The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Rural Life Conference will feature a state senator and an official from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as guest speakers.

Sponsored by the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, the conference will be held Friday, Feb. 21, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and the opening session begins at 8:45 a.m. Sen. Stephanie Flowers will deliver the S.A. Haley Memorial Lecture at the opening. Jacqueline A. Davis-Slay, deputy director for the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, will be the luncheon speaker at 12:30 p.m., according to a news release.

Flowers represents District 25, which includes parts of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County, as well as parts of Arkansas, Desha, Lincoln, Monroe and Phillips counties. A lawyer, she is vice chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, JBC – Claims Committee and the Litigation Reports Oversight Subcommittee. She served in the House of Representatives from 2005 until 2010, when she was elected to the Senate. She was sworn in as a state senator in the 2011 regular session.

As deputy director, Davis-Slay works to expand outreach to the agricultural community and facilitate greater access to USDA programs. She has more than 20 years of federal service with experience in legislative and policy development, statistical analysis, fiscal and program management, service delivery and marketing. Previously, she was director for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Office of Public and Private Partnerships.


The conference will feature several workshops, a poster session highlighting research projects and exhibits by governmental and community agencies. This year’s conference theme is “Vision 2020: Empowering Communities Through Education, Research and Extension.”

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

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