St. Helena 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

Healthy communities are communities where people come together to make their communities better for everyone through collaboration, community ownership, inclusive approaches and long-term, positive commitment to healthy lifestyles.

Our Mission: To educate, to empower, and to motivate the resident of St. Helena by providing opportunities to develop a more accessible and healthier lifestyle.

Goals: Promote healthy eating and physical activity environments through a systemic, community-driven approach to reduce obesity.

Partnership: St. Helena Healthy Communities Coalition has partnered with several organizations in order to actualize our mission of transforming St. Helena Parish into a Healthier Community., Partnerships include St. Helena Parish School District, Southeast Community Health Systems, Council on Aging, St. Helena Police Jury, St. Helena Cattle Company., etc. Throughout partnerships we have made many positive impacts in the community.

4-H Youth Development

The St. Helena 4-H program is an informal educational experience for youth. Boys and girls between the ages of nine and nineteen are given opportunities to make new friends, learn new things and possibly go to new places. Youth can develop life skills such as self-esteem, decision making and citizen responsibility to make them positive and contributing members in their communities. The Cloverbuds program reaches younger members from age four to eight. 4-H also has a dynamic volunteer system that reaches youth in many educational ways in St. Helena Parish. We have a total of 22 certified volunteers and overnight chaperons in St. Helena Parish. 90% of youth have expressed how 4-H has help to become a better person and to use the six pillars of character throughout life.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

The St. Helena Forestry Association, organized over 20 years ago, is the ‘Voice of Forestry’ in St. Helena Parish. The $22 million industry accounts for approximately 48% of the parish’s Gross Domestic Product. Meeting was held to structure the new ordnance for timber harvesting. Also, St. Helena Cattleman Co., held monthly meeting for new farmers.

Whom We Reach:

19,504 - Youth contacts (includes 150 4-H members, Cloverbuds needs are met as needed) 1,100 - Adult contact, 1,100 Ag & Natural Resource & Family Consumer Sciences

How We Reach Them:

  • 4-H clubs, Class series, School Enrichment, Demonstrations, Field days, Workshops, Newsletters, Web sites, Publications and Social media

Expanding our efforts:

  • 67 volunteers from 4-H, Master Gardeners, cattlemen and forestry landowners Local Issues & Plans for this year. High school students will learn money management through the LYFE Literacy program.

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter County Agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to St. Helena Parish clientele. The 2018 total dollar amounts from these commodities were:

  • Plant enterprises - $22,550,420
  • Animal enterprises - $32,365,911
  • Wildlife Enterprises - $3,240,368

Land area — 408.40 square miles; Population —10,912; Population under 18 years old — 20.8%; Population 65 years old and over— 19.9%; Median household income — $40,857; Persons below poverty— 25.3%

Local issues and plans for this year

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture

  • Conduct Ag Field Days
  • Demonstrate new disease resistant varieties of vegetables
  • Write news column, webpage content and seminars on agriculture practices
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits
  • Monthly meeting, St. Helena Cattlemen Co. management
  • Collaborate with local farmers to improve the community's access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and other local food products
  • Collaborate with local farmers to improve the local food system by increasing the business's capacity to process and store products through the purchase of necessary equipment

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

  • Youth learn about wetland conservation during the ‘in school’ Wetlands Week program
  • Forestry landowners will learn the wise use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) through field days.

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development

  • Develop and implement service-learning projects throughout the parish.
  • School and community gardeners will develop community vegetable garden as a community service project, and flower garden to beautify the grounds at the St. Helena Parish Schools
  • Introduce agriculture and its importance to youth through Ag Day, Ag Wonders and AgMagic
  • Youth and family involvement in livestock shows
  • Collaborate with youth leaders to create healthier communities by advocating for policy, system and environmental changes through the St. Helena H.Y.P.E. Coalition.

How the LSU AgCenter can assist the community to address the current Parish situation

  • Collaborate with community agencies to address the nutrition and physical activity environments in the parish through a systemic, commuity-driven approach to reduce obesity.
  • Target programming to help residents establish healthful eating habits and physically active lifestyles.

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

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture