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Extension Educational Programs & Services
Garland 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

4-H youth sitting on bleachers with 4H banner at camp

Garland County 4-H
Photo: Garland County 4-H Camp
The mission of 4-H is to provide opportunities for youth to acquire knowledge, develop life skills, form attitudes, and productive behavior that will enable them to become self-directing, productive, and contributing members of society.  4-Hers learn by doing.  In a safe and enriching environment, 4-H brings youth and adults together to learn everyday life skills with hands-on learning.  In addition, 4-Hers learn problem-solving skills that can make a positive impact upon their community.  
For more information on the Garland County 4-H program, contact our 4-H Agent, Linda Bates

Garland County 4-H has many activities to keep our youth busy:
  • Club Meetings Project Work
  • County O-Rama - BBQ, Bait Casting, BB Gun, Bicycle, Illustrated Talks, Talent, and Fashion Revue
  • County Camp
  • County Fair - Photography, Livestock, Art, Cooking, Sewing, and Talent
  • Annual Achievement Banquet
  • County Horse Show
  • Holiday Workshop
  • Poultry Chain Chicks
  • Vet Science
 There are also district and state level 4-H activities for Junior and Senior 4-Hers (ages 9-19):
  • District and State Horse Shows
  • District and State Fairs
  • Teen Leader Conference
  • High Adventure
  • District and State O-Rama
  • State Camps
  • Photography Contests

So what do the 4 H's stand for?  Head, Heart, Hands, Health. 4-H Pledge:  I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to great loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health for better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.

Current 4-Hers:  Here is a link to Register for 4-H Events.




Family and Consumer Sciences

The FCS program in Garland County provides programs and information in the areas of health and nutrition, physical activity, early childhood professional development, and the Extension Homemakers Council (EHC). For more information on the following programs, contact our FCS Agent, Alison Crane.

Garland County SNAP-Ed Cooking Class

Photo: SNAP-Ed cooking class in Garland County
The Smart Nutrition Active People - Education program is a partnership between the University of Arkansas' Cooperative Extension Service, the Arkansas Department of Health and  Human Services, and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to provide nutrition education to food stamp recipients, eligible low-income individuals and families, and eligible schools. 

The program is designed to teach the skills and knowledge that will enable participants to:
  • Buy and prepare healthy meals and snacks
  • Become more physically active
  • Menu planning and healthy eating on a budget
  • Food recommendations based on USDA's MyPlate (formally MyPyramid)
While we do offer programs to adults, the Garland County SNAP-Ed program has a special interest and focus on our school-age children.  Did you know throughout all 7 school districts combined, we have an average of 36.2% males and 36.8% females who are either overweight or obese (Arkansas Center for Health Improvement 2011-2012 BMI Assessment).  By teaching our children healthy practices now, they will be more likely to make healthy choices later and we can help to combat the obesity epidemic, not only in Garland County, but state and nation-wide.  For more information on the SNAP-Ed program, contact Lindsey Rucker, County Extension Agent - FCS-SNAP-Ed


Garland County EHC volunteers in the EHC kitchen

Extension Homemakers Council (EHC)
Photo: Garland County EHC members volunteering in the EHC kitchen.
EHC are people just like you! They are young homemakers, working moms, professional men and women, grandmothers and grandfathers, retired men and women...even teens. They strive to learn everything from A to Z that can help to better themselves, their families, their neighborhoods and communities. The Garland County EHC currently has 10 active clubs, which includes an Extension Get Fit Group, plus:

EHC Club

Special Interest Area/Community Service Projects

Meeting Day & Time

Busy Bees

This club supports the "Open Door" project. 

10 a.m. first Thursday of every month

Cooks R Us

This club emphasizes on food preparation and education.  They also prepare soup each month for the Jackson House. 

9 a.m. fourth Tuesday of every  month

Crazy Quilters

This club teaches new quilt squares, makes quilts for Samaritan Ministries, and sheets and quilts for First Step. 

10 a.m. second Tuesday of every month

Mis Amigas

This club is full of active crafters whose main project is making walker bags for area nursing homes and hospitals.  They also support the Jessieville community, North Garland County Boys & Girls Club, Mountain Pine School, Potter's Clay and Jackson House. 

1:00 p.m. third Tuesday of every month


This club focuses on projects for the elderly, children, and the needy throughout the community. 

9:30 a.m. second Thursday of every month

Loyal Ladies

This is a community focused club who supports the Humane Society, Jackson House, Guardian Angels, Wishing Tree, and Samaritan Ministries. 

10:30 a.m. third Thursday of every month


This club's main project is supporting and teaching crafts to First Step Adults. 

1:30 p.m. second Wednesday of every month

Extension Get Fit: HSV West

This is a weekly exercise based club.

9:00 a.m. Monday and Thursday of every week

Upholstery Club

This club teaches others how to refurbish furniture. 

