John W. Arceneaux, Faul, Terril D., Morgan, Johnny W. | 11/30/2005 11:08:28 PM
The winners of this year’s Louisiana 4-H educational trip to New Orleans had to make a few adjustments to their plans, but they still had a good time, according to organizers at the LSU AgCenter.
The New Orleans trip usually is the reward for winners from across Louisiana in the 4-H Good Provider Contest, as well as state winners in certain 4-H record book categories and 4-H University contests.
The Good Provider program, which originated more than 60 years ago, has honored its winners in New Orleans for at least 25-30 years. Other winners of statewide contests also have participated in the three-day New Orleans educational trip, which for many years has culminated with an awards luncheon in the Superdome.
But the usual trip just wasn’t possible this year because of the damage to the Superdome and other parts of the city from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. So LSU AgCenter officials planned a similar trip to Baton Rouge for the winners.
Terril Faul, head of the LSU AgCenter’s statewide 4-H program, said the change brought the 4-H’ers to Baton Rouge Nov. 20-22 and moved the awards luncheon to the Lod Cook Conference Center on the LSU campus. Faul says the Baton Rouge location was a "natural fit" for the trip and luncheon.
"I think with LSU being right here and with 4-H being a part of the LSU AgCenter, it really ties the two together very well," Faul said, adding, "We were proud to host the luncheon this year, but we also look forward to being in New Orleans again as its recovery process continues."
In another program to the Good Provider program this year, interviews and home visits that ordinarily are conducted with contestants during the fall couldn’t be completed this year in the aftermath of the hurricanes. Nevertheless, Johnny Arceneaux, an extension associate with the LSU AgCenter’s state 4-H office, said the types of projects each 4-H’er was involved in show more than ample reasons for them to be honored.
"These kids are examples of what others should be and can be," Arceneaux said of the youngsters from across the state. "I was moved by being with them."
Arceneaux also said the youngsters demonstrated the spirit that will be needed to rebuild New Orleans and other areas of the state affected by the storms.
In addition to the awards luncheon, youngsters also participated in a tour of LSU’s Rural Life Museum and the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center, dinner at the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center, a "space mission" in the Challenger Learning Center and the "Amazing Caves" educational movie at the Louisiana Arts and Sciences Center, a trip to Alligator Bayou and tours of LSU football’s All-American Hall of Fame and Tiger Stadium.
The youngsters named as this year’s Good Provider winners were Ben Alday of St. Charles Parish; Nicholas Broussard, Vermilion; Jessica Brumley, Caddo; Rebecca Cavin, Concordia; Conrad Cable, Union; Nathan Hamblin, Caddo; Alex LeBlanc, Vermilion; Hayley Masters, Ouachita; Emmy Mouton, Iberia; Brooke Prather, St. Landry; and Halie Verret, Iberville.
Adults recognized for their service as 4-H volunteer leaders were Rhonda Gunnell of Washington Parish, Cathy Mouton from Iberia Parish and Sandra Brumley of Caddo Parish.
Youngsters who participated in this year’s trip because of their wins at 4-H University or in state 4-H record book contests were Luke Arceneaux and Matthew Doucet of St. James Parish for their win in the automotive care, safety and driving contest; Emily Berard and Lacey Boleyn, Lafayette Parish, consumer foods judging; Justin Cantu, St. Martin, communication; Claire Galley, Calcasieu, animal science; Elizabeth Huber, Caddo, family life; Katie LeBlanc, West Baton Rouge, rabbits; and Lauren Mouton, Vermilion, community study and service.
The events this year were sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana 4-H Foundation, Louisiana 4-H Executive Committee, New Orleans Area Agribusiness Council and DEMCO.
For more information on the variety of 4-H activities, ranging from computers to pet care, as well as the host of other educational programs for youth and adults offered by the LSU AgCenter, contact your parish AgCenter Extension office or visit www.lsuagcenter.com.