associate. A grant from the national 4-H council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded the event. The participants were joined by two 4-H state staff members, one 4-H state council member and two junior state council members. Johanna Reed Adams, community leadership extension specialist, also helped lead the seminar.

The event was featured in the South Missourian News at


Extension wildlife video wins award

Congratulations to Rob Mize, TV/film producer and Bob Pierce, extension fisheries and wildlife specialist, for receiving the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals Silver award for Video/DVD/CD for the video "Conducting Bobwhite Quail Habitat Appraisal on Your Farm."

Dan Downing, water quality specialist, accepted the certificates for them while attending the ANREP annual meeting, June 27-30 in Fairbanks, Alaska. Dan also gave a presentation titled "Building Community Capacity into the Ozark National Scenic Riverways."


Update on the Hambelton tornado relief fund

Because of your generous contributions, Vance and Renee Hambelton received a check for $1,070 to help defray their losses associated with an April 30 tornado, said Rick Sparks, SC regional director.

The tornado destroyed the Hambelton home, barns, vehicles and surrounding property. Vance, a retired agronomy specialist, and Renee, nutrition program associate in Ozark County, escaped harm by taking shelter in the basement of the house.

Renee says they are coping well and plan to rebuild the house. Amazingly, they recovered some of their most precious possessions, including her mother's family Bible.

"Thanks to all who contributed so generously to our MU Extension family members during this time of difficulty," Sparks said.


Upcoming events

UMEA seeks nominations for awards

Recognize your colleagues' hard work in past years by nominating them for a UMEA award. UMEA is seeking nominations in three categories: Meritorious Service, Outstanding Programming and Rookie of the Year. The Meritorious Service award goes to outstanding extension professionals who have been with extension for the past five years. The Outstanding Programming award recognizes innovative program efforts by UMEA members. The Rookie of the Year award recognizes outstanding achievement by a new extension faculty member.

The award recipients will be honored at the 2010 Galaxy Conference in October. Nomination forms are available on the UMEA website at Submit nominations and supporting documentation in electronic form by Sept. 3. Winners will receive a plaque and a monetary award for use in programming and professional development.


Energy program mini-grants

Would you like to help move the MU Extension energy program to the next level?

"We are offering mini-grants to support extension energy programs, demonstrations, development of educational resources/materials, etc.," said Don Day, extension associate-energy. "We want to see as innovative a proposal as you can develop."

This opportunity is available to any faculty or team with an extension appointment that will be doing energy programming. Proposals across program areas are encouraged. Proposals must include:

Projects are limited to $1,500 and must be completed by July 1, 2011. Program materials developed will be available to be shared with other extension faculty. A project report along with measurable outcomes/accomplishments will be due by Aug. 1, 2011.

Submit program proposals by Sept. 1 to Don Day, 2-28 Agriculture Bldg., Columbia, Mo. 65211 or to


Volunteers needed for the MU Extension booth at the 2010 Missouri State Fair

What: Volunteers are needed to represent University of Missouri Extension.

Where: The MU Extension booth located at Mizzou Central (the MO-Ag Theatre) at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

Why: To speak and interact with fairgoers about how MU Extension is working to improve the daily lives of individuals, families and communities.

Who: YOU! Any MU Extension employee, regional or campus, from all program areas.

When: Aug. 12-22

Available Shifts:  8:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. or 12:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

The goal is to have two volunteers per shift. Two-person teams from the same area are strongly encouraged. Master Gardener members also have been invited to join the booth this year.

Volunteers will be reimbursed for their mileage and admission to the fair. Per normal University of Missouri policy, while traveling on a day trip a person must be in continuous travel status for at least 12 hours to be reimbursed for meals. As an incentive to our volunteers, we will provide one $10 meal voucher redeemable at several fair vendors. This voucher is only good at the fair and meals from other eateries will not be reimbursed if you do not meet the policy requirements. Taking advantage of the fair entertainment, while fun, unfortunately does not constitute working hours or continuous travel. Sorry about that.

To volunteer, please contact Vicki Bach, HES Extension, at 573-882-5117 or


Coming and going

Leaving us

Gary Applegate, livestock specialist and Maries County program director, will start a new job in Wyoming on Aug. 2. A going-away reception will take place July 23, 1-4 p.m., at the Maries County extension office in Vienna.

Glenda Smith, nutrition program assistant in Wayne County, is retiring effective July 20.

Gary Naylor, SW regional livestock specialist, Southwest Region-ANR, retired effective July 1.



Chris Zumbrunnen is transferring to Linn County, where he will be headquartered as livestock specialist and county program director. He also will be the interim CPD at Sullivan County until the vacant agronomy specialist position is filled.

Cathi Veach, extension human resource and payroll associate, began a new position with campus HR on July 12.


Please welcome

Jenah St. John Black, administrative assistant for the Community Development Program.

Jason W. Weirich, extension assistant professor, plant sciences.


In our thoughts and prayers

Rick Mammen, SW regional director, is re-prioritizing his plans for the next few weeks/months to focus his attention on his health, said Beverly Coberly, director of off-campus operations. Rick will continue to serve as the regional director while Jay Chism will oversee day-to-day operations as acting regional director.

"Thanks so much for those who keep me in their thoughts and prayers," Mammen said. You can follow Rick's health updates on Caring Bridge at


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.