Northwest Missouri Regional Director's Office

Find an MU Extension center in northwest Missouri

Northwest Missouri counties

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Graves-Chapple Research Center Field Day

Come, see what is new at Graves-Chapple Research Center Field Day on Tuesday, August 26.  Tours begin at 8:00 a.m.  Lunch will be served at noon. 

Tomatoes – A Healthy Choice

Although once thought to be poisonous, tomatoes are in fact a healthy choice.

Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family which includes the poisonous plant, belladonna. The tomato itself is nutritious, but its leaves and stem contain alkaloids that can be harmful, especially to pets. The tomato is the fruit of the plant. In fact it is the berry because of the way it grows on the plant. It is generally considered a vegetable, though, because of the way it is served and eaten.

Tomatoes contain potassium, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin that make them especially nutritious. Potassium may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, and Diane L. McKay, assistant professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School says, “Tomatoes are among the highest food sources of potassium in the American diet.” Lycopene in tomatoes make up about 80 percent of the typical diet according to an article in the July 2014 issue of Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter. Studies have shown lycopene may lower risk of stroke, improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels, have a “protective effect against prostate cancer (especially with cooked tomato products,” and “help protect against caners of the pancreas, stomach and lungs,” the article reports. Lutein and zeaxanthin may help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

For optimal quality in fresh tomatoes, look for “plump, heavy tomatoes with smooth skin,” recommends the MU Extension Seasonal and Simple app (found at Store ripening tomatoes at room temperature for up to a week. They will continue to ripen when placed at room temperature in the sun. It is not recommended to store tomatoes in the refrigerator unless they will be used to make a sauce. With the cooler temperatures, the cell structure is affected, softening the tomato. Also, according to the Tufts article, “French scientists recently demonstrated that when tomatoes are refrigerated, volatile compounds that contribute to flavor begin to break down.”

Tomatoes themselves come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and tomato products and dishes are varied. Although freshest is usually considered most nutritious, heat processing tomatoes actually releases lycopene from the cells making it more available. With so many options to choose from, find one that works for you and those you serve food to and enjoy the health benefits of this season’s crop now and throughout the year.

For more information on tomatoes or any other topic, contact me, Janet Hackert, at 660-425-6434 or or your local University of Missouri Extension office.

Job vacancies - apply now

Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Buchanan County

A Nutrition and Health Education Specialist is responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs in nutrition, health, food safety, food resource management, and physical activity promotion education for low income audiences.

Human Environmental Sciences Extension program promote optimal well-being of individuals, families and communities, with special recognition for the needs of vulnerable populations. Nutrition and health education specialists improve dietary quality, increase physical activity, manage chronic diseases and reduce overweight, obesity and healthcare costs for Missourians.

This is a 12-month academic position.  Appointment may be made as non-tenure track ranked (NTT), depending on University approval of the academic credentials and qualifications of the successful candidate.

For more information and to apply, go to Regional Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Buchanan County NW Region, Job opening ID 11655

Community arts specialist, Lafayette County

This position is responsible for providing leadership, development and coordination of the community arts pilot project in Lexington, MO with expansion to other communities as identified. In collaboration with the State Community Arts Specialist, develop community arts projects that engage the MU arts faculty and students, local communities, and MU Extension faculty, staff and volunteers.

The Community Arts program works collaboratively with MU Arts Departments and Missouri communities to promote community arts as a recognized and valued strategy for economic development, create capacity for community arts development, build community leaders skills and capabilities, and add value through engagement with communities.

This is a 12-month academic position.  Appointment may be made as non-tenure track ranked (NTT), depending on University approval of the academic credentials and qualifications of the successful candidate.

For details and to apply online, go to Community Arts Specialist, Lexington, MO/NW Region, Job opening ID 13523.

4-H Youth Program Associate positions in Atchison County and Holt County

The University of Missouri Extension, Northwest Region, has two positions open for 4-H Youth Program Associate. A YPA  is to assist in the planning, management and support of 4-H Youth Development programs in assigned geographic area, under the guidance and supervision of the 4-H Youth Development Specialist or Educator.  Each of the two open positions is .50 FTE.  To get a full overview, see below.

 EEO/ADA/AA Employer 

Websites offer free climate data

Farmers have a new set of free tools to help them make crop decisions.

Ray Massey, MU Extension agricultural economist, and Pat Guinan, climatologist for MU Extension Commercial Agriculture, are collaborating with participants across the nation to make information easily available.

The websites are important because access to historical climate data helps farm operations that depend on favorable temperatures and precipitation patterns, Massey says. He and Guinan recently presented the information at MU’s Crop Management Conference in Columbia.  Find addresses and explore details on more than a dozen climate-oriented websites.

Business Development position/Carroll County - apply now

The Business Development Specialist position will be headquartered in Carrollton, Missouri and primarily serve Carroll, Ray, Lafayette and Saline counties in the Northwest region with additional coverage as needed. 

Primary purpose of this position is to transform Missouri business and industry through education, technical service and collaboration by working with small to medium size companies to improve bottom-line performance. Plan, implement and evaluate business programs and services utilizing research-based knowledge in business growth, strategic planning, technology development, government contracting, marketing, management, finance, capital formation, operations, human resources, business start-up and business growth/sustainability, as well as other timely business related topics to assist existing and new entrepreneurs. 

It is a 12-month academic position.  Appointment may be made as non-tenure track ranked (NTT), depending on University approval of the academic credentials and qualifications of the successful candidate.

For details and to apply online, go to Business Development Specialist, Carroll County NW Region,  Job Opening ID #11622. 

EEO/ADA/AA Employer  

Community emergency management resources

MU Extension has resources available for emergency management. The resources cover a wide range of disasters. There is information available on how to prepare for a disaster, what to do in a disaster and the recovery.  Do you have a family disaster plan in place?  Make sure you and your family have a supply of safe drinking water after a disaster. 

St. Joseph Weather Station — Real time



Northwest Regional Office
706 S. Woodbine Rd., Suite A
St. Joseph, MO 64507
Phone: 816-279-6064
Fax: 816-279-0096
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