Thursday, June 23, 2016

Current Table of Contents for the "Missouri Directory of Historic and One-Room Schools"

The "Missouri Directory of Historic and One-Room Schools" is a project of the Missouri Historic Schools Alliance and is being authored by David Burton. The directory highlights the very best historic and one-room schools in Missouri as a historic resource and as a tool for developing heritage tourism around these existing historic schools.

Indivduals are invited to submit information to include a school in this directory. For information on how to submit a school for the directory read this blog entry.

Here is the current Table of Contents for the book which includes the lists that are listed.

Northwest Missouri Schools
Baker School (Trenton)
Banneker School (Parkville)
Franklin Academy (Lawson)
Hicklin School (Lexington)
Hudson School (Appleton City) - more information needed
Mt. Gilead School (Kearney)
Pleasant Ridge School (St. Joseph)
Pony School (St. Joseph)
Rockford School (Harrisonville)
Swain School (Chillicothe)
Walnut Grove School (Lathrop)

Northeast Missouri Schools
Ballwin School (Ballwin)
Bushy Creek School (St. Clair)- more information needed
Florida School (Florida)- more information needed
Friendship School (St. James)- more information needed
Indian Prairie (Union)- more information needed
Lincoln School (Canton)
Mount Hope (Defiance)
Oak Hill (Hannibal)- more information needed
Phoebe Apperson Hearst School (St. Clair)- more information needed
Rolling Heath School (Ft. Leonard Wood)
Salem School (St. Clair)- more information needed
Salt River (Hannibal)- more information needed
Saverton School (Saverton)- more information needed
Stone School (Hannibal)
Old Pond School (Wildwood)

Central Missouri Schools
Audrain County School  (Mexico)
Elm School (Warrensburg)
Harper School (Harper)
Mt. Sterling School (Mt. Sterling)
Newcomer School (Columbia)
Pleasant View School (Medford)- more information needed
Plum Grove School (Laclede)

Southwest Missouri Schools   
1872 Neosho Colored School (Neosho)
1905 School (Springfield)
Bellview (Springfield)
Black School (Cassville)
Boston Center School (Branson)
Bruner (Douglas County)- more information needed
Bunker Hill (Pineville)
Cave Springs (Cave Springs)
Cedar Creek (Tipton Ford)- more information needed
Chapman (Pierce City)
Cresent (Buffalo)
Dry Valley School (Sarcoxie)
Elmra (Red Oak)
Enterprise (Saddlebrook)- more information needed
Flint Hill (Willard)
Greenwood School (Marshfield)
Kelly Chapel (Rogersville)
Kings Prairie School (Monett)
Liberty School (Springfield)
Little Moore School (Lawrenceburg)
Locust Prairie (Fair Grove)
New Bethel School (Anderson)
Newport School (Lamar)
Northstar School (Strafford)
Northward (Bolivar)
Phelps (Halltown)
Prosperity (Joplin)- more information needed
Oak Trail School (Silver Dollar City)
Rocky Point School (Marshfield)
Seneca School (Seneca)- more information needed
Schuyler School (Springfield)
St. Elmo (Republic)
Star School (Point Lookout)
Sycamore School (Marionville)
Willey School (Willard)
Wooley Creek (Cape Fair)

Southeast Missouri Schools
Alice School (Cabool)
Buttin Creek School (Eminence)- more information needed
Higgerson School (New Madrid)
Kage School (Cape Gireadeu)
Plunk School (Doniphan)- more information needed
Stephens School (Marquand)
Story’s Creek School (Alley Spring)
Texas County, Mo.

Details on Submitting to the Missouri Director of Historic and One-Room Schools

Many volunteer historians and historic societies across Missouri have created books that document the last remaining one-room schools in their county. In fact, I wrote one for Greene County back in 2001 (link to book here). Those are exhaustive reports on all the former school buildings in those counties.

But a statewide resources is on the horizon. A book I am creating and writing as part of the Missouri Historic Schools Alliance that will highlight the very best examples from around the state. Close to 90% of the listings in the book will feature historic schools that are fully restored and either open to the public or available for a public use. The exception is made for those schools on the National Register that are not restored or those that are in the process of being restored.

This book has been in the works for about three years and has received statewide coverage. I have encouraged groups to submit their own information and photos. The hope is that directory can be used to help promote rural hertiage tourism to individuals nationwide that are interested in historic schools (and there are many). We are also working on bringing the national historic schools conference back to Missouri and to re-launch a statewide conference as well.

