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Living Well Month Celebrated in Arkansas

Educational opportunities offered by the local Cooperative Extension Services

Nashville, Ark. – March has been designated as “Living Well Month” to encourage all Americans to improve their health and well-being by taking advantage of the educational opportunities offered by the local Cooperative Extension Services.

An initiative of the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS), Living Well Month was developed to increase awareness of educational opportunities and resources designed to help individuals, families and educators improve the quality of their lives, become competent consumers and build healthier communities. 

According to Jean Ince, Howard County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences, the Cooperative Extension Service in Arkansas is system of the University of Arkansas – Division of Agriculture.  “Many families may be familiar with the services provided by Extension agents for agriculture or the 4-H program but are unaware of the mission of the Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program.”

Recent programs in Howard County include The Best Care program to provide verified training for childcare providers, Cooking With an Instant Pot, Financial Management programs with both youth and adults, Food Safety, and Extension Get Fit exercise training.  Currently, Ince is conducting nutrition education programs in schools throughout the county to teach young people how to eat healthier and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet. Several programs offered by Extension are ongoing.

In addition to the community and youth programs conducted by Ince as County Extension Agent - FCS, she serves as advisor to Howard County Extension Homemakers, a group of 50 volunteers who focus on community service, education and leadership.

According to Ince, “Extension Homemakers are a vital component in FCS programming.”  “They often serve as facilitators for FCS projects and spread the mission of Extension Family and Consumer Sciences throughout the county.”

Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly Home Economics) programming is driven by the needs of each county, according to Ince. “County FCS agents utilize local residents in advisory committees to identify specific needs that can be addressed through educational programs.” 

“Healthy families are the cornerstone of healthy communities”, says Ince.  “Family and Consumer Sciences put non-biased, research- based information to work in people’s lives, helping families find answers for living well, raising kids, eating right, and spending smart.”

Upcoming programs will focus on food safety and home canning of fruits and vegetables, teaching basic consumer skills to youth, healthy meal planning, plus much more.

The Cooperative Extension Service was created by the Smith-Lever Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson on May 8, 1914. “For over 100 years the underlying philosophy of the Extension Service has been to help people help themselves by taking the university to the people: by providing adults and youth the necessary skills and knowledge to help them achieved the best quality of life possible”, Ince noted.

All Extension programs, including Extension Homemakers activities, are open to all eligible persons 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.   

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (large print, audiotapes, etc.) may also freely participate.  They should, however, notify the County Extension Office as soon as possible prior to the activity so that accommodations can be made.

For more information about Family and Consumer Sciences programs offered in Howard County, contact Jean Ince at the Howard County Extension Office located on the second floor of the courthouse. Interested persons may call 870-845-7517 or email You can also check out our web page at for information in all our program areas.

Recipe of the Week

This recipe was shared by Anna Kate McKinnon, a member of the Howard County 4-H Teen Leaders Club. This recipe is great for Spring, but is really good anytime of the year! Anna Kate won 1st place in the Quick Bread Muffin category.


White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins

  • 2 c. flour, fluffed, spooned, and leveled

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 2 tsp. baking powder

  • ¾ c. granulated sugar plus extra 1 -2 tsps. for berries (optional)

  • 2 eggs at room temperature

  • ½ c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • ½ c. whole milk at room temperature

  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla

  • 6 oz. raspberries (approx. 1 ¼ c.)

  • 2/3 c. white chocolate chips

  • Coarse sugar for topping muffins (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

  3. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk the egg, butter, vanilla and milk.

  4. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over stir!

  5.  Gently fold the raspberries and white chocolate chips into the batter to combine.

  6. Scoop into muffin tins lined with muffin cups.

  7. Sprinkle coarse sugar over top if desired.

  8. Bake for 19-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  9. Cool before serving.

  10. Store sealed at room temperature for about 4-5 days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.




By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517