Welcome to the
Boone 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 their lives. Whether it is agriculture, 4-H, health and living, or community development, the Boone County Extension Office is at your service!
About the Extension and 4-H Center.....
The Boone County Extension office is located on Hwy. 123, south of North Arkansas College on the Boone County Extension and 4-H Center property. Staff members are Nita Cooper, County Extension Agent-Staff Chair; Denyse Hensley, 4-H Program Assistant; Mike McClintock, County Extension Agent – Agriculture; Trudy McManus, County Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Sciences; and Kathy Rawlingson, Administrative Support Supervisor.
The Boone County Extension and 4-H Center was made possible by the generous donation of 40 acres by the Pattie family and the support of our Boone County 4-H Foundation and Quorum Court. The center is located on land that was originally part of the Olvey Hereford Ranch. Boone County Farm Bureau Board provided funds to refurbish an existing barn located on the property. The barn has local historical significance as a "one of a kind" facility. It was once an icon for area beef cattle producers due to its progressive design.
4-H: The Next Generation
What is the 4-H program doing to help the next generation? This question was asked for a local civic club presentation. Current 4-H members, 4-H volunteers and former 4-H members were asked to give input. Responses confirm that 4-H is making a difference – a huge difference!
Over 4,600 Boone County youth were involved in the 4-H program through 4-H clubs, camps, after school and school enrichment activities. 4-H has a “learn by doing” philosophy that takes many forms. There are livestock show and horse shows, service projects, rocketry programs, cooking workshops, public speaking opportunities and much more. 4-H is a place to learn the leadership, healthy living and science skills to help young people achieve success through school and adulthood. According to a Boone County 4-H member, 4-H has taught them to handle responsibility. A Boone County parent credits 4-H for giving her child the confidence and skills to speak out, step up and lead.
Boone County Agriculture
Boone County is predominantly an agriculture producing area specializing in livestock and poultry production. The county ranks #4 in Arkansas with the number of cows and calves. The approximate monetary value for annual agriculture sales for Boone County is $124,000,000 (Data compiled from County Profile 2013/Boone County: University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture). The area is also experiencing a blooming commercial/specialty horticulture industry.
Boone County Extension strives to present new and emerging technologies to all segments of agriculture. Programs, such as Strawberry Production and Protected Agriculture, introduced area horticulture producers to farming inside of structure. Area cattle producers were able to participate in Advanced Beef IQ classes with subject matter of Heifer Production, Artificial Insemination and Stockpiled Fescue.
Boone County has seen a growth of five additional specialty crop farmers using High Tunnels in the past year. Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin has expanded from 35 acres to 170 acres in 2015. This interest and growth can be directly attributed to Boone County Extension efforts in programming.
SNAP Ed. Changes Eating Behaviors
The Boone County Extension Service reaches out to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients/eligible with nutrition education because between 26% and 48% of students were overweight or obese in county schools. All of the elementary schools in Boone County are 50% or more free or reduced lunch.
10,206 SNAP recipients/eligible and students were reached through the following:
- Serving Up MyPlate lessons for 1st and 2nd graders in Harrison and Valley Springs Elementary schools including Farm to You and Germ City.
- OrganWise Guys nutrition lessons for 1st through 4th at Omaha Elementary and 3rd and 4th at Bergman Elementary.
- Displays at DHS, food banks, Health Department, Farmers Markets.
- Demonstrations/nutrition lessons for Sanctuary, Community Corrections, Head Start parent meetings, etc.
Of those reached, results from evaluations indicated that at least 397 changed eating behaviors, at least 144 parents are now serving nearer to the recommended number of servings of fruit and vegetables, and 52 adult program participants indicated they plan to follow MyPlate Guidelines.