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Welcome To The

Independence County, Arkansas
Cooperative Extension Service

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 lives.  Whether it is agriculture, 4-H, health and living, or community development, the Independence County Extension Office is at your service!

Bermuda Variety Demo

Independence County Agricultural Programs

Out of the 488,000 total acres in Independence County, 58% is farmland and 40% is timber or woodlands.  Of the farmland, 75% is in hay or pasture and 25% is in field crops including soybeans, wheat, corn, and rice.  Beef cattle and poultry are the main livestock enterprises in the county.  The Independence County Extension Office offers educational programs in many areas including forages, beef, field crops, timber, horticulture and Master Gardeners.

Producers in the county asked for information on bermudagrass varieties. Livestock and Forestry Experiment Station donated the use of land for the test. We put in six bermudagrass varieties in the non-irrigated test, consisting of two common varieties and four hybrid varieties. 

The four-year average yield for each variety in tons per acre was 'Tifton 44' - 5.34; 'Vaughn's #1' - 5.08; 'Midland 99' - 5.03; 'Ozark' - 4.75;  'World Feeder' - 3.63,  'Cheyenne' - 4.00.

Photo: Bermudagrass Variety Demonstration

Group of 7 men & 1 woman posing for picture wearing full blue aprons with white lettered logo on front

Independence County Family and Consumer Sciences

Family and Consumer Science programs, such as Strong Women; Healthy Cooking classes; Small Steps to Health and Wealth; Best Care; and Guiding Children, successfully engage community members to help them better their lives and the lives of their family members.

The Cook Smart, Eat Smart class is a good example. This program teaches people how to prepare simple, healthy and delicious food.  Four, two-hour sessions were conducted. Individuals learned how to stretch their families food dollars while still eating healthy.  After the program, 95% of participants reported cooking with less salt and 90% reported saving more money on food. 

With a focus on good nutrition, managing chronic conditions, reaching healthier body weights and increasing physical activity, participants are empowered to make healthy lifestyle changes. Independence County Extension Service is committed to meeting the needs of its nearly 37,000 residents with a variety of relevant programs.

Photo: Cook Smart, Eat Smart - Adult Cooking School

Young boy judging a plant while standing behind a table with several ornamental plants on it; he has pencil and paper laid in front of him

Independence County 4-H Program

4-H is the youth development program of the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service. 4-H members range in age from 5-19 years and can select from 82 project areas. 4-H is a fun and educational program where kids "learn by doing."  It's a great opportunity for youth to acquire knowledge and skills.  4-H clubs are made up of adult volunteers working with a group of young people who want to learn new things, meet new people and have a good time along the way! 

Community service is an integral part of 4-H.  Our 4-H'ers helped plan and conduct our "One Day of Service."  4-H'ers gathered clothes and other items which were distributed to over 300 people that day.

In Independence County, we have 18 organized clubs with 318 members and 82 volunteer leaders. Last year we had 23 special interest and school enrichment programs with 1848 youth involved.

Photo: 4-H'er at County Ornamental Plant ID Contest