The Network: A newsletter for champions of MU Extension

The Network — August 2017

A message from Marshall Stewart
Vice chancellor for extension and engagement

This past month, as I traveled the state meeting with stakeholders and faculty, I continued to be amazed by the dedication and loyalty that surrounds MU Extension. It has become clear that having a local presence, where people can see tangible action, has immeasurable value — it’s magic.

While I am energized by the consistent recognition of MU Extension’s value, I’m a bit concerned that the university that powers MU Extension with research, knowledge and resources is not as readily understood or valued throughout the state.

In many respects, the situation is akin to having a strong affinity for an auto mechanic who keeps you on the road with routine maintenance, while giving little thought to the engineers who designed the car or those who assembled it. Each plays an important role in the value the customer experiences.

Understanding where value comes from is important for the long-term success of any organization. It leads to sound decision-making and stability.

I ask advocates working to advance MU Extension to take time to understand the value of the entire university — from research through extension. Mizzou, our state’s flagship and land-grant university, is an economic engine that benefits all Missourians. You can learn more about how Mizzou, the University of Missouri, is truly the university for Missouri by visiting online.

Communicating the importance of the university, which is the source of extension’s magic, is in the interest of all Missourians. Thank you.



News from Extension

MU Extension provides a tenfold return on funding

A recent report found that with an annual investment of $86 million in 2016, MU Extension generated dividends totaling nearly $950 million. The report from TEConomy Partners LLC indicates that MU Extension’s annual reach and impact touches more than 1.3 million Missourians who participate in local MU Extension programs and 2.8 million unique visitors to the MU Extension website, where 14.5 million publications containing practical information were downloaded. Read more.

Engaging the eclipse

Over the past year, Vice Chancellor Stewart has emphasized a vision of extension and engagement that involves all of the University of Missouri, not just departments and faculty with formal connections to MU Extension. An example of this model of broader engagement is Through the Eyes of a Scientist, a collection of 10 downloadable educational resources that highlight what our scientists, researchers and specialists will be studying and observing before, during and after the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. The collection also offers ideas for simple experiments and observations people can do on their own.

Compiled by MU Extension communications and marketing, the resources and activities in “Through the Eyes of a Scientist” are available as individual pages or a single PDF document at

(More eclipse-related information is featured in this issue under Resources.)

4-H national film festival draws young filmmakers

Young people from nine states gathered in Independence, Mo., in July for the seventh annual FilmFest 4-H film festival. In addition to screenings of films—many of which were produced by festival attendees—teens participated in workshops conducted by film industry professionals, such as Nathan Louis Jackson (pictured, at right), playwright in residence for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Jackson, whose television credits include episodes of “Luke Cage,” “Arrow” and “13 Reasons Why,” led a workshop on the different processes of writing for television and the stage. Read more.

Youth explore entrepreneurship Build-a-Business Camp

Thirteen youths from 10 Missouri counties completed the 10th annual MU Build-a-Business Camp for young entrepreneurs, July 16-20, on the MU campus. The camp, offered through MU Extension’s Summers @ Mizzou program, is open to youth ages 12-18 to meet faculty and students, explore entrepreneurship, experience life on campus, and learn how higher education can help them achieve their goals. Read more (Columbia Daily Tribune).

Augustine appointed permanent director of Missouri 4-H Foundation

The Missouri 4-H Foundation and MU Extension are pleased to announce the appointment of Rachel Augustine as director of the Missouri 4-H Foundation. Rachel has served as interim director for the past 10 months and has been employed by the foundation since 2013. She will work closely with the 4-H Center for Youth Development, Mizzou Advancement and the Missouri 4-H Foundation’s trustees to advance the 4-H fundraising mission. She will report to Cat Comley Adams, MU Extension’s senior director of advancement. Read more.


A model of 21st-century university engagement

Vice Chancellor Marshall Stewart says extension faculty, staff and supporters may be interested in Let’s Train ‘Extension Agents’ for the 21st Century, a July 14 Chronicle of Higher Education article by Margee Ensign, president of Dickinson College. Ensign proposes a model of engagement and service designed to meet the needs and challenges of communities in the 21st century. Dickinson calls on college and university leaders to join together to “establish nationwide engagement opportunities for American students and faculty to help repair the social fabric, expand access to education, and ensure that all can participate in the democratic process.” Dickinson describes her experience with university-based engagement when she was president of the American University of Nigeria and discusses how the lessons learned there can be applied in the U.S.

State Fair recognizes 112 Missouri farm families

The Bahr family of Scott County with representatives of Farm Family Day sponsor organizations.

