Remarks from Mark Cochran on retirement and the future of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture:
Sept. 1, 2021
“It’s been an honor to lead the Division of Agriculture and after 39 rewarding years in the University of Arkansas System, retirement is not a decision that was made casually or in haste. There is still much that can be accomplished. However, the time has come to enjoy time with my family and to enjoy a new career as a granddad.
“We are the only higher education institution that has faculty and staff in all 75 counties of Arkansas. The Division of Agriculture has high-impact programs that reach from cradle into adulthood. We have programs that address efficiency in agricultural production and processing, natural resource management, safe affordable and nutritious food supplies as well as youth and families and economic and community development.
“I am so proud of the achievements of our 4-H in preparing young people to meet the world’s challenges, and our programs that have improved lives of people across the state and increased economic vibrance of our communities, especially in rural areas, are unique.
“Another noteworthy contribution to the state has been our partnership with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, UA-Monticello and Arkansas State University to continue the graduation of highly trained students in the agricultural, forestry and life sciences. These students remain in high demand and pursue so many critical career paths that the state depends for its future. Our role in helping to provide that essential training by linking our research and extension expertise to these degree programs truly helps to prepare graduate with job-ready skills.
We’ve made it a priority to improve the quality of the laboratories, research facilities, and the more than $120 million in deferred maintenance, but much remains to be addressed so that the high-quality, world-class science in the research and extension programs can continue.
The Division of Agriculture’s land grant mission is as relevant as it has always been. Fortunately, the highly qualified faculty, county agents, staff and leadership are well positioned to continue to make a difference for Arkansas of all walks of life in all 75 counties of the state. With a great team focused on its mission for Arkansas, the prospects for this organization are bright and on course for continued success."
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 and services 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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