Welcome to the
Van Buren County, Arkansas
Cooperative Extension Service
Not sure what we do for the community? Check out this video on YouTube! What We Do!
Avian Influenza: A Potential Threat to Poultry Again This Fall
Avian Influenza (AI) is a viral disease capable of causing varying degrees of illness and mortality in poultry. The recent outbreak of Avian Influenza, December 2014-June 2015, is the largest animal health emergency in the history of the United States and has affected poultry in 15 years
Check out the Summer 2015 Avian Advice article for more information on recent outbreaks, virus description, disease symptoms diagnosis and spread, and what to do.
The Impact of Livestock Identification
Photo: Freeze brand on calf in on-farm animal identification demonstration. Freeze brands are a permanent form of identification used on dark haired livestock.
The higher price of beef cattle the past few years has enticed rustling of cattle in neighboring counties and attempts locally. Animal identification, especially permanent identification, is as necessary today as it was two centuries ago on the open range to deter theft and aid in record keeping.
In 2014, the Van Buren County Agriculture subcommittee requested a program on animal identification. Planning was put into place to approach this program with hands-on methods and visual demonstrations to teach producers identification methods available to them. An on-farm demonstration was conducted to demonstrate freeze branding methods. These methods were demonstrated twice to enable good examples to be viewed by program participants. In August of 2015, a Livestock Identification workshop was conducted at the livestock auction barn in Damascus.
The workshop covered the USDA Animal ID Rule, Electronic Record Keeping, and an Animal Identification demonstration. Sixty-eight producers attended and 82% rated the program valuable to very valuable. The largest impact was the identification method demonstration. Twenty-six percent plan to implement some type of identification method. If 18 producers attending this meeting implemented permanent identification, it could prevent cattle theft and improve record keeping. If this prevented 10 calves from being stolen per producer, it would save $10,000 in losses by each producer or a total loss of $180,000. If you need assistance with animal identification or record keeping methods, contact your local County Extension office for more information.
Photo to the right: Livestock Identification Workshop participants observe freeze branding and hot branding of cattle. Participants gained knowledge of permanent and temporary identification methods.
Saving Van Buren County's Dollars
Photo: Coupon College Program Table
Based on the Van Buren County Quickfacts, 24.4% of the population is in poverty.
The average cost per meal is $2.83 in Van Buren County. This is well over the Arkansas average cost per meal which is $2.65. With the rate of average meal cost being so high, every family could use education on how to save money at the grocery store.
"Take A Stand" Against Bullying
Bullying has become a recent hot topic in the United States. According to stopbullying.gov,
28% of students in the 6th through the 12th grade in the U.S. reported they had been
bullied. This website also reported over 70% of students have witnessed bullying in
their school. These statistics motivated South Side School District to take action
Photo: South Side 3rd Grader wearing her "respecticles" she made to help her remember
to show respect for others.
Resilient & Community Strong
Photo: Community Leaders engaging in the planning process for Community Improvement
through the four work groups organized in the Breakthrough Solution program.
Van Buren County has withstood 18 natural disasters in the last 10 years. These events
have ranged from floods, tornadoes, to winter storms. There are approximately 37
vacant buildings in the downtown area that could be available to businesses. We♥VBC
is working towards improving the downtown Clinton area and Van Buren County as a whole.
Extension's Breakthrough Solutions program was adopted for planning and action. In
the first session, the group of leaders thought it was important to start with downtown
Clinton and then move to other communities in the county as needed. Four work groups
were developed in the second meeting. These groups were 1) Aesthetics & Quality of
Life 2) Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development 3) Communications & Marketing
4) Hospitality & Appreciation. The work groups have identified priorities, goals,
and action steps through community meetings and intensive planning efforts.
Leaders toured the Stuttgart and Harrison communities to obtain viable ideas for downtown revitalization efforts. Leaders were empowered to begin work and started with the assembling of a book of downtown properties that needed improvement to document a plan and action process that could be used with property owners and needed project supporters. The group will begin the painting process this fall. Community projects such as the “World ‘s Largest Potluck & Survivorfest" formed from this planning session and assisted in raising $1,000 in funding. Four community projects were initiated along with 4 new businesses attracted to the downtown area.
|Above is a photo of a mural being proposed for a downtown Van Buren county building.||Above is a photo of a mural being proposed for a downtown Van Buren county building.||Above: Community members gather to attempt to beat the worlds largest pot luck for the Guinness Book of World Records hosted by We♥VBC.|