New Members Elected to University of Missouri Extension Council

Congratulations are extended to three new council members and three returning members who were elected to the University of Missouri Extension Phelps County Council following elections held countywide on January 22-25, 2019.

New Council Members are as follows:
Earl Michael Collins
Maretta Diestelkamp
Paul Long
Sarah Oerther
Patty Reynolds
Rosalie Spencer

New Council members will serve a two-year term, effective March 1, 2019.

Upcoming Events:

Phelps County Quarterly Calendar of Events:

      Month of February: Phelps County University of Missouri Extension is "Pumped Up" to offer The National Heart Month" Walk and Learn. Offer your employees corporate wellness with fresh air and a leisurely walk. Our specialist in health and nutrition will lead a 0.5 mile walking tour around your business while presenting on lifestyle choices to lower the risk for cardiovascular disease. The tour will be short but the results could be long lasting for co-worker health. Schedule your walk anytime by calling 573-458-6060 or emailing

February 20: Rolla Chamber of Commerce February Luncheon, 11:30 am -1:00 pm, Speaker: Marshall Stewart, Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement, Topic: Data for Decision Makers - an overview of All Things Missouri

Woodland Stewards - Learn more about how you can take better care of your woods in this exciting course. This is the first session of a multi-part course.

March 7, Women in Business Seminar, Marketing Your Business from the Driver's Seat

April 13, Growing Green, First Baptist Church, Rolla, 9 am - 1 pm

May 18, Certified Fire & Ambulance District Board Training, Phelps County Courthouse Multipurpose Room

2019 Master Naturalist Core Training Flyer (CLASS IS FULL)

Gardening Calendar

Search for Missouri Century Farms continues

If your farm has been in your family since Dec. 31, 1919, you can apply to have it recognized as a Missouri Century Farm.

To qualify, the same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage or adoption. The farm must be at least 40 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.

Applicants certified as owners of a 2019 Missouri Century Farm will be recognized by the MU Extension center in the county where the farm is located. Applicants are presented with a sign and a certificate.

The Missouri Century Farm program will take applications starting Feb. 1. All applications must be postmarked by May 15. Details and a downloadable application form will be available beginning Feb. 1 at

     USDA Rural Development Agency, Small Business & Technology Development Center and other resources.

2019 DON'T QUIT! Campaign

The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Council is partnering with Governor Parson and the State of Missouri for its 2019 DON’T QUIT! Campaign.
Through this effort, three lucky schools will be given $100,000 worth of fitness equipment. Research from the Centers for Disease Control shows that physically active students tend to perform better in school by improving grades, behavior, cognitive skills and attitudes.

In addition to the attached letter from Governor Parson, we have attached a copy of the application. School nominations are now open and will be accepted through Friday, March 22, 2019. Please make sure your nomination has the full support of your school district and meets the qualifications listed at the beginning of the application. Applications should be emailed as Word documents to Program Director Kelly Olin (copied on this message) at To receive full consideration, be sure to include the photos requested. If you have any questions, feel free to email More information can be found at  

Drought Resources

In Missouri during years when precipitation comes in a fairly normal manner, moisture is stored in the top layers of the soil during the winter and early spring, when evaporation and transpiration are low. During the summer months the loss of water by evaporation and transpiration is high, and if rainfall fails to occur at frequent intervals, drought will result. Nearly every year some areas have short periods of drought in Missouri. There have been occasional years when the soil moisture has been depleted, arid when rains have failed to replace the water lost by evaporation and transpiration for prolonged periods. These conditions have caused widespread distress. With increasing population and more competition for the use of water, wise water management is becoming more important in the Show Me state.

The drought monitor map (opens in new window) is updated weekly to show which areas of the state fall into a category of drought. The map changes based on reports from landowners and residents, so the accuracy of the map is dependent on your reports. Report drought conditions in your area by clicking the link on the left-hand side of the page. Each drought category is defined by certain criteria from the United States Drought Monitor.

Resources for Your Flooded Home

Cleaning up after a flood takes special care. To help with your flood response and recovery, download MU Extension Publication MP904, Resources for Your Flooded Home (PDF). This guide covers a variety of flood cleanup topics. Other flood related resources can be found here.

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.

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 under application, 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

Soil Sampling Questions and Answers

Lawn Maintenance Questions?

What is an Extension Center?

Want to know what’s new with MU Extension?

Find Phelps County Extension Center on   Facebook  and follow us on  Twitter .

Learn about new programs, get news you can use and see how extension adds value to the everyday lives of Missourians.