Extension Educational Programs & Services
St. Francis 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 870-261-1730 for assistance.
The St. Francis County Extension Service offers many programs in the agriculture sector related to row crops, livestock and forage production.
Some examples of these programs are listed below. If you are interested in participating in any of these programs please contact Cody Griffin at the County Extension Office.
Program Impacts in St. Francis County
Agriculture Works for Arkansas-St. Francis County
Family and Consumer Sciences
St. Francis County Family Consumer Sciences area offers programs in two strategic areas, Access to Safe and Nutritious Food and Increasing Opportunities for Families and Youth.
Safe Food Supply, Healthy Food Choices, Living Healthy, Aging Well, and Strengthening Families are some areas of focus. We also strive to provide opportunities for leadership and community involvement in the county. Working to make our county healthier, and increase economic stability. Specific programs are listed below. Contact Cody Griffin for more information about these programs or ideas you may have for improving St. Francis County.
Health and Nutrition
Advances in medical technologies and therapies have increased the average life expectancy to almost 80 years. Knowledge about our personal health, nutrition, prevention and lifestyle are also major contributors to our longevity and quality of life. Take charge of your health and nutrition by learning more about lifestyle modifications and prevention measures that can positively impact the lives of you and your family.
- Cook Smart/Eat Smart This curriculum teaches healthy cooking techniques and focuses on simple ingredients and limited use of prepared foods. Each session contains several basic cooking techniques and other topics related to eating and preparing meals at home. Also provides tips for stretching your food dollar while eating healthy.
- Eat Smart, Live Strong An activity kit designed to improve fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity among 60-74 year olds participating in or eligible for SNAP nutrition assistance programs. The materials are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate, as well as a review of promising practices shown to be effective in achieving behavior change among the target audience.
- Right Bite Exhibit/Newsletter Series Table top educational displays and accompanying newsletter with topics related to dietary quality, physical activity, and food safety. Newsletter titles include: Have You Fed Your Bones Today?; Fight Bac; Eat Your Colors to Stay Healthy and Fit; Get Up, Get Moving! and many more.
- Fight BAC/Handwashing Teaches food safety using experiments to help children understand the science behind food safety. Materials teach that cook, clean, chill and separate are the first line of defense in fighting food borne illness.
- Food, Fun & Reading Children learn about food and nutrition by reading children's storybooks with food-related themes and then participate in hands-on nutrition activities.
- Pick a Better Snack Nutrition curriculum for K-5 encourages fruit and vegetable choices for snacks.
- Eating Smart, Being Active Raises participant awareness about the importance of eating well on a limited income and provides tools for positive change in eating, shopping and food preparation behaviors. The lessons teach through self-assessment and also cover shopping, food safety, food budgeting and menu planning.
- Farm to You is an 40' by 40' enclosed walk-through exhibit with nine stations. This interactive adventure is designed to involve kindergarten through 6th grade students in learning how foods from the farm are used by their bodies for good health. Farm To You will use Serving Up MyPlate as supplemental classroom lessons.
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP ) empowers individuals , families , and youth with limited resources acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior changes necessary to maintain nutritionally sound diets and enhance personal development. EFNEP is a program of the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Extension and Research. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Cooperative Extension Service fund the program. Learn more about EFNEP...
Smart Nutrition Active People-Education (SNAP-Ed) The goal of SNAP-Ed is to provide educational programs that help food stamp participants and those eligible for food stamps make healthier food choices and adopt active lifestyles that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and USDA Food Guidance System. Learn more about SNAP-Ed...
To learn more about health and nutrition related issues see our topics...
ServSafe® Food safety training is a non-negotiable activity for all members of the restaurant and food service industry. To decrease the risk of food borne illness outbreaks, take advantage of the National Restaurant Association's ServSafe program which provides value beyond certification and is the industry's best day-to-day food safety resource. It is essential to keep your operation current with updated regulations, best practices and science based information. For more information about this course and to register, contact the St. Francis County Extension office, 870-261-1730.
