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By Ryan McGeeney U of A System Division of AgricultureFeb. 2, 2018
(372 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
JONESBORO, Ark. – The Arkansas Soil & Water Education Conference & Irrigation Expo
celebrated its 20th anniversary on Wednesday, bringing researchers and experts in the science underlying
the health and success of farming in the Southern Plains with growers, consultants
and other agriculture industry professionals.
More than a dozen speakers delivered the latest on research into sustainable agriculture,
the effects of compaction in Delta soils, data-driven precision agriculture and other
Michele Reba, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural
Research Service at the Delta Water Management Unit at Arkansas State University in
Jonesboro, said the annual conference tends to oscillate its focus one year to the
next, from soil to water.
“In my six years with the conference, we continue to push the ideas of innovation
in production,” said Reba, who serves on the conference’s steering committee. “We
don’t want to sit back on our heels, saying, ‘we know how to do all this stuff, we’re
doing it as best as we can.’ Instead of saying that, we’re saying ‘we’re doing things
well, but what can we do better?’ How can we manage our resources — sustaining yields,
but using less resources?”
The occasion was also marked by the presentation of the conference’s Outstanding Conservationist
of the Year award to Tina Grey Teague, the very woman who founded the conference in
“I was called ‘an entomologist who wouldn’t mind her own business,’” said Teague,
who has a joint appointment with Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas
System Division of Agriculture. She said that she founded the first conference, in
part, to bring together Cooperative Extension Service agents and researchers with
the Natural Resources Conservation Service operating in the same geographical area,
as well as provide an opportunity for consultants in the area to earn continuing education
credits without having to travel to Little Rock.
The conference also featured a trade show with about 20 participating sponsors, a
facet only in its third year at the conference. Teague said the participation of such
sponsors has allowed conference organizers to expand the list of invited speakers
to include more individuals from outside the immediate region.
To learn about soil health and water conservation, 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.
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Media Contact: Ryan McGeeney firstname.lastname@example.org 501-671-2120