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Extension Educational Programs & Services
Mississippi County, Arkansas

The Cooperative Extension Service offers a host of educational programs and services.  If you do not see what you are looking for below, please contact our county Extension Office for assistance.



cotton harvest 

Mississippi County Leads Arkansas in Row Crop Production

Named for the river on her eastern border, Mississippi County grows more row crops than any other county in Arkansas.  In 2013, almost a half a million acres of row crops valued at more than $300 million were grown in Mississippi County. Soybeans and cotton made up around 75% of the county's row crop acreage with corn, rice, and wheat making up the balance.  For additional information on agriculture in Mississippi County please contact Ray Benson, CES - Staff Chair, via email at, or Jason Osborn, CES - Agriculture at, or by calling the Cooperative Extension office at (870) 762-2075.

Photo: 2013 cotton harvest in Mississippi County.




 Family Consumer Sciences 


Miss. Co. Ambassador Wellness 2015

Family and Consumer Sciences-Raising Kids, Eating Right, Spending Smart, Living Well

The Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program in Mississippi County helps Arkansans live well by providing educational programs in foods and nutrition, health and aging, family life, and money management as well as encouraging community involvement, leadership development, and personal growth. Contact Pam Pruett, FCS agent, at the Mississippi County office for more information on any of these programs. Email: or phone: 870-762-2075.

Photo: Patrons participate in a Chef Charles event at the Mississippi County Senior Center-Osceola in 2013.



  • Eating Right and Living Well: Nutrition and Wellness

    Nutrition and physical activity affect the well-being of individuals and families. The typical Arkansan consumes a diet high in fat and sugar with little physical activity. That combination contributes to health problems. Increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains along with an increase in physical activity contributes to improved health and well-being. Extension offers a variety of programs that address these issues.

    • Cook  Smart, Eat Smart is a multi-session, hands on cooking school that focuses on various methods of meal preparation.
    • Diabetes Education provides information on preparing meals for those with diabetes
    • Food Preservation classes focus on the skills needed to preserve food at home including water-bath, pressure canning, freezing, and drying.
    • Food Safety covers preventing cross-contamination of bacteria in the home setting.
    • Medicine Ball Strength Training is a 12 week program that meets twice weekly designed to increase flexibility, strength, and endurance through exercises using medicine balls.
    • Walk Across Arkansas (WAA) is a program held in the Fall and the Spring that promotes physical activity with a focus on walking. Participants form teams and track their time spent in physical activity on the WAA extension website. /health-living/health/fitness/walk-across-arkansas.aspx
    • Fit in 10 provides research based physical activities that focus on being active as we age. There are series of lessons targeting balance, endurance, strength, and stretching.
    • Endless Gardening teaches ways to make gardening enjoyable at any age. 
  • Raising Kids and Living Well: Family Life and Other Relationships

     Family Life and other Relationships are full of challenges making it important to learn ways to improve one’s personal relationship skills. A number of programs designed to cover every stage of family life will help make your family life and other relationships more effective and satisfying.

    • Marriage Garden provides principles to cultivate a healthy couple relationship.
    • Managing Stress teaches ways to turn stresses into growth, challenges into blessings.
    • Personal Journey leads you on a path through life.
    • Parenting Journey provides principles in the vital area of parenting.
    • See the World Through My Eyes gives adults a child’s viewpoint of their world.
    • Guiding Children Successfully provides the caregiver/parenting skills to help children grow and develop into strong and caring adults.
    • Getting Your Heart Right teaches three keys to better relationships. Child care providers can earn 5 hours of training if taken online.
    • Best Care Child CareTraining is a face to face child care training held annually in counties (individual and clusters) across the state. Child care providers can receive 10 free hours of verified training.
    • Best Care Connected  is an online early childhood professional development  course providing 5 hours of verified training. ( email: or call: 501-671-2069 for more information.
    • Guiding Children Successfully provides 30 hours of self-guided and online study that is verifiable for child care providers. For online information, visit: or to check out materials at your local county extension office, call: 870-762-2075 for information. You may email or call 501-671-2103 for online course information also.
  • Spending Smart: Money Management

    Managing finances is a major concern and challenge for individuals and families. Extension programs and instructional/informational materials address issues such as identity theft, avoiding scams, budgeting, debtor education, etc. Navigating the Financial Journey involves learning the basics of successful financial management, budget management, money management, wise use of credit, and consumer protection.