ServSafe® is approved for child care providers TAPP Registry Hours.
- Canning can be a safe and economical way to preserve quality food at home. The key to preventing unwanted illnesses is following safe canning practices. Learning the proper procedures and following canning guidelines will allow you to preserve foods for use all year long. Preservation workshops and materials focus on dehydrating and freezing, high and low acid foods as well as jellied fruit products and pickles.
Pressure Canner Testing - The St. Francis County office of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service offers pressure canner testing free of charge.
To help you find out safe ways to handle, prepare, and store food to prevent foodborne illnesses, see our topics...
Child Care Provider Education
- Best Care Receive up to 10 hours of free verified child care provider training through participation in The Best Care training held at locations throughout the state.
- Best Care Connected Ever dreamed of going to training in your pajamas? Get 5 hours of verified child care provider training through the Internet...
- Guiding Children Successfully Join Dr. Wally Goddard as he addresses how we can help children grow into strong and caring adults.
Best Care, Best Care Connected and Guiding Children Successfully resources are available at the St. Francis County Extension office, located in the St. Francis County Courthouse, 313 S Izard, Ste. 14, Forrest City, AR. Learn more...
Program Impacts in St. Francis County
4-H Youth Development
What is 4-H?
4-H is the youth development program conducted by the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service. 4-H members can select from many activities in 82 project areas ranging from livestock to clothing to space camp.
Adult leaders, trained by county Cooperative Extension Service faculty, teach projects to children, using the "learn-by-doing" method. 4-H teaches leadership, citizenship, and skills children will use throughout their lives. Each year Arkansas 4-H youth receive more than $80,000 in college scholarships at the state level for their 4-H work. Some scholarships are available at the county level. For further information contact Judy Sweet, 4-H Program Assistant
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.
A non-formal, educational program that is community based and locally determined, primarily group focused and family oriented, volunteer operated, and coordinated by professional Extension faculty.
Programs Offered Competitive activities and learning opportunities are conducted at the county level. Youth also are encouraged to take part in district and state level activities.
Community and Economic Development
- Public Policy Center Ballot Issues The Public Policy Center helps Arkansas voters understand the impact of a statewide ballot issue by producing easy-to-read, research-based fact sheets. The center also provides similar services at the local level when requested by a community. Previous Election Ballot Issues
- Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center (APAC) The Center is an economic development program within Community and Economic Development Program Area of the Cooperative Extension Service that serves Arkansas businesses in all 75 counties at no charge from their office in Little Rock. The County Extension Staff Chairs, in each county, help to connect the program to the local community.
- Leadership Flagship programs such as LeadAR and ConnectAR help identify and train active and effective youth and adult leaders for community, county and statewide leadership roles. Education about parliamentary procedure and other tools to help organizations be more effective are also offered through a variety of teaching methods.
- Breakthrough Solutions Program is a comprehensive, asset-based approach to developing communities and regions that are vibrant, sustainable and resilient. This takes asset-based development to the next level, and builds on Dr. Vaughn Grisham's research on extraordinary communities, Thomas Kuhn's work on the nature of change, plus research and extensive experience in community development.
The Master Gardener program has taken root in Arkansas, and as a result, community beautification projects are blossoming everywhere. In St. Francis County, 25 certified Master Gardeners volunteered 1,226 service hours at a value of $26,715 in 2012 alone. The fruits of these trained volunteers' labor can be seen at Forrest City Public Library, St. Francis County Courthouse, St. Francis County Museum, Forrest City Post Office, Forrest City Chamber of Commerce, two Forrest City Welcome Signs, Crape Myrtle Row under I-40 overpass on North Washington, and Caldwell Park. Master Gardeners also are known for educating the community in horticulture practices through the annual Fall Lecture Series, Plant Health Clinic, and one-on-one consultation. Learn more about the Master Gardener program.