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.


University of Missouri Extension in Bates County welcomes a new Ag Business Specialist

     University of Missouri Extension in Bates County welcomes Doug Scotten as the new Ag Business Specialist.  The position is responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating agricultural business educational programs in the support of crop and forage production, livestock production, and overall agriculture production.  Scotten will focus on programs related to farm leases, tax management, basic estate planning, crops and livestock marketing, and other emerging issues faced by producers and land owners in the area.  Scotten will be based in the Bates County office and will also serve Vernon, St. Clair, Cedar, and Barton counties.
     Scotten has been with University of Missouri Extension for two years as the Family Financial Education Specialist in Vernon County.  Scotten holds a degree in agricultural business from Missouri State University and has previous agricultural sales experience.  He and his wife Shelly, along with their two boys, operate a small farm near Appleton City, Missouri.  Scotten can be reached at the Bates County Extension office at (660) 679-4167.  

2017 St. Clair County Extension Council Election January 15-21, 2017

County residents can vote in person at the University of Missouri St. Clair County Extension Office located on the 1st floor of the courthouse in Osceola, or at the USDA Soil and Water Conservation office at 3835 NE Hwy 13 in Osceola. If you are unable to reach one of the voting sites, you can cast your vote on-line here during that week.  Meet your candidates:

District I Delegate
Townships: Chalk Level, Butler, J

   Paula is a lifelong resident of St. Clair County and resides in rural Lowry City with her husband, Terry.  Paula has agreed to continue with the Extension Council for a second term if elected.  Paula has been a very active member of the Extension council for the past two years, serving as Secretary for the past year.  Paula was instrumental in the success of the retirement reception for the County Program Director held in October, 2016. In 2010 Paula and her family represented St. Clair County as the Missouri State Fair Farm Family. They were selected by the St. Clair County Extension Council and Farm Bureau.  Paula is a member of the Ohio Christian Church and her hobbies and interests are cooking and reading. She is employed as the secretary for the Farm Bureau office in Osceola.  Paula’s experience with farm and agriculture life and organizational experience would continue to be a positive asset to the county council.

District I Delegate

   Melissa is a lifelong resident of St. Clair County and she and her husband, Jeremy, reside in rural Osceola.  When she is not busy as acting Chief Nursing Officer at Ellett Memorial Hospital in Appleton City, she stays active with hunting, fishing, gardening, spending time with family and friends.  She is very interested in rural communities and improving health and wellness.  Melissa also holds membership on the advisory committee of Quad Lakes Solid Waste Management and as a member of the Missouri Organization of Nurse Leaders. Her desire to continue education and teach others would be a valuable asset to the Extension council.

District II Delegate
Townships: Appleton, Monegaw

   April has lived in the Appleton City area and a resident of St. Clair County for over 25 years. April has been a very active member of the Extension council for the past 2 years and is seeking to be elected for another 2 year term. She has served as Vice Chair and has been very active with the Regional Extension Council. She is a very active and knowledgeable herb gardener that includes growing, marketing, selling and educating the community. April’s hobbies are art, photography, cooking, herb gardening and calligraphy. Her interests are watching her children grow up, her friends, church, enjoying nature, self-improvement, psychology and her job. April is a member of the Rockville United Methodist Church and has been a project leader and former assistant club leader in the V-52 4-H Club. April states, “I greatly look forward to working with the Extension Council for another two years. I hope to contribute to the growth and development of Extension in any way I can. I appreciate the opportunity to serve.” 

District III Delegate
Townships: Center, Osage, Taber, Roscoe, Speedwell

   Tammy has been a resident of St. Clair County for over forty years, residing in rural Schell City with her husband, Donnie. Tammy is running for her second term of office with the Extension council.  She has been a very active member of the council during her tenure.  Tammy’s hobbies and interests include reading and taking pictures. She is a member of the Missouri State Teacher’s Association and the Appleton City Booster Club.  Tammy’s experience working with the council, together with her knowledge and experience as a participant of Extension programming is quite an asset to the Extension Council.

District III Delegate

  Eran is a lifetime resident of St. Clair County, currently residing on a farm in the Roscoe area with her husband, Andrew. Eran is a clinic manager for the Osceola and El Dorado Springs CMH medical centers.  Eran enjoys playing with her daughter, helping her husband on the farm, crafting, sewing, bowmaking, and refinishing furniture. She is an active member of Farm Bureau and Nine Wonders Optimists in El Dorado Springs.  Eran’s sense of community with her knowledge and experience in agriculture would greatly assist the council in decision making to meet the needs of the citizens of St. Clair County.

District IV Delegate
Townships: Osceola, Polk

   Glenn has been a resident of St. Clair County for over 10 years, residing in rural Osceola with his wife, Barbara. Since his retirement as an electrical engineer, Glenn enjoys staying busy with woodworking, archery, camping, reading and swimming. He is an active member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. After a year hiatus from serving two terms with the Extension Council, Glenn is hoping to be elected for another two year term to the Council.  In 2013 Glenn served as Vice Chairman to the Extension Council, and Chairman in 2014 and 2015.  Glenn’s experience and involvement is a welcome addition to the county Council as he continues to bring information from the community back to the Council regarding ways to improve and increase the ability to meet the needs of the citizens of St. Clair.

District V Delegate
Townships: Collins, Washington, Dallas, Doyle, Vista

   Brian is a 3rd generation chiropractor with his own practice in Bolivar. Brian and his wife, Mindy, are the proud parents of three very active daughters and reside in rural Collins.  He is running for his second two year term with the Extension Council, having served as Chairman to the Extension Council in 2016 and represented the county Extension Council with the Regional Extension Council as well. Brian is a member of the Weaubleau School Board and his knowledge of the educational and health needs and concerns of the citizens of St. Clair County will continue to be a valuable asset to the Council to prioritize programming to meet those needs.

   Be sure to exercise your right to vote the week of January 15, 2017!

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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