Friday, October 17, 2014

Consider Serving on Greene County Extension Council

The Greene County Extension Council is accepting nominations for the 2015 public election of County Extension Council. Names of nominees and completed forms are needed prior to Nov. 14. Individuals can self-nominate themselves for consideration by the extension council at the November meeting. There is a great need for council members representing participants in Greene County Extension’s programs like Master Gardeners, 4-H and the family nutrition education program.

A brochure explaining the roles of an Extension council can be found online at The nomination form for the Greene County Extension Center is available at

Serving on a county extension council can be fun. It is also a great way to represent your community, serve your county, and help create educational opportunities for your neighbors.

Every county in Missouri has an Extension Council made up of elected (and appointed) members who represent the broad educational needs and backgrounds of people in that county. Council candidates must be at least 18 years old and reside in the district they represent.

Missouri statutes create County Extension Councils to work with MU Extension specialists. Council members assist in planning and carrying out MU Extension programs, providing local Extension governance and representing the diversity of the county’s changing population.

Most counties in southwest Missouri hold council elections the third week of January. Each council election is held in accordance with state law (Chapter 262.550-262.620 R.S. Mo. 1969).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mizzou Students Coming to Springfield Nov. 14-15 to Volunteer; Need a Place to Stay

Twelve Mizzou students are participating in a "Mizzou Alternative Break" trip by coming to Springfield Nov. 14-16 to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield.

However, the students are still in need of free housing on Friday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 15 for the Mizzou Alternative Break trip. The two student organizers have been in contact with multiple locations around Springfield but have not yet found an option large enough for this group of 12.

"We were wondering if you had any recommendations on places to contact that may be able to house 12 people for both of those nights. We would appreciate any recommendation you may have, as we are needing to confirm a housing site as soon as possible," said Marissa Steele, an undergraduate student and a weekend site leader for Mizzou Alternative Breaks

The students will be serving at the Ronald McDonald House on that Saturday and Sunday.

The Ronald McDonald House will be hosting a fundraiser on the weekend of Nov. 21 and is in need of volunteers to perform various tasks around the house to get it ready for the event. Students will also be cooking a meal on the night of Nov.15 at the House at Children's Mercy Hospital for the families of the patients.

"We are very excited about this trip and the partnership with MU Extension," said Marissa Steele.

If you can help with the student housing, please contact one of the group leaders:

Marissa Steele
Mizzou Alternative Breaks- Weekend Site Leader

Debrielle De La Haye
Mizzou Alternative Breaks- Weekend Site Leader

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Newspapers are the Foundation of Vibrant Communities

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

A recent visitor to my house noted that I had four different weekly newspapers on the kitchen counter. “If you have that many newspaper subscriptions, you must be rich,” said my friend, who confessed to never having subscribed to a newspaper in his entire life.

I wanted to cry in response to the fact that he had never subscribed to a newspaper, but I laughed instead. “I am not rich when it comes to money, but these communities are better off by having a weekly newspaper,” I said. “That is why I support local newspapers with my subscription.”

As a consumer, I know first-hand that most weekly newspaper subscriptions are reasonable. I have subscriptions to my hometown newspaper, the newspaper I managed, the newspaper in my community of residence and the newspaper in the community where I work. These newspapers keep me updated on government decisions, community events and the lives of my friends.

Despite our changing world, daily and weekly community newspapers remain a prime source for recording local news events. Newspapers document the lives of local citizens from birth to death. Newspapers chronical the decisions of city councils, county commissions, fire districts and school boards along with hometown school athletics and art programs.

Newspapers serve an important function in the American democratic process. When I was editing a weekly newspaper, I would say the newspaper was a “beacon of truth.” I still believe that is true in most communities. At the very least, quality newspapers aid in the well-being of the communities they serve.

Newspapers help protect our communities from destructive influences. Newspapers help to sound the alarm with accurate and complete coverage of sensitive or tragic community issues. The best community newspapers provide facts and editorials that help communities make decisions. They also help celebrate individual and collective achievements in the community, offer congratulations and join in the community celebration.

