Avoyelles Parish takes its name from The Avoyels Indians, and is commemorative of both Native American and French Creole heritages. Avoyelles was founded in 1807 and is the crossroad for Cajun culture. The parish is in the center of the state, has an area of 866 square miles, and has a population of approximately 40,000. The parish has been traditionally known as a "Sportsman's Paradise" with abundant wildlife and fisheries, including 2 National Wildlife Refuges and numerous state Wildlife Management Areas. Avoyelles Parish is also the origin of Louisiana 4-H. Established in 1908, Louisiana’s first 4-H club, formerly known as the corn club, commenced at Moreauville High School. Avoyelles Parish remains one of the most diverse production areas in the Southern United States inclusive of 10 commodities with over 1,000 acres in production.