Winter 2014

Handshakes and hugs

Dates set for spring 2014 Retirees and Friends meetings

Save the date for upcoming Retirees and Friends meetings! Details will come closer to the meetings.

April 9 — Nevada
April 10 — Ozark
April 18 — Sedalia
April 23 — Jackson
April 24 — St. Peters
May 1 — Columbia
May 7 — Gallatin

Highlights from fall 2013 meetings

In October, 160 retirees and guests gathered to reconnect with University of Missouri Extension.

Gallatin — Morning rains didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the group that gathered in Gallatin on Oct. 3. The group appreciated Bob Teegarden’s local arrangements and a regional update from Regional Director Karma Metzgar. A “Quilts, Barns and Money” program was presented by Director of Donor Education Cynthia Crawford that had elements of community arts, agritourism, economic development and financial management all sewn into quilts.

Nevada — Sunshine and smiles greeted the retirees and guests that gathered in Nevada on Oct. 9. Leonard Ernsberger called the group to order and the first item on the agenda was sharing stories about extension adventures. Carol Parmenter, George Graham and Calvin Jones joined Leonard with their favorite stories, too. Human Development and Family Studies Specialist Lisa Wallace presented a cutting-edge program on the Affordable Care Act that included her wit and wisdom about this important topic. Premiums are based on family size, age, tobacco use and geographic area.

photo: retirees at Gallatin meeting
Retirees at the Gallatin meeting.

photo: quilt show at Gallatin meeting
Attendees of the Gallatin meeting browsed quilts after Cynthia Crawford's "Quilts, Barns and Money" presentation.

photo: retirees hear about the Affordable Care Act at the Columbia conference meeting
Retirees heard about the Affordable Care Act at the Columbia conference meeting.

Ozark — The retirees and friends that gathered at Ozark on Oct. 10, set the record for the largest group in out-state Missouri. Twenty-four retirees and friends were happy to reconnect and share a meal. Regional Director Jay Chism brought warm greetings from extension and talked about how change has always been a theme in MU Extension — embodying the organization to remain relevant, reliable and responsive to the needs of Missourians. Family Financial Education Specialist Nellie Lamers spoke on the Affordable Care Act and reassured retirees their Medicare benefits, plus supplemental health care benefits through the university, more than meet standards required by the Affordable Care Act.

Sedalia — The retirees and guests at the Sedalia meeting were warmly greeted by Owen Fox, the local arrangements coordinator. Dr. Abner Womack was guest speaker, and you could have heard a pin drop in the room as he offered his thoughts about root causes for recent economic challenges and solutions for a strong economy. He spoke highly of the partnership between FAPRI and extension field faculty — praising extension specialists for encouraging a two-way sharing of information, data and forecasting. “My success has been possible because of so many people in extension. Extension is forward looking. . . Working with extension was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

St. Peters — Bud Reber enthusiastically greeted retirees and guests at the extension center in St. Peters. He updated the group on the new urban region and then introduced Labor Education Specialist Rob Russell. Rob spoke on the Affordable Care Act and specifics of the legislation. Rob emphasized that extension’s role is to provide facts to clear up confusion about the Affordable Care Act, to help people comply with the law, understand their health insurance options so that they can make informed health insurance decisions.

Jackson — The retirees and guests that gathered at the Cape Girardeau County Extension Center in Jackson kicked off their morning meeting with coffee and doughnuts. Local coordinator Don Boesch introduced Human Development and Family Studies Specialist Mary Gosche and her topic, the Affordable Care Act. Insurance companies must spend 80 percent of premium dollars on health care or issue refunds. Administrative costs can be no more than 20 percent of premiums. In response to their request last spring, the group also connected electronically with campus for an update by Tamra Robbins from the retiree benefits office.

Columbia (fall conference) — The final fall retiree and friends meeting took place on opening day of fall conference. Retirees and guests joined active faculty and staff for the opening luncheon and Kansas State Extension Director Daryl Bucholtz’s keynote. After Tiger Stripe ice cream, nearly 60 retirees were greeted by Dr. Michael Ouart who spoke about how MU Extension is moving forward with key initiatives. With federal, state and county funding, there are always bright spots and budget worries. Fee generation, grants, contracts and gifts are all important to build a stable and diversified income stream for the organization.

After an update from Tamra Robbins of the retiree benefits office, the group heard comments from MU Extension state specialists Molly Vetter-Smith and Brenda Procter on the Affordable Care Act.