The Network: A newsletter for champions of MU Extension

The Network — Dec. 15, 2016

A message from Marshall Stewart
Vice chancellor for extension and engagement

As the year winds down I want to thank each of you for a warm welcome to Missouri, your passion for MU Extension, and your continued interest and support. Jan and I have felt embraced by everyone we have met on our travels around our new state, and your efforts to make our transition a smooth one mean more to us than you know.

As you saw in our first issue of The Network in November, we are listening to your feedback and implementing ways to address what you have shared with us. Many of you have stopped to comment on the first edition of this new newsletter, and we are glad that you are enjoying receiving it. The Network is a publication of MU Extension and the Constituent Relations team.

After my first 100 days in office, here are a few things I have come to understand:

  • Many of you want more frequent and direct communication from me.
  • Transparency is appreciated.
  • We have many passionate people working for MU Extension who are striving to do a good job and serve people.
  • We have many passionate and dedicated volunteers and supporters of extension.
  • Our network of councils is strong, and they want to be equipped in their roles.
  • Extension is valued across our state, but there is work to do to help market and build greater understanding of our organization and partnerships.
  • There are a lot of good foundations here for us to build on and help grow together to make ours a premier extension program in the nation.
  • Partnerships we forge across the state will be key to our outreach and success.

The next phase of our plan of “Building Our Future Together” now shifts from my Listen and Learn Tour to our Community Conversations. In this phase we will be gathering groups across the state to learn what they know about us, how we are viewed, what we are doing right, and where we can improve. It is important in these conversations to gather the opinions of those who aren’t already familiar with and using MU Extension, in addition to those like you who do. So if called upon to suggest names or participate, we hope you will do so. I promise to get back with you about what we learn in this process.

My hope is that the holidays will find you surrounded by those you love and that the peace of the season will fill your hearts. I hope you too share in the pride of MU Extension touching the lives of more than 2.3 million Missourians each year. There is much work to be done, but I am excited and encouraged by what I have seen and heard these past three-plus months, and I’m looking forward to the new year and the road we are traveling together.


Happy holidays – from MU Extension!




News from extension

Listen and Learn Tour update

In this six-minute video, Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart provides an update on his Listen and Learn Tour and presents an overview on how he and his leadership team are gathering community input from across the state to shape the future of extension and engagement efforts at the university.

The final regional stop on the tour will be December 15-16 in the West Central Region. A complete listing of all Listen and Learn tour activity is online.

Audio of Dec. 8 administrative leadership meeting

Audio recordings of Vice Chancellor Stewart’s monthly administrative leadership meetings are available at While the meetings are intended to help RDs, PDs, CEDs and vice chancellor team members stay informed on a range of issues, all are welcome to listen to the recordings.

Topics covered during the Dec. 8 meeting include Stewart’s recent discussions with MU deans and the Missouri Municipal League; improving communication within extension and with external stakeholders; partnership opportunities; and updates on searches for the positions of MU chancellor, associate vice chancellor for extension and engagement, dean of CAFNR, and NW regional director.

News for retirees

headshot of Cat Comley AdamsCat’s Corner

Cat Comley Adams
Senior director of advancement

Spring meetings aren’t too far off. Watch after the first of the year for dates, times and locations!

Also, be sure and check out our Milestones Section of this newsletter. There you can keep up to date on newcomers, retirements, folks being honored and condolences we are made aware of. You can submit your news to Linda Runnebaum of the Constituent Relations office. Her contact information can be found under the “Connect with us” section of this newsletter. Just a reminder: This e-newsletter replaces our printed Friends of Extension newsletter for MU Extension retirees. We want to hear from YOU! And if you know people who might enjoy receiving it, let us know and we can add them to our distribution list. The Network is your direct line to stay connected to MU Extension.

From all of us at MU Extension, we thank you for the foundation you laid for us in our organization. We appreciate your continued interest in extension and your support of our branch of Mizzou that continues to impact lives, businesses and communities. Happy holidays!


