West Feliciana Parish Profile 2012

Andre' Brock  |  7/10/2012 6:53:00 PM

Program Highlights

Family, Nutrition & Health
In an effort to help youth learn the importance of eating healthy and incorporating exercise, the LSU AgCenter conducts a series of lessons in elementary physical education classes on topics including Healthy Food Choices, Diabetes Awareness, Bone Health and My Plate. The latest health profile for West Feliciana showed that 13.5 % of children from 2 to 5-years old were at risk of being overweight and 9.7 % were overweight. Students (600) learn how to follow the “My Plate” example of making half their plate fruits and vegetables and consuming half their grains from whole grain choices. Making healthy food choices and exercising at an early age can help decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

4-H, Youth & Family Development
The annual Feliciana 4-H/FFA Minifarm held in conjunction with the parish livestock show gives students the chance to participate in a variety of exhibits and activities related to Louisiana agriculture. Four-H agents, Feliciana Master Gardeners, teenage 4-H members and younger livestock exhibitors lead tours through the entire event. Students learned where pizza ingredients originate, received cucumber seeds and potting soil to take home, and touched fish from Louisiana’s waters. Exhibitors included Wildlife & Fisheries, LA Egg Commission, LDAF, La Cattlemen’s Association, Tri-Parish Co-Op, and Farm Bureau.

Agriculture & Natural Resources
Commercial horticulture enterprises in West Feliciana include the Feliciana Farmers Market and large-scale production of vegetables and row crops at Angola State Penitentiary. Educational needs of producers are addressed primarily through farm visits and annual seminars tailored to grower needs. Annual workshops are offered to home gardeners in addition to home visits and phone calls to address specific issues. Assistance with the local farmers market includes coordinating an early season tour of farms with LSU AgCenter specialists. Farmers learn from each others’ farms while getting specialized help in vegetables, diseases, and insects.

Several teachers in West Feliciana now participate in school gardens. Extension agents and Master Gardeners work with students in the gardens as an outdoor classroom with weekly lessons that reinforce in-class lessons, LEAP tests, and grade level expectations.

Who we reach:

1,769 - Youth (includes 303 4-H members & 5 school 4-H clubs)
2,327 - Adults (1,382 Ag & Natural Resources & 945 Family Consumer Sciences)

How we reach them:

4-H clubs, School Enrichment, Field days, Newsletters, Publications, Seminars, Demonstrations, Workshops, Web sites, Social media

Expanding our efforts:

150 Volunteers: 4-H, Master Gardeners, Family & Community

Parish Facts

LSU AgCenter County Agents provide research-based information on plant, wildlife and animal enterprises to West Feliciana Parish clientele. The 2010 total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Plant enterprises - $8,696,038.
  • Wildlife & fisheries- $2,007,688.
  • Animal enterprises - $5,778,265

Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary Web site: LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary

Population - 15,055
Land area (square miles) - 406
Persons under 18 years old - 16.8%
Persons 65 years old and over - 10%
Median household income - $50,095
Persons below poverty - 21.9%

Local Issues & Plans for this year.

1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana Agriculture.

  • Increase volunteer involvement with school gardens and other Master Gardener projects to improve youth awareness of agriculture.
  • Organize seminars, with volunteer assistance, to increase knowledge for home gardeners and farmers market growers to improve gardening and commercial production practices.
  • Provide educational information on seasonal issues and specific needs through news articles and farm/home visits.
  • Provide support for local agritourism projects.
  • Facilitate local participation in statewide fruit and vegetable variety trials.

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

  • 4-H members and other youth will become aware of the value of agriculture to Louisiana and its importance in their individual lives.
  • Young children will learn about positive character traits through stories and activities led by teen trainers.
  • 4-H Teen Leaders will develop their leadership and communication skills by conducting activities for younger 4-H members and other youth.

3. Strengthen families and communities

  • School children and families will receive information to help them make healthier food and activity choices.
  • Children and adults will learn the importance of handwashing and other food safety practices to prevent the spread of disease and foodborne illness.
  • FNP clientele will receive training on feeding their families nutritionally on a budget.
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