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March 10, 2017 

What is the Division of Agriculture?

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts:

  • Division of Agriculture composed of Agricultural Experiment Station, Cooperative Extension Service
  • Division of Agriculture is not the same as UA-Fayetteville
  • Division is one of 18 entities that are part of UA System
  • Proper name: University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture 

(337 words)

LITTLE ROCK – When it comes to agriculture in Arkansas, there are three names that come up: The Division of Agriculture, the Department of Agriculture and Bumpers College. While they all deal with agriculture, the Division of Agriculture offers research, extension and other programs in all 75 counties. 

The Division is one of 18 independent campus-level entities within the University of Arkansas System. (See: It’s composed of an arm with a research mission, the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station; and the outreach arm, the extension education of the Cooperative Extension Service. 

“In our mission to improve the lives of rural Arkansans, we are committed to conducting research and then extending that research into useful tools and practices that can help Arkansans prosper,” said Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture for the system and head of the Division of Agriculture. “We do this through the work of the scientists of the Agricultural Experiment Station and the specialists and agents of the Cooperative Extension Service.” 

The Division is often thought to be part of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. However, the UA Board of Trustees created the Division as a separate entity in 1959 to enhance educational services to farms and the rest of rural Arkansas (See: Even so, the Division funds and shares most of the faculty members at UA-Fayetteville’s Bumpers College of Agricultural Food and Life Sciences, which focuses on the classroom teaching of agriculture.

The Division of Agriculture is not funded through UA-Fayetteville. No tuition or other money directed at the flagship campus comes to the Division of Agriculture.

The Division is also sometimes confused with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. Created by the Legislature in 1979, the department serves as a regulatory and policy entity for the state.

The Cooperative Extension Service maintains offices in all 75 counties. The educational programs each office conducts is determined locally by a council comprised of that county’s residents. The Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station maintains research locations around Arkansas. 

For more information, contact your county extension office or visit


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. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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