Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agriculture

Degree Level



Animal Science


Littlejohn, Brittni

Committee Member/Reader

McPeake, Becky

Committee Member/Second Reader

White, Don

Committee Member/Third Reader

Rogers, Lauren


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a disease caused by an accumulation of misfolded prions throughout the nervous system. This disease affects animals within the Cervidae Family, which includes deer, elk, moose, and caribou. This disease is fatal and physical symptoms often do not materialize until the animal is near death. CWD has become an increasing issue in Arkansas since an elk (Cervus canadensis) in Newton County tested positive for CWD in 2016. Since then, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) has worked with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture (UADA) and others to develop management strategies to slow the transmission of this disease in the state. For this research project, three objectives were established. The objectives of this study included: 1) develop engaging and up-to-date CWD educational materials and analyze whether these benefit UADA County Extension Agents (CEAs) in public education, 2) create a ready-to-use packet of program materials and demonstrate those materials for CEAs in efforts to increase the annual number of extension programs in Arkansas about CWD, 3) determine how effective an in-service training is at improving CEAs’ knowledge of CWD. The methodology for this study included creating educational materials for a UADA CEA in-service training consisting of a PowerPoint® presentation providing an overview of information and current management strategies regarding CWD in Arkansas as well as 4 handouts discussing various topics related to CWD. These materials were presented to CEAs and made available to them following the presentation through a Box file. The study included a pre-assessment and post-assessment given to the CEAs prior to and following the training. These assessments utilized convenience sampling to gather quantitative and qualitative data. A statistically significant difference between pre-assessment and post-assessment responses to 4 questions was detected for objectives 1 and 3. Responses corresponding to objective 2 were analyzed qualitatively and indicated success of the objective’s goals when comparing pre-assessment and post-assessment responses. These results indicate an overall positive response to the materials presented during the in-service training.


Prion, CWD, Extension, TSE, Cervid, Management