UACES Facebook Garland County, Arkansas Extension Programs and Events | Fitness, gardening, 4-H and Snap-Ed classes in Garland County
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Extension Educational Programs & Services
Garland 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.

4-H youth sitting on bleachers with 4H banner at camp

Garland County 4-H

Photo: Garland County 4-H Camp
The mission of 4-H is to provide opportunities for youth to acquire knowledge, develop life skills, form attitudes, and productive behavior that will enable them to become self-directing, productive, and contributing members of society.  4-Hers learn by doing.  In a safe and enriching environment, 4-H brings youth and adults together to learn everyday life skills with hands-on learning.  In addition, 4-Hers learn problem-solving skills that can make a positive impact upon their community.  
For more information on the Garland County 4-H program, contact our 4-H Agent, Sara Jackson

Garland County 4-H has many activities to keep our youth busy:
  • Club Meetings Project Work
  • County O-Rama - BBQ, Bait Casting, BB Gun, Bicycle, Illustrated Talks, Talent, and Fashion Revue
  • County Camp
  • County Fair - Photography, Livestock, Art, Cooking, Sewing, and Talent
  • Annual Achievement Banquet
  • County Horse Show
  • Holiday Workshop
  • Poultry Chain Chicks
  • Vet Science
 There are also district and state level 4-H activities for Junior and Senior 4-Hers (ages 9-19):
  • District and State Horse Shows
  • District and State Fairs
  • Teen Leader Conference
  • High Adventure
  • District and State O-Rama
  • State Camps
  • Photography Contests

So what do the 4 H's stand for?  Head, Heart, Hands, Health. 4-H Pledge:  I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to great loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health for better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.

Current 4-Hers:  Here is a link to Register for 4-H Events.


Family and Consumer SciencesFCS logo

The FCS program in Garland County provides life skills programs and information in the areas of health and nutrition, physical activity for youth and adults, early childhood professional development, food safety and ServSafe training, financial management, and the Extension Homemakers Council (EHC). For more information on the following programs or to schedule an agent to speak to your group or class, contact our FCS Agent, Alison Crane.

Garland County SNAP-Ed Cooking Class


Photo: SNAP-Ed cooking class in Garland County
The Smart Nutrition Active People - Education program is a partnership between the University of Arkansas' Cooperative Extension Service, the Arkansas Department of Health and  Human Services, and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to provide nutrition education to food stamp recipients, eligible low-income individuals and families, and eligible schools. 

The program is designed to teach the skills and knowledge that will enable participants to:
  • Buy and prepare healthy meals and snacks
  • Become more physically active
  • Menu planning and healthy eating on a budget
  • Food recommendations based on USDA's MyPlate (formally MyPyramid)
While we do offer programs to adults, the Garland County SNAP-Ed program has a special interest and focus on our school-age children.  Did you know throughout all 7 school districts combined, we have an average of 36.2% males and 36.8% females who are either overweight or obese (Arkansas Center for Health Improvement 2011-2012 BMI Assessment).  By teaching our children healthy practices now, they will be more likely to make healthy choices later and we can help to combat the obesity epidemic, not only in Garland County, but state and nation-wide.  For more information on the SNAP-Ed program, contact Crystal Johnson, County Extension Agent - FCS-SNAP-Ed
Garland County EHC volunteers in the EHC kitchen

Extension Homemakers Council (EHC)
Photo: Garland County EHC members volunteering in the EHC kitchen.

Who is EHC? Extension Homemakers are people just like you! AEHC logo

They are young homemakers, working moms, men and women professionals, grandmothers and grandfathers, retired men and women… even teens. They focus on life-long learning and community service.

Members work in the EHC Kitchen during the annual Garland County Fair in September and the annual Hot Springs Arts & Crafts Fair in October. The EHC Kitchen specializes in homemade meals, such as chicken and dumplings, ham and beans, and desserts.

EHC Club

Special Interest Area/Community Service Projects

Meeting Day & Time

All Things Home

This club supports various community projects. 

Meets the 4th Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in the EHC building of the Garland County Fairgrounds.

Busy Bees

This club supports the "Open Door" project. 

Meets the 1st Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the Garland County Extension Office.

Crazy Quilters

This club’s emphasis is on demonstrating and teaching quilting techniques.  They also instruct a quilt seminar each year.

This club supports various community organizations by making them quilts and other sewn items.

Meets the 2nd Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. in the EHC building of the Garland County Fairgrounds.

Fiber Therapy

This club’s emphasis is on knitting, crocheting, and all fiber-based crafting.

This club supports various community projects, such as Special Olympics Scarf and Headband Project.

Meets the 1st  Monday at 6:00 p.m. at San Francisco Bread Company.
 Lakeside  This club supports projects for the elderly, children, and the underserved. Meets the 2nd Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in different members’ homes or at the EHC building of the GC Fairgrounds.

Loyal Ladies

This club’s emphasis is on teaching others, helping within the community, and presenting Nursing Scholarships to students at National Park College.

This club supports local charitable organizations, including the Veterans Support Services.

Meets the 3rd Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in the EHC building at the Garland County Fairgrounds.


This club's main project is supporting and teaching crafts to First Step Adults. 

Meets the 2nd Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in the Garland County Extension Office.

Upholstery Club

This club’s emphasis is on teaching others how to refurbish furniture. Their meetings focus on learning upholstery techniques and working on community service projects. The club also hosts various upholstery related workshops throughout the year. 

