Washington 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

The nutrition programs include the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Education and General Nutrition (Flavors of Health) programs. We offer education to the SNAP eligible public and the public on food practices consistent with the most updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA MyPlate food icon. Participants in the programs gain knowledge needed to make healthier food choices on a budget while improving overall health and wellness and decreasing the risks of child and adult obesity. Flavors of Health provides classes and workshops on a variety of topics that empower individuals and families to make healthy choices to live their most healthful lives.

4-H Youth Development

Washington Parish 4-H programming has continued to grow over the last five years. 4-H in Washington Parish continues to offer traditional programming for members, as well as workshops and numerous opportunities for members to collaborate with each other to shape parish programming. Washington Parish members continue to make their mark on Louisiana 4-H with the participation on state leadership boards, participation in state leadership activities and their willingness to step outside of their comfort zone when at state and regional 4-H events.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Gardening and lawn care bring pleasure to many people and, in many cases, provide a source of nutritious fruits and vegetables. Gardeners and homeowners need reliable information upon which to base decisions about plant selection and maintenance (pest management, fertilization, etc.), to avoid unnecessary expenses and wasteful fertilizer and pesticide applications. Weekly newspaper articles are an efficient way to reach many people with science-based gardening and lawn care information. “Let’s Get Growing” articles are sent weekly to two local papers with distributions totaling approximately 7000 people.

Whom We Reach:

  • 6,726 youth (4-H Clubs, School Enrichment, Character Education, Livestock)
  • 32,458 adults (Ag & Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Sciences, SNAP Education, Master Gardeners, Home Visits, News Articles and Publications)

How We Reach Them:

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

Expanding Our Efforts:

120 volunteers from 4-H Club Leaders, 4-H Livestock, 4-H Junior Leadership, Master Gardeners and Family and Consumer Sciences.

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Washington Parish residents. The total dollar amount from these commodities were: Animal enterprises, $29,870,725; aquaculture and wildlife, $3,933,785; plant enterprises, $36,690,815.

Land area — 676 square miles; Population —45,133; Population under 18 years old — 26.7%; Population 65 years old and over — 14.3%; Median household income — $24,264; Persons below poverty — 24.7%

Local Issues and Plans for This Year:

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture

  • Hold watermelon grower meeting
  • Provide one on one consultation regarding agricultural production practices

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

  • Write news columns, webpage content and seminars on agriculture practices
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits
  • Support the Louisiana Master Gardener program to extend consumer horticulture education efforts

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development

  • Develop and implement service-learning projects throughout the parish
  • Provide youth with leadership development opportunities
  • Expand communication efforts to public about opportunities in the 4-H Youth Development program
  • Promote agriculture awareness and careers in agriculture

Strengthen families and communities

  • Family Nutrition Program clients receive training on feeding their families nutritionally on a budget
  • Targeted programming to help SNAP audiences establish health eating habits
  • Teach classes on reducing credit balances and examining spending habits

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