News for employees

MU Extension Insider
March 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

Special software makes it easy to follow strategic plan progress

Ongoing progress—as exemplified by this week’s three-day gathering of administrators and faculty in St. Joseph—continues with MU Extension’s strategic plan on program integration, says Joy Millard, extension interim assistant vice provost.

Mark Stewart writing on board


Mark Stewart puts his penmanship to the test while mapping ideas in St. Joe.





To keep the organization moving forward, participants in the three-day workshop identified significant issues to address within each of MU Extension’s five thematic areas. In addition, they pinpointed the resources, programs and people from all University of Missouri campuses that extension can draw from to create solutions.

“Individuals assigned to specific thematic teams began working with strategy development systems that will guide their efforts,” says Millard. “They also established processes to keep teams on track.”

To more easily follow progress on the strategic plan, John Myers, extension IT director, has developed special software, available at, for extension faculty and staff to stay up to date, according to Millard.

“This specially designed program management tool (PMT) allows all extension faculty and staff to readily review updates on the strategic plan,” says Millard. “Access to these frequent updates offers concerned members of our organization the chance to review the latest progress. It also affords them the opportunity to ask questions and offer suggestions for improvement.”

Three of the main purposes of the PMT are to track progress within each of the strategic plan goals; provide organization-wide access to the latest strategic plan information; and allow the plan to be a “living document,” moving with the priorities of MU Extension and driving critical decisions for the organization.

“If you have a special interest or concern about the progress in any of the five thematic teams, please contact that team’s leader with your concerns and suggestions,” says Millard. “The ultimate usefulness of our strategic plan depends on your valued input.”



MU Extension study shows economic impact of Missouri's dairy industry

Missouri’s dairy product manufacturing and production industry revenues translated into annual statewide economic output worth $7.7 billion, contributing more than $2 billion to the state’s gross domestic product, and directly and indirectly supporting more than 23,000 jobs, according to a study by the MU Extension Commercial Agriculture (CA) program.

“Missouri’s history as a major milk-producing state endowed us with a diverse dairy product manufacturing sector that remains a major employer,” write CA program economists Joe Horner and Ryan Milhollin, who prepared the study for the Missouri Dairy Products Association, which released it this week.

Data for the study are from 2011, the latest year for which complete information is available. Read more of the news release from MU Extension’s CA Program.



MU FAPRI baseline report goes to Congress

If average weather returns, look for a record 2013 corn crop—and for corn prices to drop $2 per bushel, says a University of Missouri economist.

Pat Westhoff, director of the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, said corn prices are projected at $5 per bushel, down from $7 for the crop harvested last fall. Those were among thousands of numbers in the annual MU FAPRI baseline sent to the U.S. Congress last week. FAPRI analyzes the U.S. farm economy.

The FAPRI corn price depends on expected planting of 96.9 million acres, second highest since the 1930s and just under the 2012 record.

The analysis is included in “U.S. Baseline Briefing Book: Projections for Agricultural and Biofuel Markets.” The 50-page book was prepared by the team of MU FAPRI and Agricultural Markets and Policy in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Read the news release for a summary of the study. The book is on the MU FAPRI website. Additional livestock and dairy data are available.



Series of lawn and garden articles may interest your local media

“A series of print, audio and video articles produced by MU Extension’s Cooperative Media Group could go a long way to answering questions from your local media on spring gardening topics,” says Kent Faddis, CMG video news producer.

The ongoing series—Your Show-Me Garden: MU Extension brings you gardening tips from experts around the state—offers spring gardening and lawn care tips from MU Extension horticulture specialists. Among the many topics are soil quality, seed germination, factors for healthy lawns and helping plants overcome winter injuries.

“Field faculty may want to point their local news outlets to this timely series on gardening,” says Faddis. “This gives you a great opportunity to talk with your media contacts.”

To see all entries in the series, go to Additional articles will be added throughout the gardening season.



Tips on safe computing practices

from the MU Division of Information Technology

Never give out your university password

You have recently reset your University password during the Division of IT’s annual password change campaign. Your password should NEVER be shared. Your username and password are the most common means for verifying your identity online. No one else (including an IT professional) should ever need your login information. Emails requesting your username and/or password are phishing attempts to deceive you into providing your credentials.

Here are a few examples of what cyber attackers can accomplish once they have your account information: they can use your University credentials to retrieve confidential information; access, modify or delete documents stored on your computer or on any other central file server you have been granted permission to access; and send spam or threatening email on your behalf.

If you receive a phishing message DO NOT reply. Either delete this message or report it to When reporting phishing, please send the original email as an attachment by dragging and dropping it into a new message box.

DO NOT click on links within the message or open any attachments.

If you need further assistance, consult your IT support team or the IT Help Desk at 882-5000.

You should reset your password immediately if you have become a victim of a phishing scam. Visit for information about resetting your University password. You are required to report compromising incidents involving your University account. Please review the mandatory reporting requirement at

Visit for more great tips, security news and all the latest alerts.



Home access option now available for completing personal health assessment

from the MU Wellness Initiative

Time is running, out so don’t miss your $100 incentive to complete your personal health assessment. It’s easy to earn your money; we’ve added a Home Access option, a mail-order kit that allows you to have your health screening in the comfort of your home, at your convenience.

By completing a personal health assessment, health screening and 240 minutes of everyday activity, active primary subscribers to the UM health care plan will receive $100 in a tax-favored account to use for medical expenses in 2013 or roll over to the next year. UM Total Rewards has partnered with Cerner Health again this year to provide tools to help you work toward better health. Let’s get started:

 1. Create your Cerner Health account by visiting

If you participated last year, please use your existing Cerner Health account rather than creating a new one.

2. Complete your personal health assessment – this is an online questionnaire that helps you understand your health risks and provides you with resources to improve your well-being.

3. Complete your health screening.  We understand that many employees are not located on campus so we’ve made it easier for you by creating three ways you can complete your screening:

Attend a campus screening event - For those who are on or near a campus, you can attend a screening event that’s close to you. For an up-to-date listing of events and locations, visit Your health screening provides you a look at your cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, height and weight. If your screening is before noon, fasting for nine hours is recommended (six hours if pregnant), but not required and drinking 64 ounces of water the day before is suggested.

Visit your provider - For those of you who are near a campus, you can obtain your screening with your health care provider and complete our screening form at

Order a Home Access kit - If neither of those options works for you, you may request a Home Access kit by calling 866-352-4372 between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The Home Access kit allows you to collect a small blood sample from your finger and mail it to the Home Access Health Corporation certified laboratory for processing.  It takes two to three business days to receive your kit once it’s been ordered.  Kits must be sent back and postmarked by April 15, 2013, to receive credit. You will need to gather your blood pressure, height and weight on your own, as these are required for the incentive.  

4. Track 240 minutes of physical activity in any calendar month (between now and April 30, 2013) on your wellness dashboard through

For your convenience, our User Guide is a great visual tutorial. 

Win FitBit pedometers! 

Want to win a FitBit pedometer? It's easy. We are holding two weekly drawings, one for those who complete all three steps of the Wellness Incentive and another for those who turn in Tag cards. Complete your screening, hand this card to a friend. They complete their screening and turn in the card, you both are entered to win.



Upcoming events


MU Extension retiree meetings set for April, May

Dates and locations for a series of six MU Extension retiree meetings have been set with the help of local volunteers, according to Cynthia Crawford, director of donor education.

“The theme: Once a change agent, always a change agent: Celebrating MU Extension retirees, spouses and friends,” says Crawford. “Current faculty and staff are welcome to attend also. All meals are Dutch treat. And let me extend my special thanks to all the local volunteers who helped make these arrangements.”

Dates, times, locations and programs:

April 10, 11:30 a.m., Nevada Senior Center, Nevada, Mo. – Program: Jay Chism, “What’s new in extension? A great deal!” No preregistration.

April 19, 11:30 a.m., Best Western State Fair Inn, Sedalia, Mo. – Program: Abner Womack, “How did we get here? How bad is it?  How can we speed up the recovery?” Preregister with Owen Fox at by April 18.

April 26, 10:30 a.m., Cape Girardeau County Extension Center, Jackson, Mo. – Program: Cynthia Crawford, “Thrifty Estate Planning,” Cat Comley, extension update. No preregistration; group will move to a nearby restaurant for lunch following the program.

April 30, 11:30 a.m., Jack’s Gourmet Restaurant, Columbia, Mo. – Program: Julie Middleton and Michael Hicks present the documentary film Battle: Change From Within. Preregister with Janice Perkins at by April 26.

May 6, TBD, St. Charles County Extension Center, St. Peters, Mo. – Program: Scott Killpack, Master Gardeners; Bud Reber, “What’s new in extension? A great deal!” Preregister with the St. Charles County Extension Center at 636-970-3000 by April 29.

May 9, TBD, Gallatin Lion’s Club Building, Gallatin, Mo. – Program to be announced. Preregister with Bob Teegarten at by May 2.



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.


2-3 p.m.


10-11 a.m.


2-3 p.m.


10-11 a.m.


2-3 p.m.


Other dates to remember

March 25-29: Community Development Academy. Limited scholarships for registration fees are available. Contact Tracie Vangel at 573-882-8393 or for more information, or go to

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.



Coming and going


Debbie Herrold, nutrition program associate, NW Region, resigned effective March 2. Her plans are to take a more active role in her family’s farming operation.



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.