News for employees

MU Extension Insider
September 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

Letter from Dr. Ouart on regional administrative realignment

Dear Colleagues:

University of Missouri Extension is realigning its regional administrative structure to focus on high-priority local programs, adjust to uncertain public funding, generate additional revenue, and be programmatically nimble to meet increasing demands for educational programs and services.

On Monday, I met with the Regional Directors, Program Directors, Continuing Education Directors and others at our Administrative Leadership Retreat as well as with UMEA officers and the MU Extension State Council to announce a new funding/staffing model.

There are three basic parts of the new model:

  1. MU Extension will move to a total resource model for regional programs;
  2. Faculty and staff and county extension councils will continue to be encouraged to develop diverse revenue streams, including contracts, grants, fees and gifts as well as appropriated funds; and
  3. To become more administratively lean, the number of extension regions will be reduced from eight to seven.

Please see the attached news release and regional map with more details of the changes.

I am also pleased to announce that the MU Provost’s and Chancellor’s offices have approved releasing 20 positions to be filled immediately. These positions will fill strategic gaps in programmatic and administrative coverage.

Additional information will be forthcoming. These changes will be discussed at the Fall Conference, faculty meetings, and at county and regional extension council meetings. For more information, contact your regional director, other members of the administrative team or the State Extension Council.

MU Extension will maintain its long history of providing locally responsive programs that create healthy families, communities, agriculture, businesses and citizens to drive the overall economic well-being of the state.


Michael Ouart

Vice Provost and Director

Regional MO Map With All Regions_91112

Press Release - New Budgeting Staffing Model News Release (6) (5)


University of Missouri Extension's podcast joins Mizzou on iTunes U



Extension on the Go is on the move. Now you can listen and subscribe to MU Extension’s weekly podcast through Mizzou on iTunes U.

Extension specialists provide credible, research-based advice and information that encourage youth, strengthen families, advance agriculture, manage natural resources and empower consumers all from the MP3 player in your pocket.

Subscribe for free. It will require an iTunes account. Once an account is open, point your browser to, click on the Extension on the Go logo and then click subscribe.

MU Extension’s podcast continues to grow. It was launched in August 2011 and had 377 downloads/listens per day and 4524 per month. Today the audience is 828 per day and 25,668 per month.

Specialists and researchers who wish to share their knowledge and expertise through Extension on the Go should contact Debbie Johnson to discuss potential topics and schedule a recording session. Contact information: Phone: 573-882-9183. Email:


Cattle heat-stress app at hand to help producers

Don Spiers, MU animal science professor, heads a research team developing a smartphone app to help cattle producers determine more quickly when their livestock are heat stressed. This video news story is reported by Kent Faddis.


Also see related print article by Phil Leslie.


Sparks to retire, Probert named South Central Interim Regional Director

Rick Sparks, SC regional director, has announced that he will retire the end of December. Rick will be on the job as usual through September and at a few meetings in October, November and December. Rick’s last day at work will be the SC Region Dec. 18, faculty meeting.

 “Pam and I plan to spend more time with our grandson, Silas Sparks (and his parents). He lives in Cape Girardeau County,” Rick said. “That is where Pam and I raised our family and lived for 27 years prior to moving to Rolla, seven years ago.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with you during my career with MU Extension.”

 “Ted Probert, dairy specialist in Wright County, became interim regional director, effective Sept. 10, for the South Central Region,” said Beverly Coberly, associate vice provost for programs. “Ted will oversee the day-to-day operations of the region during this appointment.  Ted’s leadership efforts and his programmatic experiences in MU Extension were factors used to identify him for this role.”

Congratulations to Rick and Ted for their new assignments.


Journal of Extension news

Ellen Schuster, MU HES associate extension professor, contributed to the following articles that appeared in recent issues of the Journal of Extension.

June 2012 at
Extension Professionals' Strengths and Needs Related to Nutrition and Health Programs – Pena-Purcell, N., Bowen, E., Zoumenou, V., Schuster, E., Boggess, M., Manore, M. Gerrior, S.

Description: This article reports results of a Web-based nationwide survey of nutrition and health Extension specialists representing 42 states. It represents work I was part of as chair of the NIFA Nutrition and Health Committee for Planning and Guidance at

August at
Increasing your productivity with web-based surveys - Wissmann, M., Stone, B. and Schuster, E.

Abstract: Web-based survey tools such as Survey Monkey can be used in many ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Extension professionals. This article describes how Survey Monkey has been used at the state and county levels to collect community and internal staff information for the purposes of program planning, administration, evaluation and planning effective training.


Mizzou athletics director visits SE Region FNEP


Mike Alden, MU athletics director, while on a business trip in southeast Missouri stopped by the FNEP office in Dexter to visit with staff Sept. 12. From left to right: Alden; Della Underwood, FNEP officesSupport; Lisa Bland, FNEP office support; Sandy Williford, nutrition program assistant; Sandie Layton, FNEP office support; Jeanie Huey, nutrition program assistant; Brent Lewis, associate director of MU athletics ticket operations.

Not Pictured: Nico Yantko, assistant director, development (he was taking the photo.)


Upcoming events

Midwest 4-H Day with the Chiefs

Members of 4-H and their families and friends are invited to celebrate 4-H and football in the Heartland on Dec. 23, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, according to Shaun Murphy, 4-H youth specialist based in Chillicothe. Tickets for the game between the Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts are specially discounted to $25. Parking and food are not included.

“There will be information on the Missouri 4-H website promoting the event,” said Murphy. “The Chiefs have not guaranteed tickets, so I encourage you to submit orders early.”

Within your own county, you have two options for ordering tickets:

  1. Collect ticket sales in your county Extension office. This would increase the likelihood of your families sitting together. Deadline for submitting county office orders to Murphy is Nov. 9. If you prefer this option, please use the flyer below.
  2. Families can order directly from the Chiefs by Nov. 16, at or 816-920-4830. 

For more information contact Murphy at 660-646-0811 or

Chiefs County Deadline


Spark our Space

In the Aug. 15, issue of the Insider, Team Spirit self-directed work team announced the Extension S.O.S. (Spark Our Space) contest ( The office with the winning entry will receive special recognition at the opening luncheon of 2012 Fall Conference.

There is still time to make your office improvements and submit an entry.  The deadline is Sept. 24.

If you have any questions, contact Linda Zimmerman,


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:

Date Time
9/18/2012 2-3 p.m.
10/22/2012 10-11 a.m.


Other dates to remember

Sept. 20: Non-Tenure Track Dossier workshop – Question and Answer.  For questions regarding the NTT process, contact Marcia Shannon ( or Nicki Eatinger-Sprague (, or visit the NTT website for more information:

Oct. 29-31: 2012 Extension Annual Conference

Nov. 8: MU Extension Administrative Support Conference. More information will be available soon.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Jason Sharp, instructor, Law Enforcement Training Institute.

Morgan Beach, student assistant clerical, Ag Ext. Social Sciences.

Rebecca Knipp, student assistant technical, Ag Ext. Social Sciences.

Tyler Schwader, student assistant technical, Ag Ext. Social Sciences.

Jessie Fowler, student assistant professional, Youth & 4-H.

Emily Paul, student assistant clerical, Youth & 4-H.



Laura Wemhoener, SC Regional Director’s office, Rolla.

Doralee Ely, 4-H specialist, SC Region Youth.

Janath Swafford, nutrition program assistant, SE Family Nutrition Program.

Christopher Starbuck, professor associate, Ag Ext. Plant Sciences.

Marilyn Williams, 4-H youth development program, SE Region Youth.


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 Mark Stillwell, CMG interim director.