Temple-Inland’s paper mill in Bogalusa recently donated $5,000 to the Washington Parish office of the LSU AgCenter to help fund its programs.
“This donation means there’s confidence in our agricultural programs, and as a result it helps us in meeting our local financial match,” said Henry Harrison, the LSU AgCenter county agent in Washington Parish. “Plus, we have someone who is a part of agriculture making this donation. So it’s just a win-win situation.”
Echoing those sentiments, LSU AgCenter regional director Bobby Fletcher explained the importance of local support during these tight economic times.
“This is extremely critical to how we’re going to continue to operate with our youth and our agricultural programs,” Fletcher said. “We’ve had really good support from our police juries and other public entities around the state. But getting private industry involved in agricultural education and youth development shows they see the value in developing youth and the positive outcomes.”
Plant manager Luther Bennett and human resources manager Ellis Sampson presented the check to Harrison and Fletcher on May 24 in Bogalusa.
“When we think of 4-H, we know how important it is to keep that agricultural focus for the young kids and keep it moving forward,” Bennett said. “It’s important to share the funds from our mill to financially support these programs.”
Bennett, who moved to Bogalusa from Texas, is familiar with the 4-H youth development program.
“My children were in 4-H and were involved in livestock projects,” Bennett said. “We basically went all over the country showing animals. My son showed steers from the time he was nine on through high school.”
In addition to showing steers, Bennett said his son also showed pigs and capons.
Supporting agricultural programs and 4-H began for him while he was employed in Texas, Bennett said.
“I think this donation is a great opportunity to let other private businesses know they can support youth development and the extension service through the LSU AgCenter in their own communities through donations such as this,” Fletcher said.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture