Union Parish Profile 2013

Jason Holmes  |  8/22/2013 9:33:23 PM

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

Photo By: West, Lisa

Program Highlights

Family, Nutrition & Health

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. The Traveling Kitchen curriculum teaches basic food preparation skills to parents to equip them with skills to prepare healthy meals for their families.

4-H Youth Development

Union Parish 4-H has traditional clubs in all parish schools, reaching approximately 405 youth in the fourth –12th grades. A variety of educational programs are offered to provide youth with age-appropriate competitions, project workshops, camping experiences, outdoor skill events and community service projects. Youth are presented programs on leadership, financial management, jobs/careers, life skills, science, engineering and technology, social skills and public speaking that assist in building self-esteem and future careers. Youth have the opportunity to participate in many community outreach programs. This year these have included activities for a local rehab, TRIAD, town of Farmerville and Lake D’Arbonne State Park. The Union Parish 4-H program offers project clubs in several areas. These are led by volunteers to provide a more in-depth experience for the youth. The Outdoor Skills Club is our fastest-growing project club. The purpose of the club is to teach youth firearm and archery equipment safety, sportsmanship and marksmanship. There are over 60youth, eight certified instructors and many volunteer parents that assist with this program.

Agriculture & Natural Resources

In Union Parish, agriculture is big business – contributing millions of dollars to the state’s economy, employing thousands of people and providing many products we use every day. From forestry to produce and fruits, to poultry and beef cattle and much more, Union Parish agriculture provides families with food and fiber. It also provides jobs for hundreds of farmers, foresters, ranchers and other agricultural producers, as well as the thousands more involved In industries that handle food and fiber products along their way to consumers. In total, Union Parish agricultural products contributed $291.5 million to the state's economy as they left the farm gate in 2012. The Union Parish faculty and staff of the LSU AgCenter are proud to support the food and fiber producers of this great parish!

Who we reach:

405 4-H youth enrolled in 18 clubs at 9 schools
60 4-H youth and adult volunteers
120 Nutrition (SNAP-ED) youth clients
1,122 Nutrition (SNAP-ED) adult clients
180 Cattlemen
66 Poultry Growers
73 Master Gardeners

How we reach them:

4-H Club meetings, Commodity sites, School enrichment, Field days, Project clubs, Website, Series of classes, Demonstrations, Newsletters, Publications, Home/farm/office visits.

Expanding our efforts:

Volunteers - Master Gardeners, Project club leaders, 4-H Leadership Training, Community adult leadership training, Parish Facts, LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Union Parish clientele.

The 2012 total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Plant enterprises – $42,819,354
  • Aquaculture and wildlife – $2,988,421
  • Animal enterprises – $245,710,079

Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary Website: LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary

Population – 22,419
Land area (square miles) – 876.99
Persons under 18 years old – 22.7%
Persons 65 years old and over – 17.6%
Median household income – $37,426
Persons below poverty – 23.0%

Local Issues & Plans for this year

1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana Agriculture.

  • On-farm variety verification trials, field days, other seminars.
  • Write news articles, Web page content, newsletters.
  • Enhance Fruit & Vegetable Producers Marketing List.

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

  • Pesticide recertification programs.
  • Soil samples.
  • Educate the public and farmers about farm runoff by distributing Best Management Practices literature
  • Master Gardener volunteer, provides education and outreach actvities in the community to help residents reduce pollution.

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

  • Provide youth training and opportunities to develop their leadership skills.
  • Conduct educational programs to youth through club meetings.
  • Participate in school and community service-learning projects.
  • Encourage youth to be involved in community & civic activities.
  • Provide opportunities to improve communication skills.

4. Strengthen families and communities.

  • Programs will be presented to families to increase their knowledge of healthier food choices.
  • Youth will learn how to make healthier food choices that will improve their diets.
  • School and community gardens will be used as tools to encourage families to go home and plant vegetable gardens, creating a greater chance for them to access fresher fruits and vegetables.
  • Families will learn how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets.
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