Rick Cartwright has been named director for the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
Cartwright’s appointment is effective Aug. 1. He had been serving as interim associate vice president for agriculture-extension since Sept. 1, 2016, just after the departure of then-director Tony Windham.
“It's a singular privilege to serve the people of the Cooperative Extension Service and the Division of Agriculture,” Cartwright said.
“While we continue to face many complex challenges, I have absolute confidence in our folks and administration to keep moving forward and doing what is relevant and important for the people of Arkansas,” he said. “I am very appreciative of the confidence placed in me by this action and I promise to work as hard as I possibly can to further the excellence of the Cooperative Extension Service and the Division of Agriculture. I sincerely believe in our mission and the future of our great state and land grant university.”
Since joining the Division of Agriculture in 1992, Cartwright has served in a number of roles both on the Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station sides. He has international recognition as a rice pathologist. Moving into administration, Cartwright served as interim head of the entomology department, and more recently has been associate director-Agriculture and Natural Resources for extension.
Cartwright was raised on a farm in Stone County, Ark., and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a PhD in Plant Pathology at the University of California-Davis.
“He was willing and able to step in following Tony’s departure and has done an exemplary job,” said Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture for the U of A System, and head of the system’s Division of Agriculture. “With his deep knowledge of Arkansas agriculture and dedication to the land grant mission, there is no better person to head up the Cooperative Extension Service than Rick Cartwright.
“His leadership and his strong team, are, and will be, tremendous assets to both the Division of Agriculture and the people we serve,” he said.