News for donors

IRA rollover now

Now you can make tax-free gifts from your individual retirement account (IRA). Through the charitable IRA rollover, you can make annual gifts to the University of Missouri from your IRA this year and well into the future because of recent changes in tax law.

See the benefits for you (PDF)

Individuals 70½ and older can transfer up to $100,000 from their individual retirement accounts directly to qualified charitable organizations such as the University of Missouri without being subject to income taxes on the distribution.

Here is how the charitable IRA rollover works:

  • You must be age 70½ or older at the time of the gift.
  • This opportunity applies only to IRAs and no other types of retirement plans.
  • You transfer up to $100,000 directly from your IRA.
  • You cannot give to charitable trusts, donor advised funds, charitable gift annuities or supporting organizations.
  • You cannot get anything in return for your gift such as a premium, points toward football and basketball tickets, etc.
  • You transfer funds outright to one or more qualified charities.
  • You can give any amount, as long as it is $100,000 or less this year.
  • You can use your required minimum distribution (RMD).


RMD on balance of $100,000

RMD on balance of $250,000

RMD on balance of $500,000

RMD on balance of $1,000,000






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News for councils

From Tracy Feller
Director of constituent relations

We hope you are enjoying receiving The Network from MU Extension.

Our plan is to publish monthly around the 15th of the month to provide you with the latest direct messaging from Vice Chancellor Marshall Stewart, to inform you about ways to be involved and or support MU Extension, and to highlight some of the accomplishments and outcomes that have grown out out of research at the University of Missouri to have practical implications across our state. That’s where you play a vital role as council members. You talk and listen to your constituents and communicate the needs and challenges you see and hear about through your council to campus, where those needs can be addressed. You play a valuable role in our land grant mission to serve the residents of our state through the dissemination of research and knowledge.

Do you want to hear about something of interest or on a particular topic? Contact us and we will include your interests or address your questions in future editions.

Responding to your feedback with new tools and resources

In addition to the launch of The Network in November, Constituent Relations has been doing cluster training and CPD training to educate councils, staff and faculty on the new tools created for their use with stakeholders and elected officials. New materials include brochures on how to recruit extension council members and retaining their expertise after their term of service. We also have new materials that outline MU Extension’s role in a land-grant university, and how we put that into practice through programming and services. Many of these tools are also available through the Council Resource Toolbox to help you educate and inform those in your community. You can access the toolbox at

2017 MU Extension calendars  

Looking for a special item to share with your county commissioners or key supporters? Constituent Relations has 2017 MU Extension calendars available for your use! Just contact Linda and she can help send you the small quantities you need. For larger orders, or for personal use or gifts for council members, you can also order them for $5.00 each from Extension Publications at 800-292-0969.

New processes for entering council election data

I have been working with Paula Hudson of MU Extension’s IT group to amend some forms we have used in the past and to streamline some processes such as your post-election online submissions. This will make life easier for county secretaries who provide many of us with up-to-date extension council meeting details. Paula has already started training folks on this new system, starting in early December with training in Columbia of new county program directors. Improvements have been made to the permission-to-publish section, the authorization-to-contact section, and the county, regional and state extension council meeting dates and calendar. Soon all our audiences will be able to see in real time the date, location and times of any county, regional or state council meeting.

News for elected officials

Coming soon: elected officials resource toolbox

This new tool will put the information elected officials and their staff need at their fingertips. It indexes the facts, research, data and resources they can turn to and rely on, to enable them to make informed decisions on matters affecting their constituents in the districts they serve. We hope these are pages you will want to bookmark for quick reference in the future.

For more than 100 years, MU Extension has been an innovator in providing relevant, reliable and responsive resources that impact lives. As a land-grant university, our mission is to disseminate the research and knowledge from our campus to benefit all the citizens in every corner of Missouri. Thanks to the federal establishment of land-grant universities, millions of people who have never set foot on a college campus can improve their lives, help drive their local economies, prepare local youth for leadership and STEM-related jobs, and aid communities in becoming more resilient.

