News for employees

MU Extension Insider
July 22, 2014


In the news

Dates to Remember

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 makes strong showing in NACAA elections

David Baker, ANR assistant dean and program director, has just informed us that several MU Extension faculty members were elected to leadership roles at the NACAA’s annual meeting this week in Mobile, Alabama.

“It has been a great day for Missouri at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents meeting, and the excellence and leadership of faculty is showing through,” writes Baker.  

Matt Herring, EC Region agronomy/natural resource specialist, was elected NACAA secretary.

Mary Sobba, NE Region agriculture business specialist, will serve as chair of NACAA’s Professional Improvement Council.

Todd Lorenz, horticulture/agronomy specialist and Cooper County CPD, also will serve on the Professional Improvement Council, as vice chair of the council’s natural resources and aquaculture committee.

Three MU Extension faculty will serve on the organization’s Program Recognition Council:

  • Vice chair, Recognition and Awards: Joni Harper, agronomy specialist and CPD for Morgan and Moniteau counties.
  • Vice chair, Scholarships: Wayne Flanary, agronomy specialist and Holt County CPD.
  • Vice chair, Search for Excellence: Travis Harper, agronomy specialist in Henry County.

A number of MU Extension faculty also received national or regional recognition at the meeting. We will bring you the complete list in the next issue of the Insider.


Arts project brings history to life in Lexington

Visitors to historic Lexington can learn about the town’s rich Civil War history through an audio walking and driving tour created through the MU Extension Community Arts Program.

The audio tour gives businesses another way to drive economic development in the town of 4,500, said Lee Ann Woolery, MU Extension community arts specialist.

Learn more about how MU faculty, students, and Lexington volunteers created the tour as part of a two-year program to help Lexington brand itself as a destination for tourists and artists.


Transition plan announced for MU Extension HR office

Bev Coberly, MU Extension associate vice provost and associate director, has announced a transition plan for extension’s human resources office following the recent departure of Melinda Adams, longtime HR director for extension. The plan takes into account that MU Extension is participating in a study with other MU HR offices that may shape how HR functions in the future.

Three veteran extension HR personnel will temporarily assume additional duties.

Megan Martin will serve as acting coordinator for HR. Martin’s role will include employee relations, training and development, meeting coordination, department spokesperson, and service on search committees.

Diane Dews’ responsibilities will include overseeing compensation and benefits, faculty and staff leave programs, salary and merit increases, HR policy process questions, and working title reviews.

Mary Scheller will deal with hiring approval processes and requests, NTT rank at time of hire, off-campus program coverage plan, position descriptions and updates, and reclassifications.

Adams resigned as MU Extension’s HR director to become chief HR officer for the Columbia school district. On leaving extension, Adams said:

“It is always difficult to say goodbye, but I wanted you to know how much I truly value and appreciate the time I have had with MU Extension. The work each of you do is truly amazing – your passion, knowledge and sense of purpose has always been inspiring. I will miss working with you. Thank you for the last 9 ½ years – the memories I have working with MU Extension will be with me for a lifetime!”


County councils can improve endowment fund management

Recent growth in the University of Missouri’s endowment fund provides an excellent reason for county councils to review the management of the money they receive from donors, says Cynthia Crawford, MU Extension donor education director. MU’s development office recently announced the university’s endowment pool—which includes all county extension endowments—grew 15.6 percent in 2013.

The lesson to be learned: “Actively monitor endowment accounts and actively manage spendable accounts,” advises Crawford. “The object of the endowment pool is to provide funds for current expenditure (via spendable accounts) while at least preserving (and better yet, growing) the purchasing power of the endowment principal (via endowment accounts).”

During the past five years, MU’s endowment averaged 11.9 percent growth annually. And during the past 10 years, which included the big stock market downturn in 2008, MU’s endowment averaged 6.9 percent annual growth.

“When spendable accounts of our county councils yield less than one-half of one percent yearly, it’s time to give serious consideration to how best to manage county spendable funds,” says Crawford.

Review fast facts about spendable and endowment accounts and learn more about managing endowment accounts from this Web page. For answers to donor and endowment fund questions, contact Crawford or Cat Comley, MU Extension director of development.


Sustainability contest highlights county office efforts

The St. Francois County Extension Center took top honors in the recent sustainability contest, according to extension associate Don Day. Webster County Extension Center was awarded second place. Contest results were announced at the recent Council to Campus conference in Columbia.

“All entries for the county office sustainability contest were impressive,” said Day. “There are many high-quality efforts taking place in all the county offices.”

Among the notable sustainability efforts conducted by various county offices: conducting energy education programs; applying recycling and hazardous waste management principles; developing waste reduction efforts; and conserving energy through improved transportation techniques.

Learn more details about contest entrants and their sustainability efforts and review the latest information on the MU Extension Energy Programs Web page.


