The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas’ Division of Agriculture. With offices in all 75 counties, our faculty and staff provide educational programs and research-based information to the people of Arkansas. From agricultural programs to family financial management to youth education, we offer educational programs that have immediate and practical applications.
Approximately 30,000 farms in Arkansas produce beef cattle. The average herd size is 30 head with 80 percent of the farms having less than 50 head. About 97 percent of the beef cattle farms are family owned and operated. There are 1.8 million cows and calves with total cash value over $432 million. The total economic impact of the Arkansas beef cattle industry is over $1.4 billion.
Beef cattle producers who are applying Extension recommended management practices have improved beef cattle efficiency and profits. The Animal Science section uses a number of activities to educate beef cattle producers about cost-effective management practices. Educational activities include county programs, field days, news articles, beef/forage field days, ration balancing, 300 Days of Grazing Program, Cow Herd Performance Testing Program, On-Farm Bull Testing Program and Beef Quality Assurance.
Arkansas has an approximate equine population of 160, 000. Sixty thousand households have horses. A combination of horse maintenance costs, capital investment, and support costs makes this a $3.5 billion industry. Recreation is the number one reason for horse ownership, with trail riding, weekend horse shows, and rodeo events the leading pastimes. Although there is a thoroughbred race track that contributes to the local economy seasonally through training facilities and on-site wagering, there are a number of thoroughbred breeding farms that operate year-round in the state.