The Network: A newsletter for champions of MU Extension

The Network — April 19, 2017

A message from Marshall Stewart
Vice chancellor for extension and engagement

Exciting new partnerships are being convened by MU Extension, beginning with a new Engagement Council at Mizzou. We are brokering these engagement council opportunities so that we can act as a repository for capturing the immense body of work the university has in play across our state. This is not engagement just for MU Extension. Rather, this is engagement for our land-grant university, of which we are an instrumental part.

The concept is to bring together all the key leadership to coordinate and align ourselves to have the greatest impact in our state. Too often in my travels I have learned of the great work being done by people in one of our schools or colleges within MU who have absolutely no idea that another school, college or program is doing parallel work in that same out-state community! It is truly a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. And yet it shows that, with coordination, we can be greater than the sum of our parts. If we are to ramp up our efforts to show all of the touchpoints we have already, and all those we are planning for across Missouri, we must first make a concerted effort to get the full picture so we can then tell the complete story.

Doing this is no small undertaking, but it is imperative if we are to stop working in silos and begin to demonstrate the broader impact the university has on our state. Only then can our elected officials, citizens and stakeholders see the bigger picture.

Then, combined with the results from extension's ongoing qualitative, quantitative and third-party review process, we will begin to clearly see Missouri’s grand challenges--the overarching impediments to our vibrancy and financial stability as a state. Those two things will allow us to bring together external partners across the state on these broad, complex issues that are at the core of enabling our state to thrive.

These are new and winding roads we are traveling, but along the way we are seeing an enthusiasm and desire to be a part of the new dialogue and to join us on this journey.


Needs assessment update

Vice Chancellor Marshall Stewart provides an update on the statewide needs assessment process conducted by MU Extension. Reports drawing on qualitative conversations, quantitative data and third-party reviews are being finalized this month. Beginning in May, results will be communicated in a series of meetings that will be streamed online, then results will be analyzed during the summer.

Hank Foley leaving for new post

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley has accepted a position as president of New York Institute of Technology. His last day will be May 3.

“I have great appreciation for his leadership and commitment to engagement and extension, which fostered a richer understanding of what is possible at Mizzou,” said Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart. “This will benefit Missourians for years to come. As his appreciation for the value of engagement and extension is shared by University of Missouri System President Mun Choi, I am confident that the search process for a new chancellor will result in leadership that will foster vibrant engagement and extension activity at Mizzou.”

A strong foundation

New book showcases J.C. Penney's role at Foremost Dairy

James Cash Penney – better known as J.C. Penney – always had a passion for agriculture.

Most well-known for his department stores across the United States, Penney also had an extensive background in agriculture. He was instrumental in the development of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Foremost Dairy Research Center, donating a herd of prize-winning Guernsey cows and money to purchase 819 acres for the center.

Click to read full story

Returning veteran finds sweet success

Marine is one of 300,000 veterans expected to return to Missouri in the next decade

Smoke billows from the sugar shack where U.S. Marine veteran Jeremy Beaver cooks maple syrup. It is a crisp Sunday morning. A sweet, smoky smell and the sound of children playing fill the woods. Beaver likes the quiet of the woods where he taps maple trees for syrup. Equally, he likes the sound of his sons playing with their tractors or the laughter of friends enjoying ATV rides and barbecue while he tends the syrup.

Click to read full story

Order MU Extension eclipse glasses

In case you haven’t heard, Missouri will be treated to a solar eclipse Aug. 21!

Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality (which includes St. Joseph, Columbia, Jefferson City, and parts of Kansas City and St. Louis). To view the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun, you must wear safety glasses.

Extension Publications is accepting pre-orders for eclipse glasses printed with the MU Extension logo and 4-H clover. The glasses filter out 100 percent of harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays and 99.9999 percent of intense visible light.

To order, go to Search MUEXT31. Glasses are 80 cents each. There is a limited quantity available, so place your orders soon.

News from Extension

Budget update from Marshall Stewart

In case you missed it, the March 24 video message from Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart contains information about county appropriations and state funding for extension that that has an impact on our budget.

State Farm gift supports MU Extension programs

From left: Jake Logan, assistant vice chancellor for university programs; Sandy Rikoon, dean, College of Human Environmental Sciences; Ryan Kenney, State Farm agency sales leader for northeastern Missouri; Kevin Zumwalt, associate director, Fire and Rescue Training Institute; and Fred Travis, director of the Risk Management and Insurance Program, Trulaske College of Business.

A State Farm Insurance Co. donation of $128,000 presented April 13 includes support for several University of Missouri Extension programs:

• A $54,000 gift to MU Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute will fund essential firefighting and rescue training for Missouri emergency responders to highway incidents. The funding will sponsor 18 courses, providing training to an estimated 400 firefighters and emergency responders throughout the state.

MU Extension in Johnson County received $7,000 to support delivery of roadway safety education programming to youth in the Johnson County area, with topics including car, ATV, bicycle, general roadway and pedestrian safety.

• The Family Impact Center, administered by MU Extension, received $10,000 to support the center’s financial literacy program. Through partnerships with various units within the university, the Family Impact Center provides services to community members in Columbia in a variety of fields, including health, financial literacy and life skills. The center also offers a number of youth programs.

• The Office for Financial Success, part of the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences, received $12,000. The program provides valuable financial counseling and resources, including educational workshops, weekly financial tips, tax preparation and MU Extension programming across the state of Missouri.

Also receiving gifts from State Farm were MU Health Care’s Frank Mitchell Trauma Center ($20,000), and the Trulaske College of Business’s Risk Management and Insurance Program ($25,000).

More information about the gifts is available from the MU News Bureau.

Missouri's one and only: the BDP statewide network

When the USSR’s Sputnik hurtled into orbit in late 1957, the U.S. was shocked. Slowly it dawned on us that we were unprepared to keep pace with other nations in capitalizing on advances in science, mathematics, education and dozens of other disciplines.

Not surprisingly, the federal government launched a multitude of initiatives to help our country catch up. One of those was the State Technical Services Act of 1965 that called for “wider diffusion and more effective application of science and technology in business, commerce and industry …” and added that “federally financed research, as well as other research, must be placed more effectively in the hands of American business, commerce and industrial establishments.” That legislation planted a seed that — fast forward 52 years — capitalized on the Cooperative Extension model and grew into, among other things, the MU Extension Business Development Program (BDP).

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Master Gardener's Big Italian tomato goes national

A national tomato growers supply company honors a Missouri Advanced Master Gardener this spring by selling tomato seeds she saved for decades. On the cover of its 2017 catalog, the Tomato Growers Supply Co. features “Mrs. Maxwell’s Big Italian,” an heirloom beefsteak tomato prized for its flavor. The dark pink tomato is the result of seed-saving by the late Sally Maxwell of Mexico, Mo.

“Heirloom tomato varieties have become increasingly popular among gardeners,” said David Trinklein, University of Missouri Extension horticulturist. “In addition to being prized for their taste, many heirlooms have historical significance and sentimental value, having been passed from generation to generation over the years.”

Click to read full story

4-H'ers learn to be soil health super sleuths

Missouri 4-H members are digging deep into learning about healthy soils. Missouri 4-H’ers are joining 4-H’ers across the nation in the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, sponsored by the National 4-H Council and Monsanto. This year’s Ag Innovators Experience, called the Healthy Soils CSI (Carbon Soil Investigation) Challenge, helps 4-H’ers in third through eighth grade learn how modern agricultural practices can improve soil health, says University of Missouri Extension 4-H specialist Shane Potter.

The program also supports 4-H’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) efforts. “Soil doesn’t just mean dirt,” Potter says. It is a mixture of minerals, organic material, living organisms, microbials, air and water. “There is an entire world beneath your feet!”

Click to read full story

News for donors

headshot of Cat Comley AdamsCat’s Corner

Cat Comley Adams
Senior director of advancement


The 2017 Donor Recognition Weekend is fast approaching! The event begins Friday, April 28, with the Library Society Reception featuring Major Garrett, chief White House correspondent with CBS news. Saturday, April 29, is the Chancellor’s Society Luncheon and the Jefferson Club Dinner featuring Jim Lehrer, co-founder of PBS NewsHour. The weekend concludes April 30 with the Legacy Society Brunch. I look forward to seeing many of you there! If you are not familiar with Donor Recognition Weekend and would like more information, please contact me at or 573-882-2003.

News for retirees

An unprecedented event, Mizzou Giving Day challenged all members of the Mizzou community to philanthropically support MU. The message of Mizzou Giving Day was any gift makes a difference, and you listened. Mizzou Giving Day was a success because it demonstrated the immense gratitude people have to be Tigers. The first-ever Mizzou Giving Day engaged the entire MU community, and you – the MU faculty, staff and retirees – were an instrumental part of this celebratory day.