Educational attainment theme team presents update

Camden County-based nutrition and health specialist Melissa Bess, who chairs the educational attainment thematic team, and her colleagues presented an update on the team’s progress to MU Extension’s program integration committee earlier this month.

Among the team’s current projects were Osher Outstate, Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), and the college and career readiness mobile website.

Review details of the educational attainment theme team’s Adobe Connect presentation.


Alianzas welcomes new coordinator, offers expertise to extension specialists

Alianzas (Alliances), a program of MU Extension and the UMKC Institute for Human Development, has announced a new resource for extension staff seeking to broaden their outreach to Hispanics and Latinos.

Gerardo R. Martinez, who joined Alianzas as program coordinator on June 18, brings a wealth of experience working with both the Hispanic/Latino community and MU Extension programming. Find out more about Martinez and access guides to successful outreach practices in the Alianzas summer 2014 newsletter, available now. 

Gerardo R. Martinez

New Alianzas coordinator Gerardo Martinez, pictured in the greenhouse he built, earned Master Gardener status from MU Extension in 2011.


Drones draw interest to crop scouting, other new farm uses

Remote sensors can play a big part of farming in the future. Those sensors can be on a 10-foot pole or a satellite 250 miles out in space.

The sensors of most interest at an agriculture technology fair, July 17, were on an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, that looks like a toy helicopter. Farmers and agribusiness came to see, learn and do.

“Remote sensors offer amazing potential in data collection for farmers, people who advise farmers and scientists,” said Bill Wiebold, MU professor of plant science. “This is tomorrow’s agriculture.”

Learn more about the technology-packed day at MU Bradford Research Center.


Several lessons can be learned from one-room schools

Historic one-room schools still dot the landscape in the Ozarks. Several fine examples exist with others moving toward restoration. The old schools are an icon of America and are historically tied to agriculture in Missouri.

According to David Burton, civic communication specialist with MU Extension and director of the Ozarks Country School Program, one-room schools are still revealing valuable historical, educational and cultural lessons.

Read more about the heritage of the one-room-school experience in an article that appeared recently in The Ozarks Sentinel, an online newspaper based in the Table Rock Lake area.


Fire drill encourages quick escape from Whitten Hall

Fire drill at Whitten Hall

Several MU Extension employees—(top to bottom) Laura Lindsey, Karissa Scott, Diane Dews, Katie D’Agostino and Chris Marston—make their way down the fire escape from the third floor of Whitten Hall during last Friday’s fire drill on campus.


Dates to remember

UMEA awards nomination deadline is Aug. 31

The University of Missouri Extension Association awards nomination forms for 2014 are available, says Kathy Macomber, UMEA president and community development specialist based in Barton County. 

“This is a great way to be recognized or to recognize one of your colleagues,” says Macomber. “Please take the time to nominate yourself or a colleague to be honored at the extension fall conference in October.”

Awards, which will include funds to use for programming or professional development, will be presented in three categories:

  • Outstanding Programming
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Meritorious Award

Nomination materials can be found on the UMEA website. Award materials should be submitted electronically by Aug. 31 to Jennifer Schutter.


Retiree meetings set for October around the state

Dates are set for the fall retiree meetings around the state, according to Cynthia Crawford, MU Extension director of donor education.

“Please consider this newsletter article your VIP invitation to any (or all) retiree and friends meetings around the state,” says Crawford. “Of course you are welcome to invite a guest to join you, too.”

Meeting dates, locations and details:

Oct. 2 – Gallatin: 11:30 a.m. at the Gallatin Lions Club Building, 801 W. Grand.
Presentation by speaker extraordinaire and “Extension Kid” Dewey Thompson, Missouri Training Institute assistant director. 
Lunch: Dutch treat buffet catered on-site
RSVP: Bob Teegarden at 660-425-5613 or

Oct. 8 – Nevada: 11:30 a.m. at the Nevada Senior Center, 301 N. Main.
Presentation: “Immigration in Missouri:  Opportunities and challenges” by Steve Jeanetta, community development extension state specialist.
Lunch: Dutch treat buffet on-site
RSVP:  No RSVP needed.  Thanks to Leonard Ernsbarger for local arrangements.

Oct. 9 – Ozark: 11:30 a.m. at Bric’s Belgium Waffle House, 1882 James River Road.
Presentation: “Immigration in Missouri:  Opportunities and challenges” by Steve Jeanetta, community development extension state specialist.
Lunch: Dutch treat, on-site.
RSVP: Sarah Grubaugh at 417-865-0707 or Thanks to Jay Chism for local arrangements.

Oct. 17 – Sedalia: 11:30 a.m. at Best Western State Fair Inn, 3120 S. Limit.
Presentation:  “Healthy U” by Megan Webb, nutrition and health education specialist. 
Lunch: Dutch treat, on-site.
RSVP: Owen Fox at or 660-826-3269, or by mail at 1402 S. Warren, Sedalia, MO  65301.

