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.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
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.
Timely tips for the Arkansas home gardener.
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.
Home to the Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development.
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!
May 7, 2021
By the U of A System Division of Agriculture
(867 words)(Newsrooms: With additional art at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmVycc1F)
LITTLE ROCK — Alyssa Butler, a 17-year-old senior at Carlisle High School in Carlisle,
Arkansas, has had quite a spring.
Butler first won her regional-level competition in the Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge,
competing in the virtual Central Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair on
March 5. Butler then went on to win the state-level competition at the virtual Southwestern
Energy Arkansas State Science and Engineering Fair on April 1. This was Butler’s second
consecutive win at the state level.
Finally, Butler won the 2021 Soybean Science Challenge FFA Agriscience Award at the
state FFA Convention Agriscience Fair on April 26.
Butler received a $1,000 cash award for her state win and $300 for her regional win
in the Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge. She also received $300 for her FFA win.
The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board funds all of the awards.
Butler’s project, “Greenhouse Host Resistance Rate Study on Soybean Cultivars to Southern
Root-knot Nematode,” also received second place in plant science at the regional competition
and third place in plant science at the state competition.
“Becoming the 2021 State Science and Engineering Fair first-place winner of the Soybean
Science Challenge is so exciting, not only because it means so much to me, but also
because of what it means to my parents, ag teacher and school,” Butler said. “I’m
so happy I can represent my school and the people back home in this way.
“I learned that growing soybeans isn’t as easy as I previously thought,” Butler said,
discussing the project that won her the state title. “There are so many different
factors that play into the production of soybeans, from making sure they get all the
sunlight and water they need to grow to the different pests that can prevent them
from reaching their potential.”
Carly Bokker, an agricultural sciences teacher at Carlisle High School, served as
Butler’s mentor throughout the project development and competition process. Bokker
was awarded both the state-level and regional Teacher-Mentor awards in connection
with Butler’s respective victories, as well as her win in the FFA competition. She
said Butler’s passion for plants made her a strong candidate for the Arkansas Soybean
“Alyssa learned so much in her project in 2019-2020 that it was a natural fit for
her to pick up another soybean project to do,” Bokker said. “She has a passion for
plant pathology and will pursue a degree in that field after graduation in May 2021.”
Bokker said that Butler has excelled in plant pathology studies in recent years.
“Her knowledge of soybeans and soybean nematodes surpasses what most college students
entering their first year of work even know,” Bokker said. “She has dedicated her
last two years to learning as much as she can, and her receiving this award two years
in a row corroborates that.”
Claire Green, a 17-year-old junior at Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts in Hot Springs won the
Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge second place award, after having won the regional
award at ASMSA in February.
Green’s project, “Mushroom Meds for Bees” also received second place in animal sciences
at the West Central Arkansas Science Fair and an honorable mention in animal sciences
at the Arkansas State Science Fair. Green was awarded $500 for her second-place finish
at the state level.
The 2021 Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge awarded two honorable mentions at the
state level — an unusual occurrence, occasioned by two competitors receiving identical
Cameron Holder, a 16-year-old sophomore at Nettleton High School in Nettleton, Arkansas,
and Robert Lutgen, a 16-year-old home-schooled sophomore from Cabot, Arkansas, tied
for honorable mention. Each was awarded $250 for their honorable mention placements.
Julie Robinson, associate professor of leadership for the University of Arkansas System
Division of Agriculture, said the annual regional and state-level competitions have
historically provided valuable opportunities for students to apply scientific principles
of investigation while learning about some complex aspects of agriculture.
“The Soybean Science Challenge provides an opportunity for Arkansas junior high and
high school students to participate in scientific research that can impact the state
of Arkansas as well as the world,” Robinson said. “Soybean Science Challenge student
researchers learn about this important commodity crop and its many uses, including
feeding the world, development of biofuels and sustainable products.
“The Soybean Science Challenge helps students develop an understanding of the challenges
and complexities of modern farming,” she said.
Gary Sitzer, a former member of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, said the competition
series provided a valuable “real-world laboratory” for scientific inquiry.
“The goal of the Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge is to engage students in ‘real-
world’ education to support soybean production and agricultural sustainability,” Sitzer
said. “The program also rewards scientific inquiry and discovery that supports the
Arkansas Soybean Industry.”
The Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge was launched in January 2014 for students in
ninth through 12th grade science students. Students who successfully completed the online course were
eligible to have their original soybean-related research projects judged at the 2021
ISEF-affiliated Arkansas Science and Engineering Fairs.
Information on the 2021-2022 Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge will be available
in summer 2021. For more information, contact Julie Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Diedre Young at email@example.com.
To learn more about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative
Extension Service agent or visit uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_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:Ryan McGeeneyCommunications ServicesUniversity of Arkansas System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org