Vernon 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

4-H Youth Development

The Vernon Parish 4-H program has 32 traditional clubs for 9 to19 year olds. 4-H is a traditional agriculture and family consumer science-based program that teaches youth necessary life skills. Some of these include personal development, decision making, communication, economic development, citizenship/service learning and leadership. They are taught through club meetings, camps, workshops, contests, and social activities. In addition to traditional clubs 4-H is also offered on Ft. Johnson Military Installation. Members can join the 4-H livestock club, Vernon Parish Shooting Sport and the Teen Leader Club. Vernon Parish also continues to have one the largest enrollments in the state.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Forestry in Vernon Parish has a gross farm value of 49,166,382 dollars per year. This includes many types of wood such as pulpwood, pine, chip and saw, and hardwoods. In 2020 Hurricane Laura hit and Vernon parish took the largest economic loss of timber in the state at 360 million according to Louisiana Dept of Ag and Forestry.

Family and Consumer Sciences

Currently Vernon Parish SNAP Agent Lori Marto is addressing community issues by working with many different local clubs and programs. A permanent story walk has been put in place at a local park to encourage outdoor physical activity and learning at the same time. Also, programming is being put in place with the Vernon Council on Aging for the senior citizens in the area; as well as the local crisis pregnancy center to provide educational and nutritional support.

Whom We Reach:

  • 6,192 youth (includes 1,115 4-H members and 36 school 4-H Clubs)
  • 2,000 adults (through agriculture and natural resources and through family consumer sciences)

How We Reach Them:

4-H Clubs, school enrichment, field days, publications, newsletters, class series, website, social media and workshops

Expanding Our Efforts:

190 volunteers from 4-H, Livestock Club, family and community

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on Forestry and Plant enterprises, Fisheries & Wildlife enterprises, and animal enterprises to Vernon Parish residents. The total dollar amount from these commodities were: Forestry & Plant enterprises - $58,719,624; Animal enterprises, $30,715,423; Fisheries & Wildlife Enterprises -$ 284,538. Land area — 1,326.72 square miles; Population —47,247; Population under 18 years old — 25.2%; Population 65 years old and over — 47.9%; Median household income— $56,547; Persons below poverty — 18.3%

Local Issues and Plans for This Year:

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture

  • Conduct farm and home educational visits
  • Share news columns, webpage content and seminars on agriculture practices
  • Distribute literature and gardening information
  • Increase Agriculture awareness parish wide

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

  • Before and after hurricane and storm information
  • Conduct private pesticide classes
  • Provide and discuss soil sample kits and results
  • Distribute Horticulture hints and Gardening guides locally

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development

  • Develop and implement service-learning projects throughout the parish
  • Enhance adult and youth volunteer programs through recruiting, training and recognition
  • Teen Leaders will work with CASA, character education projects to promote youth development activities

Strengthen families and communities

  • Family Nutrition Program clients receive training on feeding their families nutritionally on a budget
  • Conduct kids’ day camps on current topics
  • Conduct workshops on disaster preparedness, storm cleanup and house cleaning after a storm
  • Teach nutrition, physical activity and food safety classes

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