St. Mary Parish Profile

Jimmy Flanagan, Soprano, Camelia W.  |  4/30/2010 9:35:50 PM

You can access a PDF version of the St. Mary Parish Profile below.

Program Highlights

Family & Consumer Sciences
Nutrition, obesity and healthy living are important to Americans and a concern to residents in St. Mary Parish. To address these concerns, a comprehensive nutrition education and physical activity program is conducted. The objectives are to have children increase their knowledge of nutrition and physical activity, understand the importance of time spent in physical activity and increase fruit and vegetable intake. The program known as “Smart Bodies” integrates classroom activities with hands-on learning utilizing three components: 

  • Body Walk 
  • Organ Wise Guys
  • Take 10!

During the past three years, 2000 youth in St. Mary Parish have participated in this program.

4-H Youth Development

Through non-formal, research based, experiential education activities, 4-H participants gain knowledge and life skills enabling them to become positive, productive, capable and compassionate members of their communities. Youth from most schools in St. Mary Parish participate in different activities during the school year. In the summer, many have the opportunity to attend state-wide events. 4-H is more than raising animals. 4-H provides different opportunities for everyone.

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Economic sustainability has been a major issue for both row crop agriculture and the seafood industry over the last few years. Even with recent storms and low commodity prices, the agriculture and seafood industries contributed a hefty $60 million dollars to the economy of St. Mary parish in 2008. Producers and LSU AgCenter researchers are addressing value-added alternatives that will help maintain the viability and productivity of the agricultural and seafood industries in St. Mary Parish. Environmental challenges such as clean air and water, as well as the continued erosion of coastal habitats, persist as areas of concern. The fisheries program is emphasizing the natural resources of the Atchafalaya River Basin and coastal and marine fisheries, particularly crab and shrimp, with a particular focus on the education of Asian and Asian-American clientele for the purpose of leadership development to help sustain the natural resource base.

Who we reach:
12,400  Youth (includes 822 4-H members & 30 school 4-H clubs)
11,547 Adults  (Ag & Natural Resources and Family Consumer Sciences)

How we reach them:
4-H clubs
Class series
School Enrichment
Field days
Web sites
Social media

Expanding our efforts:
170 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 St. Mary Parish clientele. The 2008 total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Plant enterprises-$36,547,943.00
  • Aquaculture and wildlife-$5,696,486.00
  • Animal enterprises-$3,251,304.00

Data from the Louisiana AgSummary website:

Land area (square miles)-612.79
Persons under 18 years old-26.3%
Persons 65 years old and over-13.5%
Median household income-$36,109
Persons below poverty-22.4%

Local Issues & Plans for This Year:

1. Programming that addresses the sustainability of agriculture in St. Mary Parish:

  • Conduct educational programs such as Field days, Farm Safety Meetings, environmental programs (sugarcane burning certification, etc.), production meetings.
  • Establish on farm field plot demonstrations that exhibit research-based information such as variety plots, weed, insect and disease controls, etc.
  • Provide newsletters and web page information on latest "Best Management Practices."
  • Conduct national as well as international educational trips in order to procide leadership and information opportunities for clientele.
  • Conduct farm and home visits to local clientele to offer educational input.

2.  Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture.

  • Conduct educational meetings on important issues facing the fishing industry.
  • Continue dockside workshops and meetings on fisheries related areas.
  • Continue marketing strategies for local fisheries industry.
  • Continue programs on improving the quality and marketing of Wild Louisiana Seafood through better processes for protecting the catches.

3.  Promote the wise use of natural resources and protection of the environment.

  • Continue youth educational programs for coastal issue management.
  • Write and distribute fisheries-related educational newsletters and other related extension literature.

4.  Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H youth development.

  • Conduct educational programs to youth through club meetings.
  • Continue community service learning projects.
  • Continue educational programs through contest days, workshops, livestock shows and camps
  • Continue character development and youth safety programs.

5.  Strengthen families and communities.

  • Conduct educational trainings on nutrition and chronic disease prevention.
  • Continue Parents Preparing for Success Program.
  • Continue to provide Family Nutrition Program (FNP) clients with trainings on feeding their families nutritionally on a budget.
  • Continue Smart Bodies educational program.
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