Extension hires new Family Financial Education Specialist

Posted December 11, 2014 at 11:10 am

University of Missouri Extension has hired Doug Scotten for a specialist position to be located in Vernon County. Scotten is the Regional Family Financial Education Specialist for the University of Missouri Extension, located in Vernon County, Missouri. The position is responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating educational programs in financial literacy, money management, estate planning, food resource management, debt management and consumer issues. The position serves Vernon, St. Clair, Cedar, Hickory and Polk counties.

Doug was raised near Walker and is a graduate of Walker High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Business from Missouri State University in Springfield and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. Doug has prior professional experience in agricultural sales, the Missouri Department of Social Services, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the

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    Senator Mike Parson to file resolution opposing federal changes to the Beef Checkoff Program

    Senator Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, announced his intention to file legislation during the 2015 legislative session aimed at opposing any increasing government involvement in existing or the development of new federal commodity checkoff programs. The resolution is a result of concerns raised by cattle producers who are bracing for an overhaul of the national Beef Checkoff Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed the creation of a new program following several administrative disasters.

    “Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack should be admonished for the failures of his administration and for allowing more government

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    Kander convenes Elections Integrity Task Force

    Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander on Dec. 9 convened the bipartisan Elections Integrity Task Force, which brought together local, state and federal law enforcement and election authorities to open new lines of communication and establish best practices for responding to alleged violations in the elections process.

    “Today’s meeting was the first time these agencies met at the same table to coordinate efforts that will protect the integrity of Missouri’s elections,” Kander said. “Together we’ve proactively defined clear roles for addressing elections-related issues, which will ensure a rapid and collaborative response to

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    National debt surpasses $18 Trillion

    Good Day,

    Congress passed important legislation this week to help keep our country secure. The House came together in a bipartisan effort to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – the 53rd consecutive year that Congress has approved such critical legislation. The NDAA gives our brave troops the resources needed to combat the national security threats we face and it provides the necessary tools to our troops even though we face a scarcity of

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    Living Christmas tree adds appeal, memories

    A living Christmas tree is a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas holiday and then later celebrate the memory of special times spent with family and friends according to Patrick Byers, a horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

    Planting a live Christmas tree outdoors can offer appeal and added value to the home landscape,” said Byers. “Proper selection and handling will ensure that the tree will make the transition successfully into the outdoors.”

    However, before planting a living Christmas tree, some preparations and precautions should be taken

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    Remember, Christmas is meant to be fun! Make it special for your kids

    Bring the magic of Christmas alive with messages from Santa

    How do you keep the magic of Christmas alive during the mad rush of the holidays? The trick to nurturing the sense of wonderment that is such a delight to watch in children, is simply to let kids be kids. Encourage imaginations to soar with a few special holiday traditions that allow them to truly believe in all the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus. Even though it’s busy, you will be glad you cherished this time of innocent enchantment while

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    Savvy Senior®

    Personal tech products designed specifically for seniors

    Dear Savvy Senior

    Can you recommend any tablets, smartphones or computers that are specifically designed for seniors? I would like to buy a device for my technology-challenged grandmother so she can get online and keep up with her grandkids better, but it needs to be super simplified so she can use it.

    Holiday Shopper

    Dear Shopper,

    There are actually several new tech products on the market today that

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    Ask the Pharmacist: Exercise tips your heart will love

    A regular exercise routine is an important component of heart health, yet less than one-third of Americans get the minimum 30 minutes of daily exercise five days a week, as recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA). Nationally, as many as 250,000 deaths annually are attributable to a lack of regular physical activity.

    While exercise is important for everyone, regular aerobic activity can be critical to ensuring healthier outcomes for cardiovascular patients. Even a little exercise goes a long way.

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    Protect your identity online

    Secretary of State Jason Kander issued an Investor Alert marking National Identity Protection Week (October 27-31), and encouraging Missourians to use six simple tips to protect themselves from online identity theft. National Identity Protection Week is a project led by the Federal Trade Commission, National Bankers Association and the National Sheriffs’ Association.

    “With technology playing a larger part of our everyday lives, it’s easy to be vulnerable to online identity theft,” Kander said. “My office’s six simple tips can help you protect yourself from fraud, and prevent months, and even years, of

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    Protect perennials with winter mulch


    by Marilyn Odneal, Horticulture Adviser

    Note: this will be the final edition of the Ozarks Fruit and Garden review column. We appreciate the many loyal readers over the years who have enjoyed and benefitted from the column.

    Wooly worms and persimmon seeds may predict a cold winter with damaging low temperatures, but southern Missourians can also experience dramatic temperature fluctuations that harm plants. Whatever old man winter has in store, gardeners can help protect fall-planted and established perennials by putting their plantings

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