Oct. 21 – Columbia: Opening day of fall conference, Holiday Inn Executive Center, 2200 I-70 Drive SW.
Opening luncheon 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Opening presentation by Vice Provost Michael Ouart: “The State of State Address – MU Extension.”
Breakout session for retirees: 2-3:30 p.m. Presentations: “Looking back to build for the future” by Joy Millard, interim assistant vice provost, and “Benefits Update” by Tamra Robbins, retirement and benefits coordinator.
RSVP by Oct. 7. Online registration will come later or contact Cynthia Crawford at or 573-825-8778.  Thanks to Brian Pfifer for local arrangements. (Note: Flu shots and health screenings will not be available on opening day at the conference.)

Oct. 24 – Jackson: 10:30 a.m. (beginning with coffee and conversation) at the Cape Girardeau County Extension Center, 684 W. Jackson Trail.
Presentation:  “The five essential documents every retiree needs” by Don Ray, family financial education specialist.
Lunch: The group will move to Delmonico’s Restaurant, 2951 Old Orchard Road, for a Dutch treat buffet lunch.
No RSVP needed.  Thanks to Rick Sparks for local arrangements.

Oct. 28 – Statewide: online retiree and friends meeting. Log in to this website between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. on the day of the meeting.
Instructions: Type your first and last name in the guest login.  Click on the box “enter room.” No microphone or camera on your computer is needed.  Be sure your computer speakers are unmuted and the volume is turned up so you can hear. There will be a chat box for participants to type questions and make comments during the online meeting, which will end no later than 11 a.m.
Meeting agenda: Greetings, announcements, and program: “Looking back to build for the future” by Joy Millard, interim assistant vice provost.
RSVP: Preregistration, while not required, is recommended so that you will receive an email reminder of the online meeting. Please email Cynthia Crawford at if you plan to participate.


EVR forms to be processed in August

The semi-annual Effort Verification Report (EVR) process is quickly approaching, according to Tiffany Hughes, MU Extension assistant administrative manager.

EVRs are certification forms used by the university as a way to document effort for employees paid directly by a grant, have salary committed as cost share on a grant, or are paid from federal appropriation funds. EVR forms for the period Jan. 1-June 30, 2014, will be distributed to regional directors and campus fiscal contacts for their review in early August.

“At this time, we anticipate the completed EVRs will be due back to the AMT office around Aug. 22,” says Hughes. “The actual deadline will be communicated when the EVRs are distributed.”

Your efforts to get these reports returned promptly are appreciated. Questions regarding EVR certifications can be sent to Amy Rosson in the administrative management office.


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.

Aug. 21 2-3 p.m.
Sept. 17 10-11 a.m.
Oct. 16 2-3 p.m.
Nov. 19 10-11 a.m.
Dec. 18 2-3 p.m.
Jan. 22 2-3 p.m.
Feb. 19 2-3 p.m.
March 18 10-11 a.m.
April 16 2-3 p.m.
May 20 10-11 a.m.
June 18 2-3 p.m.
July 16 10-11 a.m.
Aug. 20 2-3 p.m.


Moodle workshop

Extension Technology and Computer Services (ETCS) is conducting half-day face-to-face Moodle course-development workshops.

Date and time for the balance of the year:

  • Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

To register, go to


Other dates to remember

Now-Sept. 19: Show-Me Market Showdown, online grain marketing game.

Aug. 1: NELD applications are due. More information can be found at

Aug. 2: Combine Blessing and Safety Expo, Boone County Fairgrounds, Columbia.

Aug. 5: A one-hour non-tenure track dossier training workshop is set for 9 a.m. Register for ISE #232, “NTT: Dossier Synopsis,” through the ISE system.

Aug. 13-14: Soils workshop, Bradford  Research Center, Columbia.

Aug. 29: Statewide extension award nominations due.

Aug. 31: UMEA awards nomination deadline.

Sept. 22-26: Community Development Academy, Excelsior Springs. Registration deadline is Sept. 5.

Oct. 2-28: Retiree meetings. Find specific dates, locations and details.

Oct. 21-23: MU Extension Program Conference, Columbia.

Dec. 3-4: Administrative Support Conference for all extension administrative support staff at the campus and field level, on the MU campus in Columbia.

Dec. 9-11: 2014 NAEPSDP annual conference, San Antonio, Texas.

Dec. 31: Deadline for completing UM information security training. Visit to access the online training modules.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Cammie Younger, nutrition and health education specialist/CPD, Carter County, SE Region.

Shari Pretz, business support specialist II, Randolph County, NE Region.



Linda Byers, office support assistant IV, Jackson County, Urban Region.

Della Underwood, office support assistant IV, Carter County, SE Region.


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.