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Extension Educational Programs & Services
Washington 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 for assistance.

Washington County Programs

To see specific program information, select the program title below.

  • Family and Consumer Science

    Family and Consumer Science programs can help you put research based knowledge to work to improve your life. Washington County is one of the fastest growing counties in the region, while maintaining safe communities and a lower cost of living comparable to other similar sized communities.                                

    We rank as the 2nd healthiest county in Arkansas with our many health care facilities, and beautiful clean parks and recreation areas for individuals to take advantage of. As with everything, we can improve on this. Our current adult obesity rate is 30% whereas it is only 25% nationwide. We also rank with the 2nd highest dollars given in SNAP benefits to help our families supplement their food purchasing. Extension educational programs are addressing these two issues to assist residents in making wise life choices so we can continue being one of the healthiest communities in Arkansas. 



    Washington County offers educational programs in the following areas:

    • Personal Finance 
    • Get Real Here's the Deal
    • College Budgeting 101
    • Ready, Set, Graduate
    • Family Finance
    • Wills and Inheritance
    • Family Budget workshops
    • Money Matters
  • Nutrition & Health Matters

    Washington County offers educational programs in the following areas:

    Nutrition for all ages

           Dietary guidelines
           Nutritional needs during pregnancy
           Nutritional needs of pre-school children
           Nutritional needs of school age children
           Nutritional needs of adults
           Nutrition facts for seniors
           Special dietary needs
           SNAP-Ed is the Smart Nutrition Active People program that brings resources to persons who may be eligible for the supplemental nutrition assistance program through DHS.

    Food Preparation

        Arkansas Fresh
        Cook Smart, Eat Smart cooking class series
        Recipe resources to meet healthier eating goals
        Cooking School


    Food Preservation

          Pressure Canner for low acid foods
          Water Bath for high acid foods

    Healthy Homes

         Green Cleaner recipes  

    Indoor Air Quality

          Your Home

  • Family Matters

    Washington County offers educational programs in the following areas:

         Marriage & Parenting
         Child Care Providers training
         Strong Men & Women
         Fit in 10
         Disease Prevention
         Mental Health
         Washington County Extension Homemakers
         Money Matters

  • Farm Animals

    Poultry  - According to the 2007 Ag Census, Washington County is home to 224 layer farms which house a total of 1.5 million hens, 173 broiler farms with an annual production of 20.5 million broilers, and 63 turkey farms with an annual production of 1.3 million turkeys.  Although they produce a large amount of poultry products, these farms are primarily operated in the county as family farms.  Extension specialists can help producers with specific management issues on these farms such as light intensity, water quality, air quality, energy efficiency and other issues.  The university also operates its own research farm. Follow the red link to information on the state extension site.  Small  flock producers are welcome to contact the Extension office to help find answers to their questions on bird health, housing, and production.

    Beef Cattle - There are around 52,000 beef cows in Washington County.  These cattle are raised on family farms.  It generally takes between 2-5 acres for each adult female per year depending on several factors.  With the help of the state specialist staff, the Extension office can help cattle producers with questions on nutrition, diseases, reproduction, and general herd management.  Follow the red link to fact sheets from the state office. Contact our office to schedule a farm visit.

    Dairy Cattle - Although there aren't nearly as many dairy cattle or farmers in the county as there once were, there are still a few fine folks in the dairy business in Washington County.  These are operated as small family farms.

    Goats/Sheep - Small ruminant production has increased over the last several years in Washington County.  The county had approximately 1,700 sheep and nearly 2,000 goats according to the most recent census.  Hair type sheep seem to be well suited to our county and a large number of goat producers are successful in our county as well.  Parasite and predator management are the two largest challenges for small ruminant producers in our area.  Contact our office for information on performing fecal egg counts for your herd and general herd management questions or follow the red link to fact sheets on our state extension web site.

    Equine - An estimated 4,800 head of ponies and horses find their homes on pastures in Washington County on 841 farms.  Our local office can help with pasture recommendations for these animals and our state Extension veterinarians can help with horse health issues.  Arkansas Extension also has a state equine specialist who conducts horsemanship clinics throughout the year.

    Swine - Swine production is primarily for family use in Washington County or for production of show pigs.  Contact our office if we can help with health issues, facility design, or other questions relating to local swine production.

  • Farm Fields

    • Commercial Horticulture - Vegetable production has risen substantially in the county in recent years.  Both large scale and small farmer's market type production.  Contact our office for questions you may have related to large or small production challenges.