Various times throughout the year

Yes We Can

This is a food preservation club.

9:30 a.m. third Monday of every month

Members also work in the EHC kitchen during the annual Garland County Fair in September and the annual Hot Springs Arts & Crafts Fair in October.  The kitchen specializes in homemade meals, such as chicken and dumplings, and desserts.

Visit the state AEHC home page! Follow Garland County EHC on


Best Care Logo

The Best Care program offers training opportunities and resources for Early Childhood Professional Development through three avenues:

The Best Care offers up to 10 hours of verified child care provider training through in-person workshops.

Best Care Connected offers up to 5 hours of verified child care provider training through online courses.

Guiding Children Successfully offers up to 30 hours of verified child care provider training through self-study.  

Mountainside Extension Get Fit group exercising

Extension Get Fit
Photo: Mountainside Extension Get Fit
Extension Get Fit is a community-based strength training program with several locations in Garland County.   Why Extension Get Fit? 

  • Improve strength, balance, and flexibility
  • Safe, structured and affordable
  • Appropriate for all fitness levels
  • Supportive group environment
  • Feel better and have fun!

Sessions are led by trained volunteer leaders and last about an hour. You may attend a session just to observe, or come ready to exercise. Participants at all sites provide their own equipment, so you will need to bring dumbbells (2 or 3 lb. pair and 3 or 5 lb. pair depending on your current fitness level) and a set of ankle weights. You will also need to wear comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes.  Some sites may have additional equipment requirements, such as a floor mat, and may incorporate a walking routine either before or after the strength training session.

There is a $20 yearly program fee.

Current meeting sites:

Hot Springs

Centerfork Baptist Church

Mondays & Fridays at 9:00 a.m.

Diamondhead Club House

Mondays & Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.

Hot Springs Baptist Church

Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.

Hot Springs Senior Center

Tuesdays & Thursdays at 8:30 a.m.

Leonard Street Baptist Church

Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.

Piney Grove United Methodist Church

Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.

Royal First Baptist Church

Tuesdays & Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.

Hot Springs Village

Mountainside United Methodist Church

Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays at 8:30 am; Tuesdays & Thursdays at 8:00 am

McAuley Center

Mondays & Thursdays at 9 am

 For more information, contact the Garland County Extension Office at 501-623-6841 or email 

Weed Control Demonstration Field in Garland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Photo: Garland County Weed Control Demonstration Field
There are approximately 439 farms throughout Garland County that account for 39,474 of the counties' acreage and are home to agricultural industries such as:

  • Livestock: Cattle, Horses, Swine
  • Poultry: Broilers, Layers
  • Crops: Hay, Vegetable
  • In addition, another 329,139 acres are used for timber.

With commercial agriculture being such a vital part of Garland County, the Garland County Extension Office is here to provide a wide variety of services and educational programs.
For more information on the Garland County Ag program, contact our Ag agent, Jimmy Driggers.


Services Available

Educational Programs Available


Equine Forage

Soil Testing

Beef Forage

Hay Testing

Pesticide Training

Water Testing

Weed and Brush Control

Manure Analysis

Pasture Insect Control

Plant Disease Diagnosis

Cattle and Insect Control

Plant Identification

Farmer's Market Development and Management

Sprayer Calibration

Breeding Soundness Evaluation Clinics for Beef Bulls


Beef Herd Health - Bangs vaccination schedule and vaccinations


Aquatic Weed Control




Garland County Master Gardener talking with man at exhibit tent in parking lot plants and sign

Horticulture and Gardening
Photo: Garland County Master Gardeners Educational Booth at the Farmer's Market
The Garland County Master Gardener program is offered by the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and is designed to increase the availability of horticulture information and improve quality of life with horticulture projects.  These volunteers, known as Master Gardeners, aid Extension by running plant clinics, design and implement community improvement projects, along with working with the handicapped, elderly, and other special groups in the community.

For more information on the Garland County Horticulture program, contact our Horticulture agent, Allen Bates.

The horticulture and gardening program in Garland County assists residents interested in maintaining lawns, landscapes, and fruit and vegetable gardens along with the Garland County Master Gardener Program.  Some of the horticulture issues we help with are: 

  • Assist homeowners with fruit and vegetable problems along with plant nutrient needs
  • Advise homeowner with ornamental, turf, and tree problems
  • Analyze soil and plant disease samples
  • Identify insects and weeds and give control recommendations

Other home horticulture services available: 

  • Master Gardener training
  • Vegetable production
  • Plant identification
  • Lawn maintenance
  • Horticulture pruning
  • Horticulture maintenance concerns
  • Fruit production management 

Here are some of the Garland County Master Gardener projects: 

  • County Courthouse
  • Entergy Park
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens
  • Policeman's Memorial
  • Garland County Extension Office
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Young Gardeners
  • Yard of the Month
  • Farmer's Market
  • Community Education








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