Newspapers have an important role in small and large communities across this country.  Despite what a few might have you believe, newspapers are not dead. Weekly newspapers are doing well and for communities that want to grow and flourish, they are vital.

EDITOR’S NOTE: National Newspaper Week (October 5-11, 2014) marks the 74th year of the Week, which observes the importance of newspapers to communities large and small.

PHOTO CUTLINE: David Burton reading the newspaper published in his hometown of Ash Grove, Mo.: The Commonwealth.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Nineteen 4-H’ers Recognized as Best of the Best at Sept. 21 Event Hosted by Greene County 4-H Foundation

Contact: Monica Spittler, 4-H youth development specialist
Headquartered at the Taney County Extension Center
Tel: (417) 546-4431

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Nineteen 4-H Club members from across southwest Missouri were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments as the “Best of the Best” Award winners by the Greene County 4-H Foundation on Sunday, Sept. 21.

The event was held in Center Hall at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds as part of the annual Pie Auction and Cake Wars fundraising event held by the Greene County 4-H Foundation.

Missouri 4-H is University of Missouri Extension's youth development program.

“It is always a pleasure to recognize youth for growth and development thru their 4-H participation in southwest Missouri,” said Byron Morrison, vice-chairman of the Greene County 4-H Foundation.

Eleven counties had members recognized for their current involvement in 4-H.  Each county could nominate two members to receive this special recognition.

Plaques were provided for 4-H’ers from:  Jasper County – Eli Meyer and Hannah Andrews;  Greene County – Blake Wright and Lora Wright; Christian County – Dallas Goolsby and Grant Goolsby; Lawrence County – Joel Adams and Hannah Adams; Hickory County – Sydney Bailey and Abagail Hammer;  Dade County – Blake Daniel Cossins; Webster County – Jessie Terry; Polk County – ReAnna Owens and Hannah Norblitt;  Newton County – Jacob Boeglin and Brianna Werner; McDonald County –Collin Thacker and Katrina Eubanks and Barry County – Joshua Rittenhouse.

The 4-H program helps to create opportunities for young people to be valued, contributing members of their community. To learn how to get involved locally go to

Residents of southwest Missouri can contact any of these 4-H youth development specialists with MU Extension for  information: Karla Deaver in Lawrence County at (417) 466-3102; Monica Spittler in Taney County, (417) 546-5531; Bob McNary in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158; Jeremy Elliott-Engel in Newton County at (417) 455-9500; Taylor Bryant in Howell County at (417) 256-2391; or Janice Emery in Texas County at (417) 967-4545.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Over 100 Attend “Salute to Century Farms” and Help Raise About $3,500 for Greene County Extension

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – About 135 people purchased tickets, and 108 attended, the “Salute to Century Farms” event held Sept. 30 at the Round Barn Event Center along Clear Creek between Ash Grove and Willard.

Due to event sponsorships and the sale of nearly $1,500 worth of locally handcrafted items in a silent auction, the event raised about $3,500 for the continued operations of Greene County Extension.

“It was a great night of fun with great attendance. Members of the Greene County Extension Council appreciate the generosity of our sponsors and those who donated items for auction,” said George Deatz, chairman of the Greene County Extension Council. “These funds are so important for our continued operation and the fact that everyone had fun made the event even better.”

The following family farms were honored as Century Farms during the event: Charles and Katherine Buckner of Fair Grove; Robert and Mary Mays of Ash Grove; John and Doris Breakbill of Republic; and Warren D. Hardy Jr. of Rogersville.

Acoustic Essays provided traditional bluegrass and classic country music during the event.

David Baker, assistant dean of agriculture extension at the University of Missouri, discussed the 100 year history of Cooperative Extension and the challenges facing family farms.

A copy of Baker’s presentation can be found online at

This first annual event was made possible by our media sponsors: News-Leader; Ozarks Farm and Neighbor Newspaper; KOLR/KOZL; Our Gold Level sponsor the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District; and our silver level sponsors Old Missouri Bank and Cox Health Systems; and our bronze level sponsors: Race Brothers Farm Supply, Main Street Feeds and Fire & Ice Restaurant & Bar.

Photos of each honored family are available