Nyphette Harris | 4/27/2017 7:34:21 PM
Family, Nutrition and Health
Body Quest Program: North Webster Upper Elementary School 3rd graders are involved in the 14 week nutrition based program where they are introduced to modern technology and innovative nutrition learning activities. Agents meet with students on a weekly schedule and provide each student with an iPad mini to reinforce healthy eating habits and encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables. Evaluations are taken and results compiled for state wide impacts.
Germ Cave Exhibit: A walk through exhibit representing a modern day “Germ Cave” where students are taught the benefits of handwashing and cleanliness. Food safety and health are general topics highlighted through this program. Students are able to walk through the darkened cave that uses black lights and highlighting portion to make them aware of how germs are spread through skin contact and via air. Local summer youth programs are targeted. Hundreds of children have toured the germ cave .
SNAP Marketing Campaign: Statewide campaign targeting SNAP audiences for nutrition messages. Components include billboards, banners, magazines, messages by texts, etc. SNAP messages included are “Eat More Fruits and Vegetables”, “Be Active, Be Healthy”, and “Make Meals and Memories Together”. Two additional topics will be introduced this fiscal year.
-Healthy Communities: One community in the parish was identified to begin a statewide initiative entitled “Healthy Communities”. Local residents and officials are involved in a community forum that identified key components of a healthy community track for the residents. Dixie Inn has been selected as the target community. Progress has already been made to identify needs and options for making this community a healthier one.
4-H Youth Development
4-H Youth Webster Parish through experimental learning opportunities and role modeling of peers. The 2016-2017 club focus centered on “Decision Making” as it relates to daily life skills. Project clubs meet the needs of youth wishing to expand their work in specific areas, including shooting sports, livestock, horse, and Celebrate Girls. 4-H youth are engaged in livestock programming, including beef, lamb, swine, goats, poultry, dairy, rabbits, and horses. Opportunities for all youth and adult volunteers are provided throughout the year, including summer and specialty camps, contests, scholarships, and community service. As determined by the parish 4-H Advisory, 4-H Club lessons reflected on the needs of the youth of Webster Parish. This year, lessons on making decisions were taught to 24 clubs. Volunteer development efforts involves recruitment, training and support of adult and teen volunteers to increase involvement and ownership of parish programming.
Agriculture & Natural Resources
The Webster Parish Extension Office provides citizens with a variety of services in Agriculture and Natural Resources. These include: Soil Sampling through the LSU AgCenter Soil Laboratory. Forage and Hay Sampling, and Water Sampling through the LSU AgCenter Chemistry Department. Staff of the Webster Parish Extension Office work closely with local commodity groups such as the Webster Parish Cattlemen’s Association, and governmental organizations such as the Dorcheat Soil and Water Conservation Board, the USDA, NRCS, USDA Farms Services Agency and the Webster Farm Bureau Federation to increase knowledge and assist area stakeholders through a wide variety of educational opportunities. Master Gardener classes are being offered to interested clientele in early summer. Piney Hills Master Gardeners assist the Extension Service by consulting homeowners, process soil samples, providing scholarship programs for parish youth and volunteering their services in numerous ways. Classes are held at the parish Extension Office on Thursdays in June, July and August. Master Cattlemen classes are also being taught, a 10 week course held each Monday night.
Local Issues & Plans for this year.
1. Continue to serve the people of Webster Parish by offering outreach to clientele. 4H Youth & Family Development volunteer groups, Master Gardener volunteers, and adult leaders will all be served and utilized in outreach efforts.
-Promotion of opportunities within each community in the parish
-Recruitment, training, support and recognition of both youth and adult volunteers.
-4-H after-school and project club opportunities to expand outreach in outdoor skills, personal development and 4-H project work.
2. Agriculture & Natural Resources
-Environmental topic programs (water, conservation, composting) and presentations at parish events.
-Promotion of environmental service-learning projects with 4-H clubs.
-Increased viability and profitability of Webster Parish farms and ranches.
3. 4-H Youth Development.
-Educational focus on Personal Development in monthly 4-H Club meetings.
-Promotion and encouragement of 4-H clubs to conduct service-learning projects.
-Increase recruitment of teen leaders through Junior Leader Club, school, parish, district and state level experiences.
-Volunteer recruitment, training, support and recognition.
-Career awareness programming with teens.
4. Family, Nutrition & Health
-Businesses will receive support and special programming from AgCenter agents.
-Programming for special interest groups such as family and community service clubs, community groups (garden clubs, churches). Head Start centers, Department of Children and Family Services, Community Service groups, etc.
-SNAP clients will receive training on feeding their families healthy nutritionally balanced meals.
-Clientele will receive programming addressing childhood obesity, chronic disease and general wellness.