Tensas Parish Profile 2013

Dennis Burns  |  8/29/2013 12:54:54 AM

Please click on the image above to view the PDF version of the 2013 Tensas Parish Profile.

Photo By: Jones, Sydney

Program Highlights

Family, Nutrition & Health

Nutrition programs available through the LSU AgCenter 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 is a major initiative of the LSU AgCenter. Programs such as Smart Bodies, Body Quest and Happy Healthy Me target this issue and promote healthy lifestyles through hands-on educational activities for children, parents and caregivers. Eat Smart, Live Strong is available at local Council Aging for Senior Adults to improve their health and knowledge of nutrition.

4-H, Youth & Family Development

Youth obesity is increasing across the country and Tensas Parish. 183 4H 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. Eleven youth participated in four livestock shows this past year. Progressive Farm Safety Day is held annually with all parish fifth- and sixth-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 & 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

167 agricultural producers in Louisiana have completed the requirements and are now Certified Master Farmers. Over 3,000 producers/landowners are involved in one or more of the program’s three required phases. Field day and on-farm demonstration presentations confirmed the benefits of implementing best management practices to over 600 producers. Two Master Farmer Universities are being planned for November, 2013, and January, 2014, allowing participants to receive Phase I and II credits. Three (319) projects are under way, focused on improving water quality in two water bodies in the region.

Who we reach:

600 Youth (includes 183 4-H members, 8 school 4-H Clubs, multi-parish outreach)
2,000 Adults (1,500 Ag & Natural Resources; 500 Family, Nutrition & Health)

How we reach them:

4-H Clubs, After-school classes, School enrichment, Demonstrations, Field days, Workshops, Newsletters, Websites, Publications, Multi-parish outreach, Camps, Distance education, Farm/home visits, Partnerships, Collaborations, Email.

Expanding our efforts:

70 Volunteers: 4-H, Master Gardeners, Environmental camps, La. Master Farmer, Demonstrations, Multi-parish/state/organizational education efforts, Farm Safety Day, Ag Expo, Ag Adventures, Ag Alley.

Parish Facts

LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Tensas Parish clientele. The 2012 total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Plant enterprises – $173,478,159
  • Animal enterprises – $905,323
  • Aquaculture and wildlife – $464,508

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

Population – 4,954
Land area (square miles) – 602.48
Persons under 18 years old – 24.3%
Persons 65 years old and over – 19.0%
Median household income – 8,090
Persons below poverty – 32.4%

Data from U.S. Census Bureau http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html

Local Issues & Plans for this year

1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture.

  • Conduct crop variety and production demonstrations.
  • Conduct precision agriculture demonstrations and assist growers with interpretation of resulting data and its potential use.
  • Write news articles and webpage content and conduct workshops on agriculture practices.
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits.

2. Promote the wise use of natural resources and protection of the environment.

  • Emphasize importance of implementing best management practices and comprehensive conservation plans by agricultural producers.
  • Conduct presentations at agricultural, civic and school group meetings and field days related to best management practices and environmental education.
  • Continue watershed-monitoring projects for verification of best management practices and water quality improvement.
  • Conduct on-farm demonstrations.

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

  • Develop and implement service-learning projects throughout the parish.
  • Initiate garden project.
  • Increase participation in parish, regional and state activities.

4. Strengthen families and communities.

  • Conduct educational training and demonstrations on nutrition and health.
  • Conduct multi-parish parenting training and workshops.
  • Teach classes on reducing credit balances and examining spending habits.
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