    • Jump$tart Coalition is a coalition of financial institutions and Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agents who provide financial education for children and youth in a multi-county cluster in Northeast Arkansas. Various programs are available through the local county FCS agent.
    • Small Steps to Health and Wealth is a national Cooperative Extension program designed to help individuals read personal finance and health goals.
    • Financial Smart Start for Newlyweds is an educational series designed to help couples gain financial management skills.
    • Debtor Education is provided through a referral process.
  • Smart Nutrition Active People-Education (SNAP-ED)

    SNAP-ED programs are provided through a partnership with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (USCES), the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. The SNAP-ED program provides nutrition education to food stamp recipients and other eligible low-income individuals and families including Head Start programs, senior citizen centers, commodity distribution sites, and public schools where 50% or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Various programs targeting a variety of age ranges for children and adults are available for the target audiences and partnering organizations.

  • Mississippi County Extension Homemakers (EHC)

    Mississippi County has an active Extension Homemakers organization. The mission of the Extension Homemakers Organization shall be to empower individuals and families to improve their quality of living through continuing education, leadership development, and community service. This group contributes numerous hours of volunteer service annually. There are currently four extension homemakers clubs in the county-Dogwood, Manila, Gosnell, and Cotton Belles. For more information regarding an existing club or if you know of a group that would like to start a new club, contact Pam Pruett, FCS Agent ( or 870-762-2075).

  • Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

    Mississippi County youth and families with young children now have the opportunity to develop healthy eating and lifestyles through the county’s new Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, EFNEP. The program utilizes “Eating Smart – Being Active” for adults and “Kids in the Kitchen” curriculums to help families with limited incomes and youth acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior changes necessary to maintain nutritionally sound diets and enhance personal development.

    EFNEP adult education can help low incomes families improve the quality of their diets through small group lessons or individual sessions with the EFNEP program assistant.  EFNEP youth provides food and nutrition education to contribute to personal development of youth from families with low income. 2011-2012 Arkansas EFNEP participants reported that 73 percent of the program participants followed the recommended practice of not thawing foods at room temperature and 62 percent planned meals in advance.

    Email Saundra Sovick Harms or call (870)762-2075 for more information about joining an EFNEP class. 



Community Economic Development

 CED photo

Mississippi County Community and Economic Development Program

The mission of Community and Economic Development (CED) is to strengthen Arkansas communities and businesses through research-based education.

Photo: Bobby Hall, a Parliamentarian and U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service Program Associate for Community and Economic Development, leads a workshop for Mississippi County citizens in August 2013 at Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville.

  • Mission achieved through research, education and outreach in four priority areas
    • Business - provide education and technical assistance to strengthen Arkansas businesses. 
    • Community - assist Arkansas communities and regions in building local capacity to improve their social and economic well-being and create vibrant and resilient communities. 
    • Leadership - help identify and train active and effective youth and adult leaders for community, county and statewide leadership roles.
    • Public Policy - provide timely, credible, unbiased and research-based information and education about public issues.
  • CED Resources Enlisted to Develop Manila Airport Improvement Plan

    The Mississippi County Extension Service works with county and local governments to help improve and promote towns in our county.  Our office has been involved in the development of plans to improve the Manila Municipal Airport.  Working with the Manila Airport Authority and the Manila City government, designs for a new airport terminal building were developed.  A grant proposal was written to apply for funds to support the terminal building project as well as to repave the existing runway.  The grant, in excess of $700,000, was approved and awarded to the Manila Airport project and construction is underway.