The Network: A newsletter for champions of MU Extension

The Network — May 16, 2017

A message from Marshall Stewart
Vice chancellor for extension and engagement

As many of you have heard me mention, MU Extension has helped to launch a collective effort across our campus to better demonstrate the value the University of Missouri brings to communities, families, individuals and businesses. This MU Engagement Council that I proposed has “grown legs” and now has 100 interested university leaders all looking to accomplish some collective goals:

  1. To collect and inventory the hundreds of touch points that MU has across our state in service, education, programming and research in order for all of us to see what communities we are in and to better coordinate our research, service, programming and efforts.
  2. To catalog the inventory in an automated dataset that allows us to show our elected officials (who vote on our funding), our stakeholders and our partners the impact we have across in their districts and in their constituents' lives. Only then can we truly demonstrate the impacts of budget cuts and put a face on those who will suffer.

This amazing group of internal leaders faces tough decisions ahead, but by working in tandem we have the best chance of providing a picture of what Missouri would look like if not for many of the valuable resources we provide.

We will also be sharing this information as we go along with counties and extension councils that are looking at the areas we want to showcase in our “Summer in the District” efforts. Mark Stewart is spearheading this program with the RDs, CPDs and extension councils. Tracy Feller is working with Government Relations and the staff of our elected officials. The intent is to take existing successful programs, or areas that elected officials might not know about, and showcase them to our elected officials and local government when lawmakers are back in their districts over the summer.

How can you help? Talk to your local extension office and get involved. Offer to use your contacts to invite officials to see existing programs firsthand, talk about the impacts in your vicinity – and then send us feedback on their reactions through an automated system that Joe Lear and Paula Hudson are creating to capture who we got in front of.

With 6.6 million Missourians, it “takes a village” to carry out the MU Extension mission. We couldn’t do it without you.



News for councils

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that governs minimum wages, overtime pay eligibility, child labor standards and record keeping requirements for employers. Since extension councils are public employers, the provisions of FLSA apply to them for both full- and part-time employees.

The current minimum wage in Missouri is $7.70 per hour. All employees covered by FLSA must receive overtime pay for hours worked greater than 40 hours in a workweek at a rate not less than 1.5 times their regular rates of pay. For public employers, comp time can be paid in lieu of overtime pay at the rate of 1.5 hours per hour of overtime worked. However, an employer is required to inform any employees prior to working overtime that the overtime will be paid via comp time.

A workweek under FLSA is any fixed and regularly occurring period of 168 hours – seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It can begin on any day of the week and at any hour of the day. FLSA does not allow employers to average hours over two or more weeks.

Finally, employers are required keep records for all employees covered by FLSA. There is no form that must be followed, but the records must be easily accessible and open to inspection. Some of the records that must be kept include:

  • Employee’s full name and SSN.
  • Address, including ZIP.
  • Birth date, if younger than 19.
  • Sex.
  • Occupation.
  • Time/day of week when workweek begins.
  • Hours worked per day.
  • Total hours each workweek.
  • Basis on which wages are paid.
  • Regular hourly pay rate.
  • Total day/week straight time earnings.
  • Total OT earnings for workweek.
  • All additions to or deductions from wages.
  • Total wages each pay period.
  • Date of payment and pay period covered by each payment.

Depending on the type of record, employers must keep them for two to three years on the site where the employee worked.

Most FLSA regulations establish a minimum standard, and individual employers are free to provide more generous wages and benefits such as overtime.

For more information, go to or


News from Extension

Flood-related resources from MU Extension

MU Extension has a variety of articles and publications available to households and businesses affected by flooding. Read more.

Provost, education dean visit Urban East centers with VC Stewart

In April, Vice Chancellor Marshall Stewart, Provost Garnett Stokes and College of Education Dean Kathryn Chval visited the Urban East region as part of the provost’s traveling office hours. The tour included the extension centers in St. Peters, Kirkwood and St. Louis, and two College of Education charter schools. They met with faculty, staff, alumni and other stakeholders.

Pictured, from left: Colleen Devlin of Mizzou Advantage, St. Charles County Master Gardener Evelyn Franks, 4-H specialist Dana Joerling, Urban East associate RD Jody Squires, 4-H educator Lauren Richardson, Urban RD Cynthia Zluticky, Provost Garnett Stokes, St. Charles CPD Emily Barbee, College of Education Dean Kathryn Chval, Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart, and horticulture specialist Rich Hoorman.

