Published in Missouri Gardening

Media contact:
Curt Wohleber
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-5409
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Megan Silvey will be University of Missouri Extension’s new director of communications and marketing as of Dec. 9.

“Megan brings a great blend of experiences that will enable her to provide excellent leadership for our marketing and communication with key audiences,” said Marshall Stewart, MU vice chancellor for extension and engagement. “Most importantly, she has a strong commitment to the extension, engagement and outreach mission of our land-grant university. She is an incredible talent and we are very fortunate to have her on our team.”

A Missouri native, Silvey has been a leader in marketing and communications at MU and the UM System since 2005. Since 2012 she has been director of strategic communication and marketing for MU’s School of Health Professions. She has been involved with the MU Engagement Council since its inception, and for the past two years has served on the MU Extension Summit planning committee and working group.

She is an adjunct faculty member in the MU School of Journalism, where she earned a bachelor’s degree with an advertising emphasis and is currently pursuing a master’s in strategic communication.

In her previous experience, Silvey managed a public relations firm in Wilmington, Delaware, and spent four years directing the advertising investments at Dover International Speedway, a NASCAR racetrack in Dover, Delaware. Silvey returned to the University of Missouri as the marketing and communications manager for MOREnet. She also served in Student & Auxiliary Services, directing marketing efforts for the MU student unions and for the bookstores at all UM System campuses.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of this team,” Silvey says. “It’s an opportunity to help connect people and programs; share stories across universities, the state and the globe; and amplify our collective voice to build a more inspired and engaged statewide community.”

Photo available for this release:


Cutline: Megan Silvey will be MU Extension's new communications director starting Dec. 9, 2019.

Published in Missouri Gardening

Story source: Jennifer Erickson, 573-882-8189

Osher, MU Arts & Science collaborate on ‘potpourri’ course.

COLUMBIA, Mo.— The students let out a surprised chuckle when Amanda Rose revealed that among CEOs of S&P 1500 companies, women are not just outnumbered by men, they are outnumbered just by the men who are named John.

It was just one of many interesting statistics Rose presented during “Gaslighting Women at Work and Home,” a recent class at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

“It was a pleasure to speak at Osher to a group with such great life experience,” said Rose, a psychological sciences researcher at MU. “Their sharing their experiences helps me to better understand (my) work in a broader context.”

Those students with life experience are adults over 50 looking to foster friendships and keep their brains active through Osher’s educational courses.

Rose’s class was the last of eight sessions of the MU College of Arts and Science fall “potpourri” course. Each Monday, different MU faculty members brought students up to date on the latest research in their fields. Topics ranged from archaeology at Pompeii to the presidential debates and early African-American literature.

The potpourri started two years ago as the brainchild of Patricia Okker, dean of the College of Arts and Science, and Helen Washburn, who was chair of Osher’s advisory council at the time. Okker had previously taught a class for Osher, and her enthusiasm got Washburn and Osher program committee chair Carolyn Dye on board.

Dye said the collaboration made sense to both the college and Osher because both are committed to lifelong learning. “It’s the essence of what we’re about,” she said.

Osher relies on volunteer instructors to teach a myriad of classes throughout its semesters. Most instructors are current or retired university faculty. Dye’s committee works with the Osher staff to put together the schedule of courses on a variety of topics. Science, music, literature and history fit right in with more skills-based classes on financial planning, travel tips and mahjong.

While Osher members are no strangers to top-notch lecturers, this particular collaboration is unique. The Arts and Science faculty members joke that it’s because of the eager audience of students who love learning for its own sake without the pressure of grades.

Heather Hennkens, an assistant professor of chemistry, taught the first class of the potpourri and noticed the difference. “I just loved how engaged the class members were, especially given the diversity in their backgrounds and experiences,” she said.

“Our collaboration with the College of Arts and Science is a great example of how the Osher program stays on the cutting edge,” said Jennifer Erickson, senior coordinator of Osher@Mizzou. Erickson has found that Osher members would rather learn about the latest academic research and societal advancements than topics traditionally taught in adult education classes.

