Welcome to Van Buren County, Arkansas
Cooperative Extension Service!
Van Buren County Cooperative Extension Service is 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 their quality of lives.
Whether it is agriculture, 4-H, health and living, or community development, our Van
Buren County Extension Office is at your service!
Not sure what we do for the community? Check out this video on YouTube! What We Do!
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Increasing Cattle Quality Adds Value
Livestock sales in Van Buren County represent 95% of all agriculture income. Cattle
prices are the lowest they have been in the past twelve years. Whether in high markets
or low markets quality cattle will always bring more dollars per pound than inferior
cattle. Raising quality cattle has been a focus of the County Agriculture Committee.
Bone Land and Cattle Company has been enrolled in the Cowherd Performance Testing
program since 1999. Genetic change takes years even with the proper tools and technology.
Bone Land and Cattle utilized information from Extension on EPD’s, artificial insemination,
and the cowherd testing reports to improve the quality of the cattle produced. Cowherd
Performance Testing was presented to 100
producers at a county cattleman’s meeting. Producers have attended cattle work days
to see how the program is conducted. One new producer will be starting on the program
Over the past 17 years, Bone Land and Cattle has utilized the Cowherd Performance
Testing program to produce more marketable cattle. The cattle produced today are classed
medium frame, 1 muscle grade calves compared to the large frame, 2 muscle grade calves.
These calves are worth on average an $8 more per hundred weight. On a 500 lb. calf,
this would be an increased value of $40 per calf. This increased value could net a
producer $2000 on a 50 head calf crop. In today's low market, this increase in calf
value could be the difference between profit or loss.
Photo: Moderate Frame, 1 Muscle Grade calves produced by Bone Land and Cattle Company.
Saving Van Buren County's Dollars
Photo: Coupon College Program Table
Based on the Van Buren County Quickfacts, 24.4% of the population is in poverty.
The average cost per meal is $2.83 in Van Buren County. This is well over the Arkansas
average cost per meal which is $2.65. With the rate of average meal cost being so
high, every family could use education on how to save money at the grocery store.
"Take A Stand" Against Bullying
Bullying has become a recent hot topic in the United States. According to stopbullying.gov,
28% of students in the 6th through the 12th grade in the U.S. reported they had been
bullied. This website also reported over 70% of students have witnessed bullying in
their school. These statistics motivated South Side School District to take action
Photo: South Side 3rd Grader wearing her "respecticles" she made to help her remember
to show respect for others.
Find out the kind of lessons used to teach kids about bullying!
Discovering the Need for ATV Safety Education
According to the Arkansas Children's Hospital, Arkansas had the nations highest ATV
related death rate for children 17 & under between 2009 and 2013. In ATV accidents
that resulted in death, most
users had insufficient or no safety gear. Doctors stress the use of ATV safety gear
especially a helmet when operating an ATV.
The Van Buren County 4-H Subcommittee recognizes the importance of teaching our youth
ATV safety. The Van Buren County Extension Service conducted an ATV safety program
at all three schools in the county. We reached 160 fifth graders increasing their
knowledge of ATV Safety. The students were taught about safely using an ATV including
proper fit of an ATV, safety rules and laws, and use of proper safety equipment especially
the helmet. The importance of the helmet was demonstrated by dropping cantaloupes
on concrete, one in a helmet and one without. The visual is worth a thousand words.
Thirty-one percent of the students surveyed owned an ATV helmet. Of the students who
owned a helmet, 54% of them wore it. Of the students who didn't wear the helmet, 72%
of them said they would after the presentation. Thirty four percent of the students
were willing to ask their parents for an ATV helmet. The positive aspect of these
results is there are students who wear their helmets to protect themselves. The negative
aspect is the possibility of just one of these students that do not use a helmet having
an ATV accident with a permanent injury or even a loss of a life.
Photo: Van Buren County students learning
about ATV Safety equipment.