Copeland named interim 4-H director

Alison Copeland

Effective June 1, Alison Copeland will become interim program director of the Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development.

Copeland currently serves as assistant director and state 4-H youth development specialist.

“For more than 20 years, Alison has been an invaluable asset to Missouri 4-H,” says Blake Naughton, MU associate vice chancellor for extension and engagement. “Thanks to her depth of experience and proven leadership ability, we are confident that 4-H will be in good hands.”

Copeland has a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the MU College of Education. In her more than 20 years with MU Extension, she has developed and implemented a variety of youth development initiatives, statewide training and workshop opportunities, and faculty in-service trainings.

Ina Linville

Ina Linville, who has served as Missouri 4-H program director since 2009, is retiring. In more than 30 years with Missouri 4-H, Linville served in a variety of roles, including assistant director, and regional and state specialist. She has helped garner and supervise more than $6 million in grants and contracts to support youth programs. She was recently a fellow of the Food Systems Leadership Institute, a top-tier leadership development program for academia, industry and government.

“Ina’s dedication to 4-H has touched the lives of countless Missouri youth over the years,” said Naughton. “Under her committed leadership, Missouri 4-H has been able to cultivate new resources, form valuable partnerships and develop innovative programs, leaving a lasting legacy that will serve Missouri’s youth for years to come.”

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.

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 MU 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.

A tree grows in Kirkwood

Kirkwood, Mo., celebrated Arbor Day 2017 at the MU Extension Center in St. Louis County. Eight native Missouri oaks were planted at the center. Pictured, from left, Kirkwood City Council members Nancy Luetzow and Ellen Edman; extension horticulture specialist Nathan Brandt; St. Louis CPD Dwayne James; Kirkwood Mayor Tim Griffin; Kirkwood City Council member Mark Zimmer; Kirkwood Urban Forestry Commission chair David Slane.

Rare fish sheds light on improved water quality

MU Extension specialist Frank Wideman shows the Apple Creek karst window.

PERRYVILLE, Mo. – A rare cave-dwelling fish is shedding new light on how farmers are improving water quality through cover crops and nutrient management.

University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) say new nests of grotto sculpin are growing in caves in southeastern Missouri.

The small, endangered fish lives only in Perry County caves. MDC biologists recently found 11 egg nests in seven of the county’s 15 major caves. MDC has researched grotto sculpin for more than a decade.

MU Extension natural resources engineer Frank Wideman says improved water quality likely accounts for the increased numbers. This is the first time MDC found reproduction of the fish deep within the caves. Adapted to live in the dark, the rare fish is pale from lack of pigment and may have small eyes.

Wideman helps farmers learn how to keep pollutants from reaching the water system through practices such as cover crops and improved nutrient management.

About three-fourths of the water in Perry County’s karst lands passes through channels in the rock of the county’s vast underground cave system. Streams and sinkholes feed into the caves.

The Perryville area contains “tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of sinkholes,” Wideman says. Sinkholes, dips in the land’s surface, carry runoff surface water to cave passages and underground streams.

Perry County’s karst land area includes springs and three creeks are the outlets for the underground water system. Some sinkholes and creeks go both ways. Heavy rainfall causes flash flooding, making the area’s caves unsafe and uncertain for spelunkers. These events also rush farm chemicals and soil into the water system.

Farmers in Perry County work to improve the county’s water through no-till cropping systems, cover crops and nutrient management, Wideman says.

Farmers have stabilized sinkholes by planting cover crops to prevent soil and nutrients from washing through gullies into sinkholes leading to caves. They also plant grass buffer zones as barriers around sinkholes. The grass filters out pollutants before they enter the water system. Wideman estimates that sinkholes are present in almost half of the prime farmland in Perry County and properties within the city of Perryville.

“They might be very useful chemicals in crop fields, but once they are in the cave system, they’re pollutants,” Wideman says.

Wideman says Perry County farmers grew 6,000 acres of cover crops last year as part of a state cost-share program that establishes a Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in each county. MU Extension and its partners, including SWCD and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, offer schools on why and how to grow cover crops. MU Extension strip trials in Perry County and other parts of the state help researchers study what works best for specific crops and regions.

