Stanley Dutile | 3/30/2010 10:33:12 PM
Family & Consumer Sciences
Information and education to help citizens live well is provided by Family and Consumer Science staff in Lafayette Parish. The AgCenter offers several parenting classes including the Every Touch Counts program, which is offered to neo-natal parents from Women’s & Children’s Hospital and clients from the Family Tree. Other parenting classes are offered to court-ordered parents. Topics include anger and stress management, improving self-esteem and other positive parenting practices. Nutrition classes are also offered to limited resource individuals throughout the parish. Topics covered include planning and preparing nutritious meals, physical fitness activities, and safe handling and storage of food.
4-H Youth Development
Youth Development Research indicates the development of a sense of belonging is connected to psychological well-being. Youth who feel they belong have a greater sense of independence, are more intrinsically motivated, and have fewer behavior problems in school. Examples of 4-H activities conducted to increase a sense of belonging include: Teen Retreat, Get Acquainted Activities at Teen Leader Meetings, Ag Olympics for livestock exhibitors, orientation meetings for participants prior to 4-H Camp and 4-H University, solicitation of youth voice through 4-H advisory groups, and more. Survey data indicates that in Lafayette Parish, 72% of 4-H members feel like a member of the group, 64% feel accepted, and 62% feel it is okay to be him/herself. These parish statistics exceed statewide evaluation results. Lafayette Parish offers a 4-H club program to youth at nearly all public and parochial schools across the parish with eligible grades, as well as to a number of home school students.
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental concerns are an important issue to citizens across Louisiana, especially those in more urban areas. Agricultural programs conducted by the LSU AgCenter in Lafayette Parish have focused on Best Management Practices (BMPs) that encourage agricultural producers, growers, and home owners to utilize farming, gardening, and landscape maintenance practices that are not only profitable but also environmentally sustainable. Ongoing agricultural educational programs in the parish like the Master Gardener, Master Farmer, Master Cattle Producer, and Master Horseman programs not only educate participants on BMPs, but also develop leadership and volunteerism skills. As an example Master Gardener volunteers contributed over hours of volunteer hours and logged more than miles during 2008 in their efforts to assist the LSU AgCenter extent its outreach and disseminate researched based information to the citizens of Lafayette Parish.
Who we reach:
6,623 - Youth (includes 1,623 4-H members & 51 school 4-H clubs)
38,216 - Adults (27,490 Ag & Natural Resources 10,726 Family Consumer Sciences)
How we reach them:
Expanding our efforts through the use of Volunteers (758) in the areas of: 4-H, FCS, Master Gardeners and other “master” program participants
LSU AgCenter County Agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Lafayette Parish clientele. The 2008 total dollar amount from these commodities were:
Data from the Louisiana AgSummary website: lsuagcenter.com/agsummary
Population - 206,976
Land area (square miles) - 269.83
Persons under 18 years old - 25.8%
Persons 65 years old and over - 10.2%
Median household income - $44,568
Persons below poverty - 15.2%
Local Issues and Plans for Next Year
1. Through 4-H, increase proficiency in science through hands-on learning experiences.
2. Through Family and Consumer Science programs strengthen families and communities.
3. Through Ag & Natural Resources, producers, home owners, 4-H livestock exhibitors and volunteers will: