Program HighlightsFamily and Consumer Sciences
Nutrition programs, such as Smart Choices and others provide research-based information to help individuals and families increase their nutrition knowledge, gain skills in healthy food preparation, and improve eating and activity habits in order to live a healthy lifestyle. The issue of Childhood Obesity has been adopted as a major initiative of the LSU AgCenter. Programs such as Family Nutrition Night and Smart Bodies address this issue and promote healthy lifestyles through hands-on educational activities for children, parents and caregivers. The Germ Cave exhibit is used to teach proper hand washing to prevent foodborne illness and the spread of germs. 4-H Youth Development
Youth obesity is increasing across the country and Tensas Parish. 207 4-H youth and other students participated in educational programming relating to “Healthy Lifestyles”, gardening practices and improving communication skills. 14 youth reported planting new home gardens this year. 15 youths participated in 4 livestock shows this past year. Progressive Farm Safety Day is held annually with all parish 5th and 6th graders learning safety tips for home, farm and community Over 300 youth participate in Youth Wetlands Week. They learned how to make healthy food choices, the importance of fruits and vegetables in the diet and the role exercise plays in improving health.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
With an agricultural driven economy, Tensas Parish producers must use all the resources that are available to support both themselves and the local economy. Crop production demonstrations are held in cooperation with producers for on-farm education. Precision ag demonstrations promote stewardship of the land and the production inputs used. Assistance with landscaping and home gardens is provided as one of the services of the Tensas Parish Extension Office.Louisiana Master Farmer Program/Environmental Education
Fifteen agricultural producers in North Louisiana have completed the requirements to become 2009-2010 Certified Master Farmers in the La. Master Farmer Program. Over 3000 producers are enrolled in the program and 124 have completed certification with fully implemented conservation plans. Six field day presentations demonstrated the benefits of Best Management Practices to over 375 producers. Three La. Master Farmer Phase I trainings were conducted. Two six-day and one three-day environmental camps were conducted, focused on an in-depth study of the bottomland hardwoods ecosystem. 35 youth and 32 adults, including staff and 26 volunteers participated. Eleven state/federal agencies, two school districts and private donors provided funding and instruction at the camps.
Who we reach:
600 - Youth (includes 152 4-H members, eight school 4-H clubs, multi-parish outreach)
3,000 - Adults: 2,000-Ag and Natural Resources
1,000 Family and Consumer Sciences
How we reach them:
- 4-H clubs
- After-school classes
- School enrichment
- Field days
- Multi-parish outreach
- Distance education
- Farm/home visits
Expanding our efforts:
145 Volunteers - 4-H, Master Gardeners, envi-ronmental camps, Louisiana Master Farmer, demonstrations, multi-parish/state/organizational education efforts, Farm Safety Day, Ag Expo, Ag Adventures, Ag Alley
LSU AgCenter county agents provide re-search-based information on plant, aquacul-ture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Ten-sas Parish clientele. The 2011 total dollar amount from these commodities were:
- Plant enterprises - $118,669,880
- Animal enterprises - $668,335
- Aquaculture and wildlife - $241,769
Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary Website.
Population - 5,252
Land area (square miles) - 602.48
Persons under 18 years old - 25.3%
Persons 65 years old and over - 17.3%
Median household income - $27,157
Persons below poverty - 32.4%
Data from U.S. Census Bureau Website.
Local Issues and Plans for this year1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana Agriculture.
2. Promote the wise use of natural resources and protec-tion of the environment.
- Conduct crop variety and production demonstrations
- Conduct precision agriculture demonstrations and assist grow-ers with interpretation of resulting data and its potential use
- Write news articles and Web page content and conduct work-shops on agriculture practices
- Conduct farm and home educational visits
3. Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H youth development.
- Conduct Louisiana Master Farmer Program training sessions
- Present and teach at model farm and research station field days
- Conduct three Wild Woods Wanderings environmental camps
- Develop presentations at on-farm demonstrations
- Presentations at commodity production meetings, field trips, civic groups and schools related to soil, water, air, plant, animal and people related to environmental education
4. Strengthen families and communities.
- Develop and implement service learning projects throughout the parish
- Initiate Garden Project
- Increase participation in parish, regional and state activities
- Conduct educational trainings and demonstrations on nutrition and health
- Conduct multi-parish parenting trainings and workshops
- Teach classes on reducing credit balances and examining spending habits