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DeSoto Parish Profile 2013

Program Highlights

Family, Nutrition & Health

Louisiana ranks eighth in adult obesity and seventh in overweight and obese youth. In order to promote a healthier lifestyle, 400 youth ages 5 to 18 received lessons that demonstrate ways to eat healthier using MyPlate. Youth were shown how MyPlate meals should look,;ways to prepare healthy, low-fat, nutritious snacks for after-school treats; and samples of vegetables and fruits – some they had never tasted before. Also 10 families were taught how to grow vegetables in either pots or small gardens in order to have fresh vegetables to consume. 70% said they could eat the MyPlate way and were willing to try some of the new vegetables.

4-H Youth Development

In a response to concerns from the parish advisory committee that youth lack money management skills and have little knowledge of savings and use of credit, the 2012-2013 programming focus was financial management. Lessons included needs versus wants, savings and interest, balancing budgets, establishing and maintaining credit, banking and check writing. Two high school 4-H Clubs and two elementary clubs completed pre and post tests on financial management. Of those surveyed, 65% of high school students and 49% of elementary school students gained knowledge of financial management skills. Other concerns from the advisory committee were lack of teen involvement in the community. In response, the Junior Leader Club completed a service project to raise money for the American Cancer Society and participate in the Relay for Life: of DeSoto Parish. Over $500 was raised.

Agriculture & Natural Resources

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Services, DeSoto Parish has approximately 14,200 beef cows in January 1, 2012. The LSU Agriculture Summary reported a gross farm value of $11,856,083 for beef production. In order to sustain the cattle industry in DeSoto Parish, we conducted a series of meetings in which beef producers gained awareness of pasture condition scoring, reclaiming pastures, fertility issues of managing forages, feeding cattle through the winter, cool-season forage variety recommendations, marketing beef cattle, outlook of beef industry in 2013 and the animal disease traceability program. We averaged 48 people attending our beef meeting. With the utilization of a beef cattle email distribution list which has95 members, timely news articles are sent to cattleman in the area. Numerous individuals have replied that the information they received was very helpful to their operation.

Who we reach:

2,442 Youth (includes nearly 505 4-H members & 12 school 4-H clubs)
2,975 –Adults
1,528 Ag & Natural Resources 1,447 Family Consumer Sciences

How we reach them:

4-H Clubs, Class series, School enrichment, Demonstrations, Field days, Workshops, Newsletters, Websites, Publications, Social media.

Expanding our efforts:

148 Volunteers: 4-H, Master Gardeners, Family & Community

Parish Facts

LSU AgCenter County Agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to DeSoto Parish clientele. The 2012 total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Plant enterprises – $37,603,573.
  • Aquaculture and wildlife – $2,515,631.
  • Animal enterprises – $29,533,091.

Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary

Population – 26,963
Land area (square miles) – 875.58
Persons under 18 years old – 24.5%
Persons 65 years old and over – 15.2%
Median household income – $39,213
Persons below poverty – 19.6%

Local Issues & Plans for this year

1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture.

  • Conduct quarterly beef cattle meetings.
  • Conduct annual pasture management meeting.
  • Work with the DeSoto Farmers Market.
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits.
  • Conduct pesticide recertification meetings.
  • Assist homeowners with lawn and garden questions.

2. Create a sense of belonging among all the youth involved and promote independence and generosity among teenage groups.

  • Utilize Life Smarts curriculum in all school 4-H Clubs to promote healthy lifestyle choices and positive decision making and help students learn to deal with bullying and risky behavior.
  • Promote math and sciences through development of a new Science, Engineering and Technology Club.
  • Continue to encourage teen involvement in service-learning by conducting projects to supporting the U.S. military.
  • Utilize Fit 4 The Future Grant received by focusing Cooking & Sewing Club on meal planning and healthy decision making.
  • Utilize the SMART BODIES program in at least one parish school. Smart Bodies is a program designed to target childhood obesity.

3. Strengthen families and communities.

  • Conduct workshops and newsletters for youth and adults on living a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise.
  • Conduct workshops and newsletters on food safety and the importance of hand washing.
  • Assist families on budget shopping and comparing prices using the food labels.
Related Files
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DeSotoParish.pdf PDF version of the 2013 DeSoto Parish Profile. 1,035.86 KB
Last Updated: 9/16/2013 2:00:21 PM

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