Welcome to the
Polk 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 Polk County Extension Office is at your service!
Photo: The Polk County Extension Office at the corner of DeQueen and Hickory Streets in Mena. The original building on this site was destroyed by a tornado in April of 2009. The county rebuilt the office and it was opened to the public in November of 2011.
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Polk County 4-H Youth Development
The mission of 4-H is to provide opportunities for youth to acquire knowledge, develop
life skills, form attitudes, and practice behavior that will enable them to become
self-directing, productive, and contributing members of society. The Polk County 4-H
program consists of thirteen community clubs with just over 300 youth as members.
This youth development program also reaches students at schools through school enrichment
programs. Membership in 4-H is free and provides youth and their families with a
world of opportunity! Join a 4-H Club today! For a complete list of our community
clubs, click here. Follow us on Facebook at Polk County Arkansas 4-H.
Photo: Polk County 4-H member Keilah was one of 6 members of Polk County 4-H who participated in the Arkansas 4-H High Adventure program.
EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!
Click Here to see the latest Polk County Newsletter!
Horticulture Education and the Master Gardener Program
Gardening is a popular activity for Polk County residents. Let the Polk County Extension
Staff help your garden grow. Whether it is variety selection, insect or disease identification,
soil testing, canning, freezing, or preserving your bounty, the Polk County Extension
Staff can help you become a better gardener. If you want to really learn how to garden,
consider becoming a Master Gardener! The Master Gardeners not only learn, but also
volunteer. During the 2012 program year, 33 Polk County Master Gardeners volunteered
2964 hours of their time valued at $64,585. Montgomery County Master Gardener projects
include beautification projects and educational programs.
Photo: Members of the Polk County Master Gardeners held a potting workshop for the youth of the county to create horticulture entries for the fair. Carmindy smiles proudly with her finished product!
Beef Cattle and Forage Education
Polk County is home to 893 farms consisting mostly of grazing and hay land for approximately
29,000 head of cattle. The latest best management practices and research in these
areas are a big concern to these cow/calf producers. The Polk County Extension staff
delivers education to producers to increase profits from cattle enterprises. Whether
it is forage testing, pasture inventories, soil testing, ration balancing, winter
annual pasture production, or weed control, the Polk County Extension office is ready
to help beef producers maximize their operations. Read 2015 Ag Facts about Polk County and contact our county office to learn more.
Photo: Polk County Beef and Forage producers at the "Designing an Effective Grazing System" field day at Maples Meadows Farm near Cove.
Polk County Family and Consumer Sciences
Polk County is a rural county estimated to have 20,471 residents in 2012. The poverty rate is 21.7% in the county which exceeds the percentage for the state with an 18% rate. In 2011, Polk County reported that 67% of the adult population is considered overweight or obese and 22% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Polk County Extension Service is dedicated to meeting the community education needs of its residents with a variety of relevant programs such as Best Care, Guiding Children Successfully, Living Well with Diabetes, Cooking Schools, Food Safety, Healthy Lifestyles program for youth and Extension Exercise Programs.
Photo: John Davis serves diabetic friendly food he learned to prepare at a Living Well with Diabetes Cooking School.
Community Building in Polk County
Community leaders from Scott, Polk, and Montgomery County have joined together to form a regional coalition. This coalition is called the Arkansas Regional Coalition of the Ouachitas (ARCO). ARCO was formed to promote and advance sustainable prosperity and well-being for the people of west central Arkansas. In 2012, ARCO joined forces with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and Rich Mountain Community College to initiate the Breakthrough Solutions Program. This program is creative, inclusive, and open, to developing solutions in each county to generate jobs and economic activity.
Photo: New ARCO Logo