On behalf of the It’s My Mizzou Campaign, thank you for your everyday commitment to Mizzou and investing in it even more on Mizzou Giving Day. You helped create a wave of Mizzou spirit that makes a difference for our campus community, instilling pride in those who call MU home. If you have not recently made a gift to MU, we encourage you to learn more about payroll deduction, giving online opportunities or joining the Mizzou Alumni Association at a discounted rate for faculty, staff and retirees. Together we make Mizzou stronger!

Quilt Camp 2017

Save the date! Quilt Camp will be Monday, July 31, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton, Mo. Additional details will be available in the near future. Questions can be directed to

News for councils

Communicating with our traditional funders: Version 2017

From Mark Stewart, director of off-campus operations

As the summer approaches, get ready for a little friendly competition in advocacy with your other county extension councils around the state. In his Administrative Leadership Meeting teleconference last week, Vice Chancellor Stewart opened the door, now let me set the stage.

As a publicly supported program effort, University of Missouri Extension receives direct public support from the following (FY17 basis): local appropriations - $5.2M; university general allocation (before withholding) - $26.3M; federal Smith-Lever - $10.8M. My question to us all is this: Would we treat the folks that help make this happen, our elected officials, differently if they were donors rather than governmental funding lines?

Working as a livestock specialist, I invited donors to programs to observe the programs they sponsored, recognized when they attended programs, and in general made sure they understood their support was appreciated. The extension councils I worked with helped make this happen. That is the challenge to all MU Extension council members, faculty, staff and administration: This summer, work with your RD and CPDs to engage your elected officials (donors) with the programs they support.

The goal is to get them to attend/observe local extension program efforts in the counties, towns and districts they serve.

• For county commissioners, mayors and county managers: Try to get each of them to two programs between now and the end of 2017.

• For state legislators: Start sharing program invitations as soon as the legislative session ends in May, getting each member to at least two programs in their district before the 2018 legislative session convenes.

• For members of Congress: August is the traditional recess time, when many are back in their districts. Our partner and stakeholder development staff is working alongside government relations to host Summer in the District. These are opportunities to work with legislative staffers to use their August time in Missouri to see firsthand the great programs that are touching their constituents. We will be enlisting your help to attend and facilitate those once we have the dates nailed down.

I am sure you all noticed that I highlighted program in the goals above. These are the events we really want our elected officials to see. Educational programing such as Stay Strong Stay Healthy classes, local board training classes, a robotics rumble or a grazing school, to name a few, is where the real value of extension is created. We typically invite our officials to awards events and annual meetings, but not to where the true work and value of the local council, faculty and staff begins.

Stay tuned next month as we share some structure for this friendly challenge, including how we would like to capture these invitations and interactions.

Campus spotlight

From idea to reality

Bioengineering graduate student unveils new dermatological laser technique discovered four years ago with former MU colleague.

When working in the laboratory, Paul J.D. Whiteside has a few favorite sayings to help him through the trials and tribulations of his endeavors. The first one that comes to his mind? “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

Click to read 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.

I encourage each of you who advocates for MU Extension to continue to invite and engage influencers locally to programs and activities in your county or region. Building awareness for what we offer, and the impact it has, remains vitally important to continued financial support for what we do. No one is better positioned than you are to know who to engage with and to invite to see our work in action. Let us know what steps you take so we can inspire others to do likewise!

In August, the members of the Missouri congressional delegation will be back from Washington and in their home districts. In the past we have spent time going to see them. Now we want to use this time when they are back home to showcase MU Extension and the stellar work being done right in their own districts! So be thinking and help us identify a list of opportunities you and your council, RDs and CPDs already have planned for us to build invitations around. You can submit those to Tracy Feller at

Also, don’t forget to continue to submit your area’s important dates and upcoming events to Linda Runnebaum, who can get extra exposure for you in this newsletter to further reach external audiences. Her email is

– Marshall Stewart


April 19 and 20, 6-9 p.m. – Workshop: Understanding the Alphabet Soup of USDA Programs
101 Main Street, Hillsboro, Mo.


April 19, 3:30 p.m. – Plant Sciences Seminar Series
200 Waters Hall, Columbia, Mo. Speaker: Jim Kerns, associate professor and extension specialist at North Carolina State University.


April 24, 2 p.m. – 2017 Earth Day - W.A. Albrecht Lecture
Memorial Union, Jesse Wrench Auditorium, Columbia, Mo. Speaker: J. Scott Angle, president and CEO, International Fertilizer Development Center.


April 26, 3:30 p.m. – Plant Sciences Seminar Series
200 Waters Hall, Columbia, Speaker: Adam Heuberger, assistant professor at Colorado State University.


April 29, 9 a.m.-noon – 2017 Vegetable Grafting Workshop
101 Main Street, Hillsboro, Mo.


