This report provides information on funding sources, program highlights for the area, and local issues.
Family, Nutrition and Health
Body Quest: A 21-week interactive nutrition program that combines the use of technology via iPads and vegetable tasting with nutrition education for third graders. For the 2015-2016 school year, the program was held at Haynesville Elementary School with 35 students participating. Plans are to continue this program in Haynesville for the 2016-17 school year.
4-H Youth Development
The Claiborne Parish 4-H Youth Development program provides opportunities for youth ages 9 to19 to develop a greater sense of belonging to their communities and peers. Through hands-on workshops, trainings, trips, club meetings, and other social activities youth learn and are able to demonstrate techniques and skills learned in 4-H. Of the approximate 1450 youth enrolled in public and private schools in Claiborne Parish, 26% are enrolled in 4-H (source: Claiborne Parish School Board, Claiborne Academy, and Mt. Olive Christian School).
Although a great majority of Claiborne Parish residents have been involved in 4-H at some point during their life through livestock or farm projects, today’s 4-H is more in line with leadership skills, character building, and service. Claiborne Parish youth are involved in 4-H programs such as Outdoor Skills, Junior Leadership Club, Live-stock Club and school clubs where traditional and non-traditional means of learning take place. Through an Advisory process that includes youth and adults, an educational focus is determined annually. During 2015-2016, Claiborne Parish youth will concentrate on developing healthy life skills throughout their efforts in 4-H projects, service, and leadership.
In 2014, there were approximately 8,000 children served through foster care in Louisiana (Source: DCFS). Approximately 56% of foster care children are placed with non-relative caregivers. Of those children who were not reunited with family, the average length of care was more than 28 months before being adopted. Claiborne Parish teens will focus their service efforts on developing relationships with foster children and will collaborate with the regional chapter of C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the parish office for D.A.R.T. (Domestic Abuse Resistance Team) in order to positively support children’s foster experiences. Currently, CASA serves 12 children in the foster care system in Claiborne parish (Source: Volunteers for Youth Justice). This service focus is in line with the 2015-2016 State 4-H Service-Learning focus.
Claiborne Parish has one of the largest 4-H Outdoor Skills programs in the state. Through the dedication of trained volunteers, this volunteer lead program has more than tripled in size over the last three years. Approximately one third of the parish youth enrollment is involved in the Shotgun, Rifle, Pistol, and two Archery programs offered.
Water Conservation and wetlands awareness continue to be an important issue for Claiborne Parish. Through the Water Fest program, all 6th grade students are taught the importance of water conservation and the use of conservation practices. The Youth Wetlands curriculum is also distributed to all schools in the parish to enhance youth awareness of wetlands and their importance to the natural resources of Claiborne Parish.
Agriculture & Natural Resources
The Claiborne 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 Claiborne Parish Extension Office work closely with local commodity groups such as the Claiborne Parish Cattlemen’s Association, and governmental organizations such as the USDA NRCS, USDA Farm Service Agency, and the Claiborne Parish Farm Bureau Federation to increase knowledge and assist area stakeholders through a wide variety of educational opportunities. Extension staff works closely with local Master Gardener Volunteers to educate clientele on horticultural topics such as ornamentals, vegetable gardening, and other landscape topics. Natural resources such as Lake Claiborne are an important part of Claiborne Parish’s identity. The Claiborne Parish Extension Office works to educate clientele on the value of our natural resources and how to conserve them for future generations.
Who we reach
-Parish Youth (ages 9-19 years old) 388 4-H members in 17 Organizational
Clubs, 6 Project Clubs
-Adults 3,720 Ag & Natural Resources
601 - Nutrition Education
How we reach them
4-H clubs Class series School Enrichment Demonstrations Field days Workshops Newsletters Web sites Publications Social media
Expanding our efforts through Volunteers 4-H Families, Community Service Clubs, Master Gardeners, Cattlemen, Claiborne Fair Association, Claiborne 4-H Foundation, Claiborne Parish School Board
LSU AgCenter County Agents provide research-based information on plant, aqua-culture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Claiborne Parish clientele. The 2015 total dollar amount from these commodities were:
—Plant enterprises - $47,009,959.
—Aquaculture and wildlife - $2,155,385.
—Animal enterprises - $114,051,036.
Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary Web site: LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary
Population - 16,295
Land area (square miles) - 755 Persons under 18 years old - 18%
Persons 65 years old and over - 18%
Median household income - $34,216
Persons below poverty - 28%
Local Issues & Plans for this year
1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana Agriculture.
-Create a better link between Agriculture Research, and Beef and Timber Producers by conducting Research Update Meetings and trainings on Best Management Practices.
-Provide Home and Commercial Vegetable Producers with re-search based information to increase quality and yield, and con-duct trainings on new marketing techniques.
2. Promote the wise use of natural resources and protection of the environment.
-Sparta Aquifer education for all parish 6th grade students at annual Water Fest.
-Implement Best Management Practices with timber producers, and educate livestock producers about the effects of animal waste runoff on our environment.
-Youth Wetlands curriculum in all schools
3. Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H youth development.
-All youth programs will incorporate character education and the development of respect, responsibility, caring, trustworthiness, and fairness.
4. Strengthen families and communities
-FNP clients will receive training on feeding their families nutritionally on a budget
-Partner with Community Services, David Raines Community Health Center, Cadenhead Community Housing, Homer Housing Authority to provide nutrition lessons, cooking demonstrations and food tastings.
-Smart Bodies program scheduled for Homer Elementary followed by the Body Walk exhibit in January.