Margaret P. Alexander
Looking back on her 32-year-career, training women and young people to become leaders and seeing them become successful in their careers was Margaret Alexander’s greatest joy and contribution to agriculture. Alexander spent her career as a Cooperative Extension Service Home Demonstration Agent (now known as a Family and Consumer Sciences) for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, a Home Management Specialist, District Program Leader and Northwest District Director.
One of the many women Alexander mentored through the years commented that her career was marked by, “innovative educational initiatives and outstanding leadership skills that made a lasting impact on the quality of life for Arkansas families and on Arkansas’ agricultural economy.” Now 94, Alexander remains active serving as Treasurer of the Little Rock Departmental Club, a support organization for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing and as an Advisory Board Member of the Presbyterian Village Retirement Community.
In her role as a Home Demonstration Agent, Alexander taught many women and young people to be effective educators and leaders in their communities. She began her career in 1942 with the White County Extension Service and later served in Stone, Cleburne and Ashley counties. Alexander moved to Little Rock in 1967 after being promoted to Extension Home Management Specialist. Her leadership qualities were so evident Alexander was named Home Economist and Program Leader for the Northwest District. Then in October, 1980 she charted a future path for women when she was named the state’s first female District Director. She served the Northwest District in this capacity for four years until her retirement in 1984.
Among her numerous accomplishments are the development of 4-H Youth Day Camps in Ashley County which reached large numbers of low income and minority youth during a time when these programs were first being integrated. She left her leadership development footprint in Stone and Cleburne counties as well developing popular home economics, camping and recreational skills programs for women and 4-H youth.