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.

JANUARY 14 - 20, 2018

According to state statute Sec. 262-577, RSMo 69, citizens of voting age in St. Clair County have the opportunity to vote and elect members of the University of Missouri Extension Council in January. At least one person has been nominated for each of the elective positions in their respective district. County residents can vote in person during the week of January 14, 2018 at the University of Missouri St. Clair County Extension Office, 655 Second Street, 1st Floor of the Courthouse in Osceola.

   If you are unable to reach the voting sites, you can cast your vote on-line.  On-line voting is simple.  Just log onto http://extension.missouri.edu/stclair and click on “Council election – voting open”. Cast your vote for the representative of your district by following the simple instructions



District I Delegate

Townships: Chalk Level, Butler, Jackson


   Matt is a lifelong resident of St. Clair County and has been involved in farming and the agriculture industry since he was able to walk.  A former 4-H member, Matt is now a certified shooting instructor and project leader for a club in St. Clair County.  Matt and his wife Jennie keep busy on their farm in rural Lowry City and are very active with their children, Trey and Kaylie. They represent the county as the Young Farmers & Ranchers with Farm Bureau as well.  Matt’s involvement in the community and his knowledge and background in agriculture has been a great asset to the Council for the past two years.  His leadership for the next two years will assist the Council in meeting the needs of the citizens of St. Clair County!



District II Delegate

Townships: Appleton, Monegaw

   Kathy is a lifelong resident of St. Clair County and would like to be involved in discovering more about Extension so that she can share the information with her family and neighbors. Kathy is the Postmaster of Appleton City, Montrose and Rockville U.S. Post Offices.  Kathy enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her husband and her family pets.  She is a member of the National Association of Postmasters & Supervisors, and is a member of the Mt. Zion Cemetery Board in Rockville.  Kathy is excited to be a part of Extension in St. Clair County and looks forward to gaining more knowledge about the valuable resources available that encompass a wide range of subjects.


District II Delegate
Townships: Appleton, Monegaw

   Kelly has informed the Extension office that her situation has changed since the Legal Notice was published and she will not be able to serve if elected.

District III Delegate

Townships: Center, Osage, Taber, Roscoe, Speedwell

   Debbie is a returning candidate and has just finished her first term with the Extension Council.  Debbie has been a very active member of the Council throughout the years having served as the Council Secretary.  Debbie lives in rural St. Clair County with her husband, Craig, and children.  The Siegismund family are active in the Osage River 4-H Club and when she is not busy with school activities with her children, Debbie enjoys sewing and creating special hair ribbons and bows.  Debbie’s involvement in her community and knowledge about agriculture and youth development is welcomed by the Extension Council.


District IV Delegate

Townships: Osceola, Polk

   Wanda is a very active lifetime resident of St. Clair County.  She lives in rural Osceola with her husband, Dale, and dotes on their three children, 11 grandchildren & 2 great grandchildren.  Wanda has served as the Chair for the Extension Council in 2017 and very seldom misses a meeting. You might see Wanda working at the Food Banc in Osceola, delivering meals for the Senior Center, performing with the Community Choir in Osceola, sewing baby items for Newborns in Need, and in her “spare” time she enjoys reading, canning, working with her goats, and “helping people to become who God wants them to be”. Wanda is the Secretary of Friends of Brush Creek, President of Friends of the Library, board member to the Food Banc in Osceola, and helps with Osceola Optimist activities as needed.  For the past two or three years, Wanda has been very instrumental in assisting Extension Specialists and 4-H groups in guaranteeing the location of the First Baptist Church in Osceola as an area to hold meetings, workshops and programs.  With her vast networking capabilities throughout the county, Wanda will be greatly appreciated as part of the team with our Extension Council.


District V Delegate

Townships: Collins, Washington, Dallas, Doyle, Vista

   After serving a two year term, it is a privilege to welcome candidate, Robert Jesse, back to the Extension Council for a second term.  Bob has been a resident of rural Collins for 21 years.  He is a retired federal and state employee, having been employed by the State of Colorado.  Bob’s hobbies include operating a small cattle farm and old trucks and cars.  He is an active member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and the St. Clair County Cattleman’s Association.  Bob has faithfully served the members of his community as representative for Cattlemen’s Association to the Council in the past.  In his eight years of previous service, Bob attended every meeting held during his terms.  His dedication and concern for his community will enhance the University of Missouri St. Clair County Extension Council’s ability to successfully meet the needs of the people of St. Clair County.


