Local highlights

The St. Clair County Extension Center can provide you with research-based information in the areas of agriculture, business and the workforce, children and teens, community development, environmental quality, family life, farm management, financial education, home and garden, horticulture and nutrition and health.


Nominations are being accepted for the week of January 16 election of the St. Clair County University of Missouri Extension Council members, according to Council Chairman, Brian Hackleman.

Council members are elected or appointed to two-year terms and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. Nominees must be at least 18 and must reside in the district from which they are selected. Nominations must be made prior to December 16, 2016.

At least one candidate is sought for the following districts:  District I – Townships – Chalk Level, Butler & Jackson; District II Townships – Appleton and Monegaw; District III Townships – Center, Osage, Taber, Roscoe & Speedwell; District IV Townships – Osceola and Polk; District V Townships – Collins, Washington, Dallas, Doyle & Vista.

"We want nominees who are interested in education and the progress of our community," Brian said. "The resources of the University of Missouri System and Lincoln University are available to us. We need active council members to help plan educational programs and to work with University of Missouri Extension specialists."
Nominations may be made through the council chairman or the county extension center. Nominees will be contacted to secure their permission to place their names on the week of January 16 ballot.

University of Missouri Extension offers educational programs in categories such as agriculture, home economics, business and industry, community development, youth development (4-H) and various continuing education courses, seminars and workshops.  Information or literature about University of Missouri Extension programs is available at the St. Clair County extension center located at 655 Second Street, 1st Floor of the Courthouse in Osceola, and at our web site: http://extension.missouri.edu\stclair.

The University of Missouri-Extension does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era. For more information, call the MU Human Resource Services Department at (573) 882-7976.

  St. Clair County Extension County Program Director Retires

Saralee Jamieson, County Program Director and Human Environmental Sciences Specialist, has announced her retirement after 20 years in the St. Clair County Extension office. Throughout her 20 years Saralee has conducted and facilitated classes on Character Critters, Chronic Disease Management, Living Well with Diabetes, Who Get's Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate, Walk With Ease, A New You, Building Strong Families, Eat Smart, Cooking Matters for Youth and Cooking Matters for Adults, Food Preservation, and many others.

The public is invited to attend a retirement reception in Saralee’s honor on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.  The reception will be held in the County Commissioner’s meeting room in the St. Clair County courthouse in Osceola. Please stop by to wish Saralee well as she embarks on a new chapter in her life.

Japanese Beetles have arrived in the Ozarks, time to mount a defense

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Adult Japanese Beetles are on the move in southwest Missouri and like past years, they will bring a big appetite with them according to Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

“These insects can quickly defoliate over 300 different types of ornamental landscape plants by eating the tissue between the veins of leaves and flowers, a type of feeding called skeletonizing,” said Byers. 

Trees and shrubs most attractive to adults include: Japanese and Norway maple, birch and pin oak, sycamore, plums, elm and cherry trees, rose, willows, lindens and Virginia creeper. The grubs will also feed on a wide variety of plant roots of ornamentals and turfgrasses. 
"Roses, crepe myrtle, grapes and the Japanese maple seem to be this beetle’s favorite food. The main concern in our area is adult beetle damage to broad-leaved plants," said Byers.  To view this information in it's entirety, follow this Japanese Beetles article.

Missouri 4-H Awarded $10,000 Sponsorship for
Summer Camp STEM Experience

Warrensburg, MO (June 4, 2016) – Missouri was awarded a $10,000 sponsorship from HughesNet® to implement a "Summer Camp STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Experience" during CCHJLRS camp this summer. During Camp Bob White on June 7-9, local youth learned more about robotics, aerospace, meteorology, astronomy, bees, and BioBlitz.

Summer Camp STEM Experiences are part of a national effort to spark youth interest in STEM education. Missouri was one of four states selected to receive a Summer Camp STEM grant. The other states include [Colorado, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

This year’s camp will include three fun filled days of STEM adventures. One hundred and twenty-five youth will have the opportunity to build their own robots, learn about how drones work within the mission of the United Sates Air Force, hear about experiences of local storm chases, see the stars with local astronomers, and check out all the living organisms around Camp Bob White.

National 4-H Council and HughesNet are dedicated to sparking an interest in STEM topics early, through hands-on, community-based STEM learning. In addition to Summer Camp STEM Experiences, HughesNet works with National 4-H Council to support STEM programs such as the 4-H Youth in Action STEM Award, National Engineering Week and National Youth Science Day – the world’s largest youth-led science challenge that engages young scientists from around the country. The effort includes a focus on communities where resources for science-focused community programs are often limited.

To learn more about Missouri 4-H, visit www.4h.missouri.edu.

4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. 4-H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4-H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA, and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3,000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4-H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4-H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.

