Welcome To The
Newton 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 lives. Whether it is agriculture, 4-H, health and living, or community development, the Newton County Extension Office is at your service!
Newton County Agriculture
Newton County’s largest livestock industry is beef cattle. 2012’s drought left pastures damaged and hay supply short. High hay and grain prices led to producers looking for other options to feed cattle. One option was the establishment of winter annuals. Cattle were held off these annuals to give them time to grow; then they were pastured to increase grazing time, without reducing short hay supplies. Working with a local producer who utilized this practice last winter, we obtained the following results:
- 82 cows grazed 65 acres for 45 days starting mid-December
- Hay feeding was cut by 50% resulting in a savings of $10,000
- Cattle body condition suffered less this year, even though they entered winter drought stressed.
Newton County Family and Consumer Sciences
Twenty-nine restaurants with an estimated 10,500 yearly visitors are located in Newton County. To the 200 employees providing safe food supply is critical. The Newton County Extension Service partnering with the Newton County Health Department offered ServSafe certification to food handlers and managers at a reduced rate. ServSafe certification gives assurance to consumers that employees are trained to handle food safely. Twenty-two food handlers participated in the two-day training and sat for the ServSafe exam. As a result of the ServSafe program:
- 100% were trained in food handling and preparation safety.
- 91% of the participants passed the course
- 52% of restaurants in Newton County have one or more employees certified
Newton County 4-Hers Learn Livestock Showmanship Skills
One of the biggest areas of 4-H in Newton County is Livestock. 4-H members are always looking for learning experiences and chances to exhibit their livestock and be recognized for their hard work.
The Newton County 4-H decided to host a statewide swine jackpot show at the Newton County Fair Grounds. This allowed them and their animals to gain experience in the ring and be rewarded for their hard work. We had 22 exhibitors exhibiting 30 animals at the show. The judge was able to provide the exhibitors with information about their animals to help them be more prepared for future shows. Donations from area businesses and cash prizes were awarded to participants who won their classes. The jackpot show raised a total of $198 for the Newton County 4-H.