   Be sure to exercise your right to vote the week of January 14, 2018!

Health benefits of tai chi exercise

Nina Chen, former Human Development Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Tai chi is a slow motion, low-impact exercise that promotes physical and mental health and relaxation. It is practiced as an effective exercise for health through a series of flowing, graceful, gentle postures and movements. The gentle flowing movements contain inner power that can strengthen the body, improve mental relaxation and mobilize joints and muscles. Tai chi is an especially suitable therapy for arthritis because of the slow and gentle movements. Here are some of the benefits...

To learn more about tai chi, including the many benefits it can offer, see the full article at http://missourifamilies.org/features/healtharticles/health116.htm


Showcasing the Importance of Agriculture, St. Clair County Attains Agri-Ready County Designation

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO.) – With interest in growing additional opportunities in the local agricultural economy, St. Clair County has applied for and achieved Agri-Ready County Designation by Missouri Farmers Care (MFC), a coalition of 44 leading Missouri agricultural groups. This designation identifies counties that create an environment conducive to agricultural opportunity and growth which are willing to actively support Missouri’s largest industry.

“We are very proud to receive this designation from Missouri Farmers Care and we hope that it will spur more investment in the value added products in our county,” said Bob Salmon, St. Clair County Presiding Commissioner.

In 2016, St. Clair County’s 728 farm and ranch families sold over $76.3 million in agricultural products. Agriculture, forestry and other related industries provided 935 local jobs, according to the recently released Missouri Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study. The county’s agricultural strength is anchored in the value of beef cattle farming and ranching, oilseed farming, and all other crop farming. The beef cattle industry alone contributes over $36 million in sales to the St. Clair County economy.

To read more about the importance of agriculture, you can find the full release at this link: http://mofarmerscare.com/showcasing-the-importance-of-agriculture-st-clair-county-attains-agri-ready-county-designation/



Matthew and Jennie Noakes and family of rural Lowry City were among the families honored during the 59th annual Missouri Farm Family Day, Aug. 14 at the Missouri State Fair.

The Noakes family was selected as the St. Clair County Missouri Farm Family by the St. Clair County Extension Council and local Farm Bureau. The family includes son Trey and daughter, Kaylie.

Each year, the fair sets aside a day to recognize farm families from across the state who are active in their communities, involved in agriculture, and/or participate in local outreach and extension programs such as 4-H or FFA.
The Noakes family operates a large cattle and crop farming operation and Matthew still works closely with his father, Gary, and brother, Luke, moving machinery and general farming tasks.  Trey and Kaylie are both active members of the Crafts-n-Critters 4-H Club and Matthew and Jennie are both project and resource leaders for the 4-H club and the countywide 4-H shooting sports program.

The annual event is sponsored by five partner agencies: the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri State Fair and Commissioners, the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and University of Missouri Extension.
One hundred twelve of Missouri’s 114 counties were represented this year, with two counties still dealing with the aftermath of the recent flooding in southern Missouri.

The event showcases the impact Missouri Farm Families have on the economy and heritage of the state. “These families are involved in agriculture activities in their communities, and are active participants in local outreach and extension,” said Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe. “As the showcase for Missouri agriculture, the Missouri State Fair is most certainly the appropriate place to celebrate these families.”

 Mizzou announces full-tuition grants for low-income students

MU has announced that full tuition scholarships for low-income, Missouri residence students will be available in the fall of 2018. Please share this information with your youth, parents and anyone who may qualify. To find out more, follow this link: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/mizzou-announces-full-tuition-grants-for-low-income-students/article_0ab84064-f878-5306-89ea-78d5f50882ed.html.

Missouri Flooding Impact on Corn and Soybean Survival

The historic rainfall and subsequent flooding across portions of central and southern Missouri have done tremendous damage to property. Farmers with crops planted in fields that are now flooded or saturated will be making evaluations on their corn and soybean stands. There are many factors that determine how well a seedling crop will tolerate flooding. For comprehensive, additional information follow this link: Missouri Flooding Impact on Corn and Soybean Survival.

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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