Increased awareness extends beyond the rural community, Wideman says. Perryville city officials practice safe drainage. They encourage lawn owners to bag their grass clippings for pickup to keep nitrogen in the clippings from entering the water system. They work with automotive and manufacturing businesses to encourage safe chemical disposal.

City parks contain covered barriers over sinkholes to prevent park visitors from falling into the caves and running water below. The flow of good-quality running water can be heard through the barriers thanks to partnerships between MU Extension, SCWD, the city of Perryville and others, Wideman says.

Go to to learn about MU’s strip trial program and to learn about cover crops.

To learn about the SWCD cost-share program, go to

To learn more about the grotto sculpin, go to

4-H pledges to re-engage millions of alumni to help grow 4-H

Raise your hand if you or someone you know is a 4-H alum from Missouri.
Jennifer Nettles, 4H

Jennifer Nettles is a Grammy Award-winning musician, actress and 4-H national spokesperson.

4-H, the largest youth development program in the nation, is calling on all alumni to raise their hands to help bring 4-H to 10 million youth by 2025. Currently, 4-H empowers nearly 6 million young people in every county across America, including more than 220,000 4-H’ers in Missouri.

For more than 100 years, the 4-H impact on young people has been immeasurable. “Having experienced our programs firsthand, our alumni know best what a positive impact 4-H had on them growing up, which is why we’re reaching out to them to support the next generation of true leaders,” said Marla Tobin, chair of the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

“Whether they’re running Fortune 100 companies, performing to sold-out crowds, leading community programs or volunteering to empower local youth, 4-H alumni are the epitome of true leadership,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO of the National 4-H Council. “Our remarkable alumni now have the perfect opportunity to pay it forward, ensuring that the next generation has the opportunity to benefit from the 4-H experience.”

As part of the Raise Your Hand call to action through June 30, 4-H is asking millions of alumni across the nation, including 4-H alums in Missouri, to “Raise Your Hand” and pay it forward in support of providing the hands-on learning that empowers kids across America.

Joining is easy: Alumni can go online to and fill in their details. Raising a hand in this way is a vote toward a $20,000, $10,000 or $5,000 award for the states with the most alumni hands raised. Alumni can then support the activation by tweeting, posting and sharing their #4HGrown experience, or support and tag fellow alumni by asking them to raise their hands for their state.

“4-H gives kids the opportunity to learn by doing, to grow from not only the encouragements brought by success, but also through challenges and failures, as these kids’ skills will help them to handle whatever life may throw their way,” explains Jennifer Nettles, Grammy Award-winning musician, actress and 4-H national spokesperson.

MU Extension eclipse glasses are here

MU Extension eclipse glasses have arrived and those who pre-ordered should be receiving them soon if they haven’t already.

The glasses filter out 100 percent of harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays and 99.9999 percent of intense visible light. During the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, looking directly at the sun will be unsafe except during the brief total phase of the eclipse (“totality”), when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face. This 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.

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

News for donors

headshot of Cat Comley AdamsCat’s Corner

Cat Comley Adams
Senior director of advancement



Donors make Mizzou Giving Day a success

The first-ever Mizzou Giving Day, noon March 15 to noon March 16, was a smashing success. The Mizzou family exceeded expectations by donating nearly $8.3 million through 3,591 gifts to the university.

News for retirees

University retirees learn about Missouri museums

Retirees from the University of Missouri and their guests learned some important information about museums during a lunchtime presentation by Michael Yonan, associate professor of art history at MU. As reported in the Nevada Daily Mail, Cat Comley Adams, MU Extension senior director of advancement, arranged for Yonan to speak at the Vernon County Senior Center in April. He covered 10 museums in Missouri that, Yonan said, “range from the familiar to the surprising.” Read more.

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

Stokes appointed MU interim chancellor

Garnett Stokes has been appointed interim chancellor of the University of Missouri-Columbia. Stokes, who has served as MU provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs since February 2015, replaces Hank Foley, who stepped down from the role of interim chancellor to become president of the New York Institute of Technology. Stokes will serve as interim chancellor until a permanent chancellor arrives on campus. Read more.

