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Extension Educational Programs & Services
Calhoun County, Arkansas

The Cooperative Extension Service offers a host of educational programs and services.  If you do not see what you are looking for below, please contact our county Extension Office for assistance.

Senior citizens getting handouts for chef

Calhoun County Family & Consumer Sciences

With an increasingly growing elderly population in Calhoun County, most are retired and living on reduced income. Statistics show that as people age they are faced with more health related problems. Many of these problems are being aggravated by poor diets.

Monthly SNAP classes were conducted at two Senior Nutrition sites in Calhoun County. The curriculum used for the classes were Chef Charles. The curriculum focused on health issues that many elderly people are facing. Issues such as low potassium and the foods that could be included in the diet to increase potassium intake.  All lessons addressed the importance of daily physical activities and food safety.

Participants at the center are willing to participate in these classes which often include physical activity. Evaluations are conducted orally which are pre- and post questions, 98% of participants are able to answer questions at the end of lesson.  Each person receives a newsletter that is used as reinforcement to information learned from the lesson.  Many state that walking or gardening is their daily form of physical activity. Contact Laura Trotter CEA- Family & Consumer Sciences for more information on the above programs.

Photo: Senior Citizens eating lunch at nutrition center and getting ready to listen to Chef Charles program.

 Extension Homemakers ladies making preemie caps for Ark. Children's Hospital

Extension Homemakers Make Preemie Crochet Caps

The Calhoun County Extension Homemakers are making preemie crochet caps to donate to Arkansas Children's Hospital.  This is an on going project that the ladies decided to dedicate their time and resources too. The Needle Art EH club has been the leading club in this project.  The chair of this project is very active in teaching other members how to make caps.  The preemie caps are made using a small round loom and baby sport yarn which is very soft.  Way to go ladies for sharing your talent!  Contact Laura Trotter CEA-Family & Consumer Sciences for more information on following programs like this. 

Photo: The Preemie Crochet Cap project chair shows off one of her crochet caps made at workshop.


Calhoun County demo of feral hogs being trapped in pen

Commercial Agriculture

Feral hogs have become a million dollar burden on agriculture producers due to their destructive nature.  Their habitual feeding characteristics and rapid rate of population expansion warrants cause for concern in feral hog control and management educational programs across Arkansas and for producers of various agricultural commodities. 

The Calhoun County Extension Service conducted a 3-year program designed to test the effectiveness of different baits utilized in feral hog trapping.  Baits utilized in the 2014 trapping sequence were: field corn, all-purpose feed pellets and sweet feed pellets.  Trapping stations were checked continually for three weeks and monitored by constant surveillance utilizing a Moultrie digital game camera.  Monitoring was used to measure a.) undesirable species usage of bait stations and b.) monitoring of feral hogs utilizing bait stations that were not trapped during demonstration duration.

In 2014, the trapping demonstration yielded the capture of 4 hogs.  Feral hog bait preferences favored sweet feed over other bait types.  Harvested hogs were field dressed and meat was donated to the Hunters Feeding the Hungry program yielding ~ 12 pounds of ground hog meat donated to local churches via the CES (~$45.00).  Results from the trapping demonstration were presented at three meetings and one newsletter.  Of the regimes and ration feeding amounts resulting in a savings of ~$5.10 per producer per week of baiting and trapping (i.e. $688.50 per week saved among all producers).  Contact Jaret Rushing for more information about the above programs and services available.

Photo: Calhoun County demo of feral hogs being caught in trap by Jaret Rushing, County Extension Agent - Agriculture.



4H youth participating in tree id for hogskin forestry contest


This year's competition, hosted by the Calhoun County 4-H program, drew 24 schools from around Arkansas with 157 competitors, well up from the the eight schools and 52 competitors drawn to the first competition in 2011, said Jaret Rushing, Calhoun County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.  He added that he hopes to see the contest grow to more than 200 contestants in the years to come.  This year's contest was held February 9.

Competitors are tested on their general forestry knowledge and are quizzed on topics such as tree identification; ability to determine the volume of wood from a tree; correct identification of forest equipment, knowledge of forest pests and disorders as well as map interpretation, among other things.

Sponsors included:  Arkansas Forestry Association, Farm Credit Services of Western Arkansas, Arkansas Farm Bureau of Calhoun County, Calhoun County Cattlemen's Association, DM Apparel, Arkansas Forestry Commission, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Calhoun County employees and Calhoun County Judge Floyd Nutt, Calhoun County Fair Board, Calhoun Extension Homemakers and local support from other volunteers as well as the support of the landowners, Michael and Jennifer Beene.  A big Thank You goes out to all of the sponsors.  To learn more about programs like this, contact the Calhoun County Extension office or Jaret Rushing at

Photo: Hogskin Forestry contest participants compete in identification of forest pests and disorders.