The Network: A newsletter for champions of MU Extension

The Network — July 2017

A message from Marshall Stewart
Vice chancellor for extension and engagement

I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day holiday and took some time to relax and connect with family and friends. With the holiday behind us, the campus at Mizzou is in full summer mode; students are in the second four-week summer session and facilities maintenance projects are being completed before the fall semester.

At extension centers across the state, seasonal information related to plants and agriculture is in demand. For many of our specialists, this time of year brings great satisfaction as they share their valuable knowledge.

If you have been keeping up with news out of Jefferson City, you may be aware that just before the holiday, the governor took steps to address projected revenue shortfalls. This will result in an additional budget cut for the university. It moves the total cut from 6.5 to 9 percent.

Because we just completed a series of layoffs in response to the initial cut, determining how to manage this additional cut is a challenge. We are committed to honoring our land-grant mission, but funding instabilities like this make it difficult to best serve Missourians.

Having recently completed a statewide needs assessment, we have the benefit of valuable information to guide us as we set priorities and outline how to respond. Based on the needs assessment, our focus will be around Missouri’s three grand challenges: economic opportunity, educational excellence and healthy futures. Going forward, all extension efforts will be aligned with chipping away at these vexing challenges for our state.

This summer I have been traveling to meet with stakeholders and share information gleaned from the statewide needs assessment. I am also sharing new concepts that might reshape programs and services related to extension and engagement. The feedback received has been tremendous and is greatly appreciated.

For the month of July, my call to action for extension supporters is to talk to those in your sphere of influence about the strides MU Extension and Engagement has made to better understand the people of our state. We are listening and take our commitment to Missourians very seriously.

Your support helps lessen the load during trying times and plays a critical role in our ability to serve the people of Missouri. For all you do, thank you!

P.S. Last month I held a “virtual town hall” with extension council members across the state. If you're interested, an audio recording and presentation slides are available at


News from Extension

Video update from Marshall Stewart

In this June 22 video update on MU Extension, Vice Chancellor Marshall Stewart discusses the recently completed needs assessment, the budget situation and how MU Extension is changing to meet the needs of Missourians.

Visit us at the State Fair

Connect with Mizzou and MU Extension at the Missouri State Fair, Aug. 10-20 in Sedalia. Visit Mizzou Central at the MO-Ag Theatre near the Grandstand, and Missouri 4-H at the 4-H Building on Main St. across from the MoDOT Highway Gardens and Expo Center. Hours, map and directions.

Mizzou Tech Roadshow & Mixer showcases innovation

Investors, entrepreneurs, tech company executives and others are encouraged to attend the Mizzou Tech Roadshow & Mixer, 3-6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the St. Louis office of the Thompson Coburn law firm, 35th floor, U.S. Bank Plaza, 505 N. Seventh St. The free event will explore biomedical innovations from Mizzou, discuss new technologies and licensing opportunities, and provide opportunities to network with researchers, investors, entrepreneurs, alumni and university speakers. Learn more.

Stewart joins FRTI on the Big Muddy

Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart, center, visited the MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute’s 2017 Summer Fire School in Jefferson City. Despite the name, the Summer Fire School includes classes and hands-on activities on a variety of topics of interest to firefighters and other emergency responders, including water and boat rescue.

PTAC helps Brookfield construction firm land government contracts

Her portion of the work is a little piece of a big project, but construction business owner Lois Rodriguez is making the most of it. As president and CEO of Better By Design LLC, Rodriguez is doing her part to make the long-awaited East Locust Creek Reservoir a reality. Her Brookfield, Mo., company contracted last year with the North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission to provide debris removal and environmental remediation services. BBD is a client of the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers. MO PTAC, part of MU Extension’s Business Development Program, guides clients through the extensive process of bidding for federal, state and local government contracts. Full story.

News for councils

Missouri receives federal crisis counseling program grant to aid flood victims

Those of you in areas affected by the severe flooding from April 28 to May 11 may want to share news that Missouri has received a federal grant to fund psychological services for survivors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded this short-term disaster relief grant to the Missouri Department of Mental Health. This will enable the state to continue outreach services through six participating community mental health centers.

More information: Missouri receives Show Me Hope crisis counseling grant to help flood survivors (DMH news release).

News for donors

headshot of Cat Comley AdamsCat’s Corner

Cat Comley Adams
Senior director of advancement

Mizzou Alumni Association hosts ‘Golden Days of Summer’

From New York City to Denver to LA, Tigers nationwide will celebrate their stripes with events during the Mizzou Alumni Association’s Golden Days of Summer tour. Check out the full event lineup to find an event near you, and connect with MAA on Facebook, Twitter and the MAA blog for the most recent updates.

Residence halls provide football fans a home away from home

Mizzou alumni and fans traveling to Columbia for a football game this fall now have the opportunity to stay on campus – and within walking distance of Memorial Stadium. Learn more about this new program.

Campus snapshot

Originally built in 1842, the Columns on Francis Quadrangle are the subject of a restoration project this summer. Work is expected to be complete by early August.

