Ouachita Parish Profile

Report To Stakeholders December 2022

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

Ouachita Parish ranks 44 out of 64 parishes for health outcomes (2022 County Health Rankings). Ouachita FCS Community Nutrition Programs include EFNEP, Flavors of Health, and SNAP-Ed. The LSU AgCenter conducts nutrition education through series of classes, special events, and social marketing to promote healthy communities and lifestyles. Partnerships have been formed through Healthy Communities Coalitions to promote policies, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes to help make the healthy choice easier. Ouachita FCS also offers the Healthy Beginnings for Your Baby series of parenting skills classes on a referral basis. Southern University provides tobacco prevention education.

4-H Youth Development

The Ouachita 4-H Club focus for 2022-2023 is Mental Health Awareness. We have approximately 650 youth enrolled with 200 volunteers for the current school year so far. Ouachita 4-H has project clubs focusing on shooting sports and photography, as well as a junior leader program and livestock opportunities. A variety of contests, camps, workshops, and citizenship opportunities continue to be available to our youth throughout the 4-H Program on parish, regional, and state levels. These opportunities target the three 4-H mission mandates: Science, Engineering, and Technology; Healthy Living; and Citizenship.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Horticulture programming includes an annual gardening seminar, lectures given to various garden clubs, and a monthly horticulture article in Bayou Life Magazine. A weekly horticulture segment is broadcast every Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. on Louisiana Living on KARD Fox 14. Horticulture programming in the coming year will place emphasis on continuing to build a seed preservation program with special emphasis on old LSU varieties and those specific to northern Louisiana, recycling and composting yard waste, and restorative horticulture projects at the former Mulberry Plantation in downtown Monroe and Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo.

Programs

4-H and Youth Development

  • 4-H Clubs
  • Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE)
  • Junior Leaders
  • Photography Club
  • Shooting Sports

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Agronomy
  • Animal Science
  • Forestry and Wildlife
  • Horticulture

Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS)

  • Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)
  • Flavors of Health
  • Healthy Beginnings for Your Baby
  • Healthy Communities/Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed)

Whom We Reach:

  • 11,436 Individual Education Contacts (includes 650 4-H members and 23 4-H clubs)
  • 569,996 Mass Media Contacts

How We Reach Them:

4-H Clubs, school enrichment, field days, publications, newsletters, news articles, television, class series, demonstrations, school/community gardens, social media, website, special events, workshops, coalition meetings, and virtual programs.

Expanding Our Efforts:

402 volunteers from 4-H, Master Gardeners, FCS and Healthy Communities.

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter Extension Agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Ouachita Parish clientele. The 2019 total dollar amount from these commodities were: Plant enterprises: $51,413,521; Fisheries and wildlife: $7,346,028; Animal enterprises: $26,736,986. Land area (square miles) – 610.35; Population Estimates, Census, July 1, 2021 - 158,768; Persons under 5 years old - 6.4%; Persons under 18 years old – 24.6%; Persons 65 years old and over - 15.8%; Median household income - $44,934; Persons below poverty - 23.7%.

Local Issues and Plans For This Year:

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture

  • Feral hogs/bears
  • Demonstration plots
  • 12 row equipment budgets for cotton, corn, and soybeans
  • Cover crops education

Promote the wide use of natural resources and protection of the environment

  • Revisit programming on recycling yard waste to better educate the public on its benefits
  • Hold a seminar just for lawn services in the area to educate on preferred pruning techniques, proper tree placement in landscapes, and proper tree care
  • Hold a seminar on smarter pesticide usage in the home landscape based on the premise that healthy plants typically have fewer pest problems

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development

  • Growing 4-H in after-school programming areas
  • Growing community service outreach opportunities
  • Increase awareness and exposure about opportunities available in the community

Strengthen families and communities

  • Teaching how to buy healthier food on a budget
  • Teaching skills on mastering flavor with seasonings
  • Healthy food options when shopping
  • Growing small gardens

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

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