Faculty members are located on four campuses and nine other locations statewide, including the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas State University, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, which is Arkansas’ 1890s land grant institution. Many faculty with joint research and extension responsibilities contribute to the NPS Management Program. Working closely with ANRC and the Arkansas Conservation Partnership (ACP), the Division of Agriculture conducts applied research on new and innovative agricultural best management practices, provides soil testing services to the state’s land users, and works with state agencies in the development of effective policy for the management of agricultural nonpoint source pollution.
The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, is divided into two groups: the Cooperative Extension Service and the Agricultural Research Station.
The Cooperative Extension Service develops research-based education and training programs and delivers programs through county faculty located in every county of the state. With respect to the 2006-2010 NPS Management Program, some of Extension’s education and training programs include:
- In-Service training for multi-agency personnel.
- Program planning and leadership for community and natural resource leaders.
- Water quality awareness curriculum for school children.
- Training on BMPs, regulatory frameworks and the relationship between production/biological processes that impact water quality for agricultural producers.
- Farm*A*Syst, Urban*A*Syst and Home*A*Syst programs help agricultural producers as well as urban and rural dwellers identify and reduce sources of nonpoint source pollution in their environments.
- Urban storm water management education.
- Certification programs for pesticide applicators, nutrient applicators, etc.
- Regulatory requirements and required training mandated in regulation (e.g., Regulation 5 requires training for permitted liquid animal waste management systems).
- Sources of cost share and other financial assistance.
- BMP training for landowner and logger education for private non-industrial forestlands.
Extension also maintains an extensive library of up-to-date, research-based fact sheets, applied research publications and BMP manuals and guidelines. Content of these educational materials is carefully coordinated with ANRC, NRCS, AFC and other members of the ACP.
The Agricultural Research Station maintains research and demonstration farms in all the major agricultural areas of the state, where farmers learn about the most recent information available to them on production and environmental methods. Arkansas’ NPS Management Program works with the Division of Agriculture to utilize these research and demonstration farms to evaluate the effectiveness of BMPs and to educate farmers and landowners about how they can be beneficial to them in reducing the loss of sediment, nutrients and organic material from their farms. In addition, faculty is involved in modeling watersheds, evaluating alternative products and markets to utilize poultry litter, designing stream bank restoration projects, geomorphological assessment, evaluating technologies to improve storm water management and other critical projects.