Summer 2014

Handshakes and hugs

Fall 2014 Retirees and Friends meetings

While not all the plans are in place for fall retiree meetings, it isn’t too soon to note these dates and details on your calendar! What is a recurring theme at all the retiree meetings? The work of retirees is still remembered and appreciated today.

Oct. 2 — Gallatin
Speaker: Dewey Thompson
Oct. 8 — Nevada
Speaker: Steve Jeanetta, Immigration in Southwest Missouri
Oct. 9 — Ozark
Speaker: Steve Jeanetta, Immigration in Southwest Missouri
Oct. 17 — Sedalia
Speaker: Megan Webb, Healthy U
Oct. 21 — Annual conference, Columbia
Speaker to be announced. Your recommendations welcome!
Oct. 24 — Jackson
Speaker to be announced. Your recommendations welcome!

Highlights from spring 2014 meetings

A theme of all the spring retiree celebrations was 100 Years of MU Extension. Occasionally, people mention that they didn’t get a meeting notice. Individual letters were mailed to retirees March 1. Letters were in an envelope with an Extension Development return address. In addition, the lead article in the last two Friends of Extension newsletters had meeting dates, and the newsletter sent April 1 also had complete details.

Nevada — The spring retiree luncheon series kicked off in Nevada in April. Leonard Ernsberger, local arrangements chair, greeted an enthusiastic group at the Nevada Senior Center. The group enjoys recalling good times and great co-workers. Several remembered the sign, “It is better to have a blue ribbon child with a red ribbon calf than a red ribbon child with a blue ribbon calf.”

Nutrition Specialist Tammy Roberts gave an enthusiastic report about the Healthy Nevada project. Cerner is a corporation with the mission to contribute to the systemic improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities. The corporation is a global supplier of health care information, technology solutions, services, devices and hardware. The world headquarters is in Kansas City, Mo.

Cerner selected Vernon County in 2011 for a project that will last a minimum of five years, but it will pay off for generations. An Innovation Center has been established and the project goal is to make it easier for residents to make healthy decisions. Goals include people feeling better, living longer and adding life to their years. There will be substantial public value in a more productive and economically viable community as well. MU Extension is integral in educational efforts on healthy decision making.

photo: Eldon Cole shares laughs with retirees at the Ozark meeting
Retirees and friends catch up and share laughs with extension specialist Eldon Cole at the Ozark meeting.

photo: retirees hug at the spring Jackson meeting
Warm greetings between Will Wade, retired community development specialist, and Finian and Don Boesch, retired community development specialist and local coordinator of the Jackson retirees and friends meeting.

photo: retirees meet current specialists at the spring Jackson meeting
Cape Girardeau 4-H Youth Specialist Leslie Meier and County Program Director Mary Gosche greet retired livestock specialist Charles Gamble and his wife Carol.

Ozark — Jay Chism called the retiree group to order in Ozark on one of the first beautiful spring days of 2014. Eldon Cole gave a wise, witty and heartwarming presentation about his 50 years of work with MU Extension. He was focused on livestock production from the start. He still had a copy of the one-page application that he filled out before he was hired. The last question asked, “Will you stay with extension if you are hired.” Eldon answered yes, and his word is still good! Eldon recognized the important support of his wife Charlotte, who was by his side at the luncheon. One evening she heard one of the children on a toy telephone, “No, dad isn’t here. He has one of those night meetings.”

Sedalia — The next fun group of extension retirees and spouses met in Sedalia. Nearly everyone arrived at once and it made local arrangements chair Owen Fox wonder if they’d all come on the same bus. Regional Director Wayne Prewitt brought greetings from the university at both the Sedalia and Nevada meetings. There is excitement around the state as vacant field faculty positions are being released to be filled with talented professionals.

Wendell Roberts attended both the Ozark and Sedalia meetings. It was fun to see brothers Jim and Bob Heitmeyer visiting at lunch. Jim retired from Carroll County and Bob from Pettis County.
State Community Development Specialist Steve Jeanetta and colleagues have collected eight years of data in the Sedalia, Branson and Milan areas to research what it is like for immigrants moving into rural Missouri communities. They also are measuring what it is like for people in receiving communities and that was what Steve reported on at the meeting. Clearly Missouri has had substantial growth in Latinos. Immigration helps change communities from declining populations to growing populations. “The growth of rural population is dependent on newcomers,” he pointed out. People immigrate to Missouri looking for a better quality of life with jobs, education for their children, personal and family safety, and to join friends and family who already live here.

Jackson — It was on to the bootheel of Missouri and the Cape Girardeau County Extension Center for the next gathering. Don Boesch greeted the group and introduced Regional Director Janet Kline, who spoke about the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever legislation. “People know extension for the part they are involved with. They don’t think of the whole part,” Kline commented. With these reflections comes appreciation of extension’s greater legacy. Kline commented, “It’s important to express appreciation to those who helped us get here. We say happy birthday to extension, and I say thank you to you for your role.”

Columbia — Bryan Phifer called the Columbia area retiree meeting to order at Jack’s Gourmet restaurant. Following good food and fellowship, Abner Womack was introduced. His comments focused on policy analysis surrounding the U.S. economy. He stressed that policy is always controversial. He has spent significant time looking for information that is accurate, useful and practical. He concluded, “People need better information.”

Gallatin — Bob Teegarden hosted the final spring retiree luncheon in Gallatin. Daviess County Extension Council member and bee expert Raymond Heldebrand presented “All about bees.”