As elected officials, you know it is invaluable to have accurate, unbiased and research-based information to make informed decisions and best represent your constituents. We are committed to assembling an elected officials resource toolbox to help you and your staff get right to the heart of the matter. This handy, tabbed index of resources will launch soon.

We have paired information about counties, regions and communities with research-based tools to allow you to see and understand local economies, access community data, and grasp the challenges, hurdles and successes that your constituents are experiencing. We hear you saying you’d like to be able to pull data by your districts, and we are responding with new ways to enable you to do just that.

From OSEDA information to Community Commons queries, we can help you see the latest data and decipher what it means to equip you and your staff with the evidence-based information you need.

Need an expert on a topic? We have those! Want data to back up your position on an issue? We can point you toward unbiased sources. We hope you and your aides will bookmark this link and refer to it time and again.

The indexed tabs are designed to aid county, state and federal elected officials and their staff in carrying out their duties and serving the constituents they represent. We have tabbed the categories for easy reference, and added subheads within the larger categories to help get you to what you are looking for in the most expeditious way possible.

Our contact information will be under the “Assistance” tab, and we welcome your input and feedback as we continually strive to improve this new tool and to partner with you to serve your constituents.

Tracy Feller, director of constituent relations


Campus spotlight

UM System president-designate welcomed at reception

From Doug Crews, MU Flagship Council

The Memorial Union at Mizzou was abuzz the morning of Dec. 1 as the University of Missouri System’s next president, Mun Choi, and his wife, Suzanne, were received by upwards of 250 faculty, staff, students, campus and community leaders, and alumni, reports Doug Crews of the Mizzou Flagship Council. They also visited UM system’s campuses in St. Louis, Rolla and Kansas City that week, garnering high praise at each stop.

The UM Board of Curators named Choi the UM system’s next president on Nov. 2. He is currently the provost at the University of Connecticut, which is a land-grant public research university like Mizzou. He officially assumes his new role March 1.

Choi’s academic background is going over well with Mizzou faculty members, and his down-to-earth personality and communications style are sure to go over well with members of the public throughout the state as well as with state legislators in Jefferson City.

The Mizzou Flagship Council is eager to work with Choi, whose focus at UConn was on research, teaching and outreach.

Search committee named for vice chancellor and dean of CAFNR

From CAFNR News

A search committee has been convened to identify a new vice chancellor and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. The college has hired the search firm Baker & Associates to work with the committee. Marc Linit, current senior associate dean for research and extension in the college, will take the post of interim dean, beginning Jan. 1, 2017. Current CAFNR Dean Tom Payne will retire at the end of December.

Members of the search committee:

  • Mark McIntosh (chair), interim vice chancellor for research, graduate studies and economic development.
  • Darryl Chatman, BS ’97, MS ’01, MS ’07, JD ’08, attorney, Armstrong Teasdale.
  • Sarah Darr, senior in forestry and recruitment intern.
  • Richard Fordyce, director, Missouri Department of Agriculture.
  • Shari Freyermuth, assistant dean for academic programs, CAFNR; associate teaching professor, biochemistry.
  • Felix Fritschi, associate professor, plant sciences.
  • Sheila Grant, associate dean for research, College of Engineering; professor, bioengineering.
  • Blake Hurst, BS ’78, president and board of directors, Missouri Farm Bureau.
  • Stephen Jeanetta, associate extension professor, Community Development Program.
  • Shibu Jose, H.E. Garrett endowed professor, School of Natural Resources; director of the Missouri Center for Agroforestry.
  • Bill Lamberson, professor, animal sciences.
  • Susan Lasley, business manager, plant sciences.
  • Anthony Lupo, professor, atmospheric science, School of Natural Resources.
  • H. Lincoln Marshall, associate teaching professor, food systems and bioengineering.
  • Kristen Marshall, MS ’00, president, MU Ag Alumni Association.
  • Lauren Mayo, graduate student, reproductive biology.
  • Melissa Mitchum, associate professor, plant sciences.
  • Lowell Mohler, BS ’58. Retired director, Missouri Department of Agriculture.
  • John Raines, BS ’88, senior vice president, global commercial, The Climate Corporation.
  • Tom Spencer, professor, animal sciences.
  • Marshall Stewart, vice chancellor for extension and engagement.
  • Gary Weisman, Curators’ distinguished professor, biochemistry.
  • Darcy Wells, senior executive director for advancement, CAFNR.

