Mental Health First Aid Program to be offered August 3, 2017

What is Mental Health First Aid? 

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the initial help given to someone who may be developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The aid provided is not a substitute for professional help, but may help in stabilizing the person until appropriate professional or other assistance (including peer and family support) can be engaged.

Description of the Program:
This 8-hour course teaches people how to give first aid to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis situation and/or who are in the early stages of a mental health disorder.  Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of the most common mental health problems, where and when to get help, and what type of help has been shown to be effective.

For more information and to register contact the University of Missouri Extension Center, 614 Lindsay Ave., Suite 3 (686-8064). Print the registration form and mail into our office. Deadline to register is Friday, July 28.


Grandfamilies - Grandparents and Other Caregivers Raising Children

The summer is halfway gone and a new school year is close at hand.  University of Missouri Extension is helping grandfamilies prepare by holding a conference to kick off the new season of support meetings.  This conference is for any relative raising children other than their own.

Please join us September 12, 2017 for a learning opportunity offered free of charge.  The day will begin at the First United Methodist Church on Main Street in Poplar Bluff, MO with registrations and snacks.  Vendors will be available that can offer services to support you nad your children.  We have a line up of speakers throughout the day and lunch will be provided by the local Butler County Family and Community Education Volunteers (FCC).

Baby siting is offered during the conference free of charge.  Registration is required.  Please call us at 573-686-8064 to register or print off the registration form and mail it to 614 Lindsay Ave., Suite 3, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901.


Missouri Rice Field Day 


Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

October 18, 2017 from 8:00am – 5:30pm CDT

Poplar Bluff Extension Center, 614 Lindsay Ave., Suite 3, Poplar Bluff, Missouri 63901

Hosted by the Produce Safety Alliance, University of Missouri Extension, and FDA.

Who Should Attend?

Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety.  The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

What to Expect at the PSA Grower Training Course

The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in these seven modules:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

Key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module.  There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

Some costs are set including the PSA Grower Training Manuals ($50) and a certificate of course completion from AFDO ($35).  Other costs that must be covered for the training include the cost of the venue, speaker travel, and meals.  This program is being co-funded by a grant sponsored by the FDA so the total cost for participants will be only $50.  Call the University of Missouri Extension Center to register at 573-686-8064 or print the registration form and bring it/mail it to Univeristy of Missouri Extension Center, 614 Lindsay Ave., Suite 3, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901.

Participants from farms looking to meet the conditions of the FSMA Produce Rule will be eligible to receive a Certificate of Course Attendance from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have attended the PSA Grower Training Course. The certificate is issued to the individual who attends the course as evidence of completion and does not stay with the farm/organization.  Participants must be in attendance for the entire course to receive the certificate.  There are a limited number of seats available for this training. Once the course has been filled, registration will close. Check the PSA website for more information about additional training courses.


Twilight tours

Experience Horticulture in Southeast Missouri.  Twilight tours will offer an opportunity to visit diverse horticulture enterprises and practices. Growers/farmers will be available to answer questions and provide hands-on learning experiences.  Tours are open to all.  Tours are from 6:00 pm to 8:00 p.m. on the date noted for each event, see flyer (PDF).  Tours are $5 unless otherwise noted, Pre-registration is required.



Be Prepared for the Heat

It's Too Darn Hot — Planning for Excessive Heat Events - Information for Older Adults and Family Caregivers, EPA

Map showing high heat areas -


SBA Assistance for Flood Victims

Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Missouri businesses and residents as a result of President Trump’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Linda McMahon announced.

The declaration covers Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Howell Jasper, Jefferson, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Louis, Stone, Taney and Texas counties as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred April 28 – May 11, 2017.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing Missouri with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help Missouri businesses and residents affected by this disaster,” said McMahon. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 3.215 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.938 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). As soon as Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers open throughout the affected area, SBA will provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants. Additional information and details on the location of disaster recovery centers is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

Cleaning Mold from Hard Surfaces

To prevent mold from returning, you must first eliminate the moisture sources that caused the mold.  For personal protection, especially if the mold growth is extensive, wear a respirator with an N-95 or P-100 rating (to avoid breathing airborne mold spores), goggles without ventilation holes, and gloves made of natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC.

Clean the surface with a solution of 1/3 cup low-suds household cleanser or laundry detergent (no ammonia) per 1 gallon of water, using a brush or sponge. Rinse with a solution of 1 cup of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per 1 gallon of water. Scrub with a brush. Rinse again with clean water and let dry. You can use a fan to speed drying.

As a preventative step to keep the mold from growing back after cleaning it off, mix a solution of 2 cups of borax laundry booster in 5 gallons of hot water.  Stir until the borax dissolves and then add 1 pint of isopropyl "rubbing" alcohol.

Apply this solution with a sponge, pump sprayer or pressure washer. There is no need to worry about toxicity or what it will do to nearby plants and building materials.  The benefits are that you don't have to rinse, and the residual borax left behind is a potent fungicide that will not harm pets or children.  The alcohol smell after applying should dissipate quickly, especially when outdoors. The alcohol is a necessary antiseptic and drying agent.

Flood Resources

MU Extension Flood Resources    

MP904, Resources for Your Flooded Home    

Rehabbing Flooded Houses: A Guide for Builders and Contractors

MU Extension publication GH5928, How to Prevent and Remove Mildew

Humidity gauge source list (PDF) — University of Missouri Extension

Mold removal from hard surfaces (PDF) — University of Missouri Extension

Odor neutralizers (PDF) — University of Missouri Extension

Mildew removal from siding (PDF) — University of Missouri Extension

Mold control resources  

Understanding the Effects of Flooding on Trees

Flooding Q & A (while not all of these questions are germane to spring-time flooding, there are several good bits of advice that apply to the current situation)

Design Storm Alert System (tracks accumulated precipitation and helps with managing stored manure or domestic wastewater)

MoDOT road travel conditions   

Extension Flood Resources

Flood Recovery for Cropland

Frequently Asked Questions About Handling Flooded Produce

Guidance for Industry: Evaluating the Safety of Flood-affected Food Crops for Human Consumption


Pesticide Applicator Training


A grower can currently obtain a Private Applicator License by scheduling training through the Butler County Extension Center 573-686-8064.  Training is done from 9:00 am to noon or 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and requires three hours.

Horticulture Educational Opportunities

Continuing Education and Advanced Level Training Opportunities for Master Gardeners.  Classes are open to the public.  Click here for 2017 options (PDF).


Regional newsletters

Missouri Ag News (PDF)

The Garden Spade (PDF)

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