Mizzou Alternative Breaks program emphasizes service

OWENSVILLE, Mo. – It’s a beautiful Saturday morning in spring, perfect for outdoor fun and relaxation. But about a dozen University of Missouri students are devoting the weekend to service. They started the day working at a health fair at the Gasconade Manor nursing home. In the afternoon they’ll go to the nearby Head Start center to do some cleaning, sweep the playground and set up a new picnic table. The next day they will help with a bingo game at an assisted-living facility in Hermann, Mo.

These volunteers are participants in Mizzou Alternative Breaks, a program in which groups of students perform service in communities in the U.S. and abroad. Since 2014, MAB has partnered with MU Extension to send students on weekend trips within Missouri. With a presence in each of the state’s 114 counties, MU Extension is able to help volunteers identify needs and connect with service providers and community resources.

“Having a dozen university students from the School of Health Professions was the impetus to allow the Health Alliance for Gasconade County to do this health fair,” said Brenda Humphrey, 4-H youth assistant for MU Extension in Gasconade County. “We haven’t had one here for over 10 years, and it was something we’ve been really wanting to do but weren’t sure we had the resources to accomplish.”

Mizzou Alternative Breaks started in 1991 as a small student organization. Last year, MAB sent more than 1,800 participants on 158 trips, making it one of the largest university alternative breaks programs in the country. Initially focused on service opportunities during the week of spring break, MAB now has Thanksgiving, winter, spring and early summer trips in addition to the in-state weekend trips.

While the weekend trips represent a smaller time commitment, they are in some ways more challenging, says Abigail Krafft, a sophomore majoring in health sciences and a co-leader on the Gasconade County trip. Her MAB experiences include weeklong trips to Mississippi and Nicaragua. “Those trips are more planned out, while weekend leaders have to find the service sites themselves.” They are also responsible for arranging lodging and attending to numerous other details.

“The students have been very independent and proactive,” says Humphrey. “For the youth from Mizzou to come here and be engaged with our community is truly a blessing. It’s exactly what we need more of.”

Mizzou Alternative Breaks is guided by seven core principles, says senior Sidney Owens, the group’s other site leader. The first and perhaps most important of these is “serve, don’t help.” According to the MAB statement of principles, “We don’t go on these trips to help poor, sick and helpless people. We go to humbly serve them.”

“We go by the philosophy of ‘serve, don’t help’ because want people to realize that service is a mutually beneficial activity and no one should feel like they’re better than another person,” Owens says.

Krafft says the trips are “really good growing experiences. You learn a lot about yourself as a person and a lot about getting out of your comfort zone.”

Her experiences with Mizzou Alternative Breaks have made her confident in her plans for after graduation. “I want to get my master’s in public health policy, and I would like to join the Peace Corps after college to help pay for that.” She saw MAB as a good way to see if a two-year commitment to international service was right for her. “For me, this was a really good opportunity to test my skills and challenge myself.”

Owens says the rewards of service include the opportunity to visit unfamiliar places and meet new people. “I’ve been able to go to different communities I might not normally visit and discuss with residents their lifestyles and what interests them and how they got to where they are,” she says. “I really like talking to people and learning their life stories. It’s really fun when we go somewhere and people say, ‘Wow, I’m so glad you could come.’ It just puts a smile on your face.”

For more information about Mizzou Alternative Breaks, visit

Fighting world hunger: Robotics aid in the study of corn and drought tolerance

Developing drought-tolerant corn that makes efficient use of available water will be vital to sustain the estimated 9 billion global population by 2050. With funding from the National Science Foundation, Mizzou engineers on a multidisciplinary team have developed a robotic system that is changing the way scientists study climate variability, crops and plant composition.

Gui DeSouza, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and colleagues and students in his Vision-Guided and Intelligent Robotics (ViGIR) Laboratory partnered with researchers such as Felix Fritschi, an associate professor of plant sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and Todd Mockler, a principal investigator with the Danforth Plant Science Center to study the effects of climate change on crops in Missouri. Using principles developed in the ViGIR lab, DeSouza is changing the way agriculturists collect data in the field.

Read more.

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.

My Call to Action this month is to be our voice in your counties and regions! We have many new tools at your disposal to underscore the conversations all of you as council members and officers have.

In addition, you read earlier about our new “Summer in the District” initiative to demonstrate our stellar programming to elected officials (local, state and federal). Please work with your CPDs and RDs to help get the right folks to participate and shine the best light possible on the programs and services that change lives, impact economies, and create vibrant, healthy communities. Use your personal contacts and include local commissioners that you have relationships with.

