POCAHONTAS – For extension personnel with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, heat is just part of the job.

With heat advisories in effect for all but four counties in Arkansas recently, tactics for staying cool was top of mind for agents, farmers and others whose work is outdoors.

“Drink lots of water, try to do field visits as early as possible,” said Mike Andrews, Randolph County extension staff chair for the Division of Agriculture. “But I have been in the field most of the time this week, and I gotta go when it’s ‘go time’.

“I might drop by a rice field in a little while and take a dunk or two,” he said.

Nita Cooper, Boone County extension staff chair, said that during 4-H junior camp held earlier this week, “we kept reminding 4-Hers to fill up water bottles and drink.”

In White County, Extension Agent Sherri Sanders keeps “iced bottled water in my truck and when I spray demo plots I do it early before work or later after work.”

In Jackson County, Extension Agent Matthew Davis uses “autostart on my truck to cool it down before I get there.” He also looks for the shade trees; wears shorts and brings a change of clothing to work.

However, even the best laid plans for dodging the heat don’t always work.

Robert Goodson, Phillips County extension agent for the Division of Agriculture, recommends “staying inside after lunch. Now, if I could just figure out how to do that.”

For more information on summer heat safety, see: https://www.uaex.edu/media-resources/news/june2018/06-01-2018-Ark-summertime-safety.aspx

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.

— Mary Hightower is director of Communication Services at the U of A System Division of Agriculture.