This book is going to be updated on a regular basis as part of the Missouri Historic Schools Alliance.
Here the current Table of Contents for the book which shows the schools listed.

There is no cost for being listed. However, we also ask that all listed schools submit photos and required information for this publication. Provide written answers to the following questions:

· Name of school, location or address (as much detail as possible)

· current owner or contact

· current use (mention if it is publicly or privately owned)

· history of building

· explain how the school was or is being preserved

· why the school was preserved

· where information can be found online

· contact information for the group or individual that owns or operates the school

· and personal stories about the history of the school and building.

Please also include some interior and exterior photos of the school. Written answers and photos can be submitted by email or by using this mailing address:

David Burton

Greene County Extension, 2400 S. Scenic Ave, Springfield, Mo. 65807

Telephone: 417-881-8909 * Email:

Friday, June 17, 2016

Big Three: Well plugging, Radon and Mold

Q: I read a past article about plugging wells and really needed to talk with someone to better understand his available options.
R.W., Miller, Mo.

A: After talking on the phone I now understand that you have several concerns including radon testing, mold under the house AND well plugging. We talked by phone and I hope these additional links will help you resolve these problems.

Well Plugging Instructions

Cost-share assistance that may be available through your county SWCD Office

Affidavit that is filed with MoDNR after the well is filled

Mold control

Curtain drain (if subsurface water from uphill or flat slopes is pooling water under the building, a curtain drain located upslope of the building can divert it)

Radon test kit (DHSS) or call 573-751-6102 and

Radon: An Indoor Health Hazard?

Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction: How to Fix Your Home

Bob Schultheis
Natural Resource Engineering Specialist / CPD
University of Missouri Extension Center - Webster County
800 S. Marshall St., Marshfield, MO 65706
Phone:  417-859-2044

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Solutions for Dealing with White Flies in School Greenhouse

Q: Our school greenhouse has an infestation of white flies that are destroying all of our green peppers and cucumbers. The school even had an exterminator a few months ago who came and sprayed. It decreased the number for a while but they are now back in full force. How to rid school greenhouse of white flies?
A.B., Nixa, Mo.

A: White fly control is a challenge in greenhouses, and requires an integrated approach.  The publications at and are good.  Basically, here is the approach:

1.            try to keep the pest from entering the greenhouse - closely examine all plants that are brought into the greenhouse, discard heavily infested plants.
2.            monitor the greenhouse with sticky yellow cards, on a daily basis if possible.  When a threshold of around 0.5-2 insects per card per day are noted, a spray is applied. Cards are available from and elsewhere.
3.            The attached publications lists effective sprays for this pest.  Sprays must be alternated as this pest is at high risk of developing insecticide resistance.

Patrick Byers
Regional Horticulture Specialist
MU Extension - Greene County

Mystery Weed in Garden Turns out to be Dreaded Pigroot

Q: Attached are pictures of a weed that I have been battling for the past few years in my garden.  It only occurs in my gardens, both vegetable and flower.  It appears where I break up ground where grass once was.  I need help in identifying it and how to control it or get rid of it completely. I use newspaper and mulch or straw to help control the weeds in my garden and that helps for those spots, but this weeds grows anywhere that is not covered. Because I rotate crops and move things around from year to year, the weed will reappear the following year on uncovered and unmulched ground. Can you help me with this?


A: This is a weed called Red-Root Pigweed.  Red-root pigweed is a major weed problem in much of the area, especially in agricultural production because of its resistance to glyphosate.  Also, one plant can produce up to a million seeds which can build up in soil and be a problem for years to come. 

Once pigweed is established in an area it can be very difficult to control.  Hand pulling or using a cultivation tool when the plants are small and applying a pre-emergent herbicide listed for broadleaf weeds can be the most effective for homeowners. 

Here is a link about pigweed and plant relatives of pigweed:

Kelly McGowan
Horticulture Educator
University of Missouri Extension; Greene County; Southwest Region

Question about Lead in Private Well / Water Supply

Q: I had a water test done on a private well. The results say that public water needs to have a lead level of 5 or less and that 15 is unsafe. Is there a different standard for private wells and her client’s well tested at 10? What does that mean and is it a concern?

Answered by Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension (his contact info here).

A: The MCLG (maximum contamination level goal) for lead is zero, and the MCL (maximum contamination level) is 15 ppb, above which is considered unsafe. I’ve not found any reference that differentiates the MCL for public vs. private wells. Testing before and after the “first flush” of the faucet will help determine if the lead problem is in the groundwater or in the plumbing. If the well tested at 10 ppb, no action is needed, but if they want to play it extra safe and the problem is in the plumbing, they can run the cold water faucet 1-2 minutes before using the water for drinking or cooking. It doesn’t hurt to bathe in lead-tainted water.

The following links may be helpful.

Basic Information about Lead in Drinking Water (EPA)

Lead in Tap Water (CDC)

Water Tests: What Do the Numbers Mean? (Penn State University)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Story on Haircoats on Cattle Gains International Question

Dear David,
I was very interested in an article I found posted on Facebook about haircoats on cattle (see original article here). So much so that I would like to use your scoring system for coat shedding to at least find  out whether it would work for us. We have an Angus stud herd in Tasmania (Australia's Island State) and obviously the months for observing will be different. I have a couple of questions, firstly when do you recommend that the score be given. I think from the article June would be a good month which would equate with December here. The other question is would this scoring system work for selecting young stock to keep as breeders or is it meant for adult cows. We calve in late winter early spring (mid July to mid September at the very latest) and make our selections for keepers bout now (late autumn early winter). It would be hard to judge these animals as calves but possibly the system could be used when they are yearlings. What it would mean is delaying a final selection until later on. Anyway to start with I would probably just make note a score and then see if there was a difference later on.

Brian Stewart
Dunlop Park Angus Stud
4938 Frankford Main Road, Thirlstane, Tasmania 7307

Dear Brian,

The leader on this hair shedding project is Jared Decker, extension genomics specialist at the University of Missouri, Columbia.  His email is  He may give you more details than I could.

From my perspective in the southwest part of Missouri where fescue is the dominant forage and we run lots of cattle the failure to shed hair is a problem.  The various ergot alkaloids contribute to the genetic problem of shedding and it all culminates in cattle that gain poorly and reproduction is compromised.

We’ve done some form of hair evaluation since the early 90’s and feel it’s valuable to try and select early shedders.  Late shedders obviously appear stressed when the temperatures exceed 80 degrees.

Dr. Decker will be doing a 3-year study to determine more about the gene makeup of cattle across the U.S. and their adaptability to the environment in which they’re raised.  Why he might even be interested in observations.  I’m sure your Angus cattle have some of the same breeding in them that we have in ours.  The folks who show their cattle like those that have lots of hair as it allows them to hid some little imperfections with good grooming.

I would argue though that long hair and slow shedding is not desirable under our warm, fescue-based conditions.

Let me know if you have other thoughts or questions and please try to contact Dr. Decker.

Eldon Cole
Livestock specialist
University of Missouri Extension

May and June Good Months to Study Haircoats on Cattle

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Headquartered in Lawrence County
Tel: (417) 466-3102

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- May and June are good months to evaluate the hair shedding nature of cattle according to Eldon Cole, livestock specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

“Research at several institutions reveal that early shedding cows tend to be more productive regarding weaning weight of their calves.  Weight differences of 20 or more pounds favored the early shedders,” said Cole.


University of Missouri researchers began scoring cows and yearlings for shedding ability and hair growth in 1992 at the Southwest Research Center.  The cattle in the studies were grazing fescue that contained the toxin producing endophyte. 

Studies dealt with shade, mineral supplementation and clean well water versus dirty pond water that had cattle traffic in it.

“In those early years, we suspected there could be genetic implications that caused some wooly cattle to perform poorly but no serious selection pressure was applied toward the early shedders,” said Cole.

In fact, most of the early effort was directed toward selecting novel or friendly endophytes in the development of non-toxic fescue instead of selecting adaptable cattle.


We now are at the point where both cow-calf producers and seedstock raisers observe hair shedding more seriously. 

“Genomic studies are being used to evaluate the heritability of haircoat retention.  An important feature is to score haircoats of cattle about this time of the year,” said Cole.

Getting rid of the winter haircoat begins in southwest Missouri around early April.  However, some animals still appear to have all their hair in June.

“These late, or never shedders, are the ones that suffer and are more likely to wean lightweight calves and have lower calving rates,” said Cole.


Many factors influence shedding such as breed, individual genetic makeup, nutrition, forage, day length, temperature, and humidity.

“In the early 1990’s at the Southwest Research Center, we scored the cattle on a one to four scale for shedding and evidence of fescue sensitivity.  The scoring system has now been adjusted to a one to five range.  The one score is an animal that is completely shed off from front to rear and top to bottom.  I usually refer to them as ‘slick as a mole’,” said Cole.

The 2’s are mostly shed off, 75 percent or so, and most of the long hair will be on the lower part of the body.  A three score is about 50 percent shed; a four is only 25 percent shed most of which is in the neck, shoulder region and down the back.  The 5’s still has its winter coat with no evidence of shedding.

“If you have the 5’s in the chute, you can try to pull hair out, and it is firmly attached,” said Cole.

The scoring system is subjective. However, if the same person does the scoring in their herd, it gives a producer a good idea of cattle that could give more problems from “hot” fescue and heat stress as we move into the summer. 

According to Cole, some of the 4’s and 5’s that are stressed will benefit from clipping.

“The individual scoring of cattle may even result in farmers realizing that late shedding is more of a problem than first thought,” said Cole.


For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Lawrence County, (417) 466-3102; Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551; Dr. Randy Wiedmeier, in Howell County at (417) 256-2391; or Dr. Patrick Davis in Cedar County at (417) 276-3313.


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

June 10 Pasture Walk at Turners Heifer Haven Near Hartville

Contact: Ted Probert, dairy specialist
Headquartered in Wright County
Tel: (417) 547-7545

MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. –  The June meeting of South-Central Dairy Grazers wil begin with a pasture walk at 11 a.m. on June 10 at Denis and Lynn Turner’s farm west of Hartville.  

“Denis had just established several acres of Estancia novel endophyte fescue when we last visited the farm in October of 2015,” said Dr. Ted Probert, dairy specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “These seedlings are up and going, and we will have an opportunity to see how they are faring through the early part of the grazing season.”

A chronic problem on many pasture-based dairies is lane maintenance.  The Turners have made several lane renovations that will be discussed during the tour.

Traditionally the Turners have harvested all forage growth through grazing.  The last couple of years the strategy has changed and now several fields are harvested either as baleage or dry hay during the spring growth flush.

“I think you will find the results of this practice interesting regarding the quality feed stored through baling, the increase in feed harvested and the condition of pastures following harvest of excess growth,” said Probert.

Directions to the Turner’s Farm: Take Hwy 38 west of Hartville about 10 miles. Tour begins at the Turners Special Supply warehouse on the south side of the road.   

Call the Wright County Extension Center at (417) 547-7545 for more information.


Monday, June 06, 2016

Women in Dairy Workshop June 13 in Mtn. Grove Focuses on Relieving Everyday Stress

Contact: Reagan Bluel, dairy specialist
Headquartered in Barry County
Tel: (417)  847-3161

MTN. GROVE, Mo. –Schedule the opportunity to lunch and learn at University of Missouri Extension’s “Women in Dairy” program scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 13 at the Missouri State University Fruit Experiment Station, 9740 Red Spring Road, Mountain Grove.

The program is designed to help dairy ladies learn how to best take time for themselves for the betterment of the farm.

“When people’s lives get really busy and stressed, or something traumatic happens, it can affect both physical and mental health” said MU Extension Human Development Specialist Angie Fletcher. “Virtually everyone suffers from stress.”

“The Taking Care of You” program provides practical strategies to help people manage stress in healthy ways so they are better able to take care of themselves and maintain their overall health.

“Women in the dairy industry are amazing jugglers. Whether it is a sick cow, employee problems, or family demands, there’s always something” said Reagan Bluel, dairy specialist with MU Extension.

Whatever the sources of stress in your life University of Missouri Extension delivers a nationally recognized stress-relief program to help you meet your challenges so you can live a healthier life.

MU Extension’s Women in Dairy program is on its debut year.

“We home ladies will be able to take time get off the farm to enjoy a nice lunch this month to learn ways to manage everyday farm stress” said Bluel.

Register by calling the Wright County Extension office at (417) 547-7545. Admission of $10 can be paid at the door.

For more information, contact Reagan Bluel, 417-847-3161 or Ted Probert, 417-547-7545.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Learn to Grow Plants in Vertical Container & Rain Gutters June 11 at Free Class in Ozark

If gardening space is limited, there are new options for frustrated gardeners. Christian County Master Gardeners will host a free class on vertical gardening and rain gutter gardening Saturday, June 11, at 10 a.m. at the demonstration garden at the Ozark Community Center, 1530 W. Jackson, Ozark.

Margie Wakefield, Master Gardener, will discuss how to build a vertical grow tower out of a plastic barrel. She also will discuss rain gutter gardening, a technique in which rain gutters are capped; hung from ceilings or attached to free-standing structures; and planted with strawberries, herbs, lettuce, succulents, pansies and other annual plants suitable for containers.

Register for this free event at 581-3558.

