Welcome To The
Ashley County, Arkansas
Cooperative Extension Office
We are part of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service's statewide network and the University of Arkansas System's Division of Agriculture. Our mission is to provide research-based information through non-formal education to help all Arkansans improve their economic well-being and the quality of their lives. Whether it is agriculture, 4-H, health and living, or community development, the Ashley County Extension Office is at your service!
Agriculture in Ashley County
Agriculture is the state's largest industry. Arkansas is the number one rice producer in the US, number two in poultry and eggs, and number three in aquaculture and turkeys. Other top crops are soybeans and cotton.
Here at the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, we provide research-based information to help Arkansans improve their economic well being and quality of life. This site also gives information on Conservation, Safety, Marketing, Rice, Soybeans, Corn, Cotton, Wheat, Livestock and other topics related to Agriculture.
The University of Arkansas is dedicated to providing up-to-date educational programs consisting of research-based information for profitable commodity production.
Photo: Harvesting Rice on Freddie Scroggins Farm
Ashley County Family & Consumer Sciences
Learn How to Live Well
Our Family & Consumer Sciences Program will offer you the tools to help you improve and transform your life. Whether the topic is health, family life, family resource management or food and nutrition, the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service in Ashley County is committed to helping you find answers that work.
Obesity has important consequences on our county and state's health and economy. Among adults, the medical cost associated with obesity is astronomical. Thirty-six percent of adults are obese and 11.2 percent of adults have diabetes in Ashley County. Thirty-three percent of youth within two school districts are either at risk for overweight or overweight.
Multiple educational approaches were used to respond to issues related to chronic illness and obesity. Multi-session lessons focusing on health and wellness were offered to Ashley County youth and adult residents. Educational programs included "ReNew You" Weight Loss Boot Camps, Walk Across Arkansas, Strong Women & Men, Nutrition Education Seminars, Yoga for Kids and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs. Through these efforts 324 educational sessions were conducted that reached 2,183 individuals in 2014.
Participants in the "ReNew You" lost 175 pounds, walked 2,882 miles: 75% decreased blood pressure, blood glucose levels and 25% decreased cholesterol. The 418 participants in Walk Across Arkansas exercised 764,312 minutes which potentially saved $76,431 in health care costs; the 114 participants lost 576 pounds. Results from the Strong Women program indicated a cost savings of $343,302.00. Yoga for Kids participants reported they were stronger, more flexible, felt less stressed and made better grades. The 380 participants in the nutrition education program reported an increase in knowledge and skills with 75% intending to make positive dietary changes.
Photo: Strong Women & Men group participants
Ashley County 4-H
4-H is the youth development program within the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Through the 4-H program, youth are provided opportunities to acquire knowledge, develop skills, form attitudes, and practice behavior to become self-directing, productive, and contributing members of society. The 4-H program has three mission mandates in which we base our programming; Citizenship, Healthy Lifestyle, and 4-H Science.
Ashley County 4-H has eight active community and project clubs throughout the county. There are no membership fees to join 4-H. Membership is open to any child from ages 5 to 19. Youth from 5 to 8, concentrate on learning basic knowledge and skills related to their project areas. Those age 9 to 19 have opportunities to expand on the knowledge and skills by participating in 4-H competitive activities.
If you are interested in joining or would like to find out more about the Ashley County 4-H program, please contact Diane Mashburn, County Extension Agent- 4-H/Agriculture at the Ashley County Cooperative Extension Service at 870-853-2080.
Photo: 4-H members perform the EcoBot experiment for the 4-H National Youth Science Day
Ashley County Community & Economic Development
Ashley County Extension Staff works with business and community leaders along with local government officials to advance the growth of Ashley County residents and economy. Extension's Arkansas Procurement Center (APAC) helps local businesses bid on and receive government contracts.
The Ashley County Extension Service offers leadership programs to help identify and train active and effective youth and adult leaders for community, county and statewide leadership roles. We provide timely, credible, unbiased and research-based information and education about public issues.
Photo: Extension Homemakers Volunteering at Ashley County Fair