Cooking MATTERs at the store

A Guided Grocery Store Tour to Help Families Buy Healthy, Affordable Foods

Want to save money at the store?

Want to buy healthy foods to feed your family?

Need some tasty and healthy recipes for your family?

If you said yes, come join us for a free Cooking Matters at the Store guided grocery store tour!

Practice skills like:

  • buying fruits and vegetables on a budget
  • comparing unit prices to find bargains
  • reading and comparing food labels
  • identifying whole grains
  • and sticking to your budget!

After the tour you will receive a:

  • FREE $10 gift card to the grocery store to purchase healthy items
  • FREE workbook full of tasty recipes and simple tips on buying healthy, low-cost foods
  • FREE reusable grocery bag
  • There is no charge for the program but registration is required.


Date: Monday September 22nd

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. OR 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Country Mart, 1040 Forum Drive, Rolla, MO 65401

RSVP: To reserve a spot, call the Phelps County MU Extension Office 573-458-6260

Registration is required so please call or email to reserve your spot. Class size is limited.

We will meet in the front of the store.

2014-2015 Leadership Phelps County

Leadership Phelps County is currently taking applications for its 10th class. This program is intended to help new and existing community leaders build skills while learning more about issues facing Phelps County. 

Personal growth and effectiveness; Commitment to the community; Increased community knowledge; Enhanced leadership skills. These are some of the goals and objectives of Leadership Phelps County. By increasing the capacity of individuals within Phelps County, and developing a network of leaders, these individuals can respond when a community need arises. 

LPC is a series of ten classes beginning with a mandatory overnight retreat in September and concluding with an evening graduation ceremony in June.  Topics will include Foundations of Phelps County, Local Government, Community Service, Economic Development, Education, Healthy Communities and a trip to Jefferson City for State Government. 

Employees and employers alike should take a look at the program.  Businesses with new employees might want to send them to broaden their knowledge of things going on in Phelps County. 

Thousands of individuals have participated in similar programs that have been offered across the state of Missouri and over 110 participants have completed LPC during the past ten years.  Leadership Phelps County will be accepting 15 participants in this year’s class. A steering committee, comprised of individuals from organizations throughout Phelps County continues to work hard to design the curriculum to address issues of local importance. 

The program is open to anyone age 21 and over who is a resident, or is employed in Phelps County.

Tuition for the program is $350.  Application forms are available at the University of Missouri Extension office located in the Phelps County Courthouse (458-6260), on our website, or from the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce website.  Applications are due August 29, 2014 to the Extension Office (200 N Main Street, Rolla, MO 65401).

University of Missouri Extension Presents a Lunch and Learn Series

Celebrate 100 years of Extension with free Lunch and Learn Money Matters Series. Each of the four workshops will feature different ways to help consumers handle their money more effectively, protect themselves as consumers, and increase their financial knowledge.

All sessions will be held from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 p.m. at the University of Missouri, Phelps County Extension Center, 200 N Main Street, Rolla, MO 65401 (Phelps County Courthouse).    

The first session “Money Matters…learning to be successful” will be held August 6, 2014. The workshop will cover budgeting; how to keep track of your money; paying yourself first; and consumer beware.  Registration deadline for this workshop is August 5th.

On August 13th, “Identity Theft…why should it be important to you?” will cover What is Identity Theft; How consumers can protect themselves; What to do if you’re an identity theft victim; and What group is more in danger of being a victim.  Registration deadline for this workshop is August 12th. 

“When Creditors are Predators (Predatory Lending…Are you a target )” will be the third session of the series, scheduled for August 20, 2014.  This workshop will cover Predatory Lending; Excessive Fees for Loans; Aggressive Tactics; Rent-to-Own; More Money in Your Pocket.  Registration deadline for this workshop is August 19. 

“Money Matters…taking care of your credit” will be the fourth and final session of the series, scheduled for August 27, 2014. This workshop will cover: Why your credit is important; How your credit history affects your future; Correcting your credit; Your credit report.  Registration deadline for this workshop is August 26th

All sessions are free of charge.  Attend one session or attend them all.  Bring your lunch and receive a wealth of information.  Pre-registration is required in advance with a maximum attendance of 15 participants, so sign-up early. Register at the Phelps County Extension Center, 200 North Main Street in Rolla; by phone 573-458-6260; or online at

Time to get the pressure gauge on your canner checked

When you plant your garden, it’s so easy to imagine all of the great-tasting, healthy food that will come from those tiny seeds and plants. You may be one of the people that grow not only enough to eat during the summer but extra so it can be preserved for cold winter nights. Now is a great time to make sure your canning gear is ready for production when your garden starts producing more than you can eat.

The dial gauge on your canner should be tested every year to assure it is processing foods at the correct temperature. The dial gauge registers the pressure in the canner. The pressure is an indicator of the temperature of the inside of the canner. It is important for low acid foods to be processed at 240 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy the spores of Clostridium Botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism.

Phelps County University of Missouri Extension can check your pressure gauge in just a few minutes. This service is provided for a fee of $1. The office is located on the west side of the courthouse. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

If you are looking for information on how to preserve your fresh vegetables, University of Missouri Extension has up to date information on how to safely can foods. You can download them at The Quality for Keeps series is all about home food preservation.  

Soil testing

Don’t guess. Soil tests save time and money.

Soil testing is the best guide to the wise and efficient use of fertilizer and soil amendments, said Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Extension Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services.

Whether you grow acres of row crops or have a vegetable patch in the backyard, a soil test will provide you with an analysis of nutrients and a set of recommendations for any improvements. 

“We frequently get questions from customers like, ‘I apply fertilizer every year. How come my plants are not doing well?’” Nathan said.

“Most of the time the problem is they never have done a soil test, but have been guessing on fertilizer requirements,” she said. “They do not realize that by guessing they are wasting money by over- or underapplication, and the excess fertilizer can end up in streams, ponds and underground water, polluting the environment.” 

Soil testing can be done through the extension office. The cost is $15 per sample and mailed to the lab every Friday with a turn around time of about two weeks. Soil testing publications

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