Aviation enhancements, better biosensors could result from new sensor technology

From Jeff Sossamon, MU News Bureau

An MU College of Engineering research team has developed methods to enhance piezoelectric sensing capabilities that could be used to improve aviation, detect structural damage in buildings and bridges, and boost the capabilities of health monitors. Full story

New MU program will help low-income families eat healthier

Research has shown that nearly twice as many Americans with low incomes have poor diets compared to middle-class and wealthier Americans. A new MU program will help combat this problem in the mid-Missouri area by providing free dietary counseling to low-income populations at the MU Family Impact Center. Full story

Call to action

In each issue, Vice Chancellor Marshall Stewart will feature a different, relevant call to action. These are ways you can advocate or get involved that will help extension get the word out or maximize our message to decision-makers.

This month I know everyone has a lot going on with the holidays, but my Call to Action over the coming month, from mid-December to mid-January, is for you to continue to forge relationships with your elected officials and to make plans to join us Feb. 28 in Jefferson City for the 2017 Legislative Day.

As in the past, we encourage faculty, administration and staff to drive or travel with their local officials. This is not only more cost-efficient, it also provides a great opportunity to share the impacts and value that MU Extension programming and services are bringing to their constituents in their communities, counties and regions.

More details will be coming soon about the structure of this year’s event, but I have already heard what an impressive presence MU Extension has provided in the past, and how groups like the Flagship Council, the Mizzou Retirees Association and the Mizzou Alumni Association have held us up as the model for how to turn out and represent our university and our organization.

In Legislative Day planning there is a role for each of us to play. From encouraging stakeholders and our network of council members to participate, to staff helping to organize the in-service education (ISE) portion for staff and faculty, to those who can work with 4-H youth and prepare them to also be effective advocates, it takes a village to orchestrate, and we need you.

– Marshall Stewart




Dec. 15-16 – 2016 Crop Management Conference

Begins 8 a.m. Thursday, concludes 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Holiday Inn Executive Center, 2200 I-70 Drive SW, Columbia, MO 65203

The 2016 Missouri Crop Management Conference features a range of topics including managing SDS in soybean, new corn diseases, a recap of dicamba injury, updates on the cover crop strip trials, new farm-weather tools, pasture management and more. Professional advisers can earn continuing education units. Those not seeking CEUs will have reduced registration fee. Conference registration allows free entry to the MO-AG trade show at the same hotel.

Full schedule and details:
Contact: Kevin Bradley, 573-882-4039,


Dec. 17 – Calving Clinic

MU Forage Systems Research Center, 21262 Genoa Road, Linneus, MO (map)

This consists of a one-day seminar with topics that include how to identify dystocia, winter feeding and nutrition during gestation, economic importance of fall and spring calving, and more. This will include lunch.

Cost: $20 for early registration or $25 at the event.
Facilitator: Anita Snell, MU Extension in Sullivan County,, 660-265-4541.


Jan. 9-13 – Youth Development Academy: Raising the Potential to Professional

The MU Extension Youth Development Academy raises the potential of professionals to design and lead positive youth development for children and youth ages 5-18.

Through YDA, participants learn how to relate principles of positive youth development to settings in which they work. After completing the five-day experience, participants are able to:

  • Apply ages and stages of youth development.
  • Design experiential learning activities.
  • Create environments for positive relationships.
  • Plan and evaluate youth programs.
  • Embrace culture and diversity as assets.
  • Facilitate youth-adult partnerships.
  • Develop volunteer systems.
  • Manage risk to protect youth.
  • Build community partnerships.

