Association of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Specialists (AACES) members are involved in a variety of professional development and social activities throughout the year.
“Beans, Brains & Things” is a series of lunchtime training opportunities that address both professional and quality of life issues for AACES members. The professional development seminars and "pot-luck" lunch are free to members. Non-members can also attend for a minimal charge at the door. Topics are selected through a survey of AACES members.
AACES members give back to their community through a wide variety of service projects. Previous projects include blood drives, fundraisers and food drives for hunger relief organizations and recycling programs for old cell phones and eyeglasses and winter coat drives. The American Red Cross, Arkansas Rice Depot, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Lions Club International are a few of the organizations who have benefited from AACES’ efforts.
Networking through AACES
In addition to professional development and meetings, AACES hosts several fun social events throughout the year that provide a great way to get to know your coworkers! Mingle with other specialists at the annual Fall Festival or an AACES after work happy hour. Enjoy delicious treats from the Valentine bake sale and Spring Fling/egg hunt.
Each year AACES sponsors an Arkansas 4-H member's trip to 4-H National Congress. National Congress, held in Atlanta, Georgia, provides a life-changing experience for youth to meet other 4-H members from across America, as they participate in educational workshops focusing on diversity, cultural experiences, leadership and team development.
AACES Annual Meeting
AACES Annual Meetings are held in January to discuss and plan the coming year. Resolutions are voted on, committee notes are read, and did we mention free lunch? Some annual meetings are held virtually via Zoom as AACES members are teleworking and can still join the discussion.
Resolutions— a statement, recommendation or request regarding a particular issue pertinent to Extension — are submitted each year to Administration by professional associations. AACES resolutions are suggested and voted on by the membership at the annual meeting in January. These resolutions range from topics of pay scale and promotion to infrastructure and quality of work life improvements.