April 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Horse Plow Demonstration Day
MU Rocheford Turkey Farm, Columbia, Mo.


April 29, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – Agroforestry Workshop
Allen Project Site, Laurie, Mo.


May 9, 5-7 p.m. – Growing Knowledge at the Farm - Garden Techniques
Jefferson Farm & Garden, 4800 New Haven Road, Columbia, Mo.


Partnership and stakeholder development

Creating synergy of ideas, resources and groups dedicated to addressing the needs of our state.

The partnership and stakeholder development efforts within MU Extension cultivate and sustain relationships with key stakeholders of the University of Missouri and MU Extension. We build understanding of extension’s land grant mission to disseminate the knowledge and research of MU to all Missourians through practical, research-based programming that improves people’s lives and impacts businesses and communities. We facilitate the formation of partnerships, internal and external, that bring groups together to address issues facing Missourians. We work closely with elected officials on the local, state and national levels to demonstrate the value of the UM System, the university and extension. We are charged with identifying, tracking and promoting the various touchpoints that the university already has across the state, and actively engaging with partners and stakeholders across the state who have the collective power to effect great change for Missouri. Together, we are committed to helping to build a vision for how a university can impact its state and fulfill its land-grant mission.

Tracy Feller, director of partnership and stakeholder development

Tracy will be taking on a more hands-on role with regard to the “and engagement” part of Extension. As director of partnership and stakeholder development, she will work alongside Marshall Stewart, vice chancellor for extension and engagement, to cultivate partnerships and build bridges of engagement and support for MU Extension and the University of Missouri. Partnerships with organizations, associations and other universities will help MU Extension to be ideally positioned to have the greatest impact on our state. She will be helping to facilitate new MOUs and MOAs with other key groups and colleges in our state. Tracy will continue to facilitate CARET, PILD, Farm Family Day, MU Extension’s portion of the UM System Legislative Day, and other partner-related events and meetings as assigned.

Linda Runnebaum, business support specialist II

Linda supports both the director of partnership and stakeholder development, Tracy Feller, and the director of off-campus operations, Mark Stewart. She manages and reconciles our budget expenditures, is editor of our external audience newsletter, The Network, and staffs the MU Extension State Council. Linda is responsible for catering, meeting planning, hotel contracts and a multitude of other meeting-related details. In addition, she assists with special events for both directors, and serves as our office manager.

Mark Stewart, new Director of off-campus operations, assuming council responsibility

Mark, a veteran of MU Extension and former interim associate vice chancellor for extension and engagement, transitioned March 1 to MU Extension’s director of off-campus operations. In addition to working closely with regional directors (RDs) and addressing field operations issues, he will also be working with the State Extension Council. Mark will be supporting the RDs in their work with their regional councils and will be the campus contact RDs turn to if they need assistance answering county council or CPD questions. He is the person your RDs will come to in sorting out complex situations that arise with volunteers, field faculty and staff, and commissioners. By hearing about county budget and other problems early on, he can work with stakeholder development and the administrative team to get in front of situations. Mark will work with the training team to roll out more comprehensive council training. Mark reports to the vice chancellor for extension and engagement.

New regional map sheets are almost ready

I have been busy this month collecting and double-checking the regional map sheets that reference all of our county extension offices. As soon as we have the last few responses in, we will go to print and make them available to you for your use, both in print form and from the Councils and Elected Officials Toolbox sites.

In addition, the Overview of MU Extension has been updated and is at the printer. We can assemble several versions of this for you, depending on your budget, and many of the sheets will also be updated in the toolboxes as well. Look for them by end of this month.

How to access the Council Resource Toolbox:

  1. From the MU Extension home page, go all the way to the bottom and click on “Extension councils
  2. This will take you to an overview page of what each council does.
  3. On the right-hand side you will see Council Resource Toolbox that will put information at your fingertips!



Vivian Anderson, family financial education specialist and CPD, Callaway County.

Wendeline Brumbaugh, family financial education specialist.

Milly Carter, business support specialist II.

Chris Merritt, nutrition specialist.

Virgil Woolridge, family financial education specialist.


Gerald B. DeJaynes, father of accounting associate Shelly DeJaynes, passed away March 26 at the age of 70. Obituary.

Dale Morrison, father of retired 4-H specialist and Greene County co-CPD Byron Morrison, died March 31 at the age of 93. Obituary.

Connect with us

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement, Constituent Relations, and the Office of Advancement have teamed up to share news 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 to be timelier in getting information out to you and keeping you up to date. 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 email addresses.

Have other items you’d like to hear about or 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