Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Guiding communities and regions toward vibrant and sustainable futures.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
By Ryan McGeeney U of A System Division of AgricultureNov. 22, 2017
(430 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
TEXARKANA, Ark. – Farming on any scale can be tough. Whether a a multi-generational
farm family working hundreds of acres of row crops or a new grower cultivating specialty
crops for local buyers, keeping budgets in the black and growing the business is often
a season-by-season struggle.
As the “boots on the ground” of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s
Cooperative Extension Service, extension agents specializing in agriculture, marketing
and other areas are often instrumental in making sure those Arkansans committed to
the state’s No. 1 industry survive and thrive.
Koua Thao and his wife, Mai Her, are Miller County famers who first moved to the United
States from Laos in 1982. After living in Minnesota for two decades, they moved to
Arkansas in 2005.
Thao and Her have been institutions at the Gateway Farmers’ Market in Texarkana since
about 2010, selling specialty crops including purple sweet potatoes, bok choi and
lemongrass. The two have also gradually worked to expand their operation into poultry
and then cattle — all with the help of microloans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s
Farm Service Agency and marketing advice from the Miller County Cooperative Extension
According to the FSA, Thao and Her have contracted with Tyson Foods to raise eggs
for several years, supplying labor and management. In 2016, Thao applied for and received
a USDA microloan of $30,000 to purchase 22 cows, one bull and 40 acres of grazing
Jennifer Caraway, Miller County agricultural agent, said that when growers expand
into new areas, such as cattle production, she does her best to help them map out
a strategy for success by first understanding the market.
“I knew Mr. Thao through the Gateway Farmers’ Market,” Miller said. “They had some
questions about cattle operations, so I traveled to their farm to talk.”
Miller said that growers should first understand their own production capacity, and
what that means for their profitability and ability to compete in the marketplace.
“One of the things I talk to smaller producers about is, if they don’t have a lot
of acreage, they need to consider niche marketing,” Miller said. “Maybe growing organically,
or grass fed, or something of that nature.”
While Thao and Her are just two of many small farm operations throughout Arkansas,
they hope to succeed through effective marketing.
“Agriculture is in my blood,” Thao told the FSA. “My family has always done agriculture,
and agriculture is interesting to me. I like being outside and to work alone.”
To learn about microloans and marketing, 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 Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
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 System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org