Blue Letter - July 2017 - No. 3783
Summer brings challenges and opportunities for Extension
Well, June has come and gone, perhaps the best month of the year as it ushers in summer and finally – richly hot weather – a blessing? Most of you know that I spent much of my career outdoors in rice, and hot weather is something I always enjoyed – weird perhaps, but true.
Now we are in July, a month that can hold its own with regard to hot weather. A month that represents challenges to ANR from ticks to heat stress to crop pests, outdoor opportunity for 4-H youth out of school for the summer, work time for counties and communities to get things done during dry weather, and health, nutrition and food preservation issues for families. Yep, another great month in Extension.
After months and years of all our work, we are perhaps turning a corner on “no longer the best kept secret.” It is my observation that social media has really changed things for us the last couple of years, and in particular the last few months. I now routinely receive contacts from folks who clearly had never heard of us, totally outside of our regular audience, and that is a good thing. I have young people tell me they want to be a county agent or work as an extension specialist, and this is new – but a “good” new. Keep it up, stay professional, be positive – you are having an impact.
I recently got out of the office and visited a few counties in the Ozark and Ouachita districts with Sharon Reynolds and Beth Phelps. These visits with our agents and staff in Conway, Franklin, Logan, Polk and Montgomery counties reminded me of why we do what we do, and why I am privileged to do what I do. In all visits, I saw the positive changes resulting from effective extension programs and the enthusiasm of our colleagues and their clientele. I humbly appreciate the hospitality, and I even got to meet the newest member (at the time) of the Extension family, Maybelle Black, who impressed me with her professional, calm and pleasant demeanor. I predict she will be a great 4-H member and, hopefully, Extension colleague one day. I am looking forward to getting out more, visiting the Delta District with Jerry Clemons, and also visiting other counties statewide.
s we close the books on another great fiscal year for Cooperative Extension and the Division of Agriculture, I extend my thanks to all of my colleagues who work so hard and make such a positive difference to the people of Arkansas and our country.
– Dr. Rick Cartwright
Arkansas 4-H teams place at 2017 Mid-America Grassland Evaluation Contest
Arkansas 4-H Grassland Evaluation teams placed well at the 2017 Mid-America Grassland Evaluation Contest on June 7 in Springfield, Missouri. Arkansas students took second and fifth high 4-H individuals and took third and fourth place 4-H team honors.
The contest included a field of 16 teams from five states including Arkansas, West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio and Missouri.
Fulton County 4-H, coached by county Extension agent Brad Runsick, took third place 4-H team. Team member Chase Himschoot took fifth place individual honors.
Cleburne County 4-H, coached by Cleburne County staff chair Michelle Mobley, took fourth place 4-H team. Team member Kathryn Bechdoldt took second place individual honors.
Randolph County 4-H, coached by Randolph County staff chair Mike Andrews, and Madison County 4-H, coached by Madison County 4-H agent Jerry Jo Hamm, also competed in the event. Andrews also coached the Pocahontas FFA team that competed in the contest.
Chi Epsilon Sigma yard sale raises money for scholarship program
A yard sale held by Chi Epsilon Sigma at the Little Rock State Office on June 3 was a big success, raising around $1,000 for its scholarship program.
The sale involved months of planning and would not have been successful without the amazing number of donations received. Chi Epsilon Sigma greatly appreciates the dedication and hard work of those who helped make this possible. Sam Boyster and others spent the day with the team providing a much appreciated helping hand. Dr. Cartwright stopped by with doughnuts to provide moral support and check on the yard sale progress.
Chi Epsilon Sigma looks forward to the Second Annual Yard Sale and hopes to have even greater success. Our thanks to the Administrative Office for its assistance in making this project possible.
For more information about Chi Epsilon Sigma and how you can join our Little Rock Chapter, contact Kristen Kiefer at email@example.com or 671-2299.
Urban Pollutant Awareness and Ballot Bin Demonstration in Fayetteville
Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the United States. Approximately 32 percent of litter found in storm drains is tobacco waste (Keep America Beautiful, 2009). Easily carried by runoff and wind, cigarette butts may be mistaken for food by wildlife and leach harmful chemicals into local streams and lakes.
Colin Massey, Washington County Extension agent - agriculture/water quality, began a pilot demonstration in fall 2016 in collaboration with City of Fayetteville Office for Sustainability, Parks Department, Parking, and Solid Waste and Recycling to address urban litter in the city’s entertainment district.
Ballot bins are an engaging way to address cigarette butt litter by encouraging users to respond to a question and “voting” by disposing of their cigarette butt in one of two receptacles, allowing a public opinion poll to be generated (Hubbub UK, 2016).
Two ballot bins were installed in high-litter areas, with over 30 pounds of butts collected in bins and urban cleanups. The pilot garnered great local media coverage and public feedback, and several local business owners expressed interest in hosting bins. Because of the positive response, 10 additional bins will go into service this summer.
This demonstration project is funded through the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission 319 grant program to raise awareness about urban pollutants carried by runoff into local waterways through storm drains
Barbie Luther named Arkansas Master Gardener of the Year
Union County lifetime Master Gardener Barbie Luther was named 2017 Arkansas Master Gardener of the Year. This is highest honor that Arkansas Master Gardeners award.
Luther has been actively involved in Union County Master Gardeners for 13 years. Her efforts on behalf of Union County Master Gardeners have been an inspiration to new and veteran club members alike.
Her passion is more than plants. She truly believes that educated and empowered volunteers can make a positive difference for any community and has proven it time and again. Congratulations to Barbie Luther.
Extension scientists invited to 2017 Arkansas Governor’s School
Division of Agriculture Extension faculty went back to school this summer – to the 2017 Arkansas Governor’s school that is. Dr. Jeremy Ross, Dr. Ken Korth, Dr. Gus Lorenz and Jon Zawislak presented invited lectures and responded to student questions on contemporary agricultural issues with 2017 Governor’s School students in June at the Hendrix College campus in Conway.
The invitation for agricultural lectures was made to Dr. Karen Ballard by Dr. Mary Kathryn Stein, Director of the Arkansas Department of Education’s Gifted and Talented and Advanced Placement Program. Ballard serves as PI for the Extension Soybean Science Challenge, funded through the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Dr. Stein learned about the work of Extension at the 2017 Arkansas State Science and Engineering Fair in April 2017 when she stopped by the Soybean Science Challenge exhibit for teachers and students and stayed for a 30-minute discussion. The invitation for Extension to be a contributor to the 2017 Governor’s school came 10 minutes later.
Lectures included Honey Bee Pollinators and Arkansas Agriculture presented by Gus Lorenz and Jon Zawislak on June 13. On June 16, Jeremy Ross and Ken Korth presented on the topic Genetically Modified Crops: The Challenge to Feed the World.
Ballard facilitated the presentations and noted that “these scientists actively engaged the students in consideration of the importance of solid science in undergirding food, fuel and fiber production. The scientists spoke about the research, some of which was their own, as well as from experience. After presentations, students and Governor’s School faculty hung around late to engage in further conversations with the Extension scientists.” The importance and contemporary relevance of agriculture was elevated for all participants. The question of trust was raised during the discussions. It is a key factor for future public policy. The invitation to the Arkansas Governor’s School provided a great step in bridging the gap in public understanding about the role of Extension in the development and use of research-based science to guide citizen practices and public policy.
What’s new in publications?
Find out at: http://www.uaex.edu/publications/new.aspx
District 4-H O-Ramas “Masquerade – Unmask Your Potential“
Junior and senior 4-H members had the opportunity to “unmask their potential” at the District O-Ramas on June 20-22. The District 4-H O-Ramas provide opportunities for 4-H members to display the skills developed through their project work in a variety of competitive activities such as Public Speaking, Health, Performing Arts and Wildlife.
More than 1,675 4-H’ers, volunteers, parents and Extension agents attended the three district events. In addition to competing in over 25 activities, the 4-H’ers got to cast their ballots in the District Officer Elections by using electronic voting machines. Another highlight of the district events was the Spirit Competition. The following counties won the title in their district: Miller County – Ouachita District; Pope County – Ozark District; and Ashley County – Delta District.
