News for employees

MU Extension Insider
April 22, 2014


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

MU Extension State Council elects new officers

The University of Missouri Extension State Council elected new officers at its monthly meeting April 11 in Rolla.

H.C. Russell, who has served as council chair for the last four years, announced earlier this year his intention to step down as chair. Russell led the nominating committee that proposed a new slate of officers.

Russell will continue to represent MU Extension’s Northeast Region as a member of the state extension council and will remain a vigorous advocate and spokesperson for MU Extension, says Tony DeLong, extension county council coordinator.

The new council officers, who assume their duties starting May 1, are:

• Anita Hampton, chair. A business owner from Bolivar in Polk County, Hampton is a 2011 recipient of the UM System Alumni Alliance Award and has represented MU Extension on search committees for the UM System president and MU chancellor. She has served as state extension council secretary and vice chair of extension relations.      

• Dolores Howard, vice chair of administration. Howard, who has been re-elected to a second term, is an office administrator for the Memorial United Methodist Church in Farmington and a member of the Farmington R-7 district school board. She chairs the committee drafting a guidebook on the MU Extension district option.

• Glenn Coleman, vice chair of extension relations. Coleman, of Cass County, has served as state extension council secretary and was a 2012 inductee into the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame.

• Ronda Elfrink, secretary. Elfrink, of Leopold, is Bollinger County assessor and chair of the UM Alumni Alliance.

Russell said all four officers have represented MU Extension at the Joint Council of Extension Professionals’ Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference in Washington, D.C., and regularly interact with state legislators, county commissioners and MU administration on the value of MU Extension to the people of Missouri.

The MU Extension State Council (UMESC) comprises individuals who currently serve or have served on a county extension council and are elected by regional extension councils.
More information is available on county, regional and state extension councils.


State Senate agriculture committee hears dairy scholarship bill

Dave Baker, MU Extension agriculture program director, was among several MU experts who testified in support of HB 1326 before the state Senate agriculture committee on April 16.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Casey Guernsey, R-Bethany, passed the House earlier in the session, according to Marty Oetting, UM state government relations director. Among other things, the bill would establish a $5,000 forgivable loan scholarship for agriculture students who intern during the summer and stay in the state after graduation to work in dairy or other agriculture fields. The bill also includes support for MU Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program and enacts a dairy margin insurance program for farmers in the state.

Also testifying from MU were Ryan Milhollin, agricultural economist with the Commercial Agriculture Program, and Tom McFadden, director of animal sciences at CAFNR.

The committee did not take action on the bill, Oetting reports.


New software helps farmers manage nutrients

MU Extension has released a new Web-based application to help farmers manage soil nutrient needs on farms, reports John Lory, extension nutrient management specialist.

The free MMPTracker tool, the first of its kind in the U.S., is available to farmers anywhere in the country. Farmers can map their fields and the system automatically calculates field sizes and retrieves field soil type information from agency sources.

Lory developed MMPTracker with Kevin Atherton, programmer analyst at the MU Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and MU Extension provided additional support. Glenn Davis at Missouri NRCS collaborated with Lory and Atherton. 

Training on the program is set for April and May at several MU research farms:

  • April 25 and May 22, Bradford Research Center, Columbia
  • April 29 and 30, Southwest Research Center, Mount Vernon
  • April 15 and May 29, Forage Systems Research Center, Linneus
  • May 6, Greenley Memorial Research Center, Novelty
  • May 8, Delta Research Center, Portageville

A tutorial for the program will available soon. Learn more about the program at the MU Extension Nutrient Management Home Page.

For more information about training, contact Hannah McClure with CAFNR, 573-884-6311.


New journal offers tips from Master Gardener program

Garden JournalOne of the biggest challenges to gardening is remembering specific details from year to year. Thanks to the new MU Extension publication “From Seed to Harvest and Beyond: Garden Journal and Calendar,” gardeners won’t need to rely on their memories any longer, says Laura Lindsey, marketing coordinator for MU Extension communications and marketing.

“The easy-to-use, how-to guide is a great place to store gardening information, plans, notes and reminders,” says Lindsey.

Adapted from the teachings of Master Gardeners, this publication delivers general gardening strategies encompassing all stages of the process from building a better soil to controlling insects.

The journal includes graphs for sketching and planning a basic vegetable garden and landscape areas; monthly tips and reminders; resources for year-round guidance; container gardening tips; and a garden glossary. Additional details and ordering information are available online.


Livestock specialist recognized for half-century of service

Eldon Cole and Dave Baker

Eldon Cole, left, livestock specialist based in Mount Vernon, received recognition recently for his 50 years of service to MU Extension. Dave Baker, agriculture extension program director, presented the award at a Southwest Region faculty meeting.


Heifer sales set for May at two locations in the state

Beef herd owners rebuilding cow numbers can attend two sales this spring to buy Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers. Sales will run May 3 at the Fruitland (Mo.) Livestock Auction and May 16 at Joplin Regional Stockyards, reports Eldon Cole, MU Extension livestock specialist, Mount Vernon, and coordinator of the Joplin sale.

Owners of the bred heifers to be sold are enrolled in an MU educational program. Show-Me-Select assures quality genetics and management. The heifers are sold guaranteed bred.

With U.S. cow numbers at their lowest in decades and fed cattle prices setting records, the sales draw attention. Read more about the sales, which will offer 265 head at Joplin and 143 head at Fruitland. 


