Mark Cochran spent 40 years working to improve the productivity and profitability of Arkansas farmers and ranchers as a faculty member at the University of Arkansas, including 10 years as vice president of agriculture for the UA System Division of Agriculture.

Cochran served as chairman of the national Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, which awarded him the President’s Award. One of the most significant accomplishments of Cochran’s career was the creation of the COTMAN program, a computer-based cotton production guide widely used by farmers to help manage costs and improve yield. He led efforts to obtain funding for the construction of the Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences in Fayetteville, the NE Rice Research and Extension Center in Harrisburg and the expansion of the successful Arkansas Discovery Farms program, which now encompasses 13 farms and delivers scientific analysis to help determine the effectiveness of on-farm conservation practices.

Cochran was presented the President’s Award in 2020 by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. The Arkansas Cotton Group presented him with its Achievement Award in 1999, and he was among
those who received the 1999 John W. White Outstanding Team Award from the UA Division of Agriculture.

Cochran came to Arkansas in 1982 to start his teaching career after earning his master’s and PhD in agricultural economics from Michigan State. He earned a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State.