Cross County 4-H’ers bring home trophies from Delta District O-Rama
Several 4-H’ers from Cross County brought home trophies at Delta District O-Rama held June 22 at East Arkansas Community College in Forrest City.
Cross County had five first-place winners, five second-place winners, two fourth-place winners, one third-place winner and two participation winners. Cross County 4-H members also received three trophies for record book submission.
Congratulations to the winners.
Union County 4-H’ers participate in district O-Rama, advance to state competition
Fifteen 4-H members represent Union County at Ouachita District O-Rama. Members have been preparing for their competition since county O-Rama in April. All seven senior 4-H members from Union County qualified to go to the Arkansas State O-Rama in July at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville.
LegalShield is a new voluntary benefit that will be available to employees who are benefits eligible. LegalShield provides advice on an unlimited number of legal topics such as:
- Divorce • Automobile accidents
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ID Watchdog. ID Watchdog is a complete identity theft protection service. These services will be available to employees who are benefits eligible on a voluntary basis. ID Watchdog searches billions of data points and alerts you of any changes to your credit, financial transactions, personal information and more.
These benefits will not be payroll deducted benefits but will be available on an individual pay basis at a large group discounted rate.
Biometric Screenings. Screenings will take place at the Little Rock State Office in classroom 3 on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. until noon and 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.
Flu Shot Clinic. Flu shots will take place at the Little Rock State Office in conference room 107 in the main building on Thursday, October 19, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
More details to follow! Please direct all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the Date
- State Faculty Conference, Little Rock State Office Auditorium – Dec. 4, 2017, 10 a.m.
- Agricultural Awards Luncheon, Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences, Fayetteville (near Pauline Whitaker Arena) – Jan. 12, 2018.
Please welcome the following:
Please welcome the following:
- Patsy Carter, Administrative Specialist, Ag Economics and Agribusiness, effective June 1, 2017
- Brandi Danner, 4-H Program Assistant, Arkansas County - DeWitt, effective June 1, 2017
- Stephanie Drombetta, Administrative Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences, effective June 1, 2017.
- Tammy Farnam, Administrative Specialist, Perry County, effective June 1, 2017.
- Alyssa Huber, Administrative Specialist, Community and Economic Development, effective May 16, 2017.
- Casey Jarding, County Extension Agent - Family and Consumer Sciences, Franklin County - Ozark, effective June 1, 2017.
- Autumn Johnson, Administrative Specialist, Arkansas County - DeWitt, effective June 1, 2017.
- Ashley McCormick, Program Technician, Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, effective May 16, 2017.
- Jack Pace, Program Associate - Entomology, Southeast Research and Extension Center, effective May 16, 2017.
- Wes Plummer, Program Technician, Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, effective May 16, 2017.
- Joshua Yates, County Extension Agent - Agriculture/4-H, Polk County, effective May 16, 2017
Extension says goodbye to:
- Ronnie Bateman, Pest Management Program Associate, Southwest Research and Extension Center, Hope, effective June 30, 2017.
- Ursula Crow, Warehouse Specialist, Warehouse, Little Rock, effective June 30, 2017.
- Rick Fields, 4-H Science and Curriculum Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development, effective June 15, 2017.
- Shirley Osburn, Food Preparation Supervisor, C. A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center, effective June 2, 2017.
- Elizabeth McQuay, County Extension Agent - Family and Consumer Sciences, Randolph County, effective
- June 5, 2017.
- Brenda Waldrum, Grant Contract Analyst, Office of Sponsored Programs, effective June 30, 2017.
Save the Date
State Faculty Conference, Little Rock State Office Auditorium – Dec. 4, 2017, 10 a.m.
Agricultural Awards Luncheon, Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences, Fayetteville (near Pauline Whitaker Arena) – Jan. 12, 2018
University of Arkansas, United States Department of Agriculture, and County Governments Cooperating
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer
Grants and Contracts Table
University of Arkansas, United States Department of Agriculture, and County Governments Cooperating
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.