News for employees

MU Extension Insider
May 15, 2012


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

2012 MU Extension budget update


Watch a video update on the MU Extension budget. The video is also available on the share drive in FLV, WMV and m4v formats:  S: /UMSystem/Coop Media/video/.

Some highlights:

“As you may recall, the current recommendation for state funding of higher education for FY13 from the governor is a 7.8 percent reduction from the FY12 level,” says Michael Ouart, vice provost and director, University of Missouri Extension.  “Within the senate and the house there is interest in keeping the budget for higher education equal to FY12 levels. As you can likely imagine, no one relishes cutting higher education, but in the end the final budget will likely be somewhere between flat and a 7.8 percent reduction, and how the state revenues perform in the coming months will have some bearing on the final outcome.”

“Given this uncertainty of where the budget will land, we have moved forward with a conservative approach with an FY13 budget based on a 7.8 percent cut in state funding,” reports Rhonda Gibler, associate vice provost - management.  “We expect other sources to remain pretty steady compared to last year.”

To balance the budget for FY13 with this assumed cut, MU Extension is taking the following steps:

“We do not take making these cuts lightly and chose purposely to make deeper cuts in some areas to keep the impact on faculty and program personnel as small as possible,” Ouart said. “Again, as was the case last year, we had to make some difficult choices to balance the budget and we are hopeful that we can begin moving forward to a model of increasing funding rather than unending cycles of cuts.

“With that in mind, I am asking each of you to be ever more diligent in your pursuit of mission-appropriate revenue sources.  We are in our third year of gathering data about fees and are finding that not all faculty who are collecting fees for programs are completing worksheets. We need you to take this endeavor seriously.  As you plan for next year I am hopeful that you are giving serious consideration as to how you will generate revenues to further programs.

“In order to better support revenue-generation concepts, we are thinking about changes to the way we distribute funding to the regional and program directors to spur greater ownership of revenue growth.  We expect that changes to our funding models will result in changes in our staffing models.  We expect to have a clearer picture of how this will come together in the fall and we will provide additional information at that time.”

Ouart added that funding models will reinforce the following principles:


Fee generation workshop

“There have been a few updates in the Fee Generation Worksheet-Online Tool,” reports Rhonda Gibler, associate vice provost - management. “The changes will be explained in each of the upcoming Adobe Connect ISEs.”

  Additional functionality and updates include:

Register for the fee generation workshop through the WebApps ISE system for the following workshop dates:

Date Time
5/16/2012 2-3 p.m.
6/11/2012 10-11 a.m.
7/12/2012 2-3 p.m.
8/16/2012 10-11 a.m.
9/18/2012 2-3 p.m.
10/22/2012 10-11 a.m.


Float Your Boat for the Food Bank

Boats made of cardboard and duct tape raced in the inaugural Float Your Boat for the Food Bank boat race April 21 at the A. Perry Philips Lake Park, Columbia. The event, which attracted 20 boats built by mid-Missouri businesses, student groups and radio stations, was a joint fundraiser by the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. Kent Faddis reports.

See also: News release by Randy Mertens.


Specialists conduct workshop in Tulsa


MU Extension horticulture specialists Donna Aufdenberg, Kate Kammler and Sarah Denkler taught a grafting workshop in Tulsa, Okla., for area master gardeners. More than 150 people attended the April 4 training. Each specialist took a group of 35 to 40 master gardeners through a hands-on training, during which many completed up to four grafts to take home to plant.  Although tomatoes were grafted during the session, many participants were eager to try what they had learned on cucurbits. All were eager to see the results and try growing out their favorite varieties.


 Cooperative Media Group wins 2 Telly Awards

Congratulations to Rob Mize, film and video producer, and Michael Hicks, film and television producer, for winning Telly Awards for “From the Farm to You” and “Stay Strong Stay Healthy –St. Louis.”

The Telly Awards are the premier awards honoring outstanding local and regional TV; cable commercials and programs; video and film productions; and web commercials, videos and films. Professional juries evaluate entries overall creative work — entries do not compete against each other but against a high standard of merit. Judges may award top honors to more than one entry or no entries at all. “What this means to me is our videos can hold their own with the big dogs that have a lot more to spend,” said Hicks.

“Stay Strong Stay Healthy” was directed, shot and edited by Hicks. The video featured Damaris Karanja, MU Extension nutrition and health education specialist. Roxanne Miller, retired regional civic communications specialist, helped identify the story and worked with the location to obtain permissions. Mize assisted in production.


Intended for kindergarten and early elementary school students, “From the Farm to You” combined animation and real-world scenes as Tomás the Tomato took viewers on a food odyssey from farm fields to grocery stores, farmers markets and school kitchens, and finally to cafeterias and dining rooms. The video was developed by Ann Cohen and Annette Triplett of MU Extension's Food From the Farm program. Bringing Triplett's script to life were director/videographer Hicks with editing and graphic animation by Mize, and research and production assistance by Curt Wohleber. Rob's son, Will Mize, was the voice of Tomás the Tomato.


C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award

Carl Calkins, director of the Institute for Human Development at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has been chosen to receive the 2012 C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award. As Leo Morton, UMKC chancellor, indicated in his nomination letter, “Carl has championed and promoted the implementation of the land grant mission through Extension within UMKC and the Kansas City community. Additionally, he has provided effective leadership with advancing UMKC’s urban mission through collaborative efforts with MU Extension.” The award will be presented at the June 26 President’s award dinner.


St. Louis County Extension honors community partners

On April 19, the St. Louis County MU Extension Center recognized eight community partners at the center's first annual recognition event, which honored those who had made a significant contribution to the development and implementation of programming or had otherwise provided significant support for the St. Louis County Extension Center.  Kay Gasen, the director of the Community Partnership Project, a joint initiative of MU Extension and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, was the keynote speaker.  The following individuals received a plaque in recognition of their contributions: 

Anna Gall, employee wellness coordinator for St. Louis County;Anne Lapides, owner of Sugar Creek Gardens; Gayle McHenry, executive director of Shepherd's Center of Webster/Kirkwood, Inc.; Vince McKinney of Youth in Need; Thomas Meuser, director of the gerontology graduate program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; state Rep. Rory Ellinger; and Jamie Opsal, community health coordinator for the St. Louis County Health Department. Congratulations to all the recipients!


NCALC in Chicago


MU Extension's delegation to the North Central Administrative Leadership Conference in Oak Brook, Ill.: Front from left: Soneeta Grogan, Janet Kline; second row: Karma Metzgar, Melinda Adams, Mark Stewart, Rick Sparks; back row: Bud Reber, Wayne Prewitt, Jay Chism, Beverly Coberly, Mark Stillwell.


Conference looks at impact of health care reform in Missouri

A June 22 conference in Columbia will examine the far-reaching implications of the Affordable Care Act on Missouri citizens and institutions. “Over the next several years, this legislation will have a dramatic impact on health care providers, state and local policymakers, business leaders, union representatives, the insurance industry, underserved and uninsured populations and their advocates, and the general public,” said Paul Rainsberger, director of the University of Missouri Extension Labor Education Program.

Conference presenters will look at the policy changes from different perspectives and offer information to help people understand the implications of the Affordable Care Act in Missouri. The conference, which will also be telecast to eight sites across the state, is a project of the Missouri Health Care Reform Network, a network of teaching, research and extension faculty at the University of Missouri collaborating to provide relevant, reliable information about the impact of changes in health policy on Missouri citizens.

Advance registration is required. The $50 fee includes conference materials, parking permit, breaks and lunch.

For information on registration, go to or call 573-882-4370.

The Missouri Health Care Reform Network is part of Mizzou Advantage, a set of initiatives designed to make use of the University of Missouri’s competitive strengths to tackle important problems and opportunities through research, education and collaboration.


Upcoming events

Book of letters request for David Hill's retirement

On May 31 a retirement reception will be held for David Hill to celebrate his 20-plus years as a community development specialist. "At this celebration we would like to present David with a book of letters (citing contributions he has made, a favorite memory, etc.) from those he’s worked with," says Alix Carpenter, agronomy specialist in Marion County. "I am requesting your assistance in both contributing to this book of letters, and making others aware of the opportunity to contribute to the book. We need to receive unfolded letters by May 28. Please be mindful that letters need at least a 1 1/2-margin on the left side of the letter to allow for binding."

Send letters to:

Alix Carpenter
Agronomy Specialist
University of Missouri Extension – Marion County
100 South Main Street, Room 201
Palmyra, MO 63461


ISE 139 Introduction to Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice ISE will introduce extension faculty to the theory, principles and practices that form the basis for restorative justice. Participates will learn how restorative justice practices can be used for internally and externally for conflict resolution, planning and communication skill building. The ISE is 10 a.m. June7 via Adobe Connect.


Climate change adaptation conference, June 6-8

Climate change is having an impact on animal and bird migrations, growing seasons, disease, energy consumption, water availability, flooding events, etc. Since climate will continue to change at an accelerating rate, we as a society must become more resilient and define more effective strategies for adaptation regionally, nationally and globally.

The University of Missouri has unique strengths to tackle these issues. How can we apply what we know to assist our region and the world in reducing the costs and even taking advantage of our changing climate?

Adapting to Climate Change: Gaining the Advantage will be held June 6-8, starting in the Bond Life Sciences Center for keynote speeches, including a presentation by Paul Siegel , consultant to the World Bank, James Buizer, University of Arizona, Michael Zgurovsky, National Technical University of Ukraine, and Adam Parris, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (streamed live from Washington, D.C.) This will be followed by open discussions with academics, students, governmental agency representatives and any other interested parties who want to collaborate to provide science-based information and tools to help residents, businesses and governments make better choices when adapting to climate change.

 “This conference is now approved as an ISE for extension faculty,”says Don Day, MU Extension Associate – Energy. “The registration fee is a modest $25 per registrant. This fee will be paid as a part of the ISE, but it would be helpful if you would both enroll in the ISE and enroll in the conference.”

The conference website, including a link to the registration page, can be found at


Council to Campus, June 22-23

For the past seven years, Council to Campus has connected county council members to the research and program development on the flagship campus of the University of Missouri.  This event, June 22-23 in Columbia, is an opportunity for the University of Missouri, University of Missouri Extension and the University of Missouri County Extension Councils to partner and forge new relationships.  

The keynote speaker at the Friday night dinner will be UM System President Tim Wolfe.  He will be sharing his view of MU Extension along with the role of the University of Missouri’s impact in our state. There will be time set aside for you to meet other council members from across the state and to have regional pictures taken.  A news release will be available so that you can share the event with your local or other media. 

"Please encourage folks from your county to attend this year," says Rick Sparks, SC regional director. "We are allowed to have 12 people from each region plus the regional council chair, regional state council representative and regional state representative alternate. Therefore, we could have a total of 15 from each region."

For registration and other information, go to


Other dates to remember

June 5-10: Summer Fire School and Midwest Wildfire Training Academy, Jefferson City.

June 12-15: Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) - Latinos in the Heartland conference, Columbia.

Sept. 15: MU Extension Day with the Tigers.

Oct. 29-31: 2012 Extension Annual Conference.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Mary Beth Alpers is the new office manager/bookkeeper for Buchanan County.



Our sympathy goes out to:

Wilma Wilcoxson and family for the loss of her husband, Roger E. Wilcoxson, 4-H youth specialist, who passed away Tuesday, April 24.

Teri Tillman, nutrition program associate, Jackson County, and her family for the loss of her mother, Teola Tillman of Kansas City, Kan., on May 6.

Sherri Helm, executive staff assistant II, Economic Development, and family for the loss of her brother Charles, who passed away on May 8.


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.