Rick M. Louque | 2/18/2012 1:03:03 AM
Family, Nutrition & Health
Assumption LSU AgCenter Nutrition is continuing to address the persistent rise in the obesity rate which continues to be a serious health concern for both children and adolescents. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Through grand funding, collaborations with the local school board, businesses and other community agencies, and volunteers, nutrition has become a big part of local schools through the establishment of school gardens. Some students are experiencing gardening for the first time, learning where food comes from, caring for plants, harvesting techniques and taking part in food preparation. Students are encouraged to taste the fruits and vegetables in different forms providing ex-posure to new and healthy foods.
4-H Youth Development
4-H in Assumption Parish is a fun and exciting youth organiza-tion that offers hands on learning through project work, demonstra-tions, contest, workshops and service learning activities. This year Assumption Parish 4-H programs are focusing on using Character Education to make Healthy Choices. Youth are given a wide range of "youth friendly" activities and educational opportunities needed to face the challenges of making good choices, while building char-acter. Research has found that youth exposed to quality character education outperform their peers when it comes to social behavior and academic learning.
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Agriculture is a 60+ million dollar industry in As-sumption Parish and through advisory committee meetings sugarcane producers voiced their opin-ions over profitability and environmental concerns. Through continued educational efforts such as growers meetings in which 37 producers were given information on weed control, cultural practices and La. laws affecting sugarcane these producers were able to incorporate these recommendations into their operations to help increase profitability. In addition, through pesticide recertification residents and producers were educated in worker protection standards, spray drift control, and proper planning of an chemical application.
22,596 - Youth (includes 891 4-H members, 12 school 4-H clubs, 106 Jr. Leaders & 41 Clover Buds)
9,258 - Adults 4,668 Ag & Natural Resources, 4,590 Family Development, Nutrition Program
4-H clubs, Demonstrations, Field days, Workshops, Newsletters, Web sites, Publications, Social media, Displays, and Health Fairs
542 Volunteers - 4-H, Farmers, Family & Community, Master Gardeners
LSU AgCenter County Agents provide research-based information on plant, aqua-culture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Assumption Parish clientele. The 2011 total dollar amount from these commodities were: —Plant enterprises - $60,277,161
Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary Web site: LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary
Population - 23,421
Land area (square miles) - 338.68 Persons under 18 years old - 24.6%
Persons 65 years old and over - 13.4%
Median household income - $45,235
Persons below poverty - 17.7%
Local Issues & Plans for this year.
1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana Agriculture (ANR)
2. Build leaders and productive citizens through youth development (4-H)
3. Strengthen families and communities