Editor’s Note: In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council, this is the fourth in a series of stories profiling members from Southeast Arkansas and their contributions to the organization.
Twenty-two years ago, when Barbara H. Jones of DeWitt joined Extension Homemakers, everything was done by telephone or mail.
“I have bought a laptop computer and took a computer class this year, so I can keep up in the 21st century,” she said.
Jones is the Delta District director of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council, a volunteer organization associated with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.
Her role as a district director, responsible for coordinating activities within the 25 counties in her district, has taken on new meaning this year since the group is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Extension Homemakers/Home Demonstration work in Arkansas. The state meeting is Tuesday through Thursday at the Hot Springs Convention Center. On Wednesday evening, a Gala, including a reception and dinner, is planned. The program will feature representatives of some of the activities and organizations with which the group has been associated during the past 100 years.
She will also assist with registration at the state meeting and with the presentation of record book awards and in other ways as needed.
Jones became interested in Extension Homemakers because of her mother, the late Mattie Bell Robinson-Hatch, who was a member and urged her to join. Her best memories, Jones said, are meeting in each others’ homes, the lessons she learned, working on projects to donate to the community and going on the fun trips together.
“I enjoy being a member of EH and try to encourage nonmembers to join,” Jones said.
Her favorite part of Extension Homemakers is learning the lessons that help her become a better person and to run a more efficient household.
She said that she is especially proud of being the Delta District director. “This was my first time running for an office, and I was thrilled to be elected.” However, this is not her first leadership role. She is serving as president of the Key Extension Homemakers Club and reporter for the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council. Previously she has served as county Council treasurer, president-elect and president.
Jones’ involvement with Extension is not limited to Extension Homemakers. She is a member of the Extension Family Living Committee, former member of the Arkansas County Master Gardeners and a certified Strong Women leader. She works with the county agent in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Arkansas County Public School, is a county fair judge and serves as the Arkansas County assistant superintendent of educational fair booths.
The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.