More than 100 families were honored during Missouri Farm Family Day, Aug. 14 at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

Each year, the fair sets aside a day to recognize farm families from across the state who are active in their communities, involved in agriculture, and/or participate in local outreach and extension programs such as 4-H or FFA. Families are selected by their county’s extension council and the local Farm Bureau.

The event is sponsored by five partner agencies: the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri State Fair and Commissioners, the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and MU Extension.

LETI graduation

MU Extension’s Law Enforcement Training Institute held its graduation ceremony Aug. 11 at the Missouri Theatre. According to John Worden, LETI director, 21 of the 23 summer 2017 graduates already had jobs upon graduation.

News for councils

H.C. Russell elected to CARET national executive committee

H.C. Russell, area credit manager for MFA Inc. and member of the MU Extension State Council, was elected to a two-year term on the national executive committee of CARET, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Council for Agriculture, Research, Extension and Teaching.

The 13-member executive committee is the governing body of CARET, the national grass-roots organization created by the APLU’s Division of Agriculture. The council advocates for increased support of the land-grant system of universities and works to help secure the necessary funding for research, extension and teaching.

Read more.

Campus spotlight

Statement from University of Missouri leaders regarding Charlottesville tragedy

On Aug. 14, 40 university leaders, including Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, Provost Garnett Stokes, and Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart, released the following statement about the recent events in Charlottesville, Va.:

We are saddened and angered by the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend. As leaders in higher education, we share a common bond with the University of Virginia community. The University of Missouri condemns all acts of violence and racism, including those associated with ideologies of hate such as white supremacy and anti-Semitism. They have no place on our campus or in society. We affirm our commitment to our university’s core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence.

We want to make it clear that we are committed to an inclusive environment. Your safety and success on this campus, in whatever you do, is important to us.


Full list of signatories.

UM System President Mun Y. Choi released a similar statement the same day.

Mizzou joins tiger mascot coalition to save wild tiger population

Camera-trap photo taken in Nepal in 2011 as part of a research project by MU doctoral student Hemanta Kafley. Photo courtesy of Matt Gompper, MU professor of wildlife conservation.

The University of Missouri is showing its tiger pride by joining Clemson, Auburn and Louisiana State as members of the newly established U.S. Tiger University Consortium. The group aims to address the shrinking big cat population through research, educational opportunities and awareness.

In 1999, Mizzou students formed the nation’s first tiger mascot conservation program, “Mizzou Tigers for Tigers,” which eventually led to a national coalition in 2007 recognized by the World Wildlife Fund.

Read more.


Through Aug. 20: Missouri State Fair.

Aug. 21: All of Missouri will see either a partial or total solar eclipse.

Sept. 7, 4-7 p.m.: Tomato Festival, Bradford Research Center, 4968 Rangeline Road, Columbia.

Oct. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Missouri Chestnut Roast, Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center, New Franklin.

Oct. 24-26: MU Extension Summit, Columbia.


Mizzou eclipse resources

In less than a week, a solar eclipse will be visible in Missouri when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. All of Missouri will see the moon cover at least 90 percent of the sun at the peak of the eclipse. Those within a 70-mile-wide path stretching from northwestern to southeastern Missouri will see a total eclipse: The moon will completely cover the sun for up to 2 minutes, 40 seconds, depending on your location within the path of totality.

The Mizzou Eclipse website includes a list of events leading up to and occurring on the day of the eclipse along with educational videos and news/feature stories.

Through the Eyes of a Scientist is a collection of 10 downloadable educational resources that highlight what MU scientists, researchers and specialists will be studying and observing before, during and after the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. The collection also offers ideas for simple experiments and observations people can do on their own.

Safely view the eclipse

MU astronomer Angela Speck and MU ophthalmologist Frederick Fraunfelder, who have teamed up to educate the public about safely viewing the eclipse, are featured in this short video from MU Health Care:

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 us know! Contact Tracy Feller at or 573-882-4134.


Please welcome

JoLynn Hambach, nutrition program associate, Warren County, EC Region.

Brenda Brinkhous-Hatch, nutrition program associate, Clay County, UW Region.

Maxine Rodriguez, temporary crafts service, Labor Education.

James Kale Monk, assistant professor of human development and family studies, HES Extension.

Terra Treece, nutrition program associate, Saline County, NW Region.

Jennifer Nold, 4-H youth development associate, Buchanan County, NW Region.

Joseph Germinder, student assistant-clerical.

Claire Steward, student assistant paraprofessional, youth and 4-H.


Megan Allen, Urban East Region nutrition program associate, gave birth to a daughter, Harley Lynn Allen, on July 11.


Janet Delcour, retired HES and 4-H specialist in St. Charles County, passed away July 22 at the age of 81. 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
103D Whitten Hall
Columbia, MO 65211