East Carroll Parish Overall Advisory Leadership Council

Donna Lee  |  4/8/2013 6:52:25 PM

The East Carroll Parish Extension Service held an Overall Advisory Leadership Council (OALC) meeting on Friday, March 15, 2013 at 12 p.m. The meeting was held in Plantation Hall at the Louisiana State Cotton Museum on Hwy. 65 in Lake Providence.

Sixteen were in attendance, including the following AgCenter employees: Regional Director Dr. Tara Smith; 4-H and FCS Regional Coordinator Terri Crawford; Parish Chair/Associate County Agent Donna Lee (ANR); Assistant Extension Agent Brandon Sostand (4-H); Area Nutrition Agent Danna Gillett; Nutrition Educator 2’s Dorris Thompson, Mary Ann Reed, Grace Siggers and Patricia Johnikin (EFNEP); and Administrative Coordinator Sherry Smith. Associate Area Extension Agent Carolyn Robinson and Nutrition Educator Sharon Wilder had previous engagements to attend and so, were not present.

Parish Chair Donna Lee opened the meeting with a welcome and thanked everyone for coming.

Ms. Lee gave a brief explanation of the purpose of the Roles and Responsibilities of Members form. This form explains the duties of advisory leadership council members, allows members to choose how many years they wish to commit to serving on the committee and allows the LSU/SU AgCenter to post the member’s name on our Web page. Ms. Lee stated that the purpose of the OALC is to get the council members’ opinions of our programs. We are more than happy to receive criticism as well as compliments. We want to know what we need to improve on.

At this point, Ms. Lee introduced the AgCenter employees and asked Dr. Smith if she would like to discuss anything. Dr. Smith said she is glad to be here and echoed Donna’s sentiments, as far as the advisory process goes. She stated that she looks forward to working with everyone.

Ms. Lee asked if anyone had any ideas on the direction the 4-H program needs to go. One suggestion was to bring the fundraisers back into play. Mr. Sostand wants to bring Achievement Day back. The program will need volunteers and money to do so. There will be an educational component added to this Achievement Day. It should be scheduled for the last part of May. Mr. Sostand said the money would be needed to provide lunch, awards and T-shirts. A letter of request should be written and delivered to various businesses and churches for monetary donations. It was mentioned that Wal-Mart has a community grant available for such purposes. Mr. Sostand would like to start a garden at the office plot for the youth to work it and sell the produce with the proceeds going into the Parish 4-H Foundation.

Ms. Gillett stated that the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) works with low income families. The EFNEP Paraprofessionals sign up homemakers every year to teach nutrition lessons. They also work with third and fifth graders and other youth groups. One great success story was when the third and fifth graders went to the EFNEP field day last year. The focus was physical health as well as nutrition. They participated in relay races, sack races, golf, parachute games, etc., and learned the importance of drinking water to stay hydrated. Plans are to hold one again this year.

Ms. Gillett briefly explained that Carolyn Robinson does Family & Consumer Sciences work and teaches parenting classes for SU Ag Center and that Sharon Wilder also works with families in teaching nutrition lessons through the Families First Nutrition Education and Wellness System (FFNEWS) for the SU Ag Center.

Ms. Lee indicated that she is the county agent for the parish and she works essentially as a problem solver for farmers. There is a vast array of specialists in the state to utilize for helping the farmers.

Other comments made were: 1) that the Smart Bodies program could come back to East Carroll. It has been a few years since it was here. 2) The Lake Providence Senior High School football field is in the Field of Excellence program. When Glenn Dixon was employed with SU Ag Center, he worked with the LSU AgCenter turfgrass specialist to get the field in shape.

Ms. Lee informed that interviews were conducted to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Dixon. A package was being put together to offer to one of the applicants, but there has been no further word.

Ms. Lee asked if there were any suggestions on economic development. There was no response. She then asked if there was anything else that needed to be addressed. There was no response.

An idea was brought up about forming a sort of boys’ club. Something like that is needed in the parish to keep the youth out of trouble. Anything that will enrich the area is a good idea. Mr. Sostand is planning to start a shooting sports program that will hopefully entice the children to get involved. Anyone in the community can start a club; whatever is already in place needs to be enhanced. Several years ago there was a type of mentoring program in place at the high school called Save Our Sons and Daughters. Adults participating in the program would mentor the youth whenever they had a problem or got into trouble, etc. The sheriff stated he will be glad to help in any way he can.

Ms. Lee reminded everyone to please contact the office if they think of anything later on. She thanked everyone for attending and voicing their opinions.

The meeting adjourned for lunch at 12:50 p.m.

Below is a list of the OALC members, the commitee(s) they serve on and their affiliation with the LSU/SU AgCenter.

Member Committee Affiliation
Jolene Brown ANR Joe's Bayou Farm Supply
Rosie Brown MAL East Carroll Community Action Agency
Umiki Hawkins 4-H 4-H Leader/Parent
Reynold Minsky ANR Consultant
Wydette Williams MAL East Carroll Parish Sheriff
Alvin Minsky ANR
Mattie Dixon FCS East Carroll Parish Sheriff's Dept.

ANR - Ag & Natural Resources
FCS - Family & Consumer Sciences
4-H - 4-H & Youth Development Foundation
MAL - Member At Large (meaning the member serves on more than one committee)

Click on the link below to view a printable copy of the minutes.
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