DeSoto Parish Profile

About the LSU AgCenter

The LSU AgCenter is dedicated to providing innovative research, information and education to improve people’s lives. Working in a statewide network of parish extension offices, research stations and academic departments, the LSU AgCenter helps Louisiana citizens make the best use of natural resources, protect the environment, enhance agricultural enterprises, and develop human and community resources.

Program Highlights

Family and Consumer Sciences

Classes taught the nurturing way for positive parenting skills reaching 163 parents. Obesity rates were higher among youth ages 10-17. Cooking demonstrations promoting healthy lifestyles were conducted with 650 youth. Parents report youth participating in meal prep requesting vegetables tasted in the classes. Reports show 68% are adopting practices to prevent the development of chronic diseases. Families were taught removal of excessive sugars by adding more fruits and vegetables. Adults and youth learned proper techniques for handling food safely; 45% of those in attendance used this information immediately after class. Eighty-four families were taught family resiliency with creating family emergency plans and money management skills.

4-H Youth Development

The parish 4-H advisory committee voiced concerns that included low science scores on state standardized tests, high childhood obesity rates, and youth getting too much “screen time”. In response to these concerns, a series of lessons titled Nutrition from the Garden are being conducted at 13 parish 4-H clubs. Youth are learning basic plant and soil science and healthy eating habits. Two parish schools are incorporating school gardens to go along with this curriculum to gets students outside and working with their hands. Other concerns from the advisory committee were teens lacking real life skills. In response to this the parish Jr. Leader Club is focused on learning life skills such as how to manage money, job interview skills, how to cook, and basic first aid.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Services, DeSoto Parish has approximately 15,200 beef cows in January 1, 2018.The LSU Agriculture Summary reported a gross farm value of $12,455,206 for beef production.In order to sustain the cattle industry in DeSoto Parish we conducted a series of meetings in which beef producers gained awareness of feeding cattle through the winter, cool season forage variety recommendations, marketing beef cattle, weed control in pastures and hay fields. We averaged 49 people attending our beef meetings.With the utilization of a beef cattle email distribution list, in which I have 163 members, timely news articles are sent to cattleman in my area.

Whom we reach:

432 youth (includes 432 4-H members and 13 school 4-H Clubs)

24,901 adults (3,548 agriculture and natural resources and 21,353 family consumer sciences)

How we reach them:

4-H Clubs, school enrichment, field days, publications, newsletters, class series, website and workshops.

Expanding our efforts:

150 volunteers from 4-H, ANR and family and community.

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to DeSoto Parish residents. The total dollar amount from these commodities were: Animal enterprises, $2,981,060; aquaculture and wildlife, $5,458,526; plant enterprises, $39,822,294.

Land area — 875.58 square miles; Population —27,436; Population under 18 years old — 24%; Population 65 years old and over — 17.9%; Median household income — $41,443; Persons below poverty — 22.8%

Local issues and plans for this year

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture.

  • Conduct quarterly beef cattle meetings.
  • Conduct pesticide recertification meetings.
  • Assist homeowners with lawn and garden questions.
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits.

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development.

  • Develop a young leaders club to teach manners and leadership skills to youth in 5th-6th grades.
  • Conduct service learning projects with Jr. Leader club that involved hands on service with local homeless shelters and animal shelter.
  • Conduct leader and officer trainings to teach adult volunteers and youth 4-H members to lead activities and service projects in their schools.

Strengthen families and communities

  • Assist families by equipping parents with nurturing parenting techniques to enhance overall family relationships.
  • Conduct workshops for youth and adults on ways to practice a healthy lifestyle to prevent childhood obesity that can lead to chronic diseases.
  • Conduct workshops on family money management, food safety techniques and emergency preparedness.

How we are funded:

You are the local supporters and beneficiaries in the LSU AgCenter extension programs. Just 20% support keeps these programs in your community. Your parish extension office offers programs in:

  • Sustaining Louisiana agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
  • Building leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development.
  • Family, nutrition and health to enhance the quality of life for Louisiana’s citizens.

LSU AgCenter State Appropriated Funds for FY 2019-2020:

  • State general direct: 74.9%
  • Federal funds: 13.6%
  • Self-generated: 7.1%
  • Statutory deductions: 4.4%

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture