News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Oct. 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

Federal shutdown affects extension programming

As you probably know already, due to the federal government shutdown the Missouri Department of Social Services advised MU Extension in early October to suspend certain federally funded nutrition education programs until further notice.

This suspension has affected more than 100 extension faculty and staff, as well as the people they serve. To minimize long-term disruption to these programs and, it is hoped, avoid layoffs, MU Extension is funding these positions through Oct. 21. For more information about the suspension, read the letter to staff from Michael Ouart, MU vice provost and director of extension.


MELD VI participants chosen

Missouri Extension Leadership Develoopment banner

Through the Missouri Extension Leadership Development class (MELD VI), MU Extension is providing a leadership development opportunity to 20 extension faculty during a yearlong period.

“The MELD VI training team, with guidance from administration, has selected and is thrilled to announce the next class of MELD participants. This team of MELDers displays a wide range of experience, location within the organization and diversity,” says Bud Reber, MU Extension transition leader and member of the MELD VI training team.

Members for the coming session are

The purposes of MELD VI are to

-Expand the cadre of emerging leaders in MU Extension who will be prepared to work with an organization and society that is in a constant environment of change and evolution.

-Increase the capacity of current and future MU Extension faculty to examine and improve their ability to serve the people of Missouri.

-Enable MU Extension faculty to embrace a shared vision of the future.

-Build the capacity of MU Extension to provide leadership to implement MU Extension’s 21st Century Strategic Direction.

-Expose MU Extension faculty to a range of experiential and research-based leadership philosophies, concepts and strategies that enhance the way they lead and teach others to lead.

-Enhance the capacity of MU Extension faculty to create programming that meets the changing needs of Missouri’s diverse population.

MU Extension recognizes that some of the best leaders, wherever they are in the organization, come from within our own ranks, Reber said.

More information about the new MELD VI team members will soon be posted on the MELD website at It will showcase biographical information about the new participants as well tentative information about their “Change Project.”


Fall Program Conference is almost here

Fall Conference logo

The MU Extension fall Program Conference is less than two weeks away! Have you registered yet? If not, go to to register and select the sessions you want to attend.


Register for NAEPSDP conference, Dec. 3-5 in Kansas City

National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals logo

Registration is open for the 2013 conference of the National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP), says Julie Middleton, coordinator of the MU Extension Institutional Team and NAEPSDP president.

NAEPSDP provides an organized forum for extension professionals engaged in program and staff development to

  1. Improve communication and collaboration.
  2. Share resources.
  3. Enhance multistate efforts.
  4. Sponsor and promote educational training programs and activities that advance program and staff development practices.
  5. Advance the professional status of program and staff development, professionals by encouraging continuous improvement.

The 2013 conference will be Dec. 3-5 at The Plaza in Kansas City.

The theme this year’s conference in the Show-Me State is “Show Me the Value.”  With the increasing emphasis on measuring and articulating the value of extension and its programming, this will be an important conference for you to attend, Middleton says.

Conference objectives are to

The keynote speaker will be Rich Pirog, senior associate director of the Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University. He will speak on “The Collective Impact Framework and Cooperative Extension.”

The capstone workshop will be conducted by Nancy Franz of Iowa State University Extension, who will speak on “Issues in Measuring and Articulating Extension's Public Value.”  

Concurrent sessions, posters and fast-paced “ignite” sessions will be presented in four tracks: Extending Extension's Reach, Measuring Impact for a New Era, Organizational Learning, and Social and Collaborative Learning/Models of Engagement.

Conference registration prior to Nov. 4 is $295 for members and $395 for nonmembers. After Nov. 4, the registration fee will increase to $345 for members and $445 for nonmembers.  

The conference site is the Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza, One East 45th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111. The room rate is $99 plus tax and parking is complimentary.

For reservations, call 1-800-465-4329 or 816-753-7400. The block name is “National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals.”

You can also make reservations online.

“We are looking forward to enjoying the beautiful Plaza area in Kansas City, where we are within walking distance of hundreds of shops, boutiques, restaurants and music venues,” Middleton says. “A highlight of our conference will be a networking experience where we will board buses to the famous American Jazz Museum and the Negro Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, which are located side-by-side.  We will enjoy some of Kansas City’s best barbecue and relax to some Kansas City jazz.”

To learn more and register, go to


Evans takes new position at MU

Eric Evans, emergency management specialist

Eric Evans, emergency management specialist at MU Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute, has accepted the newly created position of emergency management coordinator for the University of Missouri.

“I have truly enjoyed my work with MU Extension and especially the activities that allowed me to be a part of the Community Emergency Management Program and our amazing Missouri team,” Evans said.  “I have seen other states work and not a single one can come close to the relationships and collaborative synergy that we have all worked so hard to achieve.”

Evans began at FRTI in 2000 and was instrumental in establishing the emergency management component of MU Extension’s Community Development Program. His position with extension ends Oct. 25.

“In my tenure as director of MU FRTI, I found Eric to be a highly motivated individual who served equally the needs of the institute and the emergency responders of the state,” said David Hedrick. “His expertise in emergency management and community emergency management preparedness has been a great resource for extension, and Eric’s contributions to extension’s mission will be greatly missed.”


To stay productive, prioritize and learn to say ‘no’

Leave some white space on your calendar, said Vivian Mason, family financial education specialist of Callaway County during a recent webinar on “Making the most productive use of your time without getting eaten up by your calendar.”

The webinar was part of a short series of Adobe Connect seminars to discuss everyday challenges of extension staff at all levels (see article below).

Mason said it is important to learn to say “No” as you prioritize your workload.

“You need to learn how to balance work and your life,” she said.

She finds the Outlook calendar to be a helpful tool. When she receives an email about a scheduled meeting, she copies and pastes it into her calendar so that all pertinent information is easily available.

Make time for your own projects in your Outlook calendar, Mason said. “Treat yourself as a client,” she said, “because if you don’t, you’ll run out of time.” This might mean blocking out a certain number of hours every Friday to get caught up on the week’s unfinished tasks.

Don’t schedule a meeting without your calendar, she said. Before committing, tell the person, “I’ll get back to you on that” so you have time to check your calendar and think about the request before committing.

She also urged extension faculty and staff to take time for vacation. “We in extension tend to work, work, work…we all love what we do in extension, but you have to take time off for yourself,” she said.


Upcoming events

Webinar series looks at everyday work challenges

Extension transition team leader Don Nicholson is hosting a short series of informal Adobe Connect seminars to discuss everyday challenges of extension staff at all levels.  These may be especially useful for newer staff, but each will deal with issues most of us face now and then.

The seminar “Keeping yourself sharp as a professional, and keeping your bucket full” is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 21, 9-9:45 a.m.

This seminar will feature the experiences and perspectives of three well-known MU Extension staff:

Also scheduled is “Managing and strengthening relationships within your office, with commissioners, and with council members,” Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, 9 a.m.

Mark your calendar for either session and register through the ISE system at:


CPD Adobe Connect ISE Oct. 25

County program directors never know what they might be dealing with on any given day. Much of the daily interplay involves working closely with the local county extension council and serving as a liaison between the council and MU Extension.

One item on the minds of many local extension councils as well as CPD is the extension council business plan. 

Championed by the State Extension Council, the extension council business plan was first unveiled at the 2013 Legislative Day conference. Many extension councils are developing their own business plans that will help guide the extension council into the future.

To help CPDs, an Adobe Connect ISE will be held on Friday, Oct. 25, 10-11 a.m. Faculty are invited to sign up for ISE 296, “Extension Council Business Plan Development for CPD,” through the usual ISE system:

The purpose of this short Adobe Connect conference is to ascertain the status of the extension councils across the state with respect to their development of the extension council business plan. There will be discussions from the perspective of the State Extension Council, a CPD who has assisted a local extension council develop its business plan and the MU Extension county council coordinator.

CPD participants will better understand the resources available to them and their county extension council so that they might be in a better position to move forward with developing the extension council business plan.


'Pearls of Production: Women in Agriculture,' an MU workshop, to be held Nov. 8-9 at Columbia

The number of women owning farms tripled from 1978 to 2007. “More women are breeding cows and processing pigs, as well as owning the farm,” said Marcia Shannon, extension swine specialist.

A new program, “Pearls of Production: Women in Agriculture,” will be held Nov. 8-9 at MU.

“This is for women producing livestock,” Shannon said. “It’s an underserved audience.” Recent USDA numbers show that of 3.3 million farms in the U.S., women own 1 million.

“It’s a workshop for boots and jeans,” she said. “The second day we call ‘Hands-on, Down-and-Dirty Production.’” Women will palpate reproductive tracts of cows, do necropsy on pigs or trim hooves on goats.

The working topics are beef, swine, sheep and goats, and forage and pasture management.

The registration fee is $100.

Program details are available at, or from Shannon at 573-882-7859 or


Moodle training on Adobe Connect

Recordings of Moodle training courses held via Adobe are available on the ETCS website at MoodleDevelopment/MoodleDevIndex.htm.  There are also other documents available on the S: drive can provide helpful information.  These documents can be found at S:\MUCampus\ETCS\Moodle.

New sessions are scheduled for Nov. 13 and Nov. 20, both from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Please contact   Rhonda Clayton at if you have online course content ready to work with and would like to be a part of one of these sessions.


Learning opportunities from eXtension offers a large and varied lineup of Adobe Connect webinars. By participating, you can extend your knowledge and keep more up-to-date on conversations in your areas of expertise and interest.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the events listed at You may sign in with your eXtension ID to get notifications and plan to attend. Recordings of past events also are available.

Upcoming topics include:
Oct. 17     Assist Rural MI/WI Farmers in Making Decisions about On-Farm Scale Anaerobic Digesters
Oct. 17     NRCS EQIP Organic Initiative and Organic Dairy Farms
Oct. 17     Parasite control in small poultry flocks
Oct. 18     Friday Online--Platforms for Delivery Online
Oct. 18     Farm Families and the Affordable Care Act
Oct. 21     Out in the sun: How to plan and put on an engaging, informative and successful field day
Oct. 22     Question Wranglers' Meetup - Oct. 2013
Oct. 22     Integrating Livestock into Dryland Organic Crop Rotations
Oct. 23     Manage Your Future Now - My Money and Me (Part 4 of 4)
Oct. 24     Part One of Field Phenomics: Developing and Using a Sensor Array
Oct. 24     Introduction & Development of the Community-flow Measurement Instrument
Oct. 25     Building Capacity for Productive and Meaningful Advisory Experiences
Oct. 30     Moodle Meet-Up
Oct. 31     Part Two of Field Phenomics: Data Analysis

Nov. 4   How am I doing: Improving your extension program by evaluating it with feedback and follow-up
Nov. 6   Don't Bug Me: Keep Ants off the Thanksgiving Table
Nov. 7   Discovering Hidden Feed Costs for the Milking Herd
Nov. 7   Master Equine Manager Certificate


Free flu shots

Free flu shots are once again available to UM faculty, staff, dependents and retirees enrolled in both the myChoice Health Plan and myOptions Health Plans. Flu shots are sponsored by UM myTotal Rewards, Healthy for Life and UM Faculty and Staff Benefits. Visit to learn more and view the schedule of events.


Fee-generation workshops

Workshops have been scheduled to explain additional functions and updates to the Fee Generation Worksheet-Online Tool. Register through ISE up to one week before the workshop. Sessions that do not have at least four registrants will be canceled and registrants will be asked to choose an alternate date.

2013 workshops

Oct. 17

2-3 p.m.

Nov. 20

10-11 a.m.

Dec. 19

2-3 p.m.

2014 workshops

Jan. 15

10-11 a.m.

Feb. 20

2-3 p.m.

March 19

10-11 a.m.

April 17

2-3 p.m.

May 21

10-11 a.m.

June 19

2-3 p.m.

July 16

10-11 a.m.

Aug. 21

2-3 p.m.


Other dates to remember

Oct. 28-30: Extension Fall Program Conference, Columbia.

Nov. 1: Deadline for NCR-SARE Youth Educator Grant proposals.

Nov. 15: Proposals due for 2014 eXtension national conference.

Nov. 21:  Webinar on “Keeping yourself sharp as a professional, and keeping your bucket full,” 9 a.m. at

Feb. 18, 2014: University of Missouri Alumni Alliance Legislative Day, State Capitol, Jefferson City.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Traci Baldwin, procurement technology business development specialist, Cass County.

Michael Davis, assistant extension professional and livestock specialist, Cedar County.

Mark Jenner, associate extension professional and agriculture business specialist, Bates County.

Courtney Roberts, youth program assistant, Butler County.

John Martellaro, 4-H youth development educator, Marion County.

Sean Robinette, program analyst-entry, OSEDA.

Clarissa Hatley, clerical, Green County.

Sherry Howard, administrative assistant, Transition Team.

Dana Pournelle, 4-H specialist, Morgan County.



To Deb Stratmann, Mercer County office manager, on the death of her husband, Daniel, on Aug. 13.

To Robert Kelly, Buchanan County agriculture business specialist, on the death of his mother-in-law, Flora Pyles, on Sept. 23.


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.