Mike McClintock, Boone County extension agent talked about his job at the Boone County Cooperative Extension Service in Arkansas: “We tailor-make all the scientific information we have in our hands to fit the producer’s issues and make it work.”
The Extension Offices in Arkansas offer services such as free soil testing, forage testing, grain sampling, free ration balancing, least cost ration balancing, nitrate testing on forages and water testing. They saw a significant rise in nitrate testing this last year because of the drought and all of the problems with the high nitrate levels.
What kind of information do they offer specifically? They offer information about: animals (all types of livestock imaginable), aquaculture, crops, equipment and facilities, horticulture, wildlife and forestry, management, pests and diseases and soil and water. If they don’t offer a seminar immediately about your topic, their website offers an enormous amount of information on a wide variety of topics under each of these headings. Most are fairly self-explanatory but the staff at the Extension Office is readily available to work with you to help you understand or obtain additional information for you if needed.
Every county offers different programs depending on their staff’s expertise and availability. Typically they will offer seminars such as hay schools, grazing schools, soil and crop conferences, livestock and forage conferences, regional beef conferences, sheep and goat conferences. They will not only draw upon their own staff and local university professionals but will reach out to well known consultants and bring them in to speak on topics of current events within each industry.
Each office has access to the State Specialists that include an agriculture business specialist, a livestock specialist, horticulturalist, natural resource engineers and an agronomist that work together as a team offering seminars together such as the grazing school.
They offer information for producers regarding agriculture, but also offer services regarding natural resources, lawn and garden, home and consumer life, nutrition and health, families and relationships, communities and leadership, business and careers, and emergency management.
The office receives funds from the federal, state and county government combined. The fourth funding source is generated funds. Since many of their sources have been shrinking it has been forcing them to charge for seminars which in the past had been offered for free. Services such as seminars now require small fees.
McClintock encourages everyone to check with their local offices to see which seminars are being offered locally.   


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