Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Timely tips for the Arkansas home gardener.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Home to the Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
by Kristin Higgins - August 20, 2019
But it's not certain the issue - a referendum on a law expanding the scope of practice
for optometrists - will make it to the 2020 ballot despite the vote Monday.
A new bifurcated initiative process has resulted in the measure being rejected by
the Secretary of State's Office while being certified by the Board of Election Commissioners.
Safe Surgery Arkansas, a group seeking to convince voters to overturn Act 579, submitted 84,114 voter signatures collected in at least 15 counties to the Secretary
of State's Office on July 23. (Arkansas' Constitution requires referendum groups to
submit at least 53,491 valid signatures from voters, or 6 percent the number of people
who voted in the last governor's election.)
Soon after, Secretary of State John Thurston told the group they didn't meet the threshold — he would not be counting thousands of the signatures submitted due to an election
law change initiated by Act 376 of 2019.
The new election law requires sworn statements from paid canvasser be submitted to
the Secretary of State's Office before they collect signatures. (Paid canvassers are
supposed to declare they have not been convicted of illegal offenses that would prohibit
them from collecting signatures).
Previously, the sponsor could file the canvasser statements at the same time they
turned in petition pages with voter signatures.
Despite the threshold mishap, the Secretary of State's Office submitted the referendum's
ballot title last month to the Board of Election Commissioners to certify for the ballot as required
under the new law.
The seven-member Board of Election Commissioners has historically provided education and training to county officials and election
officials to help carry out elections and investigated complaints. They saw their
role expand to certifying statewide ballot issues this year after the passage of Act 376.
Certifying a title involves the appointed board deciding whether a measure's ballot
title and popular name is:
In the case of Act 579, a "for" vote would keep the law in place. An "against" vote
would void the law. The referendum title accurately described the measure and Commissioners
voted Aug. 19 to certify the ballot title.
A spokeswoman for Arkansans for Healthy Eyes, optometrists who want to keep Act 579,
told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette after the vote that they believed the "referendum process ended two weeks ago, when
the secretary of state rejected more than 60,000 unlawfully solicited signatures as
If necessary, the spokesperson said the group would challenge the ballot title too
as being insufficient.
Like other controversial ballot measures in the past, the referendum's future depends
on the Arkansas Supreme Court. Safe Surgery Arkansas has appealed Thurston's actions
to the higher court, asking the court to require the signatures be counted and the
measure be put on the November 2020 ballot.
The group is also challenging Act 376, saying it's unconstitutional.
A court date hasn't been set as of Aug. 20, but the ballot issue group has asked the
court for an expedited hearing. They also asked that the law at the center of the
referendum be put on hold until the issue is resolved by the court or by voters.
Reader ResourcesRead Act 376 Read Act 579Read Safe Surgery Arkansas' appeal (The docket number for Safe Surgery Arkansas v John Thurston is CV-19-641)