Welcome To The
Washington 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 lives. Whether it is agriculture, 4-H, health and living, or community development, the Washington County Extension Office is at your service!
The Washington County Extension Service helped beef producers on issues experienced during drought conditions in the county. The beef short course included topics on beef herd reproduction, EPA inspections in the Illinois River basin, the Discovery Farm project, liming and soil fertility and fertilizer losses, a case study on prioritizing costs on a local beef farm, sessions of the pesticide applicator training, and on-farm grazing field days were also conducted.
Forage samples sent to the University of Arkansas testing lab were up 30% from a year ago. Many were either specifically for or included forage nitrate levels. Efforts to manage around prussic acid and high nitrates in johnsongrass, along with site visits, newsletters and one-on-one consultations helped reduce losses that could have occurred. Some cattle were lost to poisoning from johnsongrass by producers gambling on their own, but many more deaths were likely prevented on farms where producers took the time to learn the facts from the local Extension office. Each death that was prevented represents a minimum of $700-1,000 to the farmer.
Photo: Washington County Extension Agent working with beef producers regarding drought issues
Family & Consumer Science
Washington County has had tremendous population growth but has also gained in adult obesity rate to 30%. Average work days lost due to poor physical and mental health is higher in Washington County than the national average. The Washington County Extension Service and the Extension Homemaker clubs provide research-based information throughout our county to address these issues.
Small Steps to Health and Wealth series provided health and financial steps to a better life to employees at the county courthouse. ServSafe National Food Safety courses were conducted. Child care provider classes and self-study were held for providers who work with our youth and families almost daily, as well as, the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren group. AgriAbility sessions showed farmers and gardeners options to remain active longer as they age.
Food service workers were trained in food safety and expanded their training to other food service staff. The Veterans' Hospital, food banks, women's shelters and the Children's Hospital benefit monthly from direct services of Washington County Extension Homemakers.
Photo: Family & Consumer Science display at a local county event
4-H Youth Development
The future of Arkansas depends on its ability to boost student performance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Students entering college with inadequate math skills require remediation courses, costing millions each year. STEM related career options are competitive and increasing in several fields.
4-H programs provide hands-on application of STEM skills including making predictions, collecting data, communicating with team members, developing a plan, conducting an experiment, and evaluating the results. The 4-H STEM Program has been a huge success in helping youth understand the curricula through hands-on activities and real world simulations.
Photo: 4-H youth plant trees for Arbor Day
Water Quality Education
Increased urban development in Northwest Arkansas is intensifying the challenges of managing stormwater pollutants and flows to protect regional water quality. As a result, cities, businesses and homeowners are seeking Extension’s expertise on management practices to mitigate the effects of stormwater pollution, flooding and stream bank erosion.
Extension provides comprehensive urban stormwater education for nine jurisdictions in Washington County. Hands-on classroom and creek side programs for youth and workshops for gardening enthusiasts, civic organizations, and construction and landscape design professionals promote techniques to harvest rainwater, slow runoff and minimize pollutant loads. UpStream Art storm drain murals reminded residents of the connection between their land use activities and the health of their local waterways, while a series of workshops provided technical training for sustainable storm water landscape professionals.
- 2,454 youth gained new knowledge about watersheds, stormwater dynamics and pollution prevention through school and 4-H programs
- 43,340 gallons of stormwater are captured annually as a result of 197 participants in rain barrel workshops
Photo: Youth watching water quality presentation