“There’s a wealth of research, teaching and engagement happening every day at MU,” Erickson said. “We love that these professors are open to sharing their current academic pursuits with the Osher learners.”

About Osher@Mizzou

Osher is an MU Extension program for members seeking to build a community of lifelong learners. Students take classes, join clubs and attend events—all for the sheer joy of learning. Osher offers more than 75 non-credit courses over four semesters each academic year for mid-Missourians ages 50-plus. For more information, visit

Registration for the winter semester opens in early January.

Photos available for this release
MU psychology researcher Amanda Rose illustrates the low percentage of women among S&P 1500 CEOs during her Oct. 28 class at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Osher member Sandy Davidson talks with Amanda Rose after her Oct. 28 class at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Osher senior coordinator Jennifer Erickson introduces Heather Hennkens, MU assistant professor of chemistry, during the College of Arts and Science Potpourri.
Osher members listen to Heather Hennkens’ presentation on radioisotopes during her Sept. 9 College of Arts and Science Potpourri class.

Writer: Katherine Stevenson

Photos available for this release:


Cutline: MU psychology researcher Amanda Rose explains the low percentage of women among S&P 1500 CEOs during her Oct. 28 class at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.


Cutline: Osher member Sandy Davidson talks with Amanda Rose after her Oct. 28 class at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.


Cutline: Osher senior coordinator Jennifer Erickson introduces Heather Hennkens, MU assistant professor of chemistry, during the College of Arts and Science Potpourri.


Cutline: Osher members listen to Heather Hennkens’ presentation on radioisotopes during her Sept. 9 College of Arts and Science Potpourri class.

Published in Alabama Gardening

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – This Food Friday, Live Well Alabama is preparing Family Favorite Tomato Soup. This

Published in Georgia Gardening

This Arctic Blast Escalated Quickly

Thus far in November, a few arctic fronts have made their way across the

Published in Missouri Gardening

Media contact:
Linda Geist
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9185
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Story source: Raymond E. Massey, 573-884-7788

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension’s recent land value survey shows that average land prices for non-irrigated cropland across the state increased about 4% or $204 per acre from last year.

The study shows averages of $5,421 per acre for good non-irrigated cropland. Survey respondents rated good irrigated cropland at $6,148 per acre, $634 more per acre than last year.

MU Extension economist Ray Massey says the web-based survey considered the average value of three classes of cropland and pasture as of July 2019. It also considered timberland as well as hunting and recreational land.

Demand remains strong and rental rates decreased little. Broadband internet expansion might influence some sales near metropolitan areas. Massey also points to low interest rates and low rates of return on “safe” investments such as certificates of deposit causing people to put their money in land.

Bootheel area land topped statewide values at $7,090 for good non-irrigated cropland and $7,353 for good irrigated land while even poor cropland ranked at $4,051.

Respondents estimated good pastureland at a statewide average of $3,174 per acre, up $259 or 9% from 2018 estimates.

Reported changes in value varied greatly, from a 6% decrease to a 22% increase. Pastureland in counties bordering the Missouri and Mississippi rivers showed the highest values.

Hunting/recreational property in those same counties also ranked at the top, with timberland values at $2,789 and hunting/recreational land values at $2,700.

Overall, Missouri hunting/recreational land and timberland posted a 12% increase in value.

Central Missouri timber/hunting and recreational land grew the most in value, according to the survey, with a 32% positive change. Good cropland and pastureland in central Missouri posted upward changes of 22%.

The Lake of the Ozarks region posted the highest changes in land values in the state for timber/hunting and recreational land at 34%.

The survey also reports a growing trend of buyers planning to farm the land themselves. As many as 62% of buyers plan to farm the land; 27% intend to rent out the land; 10% plan to use the land for non-farming purposes.

Massey says survey respondents expect little change in land values in the coming year. “In 2018, the respondents to this survey expected land values to decrease slightly. This year, while some regions show decreases and some increases, the average value of cropland, pastureland, timberland and recreational land across the state is expected to hold where it is now,” he says.

Massey says 75% of responses came from lenders, 12% from farmers, 9% from rural appraisers and 4% from other occupations.

For the complete report, go to

Published in Missouri Gardening

Media contact:
Duane Dailey
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9181
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Story sources: Scott Brown, 573-882-3861; Zac Erwin, 660-665-9866

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Farmers needing heifers to replace old cows, or sold cows, are at a good time. This fall’s Show-Me-Select heifer sales offer spring-calving replacements to build herds.

Recent declining profits and bad winters forced downsizing of the Missouri heifer supply. Recent price upticks add optimism to beef outlooks.

Growing demand for quality beef lends optimistic outlooks for 2020 cattle prices, says Scott Brown, University of Missouri Extension livestock economist.

“I see some crazy good price projections out there,” he adds. But he’s not going that far in spite of seeing growing demand. So much depends on the growing foreign trade. Other countries want high quality.

Watch price spreads for quality beef, USDA choice to prime grades, he says. “It’s quality that counts.”

In a recent week, boxed-beef price for prime beef was $257 per hundredweight while select was $208. That’s $49 more for quality.

Those prices work back to sales of feeder calves. But that takes farm records and marketing to capture gains. Raising and selling calves isn’t enough. Feedlot buyers learn farm reputations and bid more for quality calves. It takes management for producers to know their calf quality and market it. It’s more than round them up and sell them.

Missouri has advantages when it comes to beef quality, Brown says. He reflected on the coming six sales of Show-Me-Select replacement heifers.

Zac Erwin, MU Extension livestock specialist and Kirksville SMS sale manager, said bred heifers may be hard to find this year. “Most producers bred fewer than last year due to low profits,” he says.

Sale barn managers in his area say fewer bred heifers are being sold. “They are selling about 30 percent compared to two or three years ago.” Erwin adds, “As profits return, Show-Me-Select offers a chance to add top genetics to beef herds.”

The Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program, taught by MU Extension, adds genetics and proven management. Bred heifers offered at the sales are from farmers enrolled in the SMS program.

Show-Me-Select adds calving ease to herds. That cuts death loss and labor at calving. Along with improved heifers, the steermates improve carcass merit in SMS herds. Those sell for premium prices.

Economist Brown says volatility in beef prices results from uncertainty on foreign trade. China and Japan offer big potential for importing more beef. However, trade deals are still in flux.

African swine fever losses in China play a part in beef demand. Pork prices have gone up, which has related increases in beef demand.

USDA outlooks show potential for 3 million metric tons of beef to China. That approaches almost a quarter of U.S. beef for next year.

U.S. can compete with other countries for that demand. The edge goes to U.S. beef quality.

Erwin says area beef farmers selling at the Kirksville Show-Me-Select sale picked their theme: “Prepare for the Future.”

Missouri beef producers need to think ahead. There is diminishing demand for select beef, Brown says. But in his outlook talks, he adds there’s always uncertainty. No one knows future weather, diseases, trade deals or politics.

Lists of Show-Me-Select sales are at

Nov 14, 2019

The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, along with other sponsors, hosted the Massachusetts Ecosystem Climate Adaptation Network’s third annual conference on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Mount Ida campus of UMass Amherst.

The conference was designed to serve as a venue to shape conversation about ecosystem resilience, for participants to reflect on their own work, to boost morale and to network.

Published in Iowa Gardening
tractor and equipment in field by Larry Stone at Daryl Landsgard Farm.

Iowa Learning Farms, along with the Clayton County Soil and Water Conservation District, will host a cover crop workshop on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Luana Savings Bank. The event is free, open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal. Read more about Cover Crop Workshop Set for Luana on Dec. 5

Published in Iowa Gardening
three master gardeners.

Master Gardener volunteers with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach continue to improve the lives and communities of Iowans. Twenty-two counties across the state received Growing Together Mini-Grants in 2019, which resulted in about 115,000 pounds of produce being donated to nearby pantries. Read more about Growing Together Mini Grantees Donate More Than 100,000 Pounds of Produce in 2019

Published in Indiana Gardening
Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business, the Agricultural Retailers Association and Arizona
Page 1 of 1356