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Extension Educational Programs & Services
Saline 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 Clover logo

Wondrous Wednesdays: April 22 - June 24

In partnership with the Saline County 4-H Foundation, we are bringing 10 weeks of special virtual programming to Saline County 4-H youth. Prizes will be awarded weekly to a participating 4-H member that won the challenge. Scheduled topics include: vet science, cooking, horticulture, engineering, citizenship, health, and much more. Contact the Saline County office for more information about any of these programs or challenges, or if you need accommodations. Join us on Facebook Live every Wednesday at 4:00 p.m., April 22 - June 24.

Scheduled Topics

Discussion with Megan Maulden. It's time to celebrate Earth Day! Let's learn about pollinators, why they are important for our planet, and what we can do to help them! 

  • Challenge Option #1
    • Nature Walk. Great activity for Cloverbuds. Print off the checklist below, and see how many items you can find on your nature walk. Once you've completed your walk, e-mail your checklist to kboulton@uada.edufor challenge credit.
    • Nature Walk Checklist
  • Challenge Option #2
    • Plant Some Seeds or Pull Some Weeds. Great for Juniors. Plant some new flowers in your yard, or tend an existing flowerbed. Take pictures of yourself planting or tending your flowerbed, and e-mail those pictures to  for challenge credit.
    • Plant Some Seeds
  • Challenge Option #3
    • Create a Solitary Bee Habitat. Great for Seniors. Create a solitary bee habitat by following the guidelines below. Don't be afraid to get creative with your bee habitat and make it your own! E-mail a picture of your built bee habitat to  for challenge credit.
    • Solitary Bee Habitat Instructions

Discussion with Kris Boulton. Why do we have bread? Bread is a bio-chemical technology for turning wheat flower into something tasty.

  • Challenge Option #1
    • Breads Around the World. Complete the activity by matching each bread name to its description. For additional fun, you can even try looking at a world map and identifying where in the world these popular breads come from! E-mail your completed word activity to for challenge credit.
    • Breads Around the World Activity
  • Challenge Option #2
    • Fizzy Foam Fun. Complete the 4-H STEM Lab, Fizzy Foam Fun, which uses bread yeast to create a chemical reaction. Take pictures or video of yourself completing the lab activity, and e-mail those pictures to for challenge credit.
    • Fizzy Foam Fun Lab
  • Challenge Option #3
    • Bread In A Bag. Make the National 4-H Council's recipe for "Bread in a Bag," and enjoy a tasty treat after all your hard work! E-mail a picture of yourself following the bread in a bag recipe or the finished product to for challenge credit.
    • Bread in a Bag Instructions

Discussion with Nicole Nichols. Put on your gardening gloves and come play in the dirt! Keep a journal for a week, observing how a plant grows. 

  • Challenge Option #1
    • Scrap Gardening. Check out our kitchen scrap gardening video, and start a new plant from the roots, stems, or seeds of a produce you had as a meal. Take pictures showing the planted produce or new growth, and submit the photos to  by May 13th for challenge credit.
    • Scrap Gardening Video (Facebook)
  • Challenge Option #2
    • Garden Journal. If you already have a garden or want to start one, keep a daily log of what is happening with your plants and how you care for them. Be creative! You can take pictures of your garden every day or you can draw your garden plot or plants. Keep track of when you water them, the weather, and if you see any diseases or insects affecting the plants. Send a photo of at least one page from  your garden journal to  by May 13th for challenge credit.
    • Example Garden Journal from NDSU
      Note: Your garden journal can be in any format,  but feel free to use this free template from North Dakota Extension Service.
  • Challenge Option #3
    • Leaf Rubbings. Collect leaves from different plants in your garden (or in nature.) Place them with the smooth side down on a table, put a piece of paper over the leaf, and rub with the side of a crayon until you can see the shape of the leaf and veins on the paper. Do this with at least 5 different leaves and send a picture of your finished masterpiece to  by May 13th for challenge credit.
    • Leaf Rubbing Tutorial (Youtube)

Discussion with Megan Maulden. Have you ever taken a walk in the woods and wondered: What are these different trees? Wonder no more, because we will learn how to identify common trees in the State of Arkansas.

  • Challenge Option #1
    • Leaf Collection. Collect leaves and create a leaf collection from at least THREE (3) Arkansas trees. Identify each tree, and label it in your leaf collection using its common and scientific names. Take pictures of your collection pages and e-mail the photos to  by May 19th for challenge credit.
    • Leaf Collection Instructions and Example
  • Challenge Option #2
    • Forestry Talk or Demonstration. Record yourself giving a forestry-related talk or demonstration. Some possible topics include: how to identify a specific tree, how to prune a tree in your yard, or wildlife observation - but feel free to create a topic that interests you. Send your recording to  or upload to the comment section of Facebook by May 19th for challenge credit.
    • Tips for Giving a Talk or Demo
  • Challenge Option #3
    • Fruit Matching. Using your own knowledge or an online search engine, complete the activity sheet by matching each tree's leaf to its corresponding fruit. Once you've completed your activity sheet, scan or send a photo to  by May 19th for challenge credit.
    • Fruit Matching Activity Sheet

Discussion with Kris Boulton. Every day situations give us the chance to be active citizens. Citizenship means contributing to the world around you and giving service to others.

  • Challenge Option #1
    • Elected Officials Research. Research your local or State representatives, and write down the information that you find. Some information that you can research includes: names of representatives, geographical areas that they represent, and committees that they serve. Write down the information that you find about your representatives, and e-mail that information to  by May 26th for challenge credit.
  • Challenge Option #2
    • Interview a Person Who Has Served. Using safe social distancing, conduct an interview over the phone or virtually with someone who has served. You may also interview someone who lives with you in-person. Ask the service member about their area of service, their experiences, or their duties. You can document your interview by recording, or by writing down the questions and answers. Once you've finished your interview, send your documentation to  by May 26th for challenge credit.
  • Challenge Option #3
    • Thank You! Quorum Court & Public Officials. Send your thanks to public officials or quorum court members, either through a hand-written thank you letter or by sewing a 4-H themed face mask and mailing it to them. 4-H themed fabric and materials can be requested and picked up through your Saline County Extension Office. Take a picture of the masks or your letters, and let us know who you've sent them to by e-mailing  by May 26th for challenge credit.
    • Mask Template (PDF)
    • Mask Tutorial (Youtube)

Discussion with Nicole Nichols. Keep track of ways you care for your pet using a photo or video journal! Observe how they communicate their needs and what you do to care for them.

  • Challenge Option #1
    • Show Off Your Pet. Create a video about your pet and introduce them to your fellow 4-H members. Describe your daily routine and how you care for them. If your pet has any special talents, you can even show those off! E-mail your video to  by June 2nd for challenge credit.
  • Challenge Option #2
    • Careers with Animals. Research a career in the pet/companion animal industry. Write about that career and what kind of education you might need to be successful in it. E-mail your written essay (or a written interview with someone who works in this career field) to  by June 2nd for challenge credit.
  • Challenge Option #3
    • Critter Collage. Pick a species of animal and research different breeds or varieties that this animal can come in. An example could be breeds of dogs, cats, or chickens. Make a photo collage of at least five (5) different breeds, using photos that show their similarities and differences! E-mail your collage to  by June 2nd for challenge credit.

Discussion with Megan Maulden. Learn about simple machines and how they can be created from every day household objects! Put what you've learned to the test by making your very own Rube Goldberg machine.

  • Challenge Option #1
    • Rube Goldberg Machine. Create a real life Rube Goldberg machine that uses at least THREE (3) steps to pour a bowl of cereal. (No milk required!) You are allowed to apply force to start your Rube Goldberg machine, but all other parts should work on their own without intervention. Record a video of your fantastic machine and e-mail your video to  by June 9th for challenge credit.
    • Example Rube Goldberg Machine (YouTube)
  • Challenge Option #2
    • Rube Goldberg Cartoon. Draw your own Rube Goldberg cartoon that uses at least THREE (3) steps to turn on a light switch. Label and write a brief description of each step for your Rube Goldberg machine, just like in the example cartoon below. Submit a photo of your silly cartoon to  by June 9th for challenge credit.
    • Example Rube Goldberg Cartoon
  • Challenge Option #3
    • Simple Machines Worksheet. Complete the fun simple machines worksheet by using your existing knowledge or Google. Figure out the names of all six simple machines and write them beneath their corresponding picture on the worksheet. Once you're done, e-mail your finished worksheet to by June 9th for challenge credit.
    • Simple Machines Worksheet

Discussion with Kris Boulton. All children can learn skills to be healthy and their involvement in 4-H can help. Clubs can follow simple steps to follow their pledge to health for better living. 
  • Challenge Option #1
    • Create a Smoothie. Create a healthy fruit smoothie using either the recipe linked below, or by finding your own tasty recipe! Take a photo/video of you creating or enjoying your smoothie, and submit your photo/video to  by June 16th for challenge credit.
    • Fruit Smoothie Recipe
  • Challenge Option #2
    • Complete Meal Salad. Use the recipe in the link below to make your own "complete meal salad." Take a photo/video of you creating or enjoying your delicious salad, and submit your photo/video to  by June 16th for challenge credit.
    • Complete Meal Salad Recipe
  • Challenge Option #3
    • Plan a Week of Healthy Snacks. Research ideas or recipes, and use this information to create a weekly list of healthy snacks. Your list should contain enough healthy snacks for a full calendar week (7 days.) Once you've finished your snack plan, submit a photo of your list to  by June 16th for challenge credit.

Discussion with Megan Maulden. Join us as we discuss the exciting and diverse careers that are available in veterinary medicine. Perhaps you might even find a career that fits your personality and education goals!

  • Challenge Option #1
    • Volunteer or Donate. Many veterinarians choose to volunteer their time and expertise to help local nonprofit animal shelters, and you can too. Ask your local animal shelter if there are volunteer opportunities or items you can donate to help their facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Take a photo of your volunteer work or your donation, and send it to  by June 23rd for challenge credit.
    • List of Animal Rescues in Central AR
  • Challenge Option #2
    • Research a Career in Vet Science. Pick one fascinating career in veterinary science that you would like to research, and document the findings of your research by creating an informative poster or by giving a brief talk. Submit a photo of your poster or a video of your talk to  by June 23rd for challenge credit.
  • Challenge Option #3
    • Vet Science Word Search. Complete the provided word search (below), containing words and phrases that relate to careers in veterinary medicine. When you are finished, submit a photo of your completed word search to  by June 23rd for challenge credit.
    • Vet Science Word Search

We challenge Saline County 4-H members to submit recorded talks and demonstrations related to your 4-H project. Talks and demonstrations not only help 4-H members develop life skills, but they also are great preparation for O'Ramas! 

  • Challenge Option #1
    • Record a Talk or Demonstration. This week, there is only one challenge option: to record yourself completing a talk or a demonstration. Pick any topic that interests you, and create the best talk and demo that you can by following the tips in this week's Wondrous Wednesday video. Remember that our 4-H motto is "to make the best better," so there is always room to improve our skills. When you are finished, submit your recorded talk and demo to  by June 30th for challenge credit.
    • "How to Give Talks and Demos" - Wondrous Wednesday Video



Food Preservation & Canning Class Participants Preparing Jars for Canning

Family and Consumer Science - Raising Kids, Eating Right, Spending Smart, Living Well

The Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program in Saline County offers instruction in healthy living practices, financial management, family relationships, child care, and community involvement. Contact Kris Boulton , FCS agent at the Saline County office for more information about any of these programs.

Photo: Food Preservation & Canning Class Participants Preparing Jars for Canning..


Benton Chamber of Commerce Flower Bed/Landscaping by Saline Master Gardeners

Saline County Agricultural Programs

The Agricultural division of the Saline County Extension Service offers a variety of educational and service programs in a variety of areas.  For more information on the agriculture educational programs or services contact Nicole Nichols Saline County Office.

Photo: Saline County Master Gardener's Flower Bed at the Benton Chamber of Commerce. 




Service Programs

  • Soil Testing 
  • Forage Testing
  • Plant ID
  • Plant Disease Diagnosis
  • Forage Fertilization 
  • Beef and Dairy Rations
  • Abandoned Pesticide Collection Program
  • Well Water Quality Testing

Education Programs

  • Pesticide Applicator Training
  • Cow Herd Improvement
  • Pasture insect control
  • Cattle insect control
  • Weed and brush control program
  • Farm financial management

  • Service Programs
    • Soil Testing
    • Plant disease diagnosis/SBR
    • Plant ID
    • Nematode
    • Abandoned pesticide collection program
    • Well water quality testing
    • Fruit and vegetable plant disease diagnosis
    • Fruit and vegetable fertility programs
  • Educational Programs
    • Pesticide Applicator Training
    • Fruit and vegetable cultural practices
    • Insect resistance program

Master Gardeners are volunteers.  They are people like you from all walks of life who have an interest in gardening, a willingness to learn and a desire to help others solve their gardening issues.  

Master Gardeners are trained by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service faculty and must complete 40 hours of basic horticulture training.  After training, you are qualified to work under the supervision of the local county Extension Agent as a Master Gardener.

You are required to volunteer a minimum of 40 working hours during the first year and 20 working hours during subsequent years to Master Gardener Projects.

Beautification Projects:

  • Audubon Park in Bauxite
  • Avilla Community Garden
  • Benton Post Office
  • Bryant Library
  • Alcoa Parkway Crape Myrtle Project
  • Downtown Benton Crape Myrtles and Corners
  • Gann Museum
  • Hospice Center in Bryant
  • Owens-Mooney Park
  • Saline County Courthouse & Gazebo
  • Saline County Fairgrounds Horticultural Building
  • Salvation Army
  • Sevier Street Triangle
  • Tyndall Park
  • Veteran's Memorial
  • Interested in becoming a Master Gardener? Contact Nicole Nichols


  • Service Programs
    • Soil Testing
    • Plant disease diagnosis/SBR
    • Plant ID
    • Well water quality testing
  • Educational Programs
    • Lawns and gardens
    • House pests


4-H Salem Superstars Working on Building Bird Houses Project

Saline County 4-H Youth Development

Saline County Extension Service reaches youth ages 5-19 through the 4-H youth development program. 4-H members are involved with projects in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), citizenship, leadership, and healthy lifestyles, as well as a variety of other educational programs and activities. To learn more about becoming a 4-H leader or volunteer, or about 4-H programming, contact the Saline County Extension Office.

Photo:  Saline County 4-H Salem Superstars working on Building Bird houses Project.




  • 4-H Clubs are organized groups of boys and girls who elect officers and are supported by adult volunteer leaders.  The 4-H club conducts meetings and activities throughout the year.  Club meetings typically include the conducting of some business by the officers, an educational program, and a team building or recreational activity.  Clubs frequently include opportunities for leadership and community service/service learning.
    • Community Clubs offer multiple learning experiences and activities. Community clubs meet regularly to conduct a business meeting, address county 4-H requests and community issues, and provide an educational program.  Each member can select his or her own project to work on outside of club meetings.
    • Project Clubs offer one project area to work within through multiple learning experiences and activities. These clubs meet regularly, conduct a business meeting, address any county 4-H requests and community issues and then focus on one project that the entire membership experiences together.  In a project club, all the members are enrolled in the same project but may be active in different levels based on skill or knowledge.

  • Saline County 4-H offers a variety of activities to give all youth an opportunity to get involved.  Below is a list of county, district and state activities available to 4-H members.
    • County:
      • 4-H Cooks
      • Broiler BBQ contest
      • Ross Photography
      • Day Camps
        • Shooting Sports
        • Sewing - Basic and Advanced
        • Cooking
      • O-Rama
        • Illustrated Talks & Demonstration
        • Bicycle
        • Bait Casting
        • BB Gun
        • Fashion Revue
        • Performing Arts
        • Wildlife
        • Crop and Weed Identification
      • County Fair
    • State:
      • Camps
        • Adventure & Challenge
        • Forestry & Wildlife
        • Entrepreneur Camp
        • Equine Camp
        • Junior Camp
        • Cloverbud Camp
        • Learn more about Arkansas 4-H Camps. 
      • State Horseshow
      • Trips
        • Kansas City Global
        • High Adventure
        • Citizenship ... Washington Focus
        • National 4-H Conference
      • Leadership Opportunities
        • Camp Leadership Workshop
        • Teen Leader Conference
        • State 4-H Ambassador
        • 4-H Teen Star
        • Arkansas 4-H State Officer


  • A School Enrichment project is a cooperative effort between a school and the Saline County Cooperative Extension Service.  Members participate in an education program planned and coordinated by Extension staff in cooperation with school officials to supplement and compliment the school curriculum.  For more information on bringing 4-H into your school or classroom, contact the Saline County Office.
  • Successful 4-H School Enrichment Programs:
    • Salina the Cow & Dairy Choices
    • Birding & Best Nests
    • Let's go on a Hike!
    • Healthy Choices
    • Citizenship
    • Yoga for Kids
    • Many more!!