Welcome to The
Grant County, Arkansas
Cooperative Extension Service
We are 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 the quality of their lives. Whether it is agriculture, 4-H, health and living, or community development, the Grant County Extension Office is at your service!
Youth Learn Healthy Lifestyles
In Grant County, 40% of students in the Sheridan School District are overweight according to the Body Mass Index. The Grant County Extension Service partnered with the Sheridan Intermediate School to deliver nutrition education and physical activities in physical education classes for 368 students. Four lessons focused on topics such as: increasing fruits and vegetables; drinking more water; encouraging their family to eat together and increasing physical activity. Yoga for Kids was demonstrated to show the youth a type of new and fun exercise. Parents and youth were able to participate in Family Fitness Night and try a healthy snack. Following the program, 4-H healthy living participants reported:
- 89% learning to make healthy food choices
- 67% reported they would eat more fruits and vegetables
- 78% reported they are physically active
Photo: Sheridan Intermediate School Students learn how to follow a healthy lifestyle
Beef Cattle Producers Learn Best Management Practices
Recent volatility in both input costs and market prices requires beef cattle producers to conduct best management practices to protect their assets and manage risks. The Grant County Extension Service recently conducted a series of educational workshops as part of the Arkansas Beef Improvement Program (ABIP). The goal of the program is to balance ranch resources to enhance the efficiency and profitability of Arkansas cattle production using an integrated resource management approach. The decision-making process involved setting goals, evaluating resources, and selecting management practices to achieve those goals. Producers were educated on topics including creating cow-calf budgets, herd health, and grazing management. Following the program beef cattle producers reported:
- 114% increase in knowledge of cow-calf budgeting
- 135% increase in knowledge of beef quality assurance practices
- 84% increase in knowledge of creating forage management plans
- 11 participants indicated they plan to create a production budget
- 10 participants indicated they would implement a practice that would extend their grazing season
Photo: Grant county cattle producers work to set production goals and learn about the best management practices for beef cattle production at the Arkansas Beef Improvement Workshop.
Adults Eat Healthy and Feel Great
Grant County has a food insecurity rate of 15.3%. Persons under 18 (children) who are in poverty is 18.5%. Thirty-six percent of adults in Grant County are obese compared to 32% in Arkansas. Programs that encourage healthy meal planning were needed in Grant County to help combat poverty, obesity and health issues.
Programs such as Walk Across Arkansas, Series of Living Well with Diabetes Workshops, Series of Nutrition Programs, Mobile Mammogram Screening, Family Fitness Night, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs and Food Demonstrations were conducted. Contacts were reached through on line programs, workshops, demonstrations, screenings and social media. A total of 8146 direct and indirect contacts were reached through twenty-eight programs.
As a result of participating in Extension Programs:
- Increased Activity-25,210 minutes were walked with an estimated 1261 miles walked
- Estimated healthcare Savings-As a result for exercise $2521.00 saved
- 94% of the Living Well with Diabetes participants made a positive dietary change as a result of completing the program
- 30% of the Living Well with Diabetes participants decreased blood glucose levels as a result of completing the program
- Seventeen food demonstrations were conducted to show participants healthy recipes.
Photo: Participants at "Living Well with Diabetes" workshop learn about the diabetic exchange system and how to use MyPlate for meal planning.
Grant County Creates New Master Gardener Program
Since it began in 1988, the U of A Division of Agriculture’s Master Gardener program has grown from 4 to 65 counties. Grant County has never had a Master Gardener program. This changed in 2015, when an effort was started to create a master gardener program in Grant County. Master Gardeners receive 40 hours of horticulture training, and then volunteer through their local Master Gardener Program. They sponsor activities including educational workshops, youth gardening programs, community beautification projects all helping to disseminate horticulture information.
As a result of this effort 10 new master gardeners were trained. To date they have started 5 new projects and accumulated 415 volunteer hours for a value of $9,562 contributed back to the community.
Photo: First Class of Grant County Master Gardeners