News for retirees

MU Extension Summit set for Oct. 24-26

Mark your calendars: The MU Extension Summit will be held Oct. 24-26 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. More information will appear in future issues as it becomes available.

Quilt Camp 2017

Quilt Camp will be Monday, July 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton, Mo. Registration is $15, lunch included. Please note any dietary restrictions with your registration. To register, email RSVP preferred by July 1.

Campus spotlight

Mizzou a national ‘best buy’

The University of Missouri has been recognized as a “school on the rise” and one of the top universities for its price by being named a “Best Buy” school in the 2018 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges, which for more than 30 years has been a resource for parents and students in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Read the full story at Mizzou News, and consider sharing it on your social media channels and with local media contacts.

Mizzou’s Freshman Interest Group program a national model

In 1995, MU began one of its longest-running and most successful experiments: Freshman Interest Groups. This program gives new students the option to join thematic learning groups. Today, the program is an integral part of the Mizzou experience for thousands of students and contributes to near-record retention rates. Read more.

MU Health Care wins innovator award

MU Health Care has been recognized for the seventh consecutive year as one of the nation’s “Most Wired” health systems, according to the 2017 Most Wired Survey. The survey results were released July 10 by the American Hospital Association. Additionally, MoodTrek, an integrated mood tracking app developed by MU Health Care and the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation, has received the survey’s “Innovator Award.” Read more.


July 22-29 – Pike County Youth Fair
Exhibit Hall, 15884 Hwy. 54, Bowling Green, Mo.

July 22 & 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., July 23 & 30, noon-4 p.m. – Butterfly Festival
Jefferson Farm and Garden, 4800 E. New Haven Road, Columbia.

July 25, 6-9 p.m. – Food Safety Workshop - From Field to Market
110 Saint Louis St., West Plains, Mo.

July 26, 1-5 p.m. – 2017 Fall Blackberry Production Workshop
MU SW Research Center, 14548 Highway H, Mount Vernon, Mo.

Aug. 3 – Vegetable Grower Field Day
Bradford Research Center, 4968 Rangeline Road, Columbia.

Aug. 3, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Organic Field Day
22183 Poplar Ave., Nelson, Mo.

Aug. 8, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. – Greenley Research Center Field Day
Greenley Memorial Research Center, 64399 Greenley Place, Novelty, Mo.

Aug. 8, 5-7 p.m. – Growing Knowledge at the Farm - Insects in the Garden
Jefferson Farm & Garden, 4800 E. New Haven Road, Columbia.

Aug. 10, 9 a.m.-noon – Organic Field Day
1002 Highway 19, Hermann, Mo.

Aug. 11, 6-8 p.m. – Fun Family Fishing Night
Jefferson Farm & Garden, 4800 E, New Haven Road, Columbia.


Tips on inviting, hosting officials for ‘Summers in the District’

In last month’s issue, Marshall Stewart called on county program directors and their county extension councils to invite elected officials to programming in their areas when senators and representatives are back in their districts this summer. We are calling this effort “Summer in the District.” Tracy Feller, director of partnership and stakeholder development, offers advice on approaching legislators and elected officials to showcase programs and demonstrate the value of MU Extension. Read more.

New county support staff manual added to the Council Resource Toolbox

Georgia Stuart-Simmons has been hard at work creating a new county support staff manual. Training on that is underway, but we have also made it available online in the Council Resource Toolbox for those who work with county support staff.

You can find it in the toolbox under the “county support staff” tab at

“This manual was created to assist new county support staff as they learn the many aspects of their job,” says Stuart-Simmons, “but we’re hearing from experienced support staff and county program directors that this is a valuable resource for them as well.”

Training offered for CPDs

Training is being planned for county program directors on the following dates:

  • Aug. 31-Sept. 1: Working With County Councils
  • Nov. 9-10: Supervising Personnel

Both sessions will run from noon Thursday to noon Friday. CPDs who have not previously participated in training on these topics should hold these dates on their calendars. Registration for the August/September session should be available before the end of July. Please encourage your CPD to participate.

We are always looking for new ways and tools to support your advocacy role. If you have ideas, let me know! You can always reach me at or call my direct line at 573-882-4134. -Tracy


Please welcome

Brenda Carter, nutrition program associate, Pettis County, WC Region.

John Fuller, human development and family science specialist, Butler County, SE Region.

Eric Bailey, state beef nutrition specialist.


Matt Pezold, labor education specialist, married Samantha Ghali in Montreal, Quebec, on May 28.

Dhruba Dhakal, NE Region agronomy specialist, and his wife, Sunita Bhattarai, are the proud parents of a new daughter, Aava Dhakal.


Bob Broz, assistant extension professor and water quality program director.


Bonnie Selby, secretary/bookkeeper for MU Extension in Camden County for 40 years before her retirement, passed away at her home Friday, July 7, at the age of 80 years and one day. Obituary.

Connect with us

The offices of the vice chancellor for extension and engagement, the director of partnership and stakeholder development, and the senior director of advancement have teamed up to share news of interest through this online newsletter, which replaces the printed Friends of Extension newsletter.

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Curt Wohleber
4 Whitten Hall
Columbia, MO 65211