    • Pastures - The livestock industry in Northwest Arkansas is based upon our local ability for forage production and grazing animals on pasture.  Contact our office for recommendations on planting rates, planting dates, varieties suited for our area, rotational grazing recommendations and more.

    • Hay - The 2007 Ag Census reports that over 77,000 acres in Washington County were harvested as cropland.  The vast majority of these acres are in hay production. Contact our county office for recommendations on planting dates, planting rates, and varieties for our area. 

    • Fertilizer - Your county extension office can help with fertilizer recommendations and with understanding your soil test results.  Most of Washington County is designated as a "Nutrient Surplus Area" which means producers must have a Nutrient Management Plan prepared for their farm to apply fertilizers containing phosphorus.  To have a plan prepared for your farm, contact the Washington County Conservation District at 479-442-4160.  Contact the county extension office for information on being certified as a nutrient applicator if you are the person who will be doing the fertilizer applications.

    • Weeds - The Washington County office holds four or more Private Applicator classes each year for those ag producers wishing to obtain their license to purchase "Restricted Use" chemicals for weed control.  Our office can help producers with weed identification, spray recommendations, and sprayer calibration.  Contact our office to find out when the next Private Applicator class will be held.

    • Insect Pests - Insects can cause tremendous economic losses for local farmers.  Proper pest identification is critical to choosing the most economic control measures.  Contact the Extension office for insect identification, information on the life cycle, and recommended chemical and cultural controls, and pesticide safety.  Also contact our office to attend training to receive your Private Applicator license to purchase "Restricted Use" insecticides. 

    • Other - Other resources local farmers may want to take advantage of are the Environmental Quality Incentive Programs which are administered by the local Natural Resource Conservation Service.  The Farm Service Agency also administers loan programs and crop insurance programs including insurance on pasture and hayland.  Either of these offices can be reached by calling 479-442-4160.

  • Farm Water

    • Ponds - Ponds are an important resource in Northwest Arkansas.  For help with pond design, soil suitability, and drainage area calculation, contact the local Natural Resource Conservation Service at 479-442-4160.  For information on pond weed control, or fish stocking rates, click on the water quality link on this page.  Feel free to contact our local office to schedule a site visit.

    • Streams - Northwest Arkansas is rich in water resources.  The majority of Washington County either falls into the Beaver Lake watershed or the Illinois River watershed.  Local farms do a great job of protecting streams in both of these watersheds.  You can get a nutrient management plan for your farm to ensure your operation doesn't impact water quality by contacting the Washington County Conservation District at 479-442-4160.

    • Wells - see Farm Services below for information on testing the water quality in your water well.

    • Rainfall - Average annual rainfall for Washington County is around 45" per year with May being the wettest month on average.

  • Farm Services

    • Soil Testing- soil testing is a free service in Arkansas.  Samples are sent to the lab through your local county extension service.  Approximately a pint of soil is needed to represent a field, garden spot, flower bed, yard or other. Several sub-samples should be taken at a depth of 0-4" and then mixed together to provide a good average of the area sampled. Soil probes are available for use at the county extension office to aid in collecting a good sample.

    • Forage testing - The University of Arkansas Diagnostic lab conducts this service.  Samples are sent through your local extension office.  Hay, pasture, or silage samples are analyzed for moisture, crude protein, fiber content and TDN.  Mineral tests are also available. A forage probe is available for use to collect a good sample. For more information on understanding your hay analysis click here.

    • Feed Analysis - Individual feedstuffs or mixed feeds can be tested for moisture, protein, ADF, NDF, TDN, NEl, and mineral content.

    • Litter Testing - Litter samples are analyzed for moisture, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash content through the U of A diagnostic lab.  Samples submitted for a nutrient management plan should also be analyzed for water soluble phosphorus.  Take a representative sample from the poultry house and bring in about a quart to the extension office.

    • Water Testing - The Arkansas Water Resources Lab performs mineral testing on water for irrigation, home use or livestock and poultry consumption.  Samples for testing should be taken to the county extension office in a clean container.  Bacterial testing is done through the county health department.  For more information, see the water quality section on the page below. For help understanding your water test for livestock use, click here.

    • Rations for livestock - Rations for groups of livestock can be formulated based on results of forage and feed analyses or by using average figures for Arkansas.

    • Plant Disease testing - Fresh tissue samples of vegetables, trees, ornamental plants can be sent through the Extension office to the plant pathology lab.  These should be brought to our office as soon as possible after removal from the plant or tree.

  • Water Quality Program Information

    Picture of people cleaning up a waterway.

