Alfred J. Guidry | 3/22/2012 12:02:10 AM
Agriculture & Natural Resources
St. Martin Parish agriculture is very diversified. Several major crops grown in the parish includes sugarcane, rice, soybeans, grain sorghum and wheat with a total economic value of $47 million. Other major commodities includes livestock and aquaculture (crawfish) which contributes an additional 42 million. In the past few years educational program em-phasis has been on Best Management Practices for all commodities and the Master Farmer Program. These programs have been accomplished through commodity meetings, model farm field days, recycling programs, and sugarcane field days.
4-H, Youth & Family Development
The 4-H Youth Development program is a community of young people across the parish that are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills in a safe environment with caring adults. The leadership program has grown, with over 80 youth enrolled in the Jr. Leadership project club. The Jr. Leadership club is open to all 7th-12th grade students in St. Martin Parish. The primary goals of the club are to teach leadership skills and allow youth the opportunity to practice leadership, generosity and independ-ence. This year the St. Martin Parish Jr. Leader club members are focusing on the Environ-ment as their service-learning project. Throughout the year they are learning about the environment and have partnered with the St. Martin Parish Government. In partnership with Jacque Privat, the Jr. Leaders have organized a trash pick-up day at Lake Martin and have another one planned in the spring. Recycling has also been a huge part of the club’s work for many years. Including all of the 4-H clubs in the parish, the club organizes a Pull Tab drive and recycles all of the pull tabs donated at the end of each school year. All proceeds are do-nated to the Ronald McDonald house in Memphis, TN. To date over, 5.2 million pull tabs have been recycled and a total of $ 2,208.29 has been donated to the Ronald McDonald House. This summer the club members plan to do a service project at the Ronald McDonald house in New Orleans, LA to further the Pull Tab project and gain hands-on experiences helping youth battling childhood illnesses.
Family, Nutrition & Health
Nutrition, obesity, and healthy living are important issues in St. Martin Parish. A compre-hensive nutrition education and physical activity program is offered to our parish schools. Through the Smart Bodies program, children’s knowledge and understanding of the impor-tance of nutrition and physical activity is increased. Nutrition classes are also offered to interested individuals throughout the area. Topics covered include Diabetes Awareness, Choose MyPlate and Safe Food Preservation. Clientele is reached through classes, dem-onstrations, news articles and bulletins.
42,875 Youth (includes 1000 4-H members, 37 school 4-H clubs, 1 community club and 3 special inter-est clubs)
5,443 Adults (includes 5,300 Ag & Natural Resources and 143 Family & Consumer Sciences)
4-H clubs, Class series, School Enrichment, Demonstrations, Field days, Workshops, Newsletters, Web sites, Publications, and Social media.
300 Volunteers - 4-H, Master Gardeners, Family & Community, Master Horsemen, Agriculture & Natural Resources
LSU AgCenter County Agents provide re-search-based information on plant, aquacul-ture, wildlife and animal enterprises to St. Martin Parish clientele. The 2010 total dol-lar amount from these commodities were:
Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary Web site: LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary
Population - 52,217
Land area (square miles) - 739.85
Persons under 18 years old - 26.7%
Persons 65 years old and over - 10.9%
Median household income - $37,779
Persons below poverty - 19.5%
1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana Agriculture.
2. Promote the wise use of natural resources and protection of the environment.
3. Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H youth devel-opment.
4. Strengthen families and communities