National urban extension meeting set for 2015 in Atlanta

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension seeks presentation proposals and proposal reviewers for the 2015 National Urban Extension Conference, to be held May 4-7, 2015, in Atlanta. Participants will be “honoring the past, living the dream, and embracing the future” as they learn best practices for working in an urban extension program. Submit a proposal for one of three types of presentations: 60-minute workshops, 30-minute roadrunner sessions and poster sessions.  

For more information and to submit a proposal, visit the urban extension website. Proposal deadline is Oct. 1. Proposal reviewer applicants should visit the website and register by June 1.


MU Extension group meets for PILD workshop in D.C.

Representative Long

A delegation from MU Extension attended the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) 2014 Public Issues Leadership Development conference earlier this month in Washington D.C. Attendees had the opportunity to meet with legislators, discuss current issues and collaborate on plans. JCEP was created to foster partnerships among professional extension organizations.

Some members of the MU delegation met with Billy Long, representative from Missouri’s 7th Congressional District. Pictured, from left: Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of MU Extension; Teresa Bishop, 4-H youth program coordinator; Lynda Zimmerman, East Central Region nutrition specialist; Madelaine Giebler, 4-H’er; Rep. Long; Walt Martens, MU Extension State Council member; Nancy Coleman, Northwest Region 4-H youth specialist; and Mark Stewart, East Central Region director.


March weather followed long-term cool trend

The lamb forgot to show up in March, which followed the long-term trend of cool weather and was on the heels of our 10th-coldest winter on record.

“Going all the way back to last spring, we’ve only had one month that was warmer than normal, and that was last September,” said Pat Guinan, MU Extension climatologist.

Guinan says an Arctic blast during the first week of March brought record low temperatures to many locations. He says parts of northern Missouri saw double-digit below-zero lows.

April is trending toward being another cooler-than-normal month. As for precipitation, it’s looking stormier and wetter.

The MU Extension climatologist offers more details about March and April weather in an expanded article and in an audio report. For more statewide meteorological information, go to the Missouri Climate Center website at


STEM initiative invites applications for mini-grant funding

The Missouri Girls Collaborative STEM Initiative, part of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP), invites applications for its spring 2014 mini-grant funding opportunity, according to Sarah Chappelow, coordinator with the 4-H youth development program.

Mini-grants will be awarded to girl-serving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs to support collaboration and further school-aged girls’ and underrepresented youths’ interest in STEM. Mini-grants are a small amount of seed funding and are not intended to fully fund entire projects. The maximum mini-grant award is $1,000.

Programs from K-12 education, after-school programs, higher education, community agencies and businesses are encouraged to apply, says Chappelow. Application deadline is May 15. Additional details are available.


Manage stress, don’t let it manage you

Stress comes in all shapes and sizes, but no matter how it is packaged, stress can test our limits psychologically, emotionally and physically.

“It is hard to believe, but almost 90 percent of all visits to primary care providers are due to stress-related problems,” said Pam Duitsman, MU Extension nutrition and health education specialist based in Greene County.

Science has linked stress to all sorts of health issues, including all of the leading causes of death: cardiovascular disease, cancer, accidents and suicide.  More subtle, but also serious, is how stress can inhibit the immune system, cause weight and body-fat changes, contribute to sleep deprivation, trigger migraines and lead to fatigue.

Learn more about stress, its impact on the body and techniques for managing it.




Upcoming events

Celebrate MU Extension’s centennial May 1

Don't forget ... mark your calendars for the May 1 celebration of MU Extensions centennial. The event runs 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Mel Carnahan Quad on the MU campus. A short program begins at noon.

Visit the MU Extension Centennial website for information and resources.


Register now for stress reduction classes

Classes in mindfulness-based stress reduction run weekly June 10-July 29 in Columbia, according to Tracey Westfield, communications specialist with UM employee benefits. Details are available on the mindfulness-based stress reduction classes Web page.

Also, classes on weight management will run weekly June 3-Aug. 5. For additional information watch informational videos or find more details online. Contact Craig Deken about registration details for both classes.


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 alternative date.

2014 workshops

June 19

2-3 p.m.

July 16

10-11 a.m.

Aug. 21

2-3 p.m.


Moodle workshops

Extension Technology and Computer Services (ETCS) is conducting half-day online Moodle course-development workshops. Dates and times for the balance of the year:

  • May 6, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • June 3, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • July 2, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 8, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 10, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 6, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 5, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Other dates to remember

May 1: Centennial Celebration, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Carnahan Quad. The program begins at noon.

May 12: 2014 NTT dossier workshop via Adobe Connect, 1:30 p.m.

May 15: STEM initiative deadline. Additional details are available.

May 17: 4-H Day with the Cardinals. Forms are available at

June 1: Deadline for submitting county office sustainability reports.

June 10-11: 2014 CPD conference in Columbia.

July 13-17 & 20-24: Summers @ Mizzou. For more information, contact Teresa Bishop at 573-884-0554 or go to


Coming and going

Please welcome

Micah Doty, educational program associate 1, Harrison County, NW Region

Lacy Pearl, Educational program associate 1, Buchanan County, NW Region



Mabus R. Weaver died April 19 in Ava, Mo. She was the mother of Beverly Coberly, associate vice provost for MU Extension. Visitation is set for 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, at the Holman-Howe Funeral Home Chapel, 280 N. Main, Hartville, MO. Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 24, at the same location. Interment will be at Coon Creek Cemetery, Hartville, MO. Memorial contributions may be sent to Ava Place, 1000 NW Third St., Ava, MO 65608 or to Coon Creek Cemetery, Hartville, MO 65667. Notes of sympathy may be sent to Beverly at Rt. 4, P.O. Box 142, Ava, MO  65608-99804.


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.