Richland Parish Profile 2015

R. Keith Collins  |  8/23/2013 2:11:10 AM

Program Highlights

Agriculture and Natural Resources  

Agriculture educational programs provide research-based information in crop production, beef cattle forages, commercial vegetables, pecans and peaches as well as small gardens, lawns/turf and ornamental horticulture.  Richland Parish has a diverse crop production including corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat, rice, grain sorghum, peanuts and sweet potatoes.  Information is disseminated through mailing lists, email distribution lists, text blasts, news columns, farm and home visits, production meetings, demonstrations, verification programs and field days.  Richland Parish hosts the Annual NELA Rice Forum & Field Day, NELA Crop Forum, and NELA Beef/Forage Field Day.  Pesticide safety is conducted through three private applicator recertifications and handler certifications/recertifications for farm workers. 

4-H, Youth Development

Providing an opportunity for every child to participate in 4-H is a priority in Richland Parish. Competitive events such as the giant pumpkin, photography, cookery, poster, shooting sports and 4-H U are promoted to give all youth, regardless of socio-economic standing, a chance to compete with the hope of winning or placing.   Overnight camping is also an important opportunity that fosters independence, community living and belonging. The 4-H Summer Camp for fourth- through sixth- graders is held each year.  Richland Parish has approximately 45 youth attending. Challenge Camp (seventh- and eighth- graders), Jr. Leadership Camp (eighth- through 11th- graders), Co-Op Camp (eighth- through 11th- graders), Fashion Camp (fourth- to sixth- graders), Food & Fitness Camp (fourth- to sixth- graders) and LOST Camp (seventh- and eighth- graders), are also promoted and attended by youth. Youth who receive free or reduced lunches are qualified to receive a scholarship to help defray expenses to attend these camps. The Science, Engineering and Technology mission mandate is emphasized heavily in Richland Parish. The 4-H agent teaches enrichment classes at schools in the parish targeting fifth- and seventh- graders. Lessons focus on life science, environmental science and renewable energy.

Family, Nutrition & Health

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program provides research-based information to help individuals and families increase their nutrition knowledge on a day-to-day basis.  The mission of EFNEP is to empower limited-income families with young children to make informed decisions about food purchasing, food safety and meal management.  Upon completion of the program, participants should be able to solve problems related to their families' food dollars and meal management, which, in turn, will help them become more efficient in meeting their families' needs.  Our most popular program is the Smart Bodies Exhibit.  It is offered to children in kindergarten through fifth grade and encourages children to learn all about the human body, adopt healthier eating habits and to increase their physical activity.  Montly news articles on nutrition and healthy living, along with recipes, are publlished in the local newspapers.  Approximately 2,250 youth and 1,511 adults were taught about living a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and health.

Who we reach:

  1,500  Youth (includes 543 4-H members and 17 4-H clubs)
28,600  Ag & Natural Resources 
  3,761 Family Consumer Sciences

How we reach them:

4-H Clubs, Class series, School enrichment, Workshops, Field days, Demonstrations, Newsletters, Website, Publications, Phone contact, Farm/home visits, Classes, Group meetings, Newsletters, Social media, Email, News columns, Twitter, Text messaging, Facebook.

Expanding our efforts:

335 Volunteers:  4-H, ANR, EFNEP/FCS volunteers, Body Walk, shooting sports, livestock, field days, crop demonstrations, Advisory Council meetings, Facebook.

Parish Facts

LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Richland Parish clientele. The 2014 total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Plant enterprises – $117,857,168
  • Fisheries & Wildlife enterprises -- $1,108,741
  • Animal enterprises – $15,425,173

Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary www.lsuagcenter.com/agsummary

Population – 20,740
Land area (square miles) – 559.04
Persons under 18 years old – 25.1%
Persons 65 years old and over – 14.7%
Median household income – $38,835
Persons below poverty – 21.3%          

Local issues & Plans for this year  

1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture.

  • Conduct commodity production meetings and field days.
  • Use regular mail, email distributions, Web page, newsletter and news columns as well as Facebook group page to disseminate timely information and publications.
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits.
  • Conduct variety and related on-farm demonstrations.
  • Work closely with commodity groups and farm organizations.

 2. Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H youth development.

  • Give youth the opportunity to gain leadership skills through club officer positions, Junior Leader Club, contests and workshops.
  • Youth participate in service-learning/community service projects.
  • Club leaders are recruited to organize the school clubs, provide overall leadership and serve as a liaison between the school and parish 4-H staff.
  • Leaders for project clubs are recruited to work with youth as instructors. Through these clubs, youth are given the opportunity to have the four basic human needs met. All 4-H programs and clubs focus on belonging.

3. Strengthen families and communities

  • Conduct monthly nutrition education programs for youth and adult clientele.
  • Implement cooking schools for adult and youth clientele.
  • Implement physical activity programs to stress the importance of exercising.
  • Collaborate with other health and wellness groups to create community-based peer/focus groups related to nutrition for the youth clientele.
  • Collaborate with elementary schools to provide the Tiger Cafeteria, Germ Cave, Smart Bodies/Body Walk and Family Nutrition Night programs.
  • Use news articles, Facebook and Twitter to provide the public nutrition information.
  • Distribute nutrition fact sheets to participants in the Food for Senior and Commodity distribution programs.
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