Extension Educational Programs & Services
Polk 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 at 479-394-6018 for assistance.
Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program
- Farm/home visits
- One on one consultations on any topic in agriculture
- Soil testing
- Soil test counseling
- Hay and forage testing
- Nitrate testing
- Livestock ration development
- Manure analysis for fertilizer
- Plant disease diagnosis
- Plant/Weed identification
- Insect identification
- Livestock feed analysis
- Water mineral testing
- Sprayer calibration
- Pesticide management recommendations
- Crop/plant variety recommendations
- Pond water testing
- Poultry disease testing
- Fish disease testing
- Livestock brand registration information
- Private applicator certification for restricted use pesticides
- Arkansas Master Gardener certification training
Agriculture Educational Program Areas
- Novelty livestock
- Grazing management
- Variety selection
- Pasture planning
- Forage inventory
- Hay quality management
- Pest control - weed and insect
- Ornamental plants
- Pest management
- Organic production
- Home Owner
- Garden management
- Lawn management
- Home orchard management
- Ornamental plants and flowers
- Master Gardener program
- Pest management
- Farmer's Market production
- Forestry and Wildlife
- Forestry and timber management
- Wildlife damage management
- Wildlife enterprises
- Wildlife habitat improvement
- Hardwood management
- Urban forestry
- Water quality
- Best management practices
- Bee Keeping
- Farm Pond Management
Polk County Master Gardeners
The Master Gardener program can be found in most counties in Arkansas and in many
counties across the nation. A certified Master Gardener initially completes a 40
hour training program and then works with other volunteers providing community service
in areas related to gardening and horticulture. To learn more about the Polk County
Master Gardener Program click here. We can also be found on Facebook.
Extension 4-H Youth Development Program
Since 1908, the 4-H program has been developing youth into strong, productive citizens. The program focuses on the "equal training of the head, heart, hands, and health." As the 4-H pledge says, we train the "head for clearer thinking, heart for greater loyalty, hands for larger service, and health for better living..." In doing this we create a well-rounded leader for the future. The 4-H program offers youth ages 5 to 19 opportunities to grow in leadership, project knowledge, and community attitude.
Follow our Polk County Arkansas 4-H Facebook page!
Benefits of 4-H
- Communications and public speaking skills
- Problem solving
- Goal setting
- Citizenship skills
- Academic gains
- Expanded horizons
- Real-world experiences through hands-on projects
To see researched-based information about the benefits of 4-H click this link http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/family/sri/youthdev_sri_4h.html
Who can join 4-H?
Any youth ages 5 to 19 can be a member of the 4-H program.
- Cloverbuds - ages 5 through 8
- Juniors - ages 9-13
- Seniors - ages 14-19
How do you join 4-H?
Click here to see a list and description of the community 4-H clubs in Polk County. The contact information is available so you can visit with the leader of the club and try out that club. You are welcome to be a guest of any club in the county to get acquainted with some of the participants there. If you and your family are interested in starting a new community club near you, contact the County Extension Office. If you find the club you like you join by using your email address and password at Arkansas 4-H Online to join the 4-H program. You will find the active list of our clubs on that site. The 4-H program year is always October 1 to September 30. All members and volunteers must re-enroll each year during the month of October to remain active in the 4-H program. Any parent or guardian that consistently attends 4-H club meetings or events with their youth is required to complete the paperwork necessary for acceptance as a 4-H volunteer. Volunteers enroll through 4-H Online as well.
What do you do in 4-H?
- Monthly meetings
- Members elect officers
- Officers conduct a monthly meeting with the help of an adult leader
- Members learn from educational programs at the meetings
- Member projects
- Members select at least one project to learn about
- There are 82 to choose from
- click here to see a list of projects
- Members develop leadership by teaching others what they learn in their projects
- Members work together to conduct community service projects for their communities
- Members participate in a world of educational opportunities. Click here for a list of Polk County 4-H activities
- Competitive events
Does it cost to join 4-H?
There is no membership fee to join a 4-H club. Depending on the project you choose, there may be costs associated with the completion of your project. Most clubs and even the county 4-H program conducts fund raising activities to help provide educational opportunities for members. As a member, you are expected to help with these activities when they occur.
Information for 4-H Clubs and Volunteers
Arkansas and Polk County 4-H operates under strict guidelines set forth by the USDA and the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. All of these policy guidelines are available at the County Extension Office or through the Arkansas 4-H website linked below.
Visit the Arkansas 4-H website at http://www.kidsarus.org/
Information for 4-H Members
There are lots of opportunities for 4-H members who wish to take advantage of them! Check out the links below to see what is available!
For a complete updated list of state activities and events go to the Arkansas 4-H website and look for the 4-H Events Packet.
Extension Family and Consumer Sciences program
Health & Aging
Arkansans are living longer, learning how to age healthy is a goal of many individuals. Polk County Extension Service has programs to address those needs, with the AgrAbility Program and Extension Exercise Programs. Special issues concerning health and aging are also addressed as the need arises.
Foods & Nutrition
There is a link between nutrition, physical activity, and the well-being of individuals and families. The typical Arkansas diet has too much fat and sugar and does not include enough fruit vegetables and whole grains. This diet, in conjunction with too little physical activity contributes to the development of serious health problems. Extension offers a variety of programs to address this issue.
- Cooking Schools
- Food Preparation
- Food Safety
- Food Preservation
- Living Well with Diabetes
- Extension Get Fit Programs
- Walk Across Arkansas
The aim of family economics is to equip youth and adults with knowledge, skills, and motivation to build financial security. This includess, but is not limited to: goal setting, income statements, expense plans, financial record keeping, consumer skills, insurance and asset protection, credit management, consumer protection, saving and investing, and estate planning.
- Get Real, Here’s the Deal
- NEFE National High School Financial Planning Program
- Small group programs
Marriage, Parenting & Family Life Programs
Family life is full of challenges, but when we make wise choices, it is also rewarding. We offer a number of programs designed for every stage of family life that will make your family life more effective and satisfying.
- Marriage Garden
- Managing Stress
- Personal Journey
- Parenting Journey
- See the World through My Eyes
- Navigating Life’s Journey
- Getting Your Hearts Right
Early Childhood Development
Best Care, for training child care professionals is offered during the early spring to provide area providers with ten hours of verified training. Additional training is offered online through “Guiding Children Successfully” and “Best Care Connected”. Polk County has a growing population of grandparents raising grandchildren and multi-generational homes; Extension offers “Adventures in Grandparenting” for this clientele.
- Best care
- Guiding Children Successfully
- Best Care Connected
- Adventures in Grandparenting
Polk County Extension Homemakers
Extension Homemakers have been in Polk County since before 1920. The mission of this organization shall be to empower individuals and families to improve their quality of living through continuing education, leadership development and community service. Currently we have 5 active clubs in Polk County which are listed below. All clubs have county-wide membership and meetings are held at different location across the entire county.
- Back Country EHC
- Happiness EHC
- Homestead EHC
- Twilight EHC
- Wickes EHC
SNAP-Ed (Smart Nutrition Active People – Education) 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. All Polk County schools are eligible. 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
- Plan healthy eating menus on a budget
- Learn the food recommendations based on USDA’s My Plate
SNAP Ed is delivered in a variety of ways including:
- Cooking schools
- School programs
- Hands-on learning experiences
- Small group discussions
- Educational displays
Extension Community and Economic Development program
The Extension Community and Economic Development program works to strengthen Arkansas communities, regions, and businesses through research-based education.
- Leadership development
- Entrepreneurial business development
- Community development
- Public policy education
- Civic engagement
- Government finance
Educational Program areas:
- Leadership Arkansas (LeadAR) - two year intensive educational program for people wishing to expand their leadership skills and study issues facing Arkansas
- Breakthrough Solutions - award winning program developed to create vibrant, sustainable communities across Arkansas
- Ballot Issue education - annual educational effort to educate voters about ballot items for upcoming elections
- Arkansas Procurement Assistance Program - educational program designed to help citizens secure government contracts in their field of business
- Government Finance – information and analysis about how the county government is financed and possible sources of additional revenue and savings
- Economic Development – information and analysis of economic trends and opportunities within the county and region
- Board of director training for organizations
- Marketing techniques with the internet - Facebook, ArcGis, Google map applications