St. Clair County has an active robotics program with 14 members enrolled in 2016.  Pictured below is one of our 4-H members demonstrating the knowledge and skills obtained through the Robotics program.  She provided public demonstrations throughout the day at the county open house during our Achievement Day Demonstrations and Fashion Revue/Fashion Show in June. If you would like to learn more about how to become involved in the Robotics program, please contact Krista Chambers, St. Clair County Youth Program Assistant, at 417.646.2419.

Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H and Twitter at www.twitter.com/4H.

About Hughes Network Systems

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) is the global leader in satellite broadband for home and office, delivering innovative solutions and a comprehensive suite of HughesONTM managed services for enterprises and governments worldwide. HughesNet® is the #1 high-speed satellite Internet service in the marketplace, with offerings to suit every budget. To date, Hughes has shipped more than 5 million systems to customers in over 100 countries, representing approximately 50 percent market share. Its products employ global standards approved by the TIA, ETSI and ITU organizations, including IPoS/DVB-S2, RSM-A, and GMR-1.

Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes operates sales and support offices worldwide, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), a premier global provider of satellite operations and digital TV solutions. For additional information about Hughes, please visit www.hughes.com.

Answers to Common Questions 
About Pond Construction and Management


MARSHFIELD, Mo. - Bob Schultheis is a natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension. Nearly every week he gets questions about pond construction and management.

Q: What are some of the benefits and common problems you see with ponds?

A: "Ponds offer many benefits by providing recreation, helping control soil erosion, and storing water for livestock, irrigation and fire protection. Typical problems are the pond won't hold water, the dam erodes away, there are too many weeds, the water quality is bad, or the fish are dying," said Schultheis.

Q: How does one deal with leaky ponds and dam erosion?

A: "First, size the pond to the watershed by allowing one surface area of water for each 10 to 15 acres of land area that flow into it," said Schultheis. Prevent leaks by building the pond on a suitable site with moist, clay soils compacted in several six-inch lifts, and keep the soil moist after construction. Additives such as bentonite clay or soda ash may need to be mixed with some soils to keep them from leaking.

Q: Are bulldozers a good way to compact the soil?

A: No. While bulldozers are big and heavy, they have a large footprint that spreads out the weight too much. A better choice is a wheel tractor and disk, or a sheepsfoot roller (like the spiked drums the highway department uses when building roadbeds).

Q: What causes the weeds and how do you control them?

A: "Weeds are often caused by too many nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) getting into the pond, or by transfer from wildlife," said Schultheis. Limit runoff from fertilized fields, maintain vegetation around the pond and exclude livestock. Control options include cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical. "Chemicals should be a last resort and should be matched to the weed problem," said Schultheis.

Q: Where can a person get more information on building and maintaining a pond?

A: "Soils information, available free through the federal USDA Service Center serving your county, will help identify good pond building sites and soil properties at depth," said Schultheis. This information is also available online at http://agsite.missouri.edu.

The Missouri Pond Handbook, available from the Missouri Department of Conservation, is an excellent reference for developing and managing both new and old ponds for fishing.


Resources on fixing pond leaks, maintaining dams and controlling aquatic weeds are available through your county University of Missouri Extension Center. Or contact me at the Webster County Extension Center at 417-859-2044, or visit our website athttp://extension.missouri.edu/webster/pondmanagement.aspx.


Source: Bob Schultheis, (417) 859-2044


 Horticulture and Agriculture Tips

The University of Missouri Extension offers many news articles, publications and newsletters to help beginning or seasoned farmers and gardening enthusiasts get the maximum yield from pastures and gardens.  Some of those include:

Trees add value to your landscape

Trees can provide your home with shade, wind protection and visual appeal. They can reduce energy costs, provide recreation for children and habitat for wildlife.

Newly planted trees need special attention, and not all trees are suitable for all conditions. MU Extension’s horticulture experts have developed a series of publications to help you choose the right tree and get it established:

MU Extension publication G6800, Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees
MU Extension publication G6805, Selecting Landscape Plants: Flowering Trees
MU Extension publication G6810, Selecting Landscape Plants: Uncommon Trees for Specimen Plantings
MU Extension publication G6815, Selecting Landscape Plants: Needled Evergreens
MU Extension publication G6820, Selecting Landscape Plants: Broad-leaved Evergreens
MU Extension publication G6850, How to Plant a Tree

Popular MU Guides/Extension Publications:

MU Ext. Publication G302, 2012 Custom Rates/Farm Services in MO
MU Ext. Publication G427, 2015 Cash Rental Rates in MO
MU Ext. Publication G810, Fencing Laws of Missouri
MU Ext. Publication G6201. Vegetable Planting Calendar
MU Ext. Publication G6705, Lawn Maintenance Calendar

Don’t guess; soil tests save time, 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. Soil testing publications

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