In addition to its demonstration garden, CCMG:
  • Maintains flower gardens in Ozark, Nixa and Clever
  • Staffs a gardening hotline, Monday to Friday, 9-12, from mid-March to mid-October at the Extension office
  • Hosts free public seminars
  • Writes a gardening column in the Christian County Headliner News
Follow Christian County Master Gardeners on Facebook and or email us at

University of Missouri Extension is committed to providing equity and access to all through the implementation of practices and procedures that ensure compliance with federal laws and university policies and that enhance the Extension's capacity to serve the people of Missouri.

if the building is evacuated.


Thursday, June 02, 2016

Vandals Do Over $1,000 in Damages in Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at Springfield Botanical Gardens

$500 Reward for Information Leading to an Arrest

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – During the evening on Sunday, May 29, vandals caused significant damage in the Master Gardener’s Demonstration and Kitchen Garden at the Springfield Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic, Springfield.

There is a $500 reward pending for anyone providing information that leads to an arrest.

“Right now, we are estimating a total of around $1000 worth of damage,” said Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator with University of Missouri Extension who co-leads the Master Gardener program. “Our Master Gardeners raise funds to equip and maintain that garden and invest thousands of volunteers hours too so we take this very personal.”

Because of the dollar value of the damage done, this would qualify as a felony.

“Our volunteers recently held a plant sale and raised nearly $12,000, but those funds are all budgeted in the next 12 months for the purchase of new plants and to fund public education programs. Additional funds will be needed for these repairs,” said McGowan.


In the demonstration garden, the low tunnel covering was destroyed and plants pulled out. Vandals overturned the work bench and broke the legs. The cold frame was broken and plants removed. The new roof to the shed was damaged, the work table was overturned, and the top broken. Several terra cotta pots were broken and plastic pots crushed, other plants destroyed, and the plant cart was moved to the railroad tracks. 

Master Gardeners Pat DeWitt and Bryan Braley filed a report with city police and the park ranger. Information about the damage has also spread among area volunteers via social media.

“Although vandalism is not a new problem in the Park, this is particularly disturbing because of the amount of damage done.  Our volunteers put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make these gardens look beautiful for the public and I struggle to comprehend what motivates people to do things like this,” said Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist with MU Extension and co-leader of the Master Gardeners of Greene County.


There is a $500 reward made available by the Friends of the Garden and Master Gardeners of Greene County. The reward goes to any person offering information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the vandals.

Report any tips to the Springfield Police Department Crime Stoppers tip line 417-869-8477


Master Gardeners of Greene County developed the original demonstration garden in 1994 on land provided by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

In 2001, the garden was completely reworked and expanded to include a semi-formal turf plot, a 2,300 square foot vegetable garden (produce is donated to the Ozark Food Harvest). The expansion added a native Missouri wildflower section, a mixed border area of trees, perennials and shrubs, and a herb garden divided into culinary, scented, medicinal, and dying herbs.


The Master Gardener program is a popular statewide volunteer community-service organization administered through University of Missouri Extension. The organization’s goal is to train gardeners who are willing to share their knowledge with others. Master Gardeners become volunteers of University of Missouri Extension and donate hours for community educational projects in horticulture.

Learn more about the Master Gardeners of Greene County online at or contact the MU Extension Center in Greene County at 417-874-2963.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Greene County Extension Improving Finances, Staff Communication and Council Involvement with “Great Game of Business” Management Model

By David Burton
Civic Communication Specialist
County Program Director

The Greene County Extension Council and University of Missouri Extension staff located in Springfield, are using a nationally recognized open-book management technique known as the Great Game of Business ( This system is designed to improve office finances, staff communication, and council involvement.


The Great Game of Business, Inc. was established to help companies implement the open-book management practices outlined in the book The Great Game of Business. It is the educational wing of SRC Holdings Corporation in Springfield, where President and CEO, Jack Stack, developed the business philosophy of open-book management 30 years ago. The Great Game is used by Fortune 500 businesses and literally 1000s of other businesses, one university (Missouri Southern in Joplin), one county government (Greene County, Mo.) and now many non-profits including Big Brothers, Big Sisters in Springfield and the Greene County Extension Council.

The Great Game of Business, Inc. is now the largest and most well-known resource for open-book management training and education. The Great Game of Business is not a system. It is not a methodology. It is not a philosophy, or an attitude, or a set of techniques. It is all of those things and more. One of the misconceptions about The Great Game of Business is that it is synonymous with being financially transparent. While transparency is important, sharing financials is only a small fraction of the process. The ultimate goal is to get employees and council members to make decisions like business owners that have a stake in the outcome.