    Northwest Arkansas has an abundance of high quality ground and surface water resources with much of Washington County in the Beaver Lake and Illinois River watersheds.  Beaver Lake is the first of four reservoirs built along the White River and currently serves as the drinking water supply for more than 400,000 area residents while the Illinois River originates in Hogeye and flows into Oklahoma where it is designated as a Scenic River.  A rapidly expanding urban population, the accompanying construction and increased impervious surfaces coupled with thriving industries and agricultural production can all have an impact on these important waterways.                                

    Therefore, water quality education has become a priority in Washington County in recent decades. Extension program efforts emphasize voluntary pollution prevention practices that collectively protect and improve the quality of water resources on a regional scale. Examples of key efforts include presentations to gardening and civic groups, hands-on, experiential learning activities for youth, rain barrel building workshops, conferences for the construction community, design engineers and landscape architecture professionals, annual stormwater management trainings for municipal employees and the development of web resources including fact sheets, video podcasts and a "Greening Your Life" online course.

  • Stormwater Education Program

    When it rains, snows or sleets in Arkansas, where does that water go?  Does it soak into the ground?  Does it sit in puddles until it evaporates?  The water actually does both of those things, but some of the water will also flow over the land surface, heading downhill to the nearest ditch or stream. This is called stormwater runoff.

    In cities and towns, the water cannot soak in through the pavement, rooftops, and concrete like it can into the soil.  This means that there's more stormwater runoff in cities and that in forests and fields. The water flows off impervious surfaces such as driveways, rooftops, sidewalks, and parking lots, and usually flows straight  into a storm drain. These openings along roads and in parking lots connect to pipes which carry the water directly to your local stream or lake.

    For more information, visit our Stormwater Education page.

    Or click on the "Water Quality Events" option below to see upcoming programs!

  •  Lake Fayetteville

    • Lake Fayetteville is a sub-watershed of Lake Fayetteville-Clear Creek watershed which flows into the Illinois River and drains portions of Springdale, Fayetteville, and Washington County. Lake Fayetteville is listed by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality as impaired by bacteria, nutrients, and sediment. To view the Lake Fayetteville drainage area or see if you live within the watershed, click here. Find out more about the Lake Fayetteville Watershed Partnership.

    • Intent:

      - Improve water quality of impaired waters through input, education and outreach; This includes Lake Fayetteville
        and inflow streams of Clear Creek and Hylton Branch

      - Foster watershed ownership

      - Increase stakeholder stewardship actions among residents of Lake Fayetteville Watershed
    • Priorities:

      - Identify and engage watershed landowners to increase knowledge, understanding, and implementation of best
        management practices (BMP’s) and associated benefits

      - Conduct property assessments and encourage landowner options to protect/improve runoff water
        quality on their property

      - Develop and promote new outreach material

      - Increase capacity of the Lake Fayetteville Watershed Partnership (LFWP)

      - Document and report measurable results
    • Activities:

      - BMP education workshops for stakeholders and landowners

      - Electronic formats: e-newsletters, video podcasts, interactive participation at focus group workshops and

      - Property assessments (upon invitation) through site visits

      - Increase impact of LFWP: update and diversify outreach materials, increase membership,
        education on reaching new stakeholders and ensure longevity and effectiveness of organization

    • Please contact Colin G. Massey at or call 479-444-1755 for a FREE home consulatation regarding water quality, free soil sampling for your lawn or garden, streambank erosion, flooding, or other agricultural or water quality issues. 

  •  Water Testing

    • The AWRC Water Quality Lab is certified or accredited by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) for analyses of multiple constituents in water samples. For more information on their lab and services contact them at 479-575-4403
      Down load the Arkansas Water Resources Center Water Quality Laboratory 2010 Analytical Cost Schedule for a listing of individual and package tests. 

    • To determine the safety of drinking water for human consumption, please contact the Washington County Health Department at 3270 Wimberly Drive, Fayetteville, AR 72703 or 479-521-8181. 

    • You can find more detailed information about household water quality in our publication Improving Home Water Quality

    For help in interpreting the results of these reports or for other questions please contact the Washington County Extension office at 479-444-1755.

  •  Pond Management

  •  Water Quality Events

  •  Contact Information

    • For More Information on Water Quality Programs, contact:

    Katie Teague 
    County Extension Agent 
    Agriculture/Water Quality

    Colin Massey
    County Extension Agent 
    Agriculture/Water Quality

    Jane Maginot
    Program Associate
    Water Quality

    Office: Washington County Office 2536 N. McConnell Ave. Fayetteville, AR 72704

    Phone: 479-444-1755 
    Fax: 479-444-1764



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