We are your hometown campus!
Cross 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 Cross County Extension Office is at your service!
Row Crop Assistance through Verification Programs
The Cross County Extension Service provides assistance to rice, soybean, wheat and corn producers through their participation in the Crop Verification Programs. This allows farmers first-hand application of research-based production recommendations for their fields. Soil sampling, variety selection, planting assistance and monitoring the crop throughout the growing season allows producers the opportunity to see the final yield results and the economics of utilizing Extension's recommendations. Other demonstrations highlighting varieties, irrigation methods and field days are also utilized to educate producers on current recommended practices.
Photo: Verification sign indicating location of Steve Wilson's Wheat Research Verification Program field near Hickory Ridge.
Cross County Families and Consumers
Cross County has a large share of jobs in the farming industry. Cross County has had a sharp increase in unemployment since 2008. Median household income is slightly lower than the state average however total personal income has increased since 1994. Cross County Cooperative Extension Service is dedicated to meeting educational needs of county residents offering relevant programs such as Small Steps to Health and Wealth, Food Preservation Workshop, ServSafe, Best Care and SNAP-Education programs.
Photo: Food preservation workshop participants learn research based canning techniques to preserve the bounty from their gardens.
Cross County Extension Homemakers Give Back to the Community
The Cross County Extension Homemakers Council provides approximately 3,000 hours of volunteer service in the community each year. The value given back to the community is an estimated $65,000 when the rate of time is calculated. Club projects include: donating items and time to local children's homes; making donations to fire victims; nursing home visits; and donating items such as handmade lap robes, making caps for the neonatal unit of Arkansas Children's Hospital, as well as teaching dolls, just to name a few. Each year Cross County EHC holds the annual Christmas Bazaar at the courthouse to help fund their endeavors.
Photo: EHC members enjoy hands-on demonstrations at Parkin Archaeological State Park
SNAP-Education Provides Nutrition Information
Each quarter a SNAP-Ed staffed display is utilized at the USDA commodity distribution site. Commodity recipients receive educational material including brief one-on-one discussions and a newsletter entitled What's to Eat, which contains recipes using the different commodities being received along with additional nutritional information. Commodity recipients were also the target audience for supermarket tour. Shopping Matters emphasizes shopping with a plan, buying on a budget, reading food labels, and includes healthy recipes using fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low fat dairy products.
Photo: Economical and nutritious grocery shopping skills are practices by "Shopping Matters" participants.
Developing Youth Skills and Leadership Abilities
Youth of Cross County between the ages of 5 to 19 have the opportunity to participate in 4-H programs where they learn skills for life, help others in their community, and travel to new places. Along the way they even make new friends and have fun! Educational workshops, club meetings, project work, competitive events and trips to camps are some of the ways kids "learn by doing." This takes place as being part of a community club, project group, in-school and after school programs.
Photo: Working on the 4-H National Youth Science Day project are Zane and Seth G.
Community Action Leadership Development
The Cross County Extension Service works with the Cross County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Committee and the Community and Economic Development Section of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service to conduct monthly seminars in various areas of leadership development. So far, four classes of the Cross County Visionaries Program, a county-level leadership development program, have been held. These sessions have educated over 30 participants on skills such as working with different personalities, working with committees, parliamentary procedures, ethics, and the Freedom of Information act.
Photo: Members of the leadership class review a list of resources available in the area
Getting the Most from Your Garden and Landscape
Through the efforts of the volunteer Master Gardener Program, the residents of Cross County have been able to learn about improving the production of vegetables from their home gardens and ways to improve the beauty of the homes through landscaping efforts. Educational events, such as the "Planting Your Bloomers" seminar, and beautification projects, like the landscaping of new Cross County Health Department building, are a few of the activities that have been conducted. Even youth are taking part in learning about gardening and the nutrition of items from the garden through the efforts of the Cross County Extension Service and in-school programs.
Photo: Speakers at the "Bloomers" seminar included Ruby Taylor, Carolyn Imboden and Janet Carson.