In 2012, I received an extension award that came with professional development funds, but I had a hard time finding something that fit with my schedule, budget or needs. I was reading the Springfield Business Journal for March 9, 2015, and saw an article about a local non-profit using the Great Game of Business to improve its operation. I was familiar with this open-book management technique because our Greene County government became the first non-traditional business to start using “the game” back in 2013.

After taking the training, I found that the Great Game of Business could guarantee me: improved teamwork, better engagement of staff and council members, at least a 20 percent improvement in our finances, and improved communication. The Great Game goes beyond having a business plan. This gets all staff and volunteers involved with understanding our financials (which has been a problem in the past) and making business decisions like an owner.

Our first step to implementation of “the game” was to create a financial scorecard that better explained our monthly finances to staff and council members. In any game, you keep score to determine who is winning and who is losing. The same is now true in Greene County where we closely track our finances, staff makes projections about revenue and expenses for the coming month, and we track certain “drivers” that are indicators of how we are doing to improve our “critical number” for the year. The drivers we track monthly are total soil tests for the year, the number of donors for the year and number of paid registrations for programs.


We have already seen significant and documented improvements to our finances, staff and council communication and council involvement as a result of the Great Game. For example, Greene County Extension finished 2015 in the black for the first time since 1999. For their “stake in the outcome,” staff was able to earn $400 each in professional development dollars by helping improve the bottom line. The County Commission also increased its funding for Greene County Extension by 270% and paid the monies to the council in one lump-sum. Attendance at our monthly council meetings has increased, and we have gained new funding partners.

Also as a result of “the great game,” extension personnel in Greene County now enjoy a monthly lunch meeting as well as award activities outside of the office and outside of work time. Staff members have participated together in two work days. Donations have increased because clients, volunteers and staff better understand our finances and can express the need. The staff has created new lines of revenue and cut costs, including travel. We sought and got a partnership with Farm Bureau to fund mileage for farm visits in our county (and that idea came out of a staff huddle). Council members have become involved in new ways and are exceeding past year’s level of council engagement and assistance. We had a 170% increase in the number of people who gave input into our planned budget for 2016. Moreover, staff and specialists worked together to market soil tests and increased the number of tests submitted by nearly 20 percent.


Keep up with what Greene County Extension is doing to implement The Great Game of Business online at under the “Great Game of Business” link located in the left column. The first financial scorecard for the organization was posted online May 6, 2015, and is now updated at least monthly and available online, at council meetings and in our monthly newsletter

Monday, March 21, 2016

Pretty White-blossomed Pear Tree Used in Landscaping has an Unwanted, Invasive Side

Contact: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909

Written by David L. Burton

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – With angelic white blossoms that transform the spring landscape, flamboyant foliage in fall and abilities to tolerate air pollution and resist disease, the Bradford pear became a favorite choice in commercial and home landscapes.

However, this beauty has a nightmarish side according to Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“People ask, ‘What is the beautiful tree that is blooming along the interstate or along Hwy. 60’?” said Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist with MU Extension. “In warmer southern states, like Arkansas and southern Missouri, the tree is now considered an invasive species.”

The tree, one of several cultivars of the Callery pear, was brought to the West from China in the late 1800s as a small ornamental. Over the years, more cultivars of the pear were developed with an eye toward strengthening its weak branch structure.

The breeding also moved the pear away from being a non-fruiting tree that was cloned for sale in the trade, to being one that produced lots of fruit and lots of seed.

The tree can spread both by seeds and vegetatively through sprouts from the base. The tree’s white blossoms are now almost ubiquitous in any place where the sun shines – parks, highway rights of way, vacant lots, even areas under partially open forest canopies.

The same toughness that made it such a good choice in heavily trafficked landscapes, also makes the pear an aggressive spreader that can quickly crowd out native species. Once the darling of the landscaping trade, this tree has escaped cultivation and is considered an invasive species.

“This widespread invasion creates problems for farmers, ranchers, or anyone managing acreage,” Byers said. “The invasive plants are very difficult to control. Mowing them, if you don't pick up a thorn that will blow your tires, only creates more sprouts from the base.”

Girdling of mature trees can be an effective control. Herbicides can also be effective.

The Missouri Department of Conversation has additional information on this problem online at

MU Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians to improve lives, communities and economies by providing relevant, responsive and reliable educational solutions. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything. More information on this topic is available online at

Friday, February 26, 2016

Time to Register for 93rd Annual Greene County Agriculture Production Conference March 29 in Springfield

Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist
County Program Director - Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The 93rd Annual Agriculture Production Conference and SWCD Annual Meeting will begin with a free dinner at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 29. The event will be held in the 2nd floor banquet room at Springfield Livestock Marketing Center, 6821 West Independence (Exit 70 off of I-44), Springfield, Mo.