Meets on 4th Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at the EHC building at the Garland County Fairgrounds.

Yes We Can

This club’s emphasis is on water bath canning and other types of food preservation. They support Jackson House by preparing 100-150 jars of jams, jellies and other canned items for their Christmas baskets.

Meets the 3rd Monday at 9:30 a.m. in the EHC building at the Garland County Fairgrounds.

Members also work in the EHC kitchen during the annual Garland County Fair in September and the annual Hot Springs Arts & Crafts Fair in October.  The kitchen specializes in homemade meals, such as chicken and dumplings, and desserts.

Visit the state AEHC home page!

Follow Garland County EHC on Facebook!

To learn more about the Hot Springs Arts & Craft Fair sponsored each year by the Garland County EHC visit their website.


Best Care Logo

The Garland County FCS programs offer support to child care providers through classroom educational programs, technical assistance, free in-person PDR training, videos and newsletters. 

The Best Care program offers training opportunities and resources for Early Childhood Professional Development through three avenues:

The Best Care offers up to 10 hours of verified child care provider training through in-person workshops.

Best Care Connected offers up to 5 hours of verified child care provider training through online courses.

Guiding Children Successfully offers up to 30 hours of verified child care provider training through self-study.  

Garland County Extension Get Fit members group shot

Extension Get Fit

Photo: Center Fork Extension Get Fit members meet together twice a week to improve their strength, balance and flexibility.

Extension Get Fit is a community-based exercise program with three locations in Garland County.   

  • Improve strength, balance and flexibility
  • Safe, structured and affordable
  • Appropriate for all fitness levels
  • Supportive group environment
  • Feel better and have fun!

Sessions are led by trained volunteer leaders and last about an hour. You may attend a session just to observe or come ready to exercise.

Participants at all sites provide their own equipment, although most have extra equipment for guests.

Basic equipment requirements are low cost and simple:

  • dumbbells (2 or 3 lb. pair and a 3 or 5 lb. pair)
  • a set of ankle weights
  • a rolled towel or piece of pool noodle
  • wear comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes

Some sites may have additional equipment requirements, such as a floor mat, and may incorporate a walking routine either before or after the strength training session.

There is a $20 yearly fee and some sites collect a dollar to cover facility costs or for group use.

Current Extension Get Fit Meeting Sites:

 For more information, contact the Garland County Extension Office at 501-623-6841 or email

Hot Springs Groups

Meeting Times

Meeting Address

Center Fork Baptist Church

Mondays & Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.

1101 South Moore Road

Hot Springs, AR 71913

Piney Grove United Methodist Church

Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.

2963 Airport Rd

Hot Springs, AR 71913

Webb Community Center

Tuesdays & Thursdays at 12:30 p.m.

127 Pleasant St

Hot Springs, AR 71901

Weed Control Demonstration Field in Garland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Photo: Garland County Weed Control Demonstration Field
There are approximately 439 farms throughout Garland County that account for 39,474 of the counties' acreage and are home to agricultural industries such as:

  • Livestock: Cattle, Horses, Swine
  • Poultry: Broilers, Layers
  • Crops: Hay, Vegetable
  • In addition, another 329,139 acres are used for timber.

With commercial agriculture being such a vital part of Garland County, the Garland County Extension Office is here to provide a wide variety of services and educational programs.
For more information on the Garland County Ag program, contact our Ag agent, Jimmy Driggers.


Services Available

Educational Programs Available


Equine Forage

Soil Testing

Beef Forage

Hay Testing

Pesticide Training

Water Testing

Weed and Brush Control

Manure Analysis

Pasture Insect Control

Plant Disease Diagnosis

Cattle and Insect Control

Plant Identification

Farmer's Market Development and Management

Sprayer Calibration

Breeding Soundness Evaluation Clinics for Beef Bulls


Beef Herd Health - Bangs vaccination schedule and vaccinations


Aquatic Weed Control




Garland County Master Gardener talking with man at exhibit tent in parking lot plants and sign

Horticulture and Gardening

Photo: Garland County Master Gardeners Educational Booth at the Farmer's Market

The Garland County Master Gardener program is offered by the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and is designed to increase the availability of horticulture information and improve quality of life with horticulture projects.  These volunteers, known as Master Gardeners, aid Extension by running plant clinics, design and implement community improvement projects, along with working with the handicapped, elderly, and other special groups in the community.
For more information on the Garland County Horticulture program, contact our Horticulture agent, Arin Shaffer.

The horticulture and gardening program in Garland County assists residents interested in maintaining lawns, landscapes, and fruit and vegetable gardens along with the Garland County Master Gardener Program.  Some of the horticulture issues we help with are: 

  • Assist homeowners with fruit and vegetable problems along with plant nutrient needs
  • Advise homeowner with ornamental, turf, and tree problems
  • Analyze soil and plant disease samples
  • Identify insects and weeds and give control recommendations

Other home horticulture services available: 

  • Master Gardener training
  • Vegetable production
  • Plant identification
  • Lawn maintenance
  • Horticulture pruning
  • Horticulture maintenance concerns
  • Fruit production management 

Here are some of the Garland County Master Gardener projects: 

  • County Courthouse
  • Entergy Park
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens
  • Policeman's Memorial
  • Garland County Extension Office
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Young Gardeners
  • Yard of the Month
  • Farmer's Market
  • Community Education