Program HighlightsFamily and Consumer Sciences
Individuals and families today deal with multiple issues in raising children, eating right and spending smart in order to live well. Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program-ming focuses on these three issues in providing educa-tional programs for the residents of Concordia Parish. LSU AgCenter community nutrition programs are designed to help clientele learn how to make better choices in regards to eating healthy and being active. The Concordia Parish Little Bookshelf Program promotes reading to children under the age of one. Each participant in this literacy program receives 13 books for her young child during the year. Financial literacy programs are taught to help clients make better decisions in manag-ing their money more wisely.4-H Youth Development
Youth today want hands-on experiences to learn what they are being taught. A new opportunity that 4-H has offered this year is the school gardening project. Youth learn agriculture through planting, caring for, harvesting and tasting the grown product. Monthly educational programs were presented at 4-H club meet-ings focusing on “Healthy Lifestyles” to help youth make healthy snack and drink choices. Also, tips are provided each month in the parish newsletter on healthy eating. Experiencing belonging in 4-H has provided the youth with opportunities to give back through parish community service projects. Research shows that youth who give back to their communities feel a stronger sense of belonging.Agriculture and Natural Resources
The Field of Excellence award was given to Ferriday High School for following recommended pest control practices, weed, grass fer-tilization, watering and insect control. The award was developed by Dr. Ron Strahan, LSU AgCenter associate professor of turf sci-ences, and presented at halftime of a rival football game between Ferriday and Jonesville. This award was well received by Superin-tendent Loretta Blankenstein; Michelle Bethea, principal; and James Davis, assistant principal, as well as supporters of the school.
Who we reach:
3,537 -Youth (includes 608 4-H members and 16 school 4-H clubs)
2,472 - Adults
1,250 Ag and Natural Resources 1,222 Family Consumer Sciences
How we reach them:
4-H clubs, Class series, School enrichment, Demonstrations, Field days, Workshops, Newsletters, Websites, Publications, Social media,
Summer programs, and Health fairs.
Expanding our efforts:
152 Volunteers - 4-H and Family and Community
LSU AgCenter county agents provide re-search-based information on plant, aquacul-ture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Con-cordia Parish clientele. The 2010 total dol-lar amount from these commodities was: —Plant enterprises - $67,313,795
- Aquaculture and wildlife—$1,686,008
- Animal enterprises - $8,177,909
Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary Website
Population - 18,989
Land area (square miles) - 695.1 Persons under 18 years old - 25.8%
Persons 65 years old and over - 15.4%
Median household income - $28,595
Persons below poverty - 25.2%
Local Issues and Plans for this yearAg and Natural Resources1. Tackling saltwater intrusion
Family and Consumer Sciences2. Enhancing life quality through family, health, nu-trition and community development
- Affects more than 7,000 acres of crops in Concordia Parish.
- Salt tolerant variety trial developed on Angelina Farms.
- Saltwater resistant varieties averaged 30 to 45.82 bushels per acre versus non-resistant varieties that averaged seven bushels per acre.
4-H Youth Development3. Opportunities for youth to become more health conscience
- Diabetes education for parents, families and school staff. Programs for elderly addressing medication compli-ance, food safety and nutrition.
- Programs for parents to increase accountability.
- Programs for youth addressing nutrition, physical exercise and positive behaviors.
- Educational focus for the year is “Healthy Lifestyles”-portions, salt, sugar, calories, etc.
- 4-H Days involve youth in hands-on exercise/physical fitness activities.
- School garden projects provide youth with exercise and consumption of grown prod-ucts.
- Youth are provided healthy snack and drink item alternatives to determine differences in taste of products.