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By Ryan McGeeney U of A System Division of AgricultureJuly 7, 2017
(340 words)(Download this story in MS Word here.)
JONESBORO, Ark. – As summer in Arkansas hits full speed and growers begin to turn
their thoughts from planting and look ahead toward harvest, the University of Arkansas
System Division of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service is focused on readying
new agents to best serve the needs of constituents in their respective counties.
Wednesday, Hank Chaney, Area Agriculture and Natural Resources Specialist for the
Division of Agriculture, brought together 17 Cooperative Extension Service agents,
many of them recent additions to the ranks of the Division of Agriculture’s outreach
efforts, for a day’s training focused on cotton, and the many questions growers are
likely to have as the crop ages toward fruition.
“We’ve had various training days like this throughout the calendar year,” Chaney said.
“We just try to focus in on something that’s hot at the time, and work with a specialist
to set it up. We go look at plots or grower fields, if possible.”
Bill Robertson, extension cotton agronomist with the Division of Agriculture, was
among the cadre of specialists who attended the meeting, and lent his expertise on
the crop, which has seen an increasing return to favor among growers during the last
year. He said “inservice days” such as the one held Thursday serve to bolster the
Division of Agriculture’s institutional knowledge among both specialists and agents,
as well as help new agents feel more comfortable about meeting the needs of growers
in their respective counties with relatively little direction from state-level administrators.
“A lot of times, when you’ve got an agent fresh out of school, you’ve had someone
telling you where to go, what to do and when pretty much your whole life,” Robertson
said. “As an agent, you’re making a lot of decisions without a lot of direct supervision,
and we want to help people learn how to do that.
Robertson said one of the goals of these sessions is to help agents develop educational
programs of their own.
To learn about row crops in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service
agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs 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, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org