Tensas 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

Tensas Parish is one of twelve parishes with an adult obesity rate greater than 40%. The Healthy Communities program, funded by the CDC High Obesity Program, supports the Tensas Parish Healthy Communities Coalition non-profit organization in working to identify barriers to health and solutions to make it easier for residents to make the healthy choice. SNAP-Ed nutrition lessons are extended to residents of all ages to encourage the adoption of healthy living behaviors.

4-H Youth Development

Programming focuses on gardening, healthy living, and STEM. Programs emphasizing gardening as a source of local food and learning different ways to prepare and serve foods are implemented in Tensas Parish. Families are provided tools needed to choose healthier eating patterns and physical activity. STEM activities are provided in elementary 4-H meetings and enrichment programs. 4 youth serve on the Leadership Board. Obesity is a problem in Tensas and 4-H is addressing the issue with programs including summer school activities, workshops, and the Progressive Ag Safety Day.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

With an agricultural driven economy, Tensas Parish producers use all available resources to support themselves and the local economy. Crop production demonstrations, workshops, social media, and field days are held. Master Farmer field days, workshops and trainings are held annually to demonstrate Best Management Practices (BMPs) to producers and landowners. Research and demonstration projects showcased BMPs impact energy on soil, water, plant, animal, and air quality issues. Horticulture programming in Tensas Parish consists of annual field days, workshops, Delta Master Gardener plant sales, volunteer development, farmer’s market outreach, and collaborations with 4-H and FCS programs to provide technical assistance and outreach to home gardeners.

Whom we reach:

1,325 Youth (includes 165 4-H members and 7 school 4-H Clubs) 3,000 adults (1,000 through agriculture and natural resources and 2,000 through family consumer sciences)

How we reach them:

4-H Clubs, school enrichment, field days, publications, newsletters, website, social media, workshops, and summer school programs. Regular coalition meetings and nutrition education lessons

Expanding our efforts:

225 volunteers from 4-H, Master Gardeners, family, community-lead coalitions, and agriculture producers

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife, and animal enterprises to Tensas Parish residents. The total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Animal enterprises, $496,562
  • Aquaculture and wildlife, $753,460
  • Plant enterprises, $115,737,388
  • Land area — 641 square miles
  • Population — 3,846.
    • Under 18 years old — 21.1%.
    • 65 years old and over — 27.7%.
  • Median household income — $32,962.
  • Persons below poverty level — 32.1%
  • Adult Obesity rate — 47%

Local issues and plans for this year

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana Agriculture

  • Conduct Crop Variety and Production Demonstrations
  • Social media, webpage content and seminars on agriculture practices
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits
  • Conduct demonstrations with focus on soil health, water quality and protection of natural resources
  • Conducting lessons and demonstrations to teach healthy living and nutrition to individuals and families
  • Supporting communities and with identifying barriers and solutions to health and wellness & coalition development

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

  • Conduct Community and Home Gardening Demonstrations
  • Social Media and Educational Programs
  • Conduct Environmental Demonstrations

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H youth development

  • Develop and Implement Service-Learning Projects in Tensas Parish
  • Continue Enrichment Educational Programs
  • Increase Participation in Parish, Regional, and State Activities
  • School Enrichment Programs: Social and Emotional Development, Mental Health Awareness, Ag Literacy, Communication Skills, and Embryology

Strengthen families and communities

  • Conduct educational trainings and demonstrations on nutrition, and exercise
  • Conduct multi-parish parenting trainings and workshops
  • Increase community involvement in healthy living programs

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