Sponsors for this event include Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District, Old Missouri Bank, FCS Financial, Springfield Livestock Market, MFA in Ash Grove, Friends of Greene County Extension and the Greene County Commission.

Formerly known as the Soils and Crops Conference, the conference name has been changed this year to better reflect the topics that best address farming in Greene County.

“This conference is designed to provide research-based information and options to area agriculture producers that can help them make more informed and profitable decisions,” said Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Pre-registration is needed by March 24 to aid in meal planning.

An informational brochure can be downloaded online at Registration can be done one of three ways: on the Greene County Extension website, by calling 417-881-8909 or by emailing  Both phone and email messages need to include your name, mailing address with city and zip, telephone number and number attending.

The program will feature three speakers and three topics.  “Livestock Market Outlook and Risk Management Options” presented by Dr. Scott Brown, state ag business specialist at the University of Missouri. “Veterinary Feed Directives – It’s Impact on the Beef Industry” presented by Dr. Alan Wessler, vice-president of feed operations and animal health for MFA in Columbia and Dr. Larry Forgey, district veterinarian, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Ozark. “Fencing – There’s Nothing Maintenance-Free” will be presented by Mark Green, resource conservationist, NRCS, Springfield.

Staff with the Greene County NRCS, FSA, and the Soil and Water Conservation District will give program and cost-share updates.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Federal and State Funding Available for Food and Agribusiness Development Enterprises

Contact: Dr. Amy Patillo, community development specialist
Headquartered in Howell County
Tel: (417) 256-2391

WEST PLAINS, Mo. -- University of Missouri Extension in Howell County will present a special program about federal and state funding available for food and agribusiness development enterprises.

The program will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Feb. 16 at the Howell County Extension Office, 1376 Bill Virdon Blvd. West Plains.

Dr. Van Ayers, community development specialist with University of Missouri Extension, will be presenting the program. Van Ayers has assisted numerous farmers and farm groups in obtaining funding for their food enterprises.

“This workshop focuses on improving and expanding food systems including growing, processing, storing, distributing, transporting and selling food in Missouri. This represents an opportunity to build entrepreneurship, small businesses, and jobs,” said Dr. Amy Patillo, community development specialist with MU Extension.

Locally produced food has the growing attention of consumers, schools, grocers, restaurants, entrepreneurial businesses, including farmers, processors, and distributors.

“Growing businesses rooted in agriculture is a good approach to building the regional economy and local jobs,” said Patillo.

This workshop will focus on connecting growers and producers with the available funding for the development of food enterprises in Missouri and expanding the local food systems and value-added agriculture enterprises.

For more information, contact Patillo at the Howell County Extension center, (417) 256-2391.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Flood Assistance Resource Fair in Noel Jan. 16

Flood Assistance Resource Fair
Saturday, January 16, 2016
11:00am to 3:00pm
Noel Elementary School
318 Sulphur St. Noel, MO 64854

Come visit with these social service organizations and disaster relief agencies as they offer their services free of charge:

  • Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri- Disaster Case Management
  • Children’s Haven of SW MO- Respite care, temporary shelter
  • Community Clinic of Joplin- FREE flu shots
  • Economic Security Corporation- Housing/utility assistance, Head Start
  • Legal Aid of Western Missouri- Contract/tenant disputes
  • Ozark Center- Emotional support and mental health care
  • University of MO Extension- Flood recovery and clean-up strategies
  • Red Cross- Disaster Clean Up Kits
  • Access Family Health- Personal Hygiene Kits

Sponsored by: The McDonald County COAD, (Community Organizations Active in Disaster), The McDonald County Coalition, The Alliance of Southwest Missouri

USDA to Have Public Meetings about Assistance Available for Flood Damages

Representatives of four United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies will participate in public meetings January 20-21 to explain various types of flood-recovery assistance available to landowners and units of government.

During the meetings, representatives of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Rural Development (RD), and Risk Management Agency (RMA) will describe the federal programs they administer that could assist those whose property sustained damages from flooding that occurred late last year and into 2016.

