The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will host the 64th annual Rural Life Conference Friday, Feb. 21, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Sponsored by the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, the conference begins with registration at 7:30 a.m. and opening session at 8:45 a.m.

This year’s theme is “Vision 2020: Empowering Communities Through Education, Research and Extension,” according to a news release.

The conference features several workshops, a poster session highlighting research projects and exhibits by governmental and community agencies.

Simon Alexander Haley, former director of agriculture at AM&N College (now UAPB), initiated the idea of a rural life conference. The first conference was held in 1950 and attended by 15 people. In 1955, Sellers J. Parker expanded the conference format and made the event an annual university program. He continued as chairman for 30 years.

Registration is requested of everyone, even though the conference is free to producers, homemakers and retirees. Early-bird registration for professionals and agency personnel is $50. After Jan. 21, late registration is $75. To preregister, if attendees have special needs or for more information, contact Tamera L. Ford at or 870-575-8806.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without discrimination.