DeSoto Parish Profile 2016-17

Charles Griffin  |  9/17/2013 12:42:37 AM

Program Highlights

Family, Nutrition & Health

Louisiana ranks sixth in adult obesity which has decreased slightly, yet youth obesity has gotten higher especially for ages 10-17. In order to promote a healthier lifestyle, cooking demonstrations were conducted in after-school and summer camps with 500 youth ranging from age 4-18. Youth were shown how to prepare healthy nutritious snacks for after school and how everything fits in to the MyPlate meal plan. Youth and adults tried vegetables and fruits they had never tasted before. Some of them were surprised to see how good it tasted. Of that number, 75% taken from the a random survey said they would include the new vegetables and fruits in their family meal plan.

4-H, Youth and Family Development

In a response to concerns from the parish advisory committee that youth lack money management skills and have little knowledge of savings and use of credit, the 2012-2013 programming focus was financial management. Lessons included needs versus wants, savings and interest, balancing budgets, establishing and maintaining credit, banking and check writing. Two high school 4-H Clubs and two elementary clubs completed pre and post tests on financial management. Of those surveyed, 65% of high school students and 49% of elementary school students gained knowledge of financial management skills. Other concerns from the advisory committee were lack of teen involvement in the community. In response, the Junior Leader Club completed a service project to raise money for the American Cancer Society and participate in the Relay for Life: of DeSoto Parish. Over $500 was raised.

Agriculture & Natural Resources

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Services, DeSoto Parish has approximately 14,200 beef cows in January 1, 2012. The LSU Agriculture Summary reported a gross farm value of $11,856,083 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 pasture condition scoring, reclaiming pastures, fertility issues of managing forages, feeding cattle through the winter, cool-season forage variety recommendations, marketing beef cattle, outlook of beef industry in 2013 and the animal disease trace ability program. We averaged 48 people attending our beef meeting. With the utilization of a beef cattle email distribution list which has 95 members, timely news articles are sent to cattleman in the area. Numerous individuals have replied that the information they received was very helpful to their operation.

Who we reach:

2,442 Youth (includes nearly 505 4-H members & 12 school 4-H clubs)
2,975 –Adults
1,528 Ag & Natural Resources 1,447 Family Consumer Sciences

How we reach them:

4-H Clubs, Class series, School enrichment, Demonstrations, Field days, Workshops, Newsletters, Websites, Publications, Social media.

Expanding our efforts:

148 Volunteers: 4-H, Master Gardeners, Family & Community

Parish Facts

LSU AgCenter County Agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to DeSoto Parish clientele. The 2015 total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Plant enterprises – $36,775,557
  • Aquaculture and wildlife – $3.129,784
  • Animal enterprises – $37,830,923

Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary

Population – 27,149
Land area (square miles) – 875.58
Persons under 18 years old – 24.4%
Persons 65 years old and over – 16.6%
Median household income – $41,468
Persons below poverty – 24.9%

Local Issues & Plans for this year

1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture.

  • Conduct quarterly beef cattle meetings.
  • Conduct annual pasture management meeting.
  • Work with the DeSoto Farmers Market.
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits.
  • Conduct pesticide recertification meetings.
  • Assist homeowners with lawn and garden questions.

2. Create a sense of belonging among all the youth involved and promote independence and generosity among teenage groups.

  • Utilize"Healthy Behaviors" curriculum in elementary and middle school 4-H clubs to educate youth on how to deal with issues such as bullying and sexual harassment.
  • Provide supplemental science programming through school enrichment for elementary schools to boost standardized test score..
  • Provide programming and a "Career Fair" event to inform vocational careers.

3. 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 and newsletters on building opportunities for Leadership Development in their communities by creating gardens and adding dollars in their budget to improve their household.
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