Ouachita 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

Nutrition and Community Health

Ouachita Parish ranks 41 out of 64 parishes for health outcomes. Ouachita Nutrition and Community Health Programs include Flavors of Health and SNAP-Ed. Nutrition education is conducted 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 healthy choices easier. Healthy Beginnings for Your Baby series of parenting skills classes are offered on a referral basis. Southern University provides tobacco prevention education.

4-H Youth Development

The Ouachita 4-H Club focus for 2023-2024 is Safety for elementary schools and Cooperative Teamwork for middle and high schools. Ouachita 4-H maintains project clubs in shooting sports and photography, as well as a junior leader program and livestock opportunities. Ouachita has added a robotics club this year. Through this program, youth learn about coding and engineering. 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, presentations to area garden clubs, a monthly article in BayouLife Magazine, a biweekly segment on KWCL 96.7 FM, and a weekly television segment on KARD Fox 14. The North Louisiana Seed Preservation Program has filled over 40 seed requests this year. Special emphasis is placed on nearly lost LSU vegetable varieties and heirloom vegetables specific to northern Louisiana. Heirloom varieties are grown out for seeds every year in the Louisiana Kitchen Garden Exhibit at Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo in Monroe.

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

Nutrition and Community Health (NCH)

  • 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:

  • 14,260 Individual Education Contacts (includes 800 4-H members, 36 4-H clubs and 8 Cloverbud clubs)
  • 662,164 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, virtual programs, and PSE changes.

Expanding Our Efforts:

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

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Ouachita Parish residents. The total dollar amount from these commodities were: Animal enterprises, $22,890,961; aquaculture and wildlife, $5,318,149; plant enterprises, $41,964,481 (Source: Louisiana Summary 2020). Land area – 610.4 square miles; Population - 160,368; Population under 18 years old - 23.6%; Population 65 years old and over - 16.2%; Median household income - $45,840; Persons below poverty - 24%.

Local Issues and Plans For This Year:

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture

  • Demonstration plots
  • Cover crops education

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

  • Focus on residential lawn care, home composting and recycling yard waste
  • Utilize techniques gleaned from permaculture and regenerative agriculture modified for home gardeners for easy soil amending

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

  • Assistance for shoppers to make better choices while in the grocery store
  • Getting people together outside being physically active in safe locations within the community
  • Parental motivation to offer healthy foods
  • Quick, easy, healthy meals
  • Mental health programs - both adult and youth

How Is Extension Funded?

  • Federal funding from the USDA/ NIFA
  • State general funds from the Louisiana Legislature
  • Local support from parish government, including police juries and school boards
  • Self-generated funds

What Role Do You Play?

Our stakeholders at the parish level are the local supporters and beneficiaries of the LSU AgCenter cooperative extension programs. Their support keeps these critical programs in their communities.

Each Parish Offers Programming In:

  • 4-H and Youth Development
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Family and Consumer Sciences

For the latest research-based information on just about anything, visit our website: LSUAgCenter.com

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

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