There will be numerous ways that Mark Stewart will be telling you about where you can volunteer this summer in addition to Summer in the District, such as the State Fair, Farm Family Day, and at your local fairs and events. Thank you for being our voice across the state.

– Marshall Stewart


May 19, 6-8 p.m. – St. Charles County Extension Annual Dinner
University of Missouri Extension Office, 260 Brown Road, Saint Peters, Mo.


June 3, 6-8p.m. – 2017 Northeast Missouri Show-Me-Select Fall Calving Bred Heifer Sale
F&T Livestock Market, 5864 Highway 24, Palmyra, Mo.


June 10, 10a.m.-4p.m. – Dairy Days
Jefferson Farm and Garden, 4800 E. New Haven Road, Columbia, Mo.


June 13, 5-7p.m. – Growing Knowledge at the Farm - Companion Planting
Jefferson Farm and Garden, 4800 E. New Haven Road, Columbia. $10 per household.



Did you know…

That you can now do away with sending multiple people your council meeting dates and instead have them show on your county or regional page?

  1. Go to the Council Resource Toolbox.
  2. Scroll down to the Council Meeting Dates key.
  3. You will find the directions below that tell you step by step how to make your dates go live.

Guidelines for creating council events in myExtension:

Access myExtension at

  1. Create all council meeting events as single session events.
  2. Market county council meetings and special events on your county calendars.
  3. Market regional council meetings and regional special events on your region calendar. Region calendars can be found under extension calendars on the calendar tab.
  4. All council meetings and events should be posted to the web. Council meetings and events are displayed on the county council pages, region council pages, state council pages, county calendars and region calendars.
  5. In myExtension, report the participants who attended the council meetings and special events; include the learning outcomes.
  6. In myExtension you can view the council activity report to see scheduled council meetings and special events at
  7. After you have scheduled your council meetings and special events, you are encouraged to run the council activity report and print copies of the report for your council members.

Did you know…

That in the Council Resource Toolbox you can also find the directions to enter your election information online? It then applies what you submit into the webpages for the council(s) that you sit on. You can find that in the toolbox at

Then scroll down to the Council Elections key and follow the directions. Once your councils’ information is entered by your counties' designated person, your constituents will be able to reach you as their representative.


Please Welcome

Lindsey Hethcote, agronomy specialist, Crawford County, EC Region.

Anne McEowen, senior research project analyst, OSEDA.

Sharaya Wright, nutrition program associate, Ripley County, SE Region.

Soo Koon Lee, business development specialist, University of Missouri SBTDC.


Christopher Shoemaker, business development specialist and Macon County CPD, NE Region.

Karen Barnes Branstetter, 4-H youth specialist, Crawford County, EC Region.

Mary von Schoenborn, office support assistant, Nursing Outreach.


Chodia Andrew Brents, father of HES specialist Karen Funkenbusch, passed away April 3 at the age of 88. Obituary.

Derald McLane, retired administrative associate, died April 8 at the age of 72. Obituary.

Wendell Ash, father of Clark County nutrition program associate Wendy Ray, passed away April 13 at the age of 76. Cards may be sent to Wendy Ray, MU Extension in Clark County, 111 E. Court St., Ste. 10, Kahoka, MO 63445. Obituary.

Joyce Cornelius, mother of Audrain County Extension Center office manager Kathy Nichols, passed away April 20 at the age of 80. Cards may be sent to Kathy Nichols, 26154 Highway KK, Mexico, MO 65265. Obituary.

George Pirch, husband of retired WC Region human development specialist Ruth Pirch, passed away April 22 at the age of 83. Obituary.

Sarah Foster, 4-H youth specialist for natural resources and outdoor recreation, passed away May 1 at the age of 25. From Ina Linville, Missouri 4-H program director: “Sarah passed from this world too soon. Her 4-H family was touched by her passion, enthusiasm and love of her work. We know that a Celebration of Life will be held June 25. The family is still working on their preferences to honor Sarah. We will pass this information on as soon as we receive details.” In the meantime, cards or notes can be sent to her husband, Alex Foster, at 21100 Highway 179, Jamestown, MO 65046, as well as her parents, Vicki and Chuck Huber, 20225 N. Ponderosa Road, Clark, MO 65243. 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