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OTC students produce children’s booklet for USDA

Two Ozarks Technical Community College students have combined their talents to create a new children’s water conservation booklet for the United States Department of Agriculture.

The booklet — “Skeeter’s Awesome Adventure” — is the work of Debbie Hunter, who wrote the story, and Alicia Michael, who did the illustrations and for children in preschool through third grade.

Ironically, while the book has been in the works for several years, author and illustrator had never met until earlier this week when they appeared together at a meeting of the OTC Board of Trustees.

Hunter wrote the story as part of an early childhood department partnership between the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, South Missouri Water Quality Project and children’s literature class taught by Donna Graham.

It is the third USDA book produced by Graham’s students.  “The Trash in Chigger County” was published last year and “The Little Acorn” was printed in 2008. It will be distributed statewide.

In the story, Skeeter the mouse is outside playing in his sandbox when he is visited by a water drop that takes him on a journey through the water cycle.

This is the first book Hunter has written, which took her about two hours to complete.

Michael’s illustrations of the story were chosen from a number of ideas submitted by OTC 2D art class students.

“I’m very proud of Alicia and all the students who submitted designs over the last two years. Alicia alone spent 200 plus hours creating her whimsical illustrations,” said Kat Allie, art instructor who oversaw the illustration selection process.

Michael was happy her drawings were selected.

“I want to go into environmental sciences. It’s a great foot in the door,” she said.

The booklet will be distributed through each county’s USDA service center. A total of 15,000 copies will be printed. To obtain the booklet, call the Greene County Center at 831-5246 or go to and click on the “Find a Service Center” link.

A video report about the booklet’s creation can be seen at

Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications for Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at



College Director of Communications

Phone: 417.447.2655


Steve Koehler

Coordinator of Publications

Phone: (417) 447-2666


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