Meeting times and locations are:

  • Springfield, MO – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 20, at the Missouri Department of Conservation Nature Center, 4601 S. Nature Center Way. The nature center is located in southeast Springfield just west of Highway 65 off the James River Freeway (Highway 60).
  • Rolla, MO – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 20, at the Comfort Suites Conference Center, 1650 Old Wire Outer Road. The hotel is located off Interstate 44 at exit 186. Use the entrance at the rear of the building.
  • Union, MO – 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, January 21, at the Knights of Columbus building, 700 Clearview Drive.

Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in these meetings should contact their local USDA Service Center or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 by Friday, January 15, 2016.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Flood Assistance Resource Fair for McDonald County

To be held 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday January 12, 2016 at the Pineville Community Center, 602 Jesse James Road, Pineville, Mo.

Come visit with these social service organizations and disaster relief agencies as they offer their services free of charge:

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri---Disaster Case Management     
Children’s Haven of SW MO—respite care, temporary shelter
Community Clinic of Joplin-- FREE flu shots
Economic Security Corporation—housing/utility assistance, Head Start
Legal Aid of Western Missouri--- contract/tenant disputes
Ozark Center---emotional support and mental health care
University of MO Extension—flood recovery and clean-up strategies

Sponsored by the McDonald County COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster) and The Alliance of Southwest Missouri

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Homes Cures for Mold and Mildew Problems do Exist

Contact: Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist
Headquartered in Webster County
Tel: (417) 859-2044

MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- Wet weather, rain on storm damaged homes, and residential flooding can all create mold problems inside a home. But according to Bob Schultheis, a natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension, this type of wet weather does not mean it is a good idea to test a home for mold.

“If you can smell mustiness, mold is present. The cure is to eliminate the source of the moisture and improve airflow under the house and in enclosed areas like closets. Generally, a mold test is just an unnecessary expense using money that can be better used to fix the problem,” said Schultheis.

The key is to keep water out and that means checking for plumbing and roof leaks and repairing any leaks that are found.

“Make sure the house has working gutters and downspouts that direct roof runoff away from the foundation.  Every inch of rain you divert off the roof of an average-sized house is about 1000 gallons of water that won’t be trying to get into the house,” said Schultheis.

It is also a good idea to put 6-mil polyethylene plastic down on the dirt floor of the crawlspace and seal the edges and seams.  According to Schultheis, this will prevent as much as 20 gallons of water vapor a day from moving up into the living area of the home.

“Another option is to keep the foundation vents open year-round to allow water vapor to escape.  This also reduces radon gas buildup, if you have it,” said Schultheis.

It is also important to make sure the vents from clothes dryers, bathroom fans and range hoods exhaust to the outdoors, not just into the attic or crawlspace.

The best way to check moisture levels in a home is with a digital temperature and humidity gauge. The indoor relative humidity should ideally be in the 30 percent to 50 percent range.  A list of sources for these gauges is available at

“Too much humidity will show up as excess moisture on the windows and favors dust mite and mold growth.  Too little humidity can cause static electricity in carpets and scratchy throats and bloody noses for the occupants, said Schultheis.

For more information on solving moisture and mildew problems, contact the nearest University of Missouri Extension Center and ask for MU Guide GH5928 “How to Prevent and Remove Mildew — Home Methods,” see the mold control resources at, contact Schultheis at the Webster County Extension Center, 417 859-2044, or visit the MU Extension website at

Friday, January 01, 2016

Flood-related resources from MU Extension

Available for expert comment

Conne Burnham, University of Missouri Extension state emergency management specialist, can answer reporters' questions on disaster readiness, response and recovery at the household, community and state level. Contact Burnham at 573-884-5254 or

Missouri Flood Info on Facebook
Missouri Flood Info,, is a collaboration of state, federal and local agencies and organizations involved addressing flooding in Missouri, including the Partnership for Disaster Recovery. Managed by MU Extension.

News releases
Relevant information from MU Extension specialists:

Resources for Your Flooded Home

Mold control

MU Extension flood resources

(To access publications, use the links below or go and search by publication number.)
  • EMW1023, Quick Tips for Cleaning Up After a Flood – Tips on protective equipment; deciding what can be salvaged and what should be thrown away; safely drying, cleaning and disinfecting materials; and what to do before installing new drywall and insulation.
  • MP904, Resources for Your Flooded Home – Downloadable 24-page publications offers information about electrical systems, repairing walls, cleaning furniture, flooring and floor coverings, bedding, kitchen items, and controlling mold and mildew. Other information includes financial advice, filing insurance claims, avoiding fraud and hiring a contractor.
  • EMW1026, Safe Drinking Water in an Emergency – Downloadable guide sheet on storing and purifying drinking water during an emergency.
Other links