Course flier (PDF) | Student spotlight (PDF) | How to register (PDF) | Frequently asked questions (PDF) | Contact us (email)

Alison Copeland, University of Missouri
1110 S. College Ave., Room 105, Columbia, MO 65211-3410

Steve Henness, University of Missouri
1110 S. College Ave., Room 142, Columbia, MO 65211-3410

MU Extension in Sullivan County, 660-265-4541



Jan. 17–18 – Northwest Missouri Crop Adviser Conference

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 8:30 a.m., to Wednesday, Jan. 18, 4:45 p.m.
Missouri Western State University Fulkerson Center, 4525 Downs Drive, Saint Joseph, MO (map)

Registration: Contact the MU Extension Center in Buchanan County at 816-279-1691 for registration information.
Cost: Free
Facilitator: Wayne Flanary, MU Extension in Holt County,, 660-446-3724.


Jan. 5 – Soils and Crops Conference

The Southwest Research Center will host the 93rd annual Soils and Crops Conference on Thursday, Jan. 5.
Visit for more information.



Terms, titles and waiting periods clarified for council members

In response to concerns that state statutes on term limits for members of county extension councils are being interpreted and applied in different ways from county to county, MU Extension sought an interpretation from the university’s Office of the General Counsel.

Please contact Tracy Feller at or 573-882-4134 if you have any questions.

A guidance document (DOCX) for terms, titles and waiting periods is available online in the County Resource Toolbox under the “Council elections” tab.



Please welcome

  • Deborah Bennett, nutrition program associate, Buchanan County, NW Region.
  • Randi Ardel Flinn, temporary professional, statewide-administration.
  • Katharine Foran, editor, communications and marketing.
  • James Eric Jackson, 4-H youth specialist, Lafayette County, NW Region.
  • Angela Kaiser, nutrition program associate, St. Louis County, Urban Region.
  • Barbara Larson, nutrition program associate, St. Louis City, Urban Region.
  • Sarah Rohrbach, youth program assistant, Callaway County, EC Region.
  • Kelsey Weitzel, nutrition and exercise physiology associate.
  • Claire Wolff, community development specialist, St. Louis County, Urban Region.
  • Petrina Marie Zieske, student assistant paraprofessional, statewide-administration.


  • Karen Dickey, executive staff assistant, communications and marketing.
  • Jane Henderson, nutrition program associate, Pettis County.
  • Debbie Johnson, strategic communications associate, communications and marketing.
  • Carolyn Ann Jones, PTAC specialist and program manager, SBTDC.
  • Kay Sparks, 4-H youth specialist and co-CPD, Pettis County, WC Region.
  • Callan Vail, nutrition program associate, St. Louis City, Urban Region.
  • Vern Pierce, extension associate professor.


Mary Leuci, assistant dean of CAFNR, was the first MU faculty or staff member to be inducted into the Academy of Engagement Scholarship. A ceremony took place at Sept. 30 at Pennsylvania State University.


Hugh Nutt, retired 4-H youth specialist, passed away Nov. 12 at the age of 90. Nutt worked with MU Extension for more than 30 years, serving youth in St. Francois, Iron, Barton, Jasper, Newton, McDonald and Dade counties. Nutt served in the Army during World War II and the Korean War. A service with military honors was held Nov. 15 at Springfield Veterans Cemetery. Full obituary.

Bonnie Jean Outersky, mother of Jackson County NPA Pamela Smith, passed away Nov. 19.


Connect with us

The Constituent Relations group and the Office of Advancement have teamed up to share news items of interest through this e-newsletter, which replaces the printed Friends of Extension newsletter. In this fast-paced world where news happens quickly, an emailed newsletter not only saves resources, it helps us be timelier and better keep you current. We want to be your Network — and another valuable link to MU Extension.

Is your contact information up to date? Don’t miss another meeting or event. Make sure we have your current mailing and and email addresses.

Have other items you’d like to see? Comments on what you read? Let us know what you’d like to see from us! If that includes retirements, obituaries and personal news, please continue to send them to us and let us know if you have changes to your contact information:

headshot of Linda Runnebaum

Linda Runnebaum
109 Whitten Hall
Columbia, MO 65211

The Network is an online news source for people who champion MU Extension. It is produced by MU Extension Constituent Relations to connect with our stakeholders.