Northwest Region Newsletter - Feb. 2009

Patrick D. Colyer, Van Osdell, Mary Ann




Chesser, Peterson participating in MPC master plan

Grace Peterson, assistant extension agent, and Vicky Chesser, FNP regional coordinator, shared the resources of FNP and the LSU AgCenter nutrition programs with local stakeholders during a webinar Feb. 25.

The presentation, Sustainable Neighborhoods: Foods, Markets and Redevelopment of Healthy Places, was filled with ideas for enhancing community nutrition education outreach and nutrition from the garden efforts in northwest Louisiana.

The two conducted a presentation to the Metropolitan Planning Commission and Zoning Board a few weeks ago regarding food systems, food security and health and wellness as they relate to that plan. The webinar was a follow-up to that meeting.

Chesser said the group was impressed with the FNP program and LSU AgCenter’s position as being a resource to the process. Chesser requested the commission form a health and wellness committee.

Access to healthy foods and neighborhood food markets is an area of increasing interest to community developers. Food-related economic development is an important component of sustainable communities, Chesser said.

Representatives from Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation, Parish of Caddo, Metropolitan Planning Commission, City of Shreveport, Northwest Louisiana Council of Government, Highland Area Partnership and Turning Point Services were represented at the webinar.

During discussion, Robin Jenkins, supervisor of youth programs for SPAR, said children are more likely to eat vegetables they grow themselves.

Almond repeating Wal-Mart Smart Portions class

Joan Almond, nutrition agent, is more than halfway through an eight-week Smart Portions class at Wal-Mart in Minden. In Almond’s recent weekly report, she said weight loss is 40.5 pounds for 14 participants who weighed in.

An average of 35 people are in attendance each week.

The employees have had a “party,” which is a reward for their safety record. Each week that they go without an accident, they get to have a party. Interestingly, the food they have been serving is primarily fresh fruits, vegetables and low-fat dip, said Almond.

LSU AgCenter hosts cotton, feed grain meeting in Natchitoches

Fifty people attended a cotton and feed grain production meeting conducted by the LSU AgCenter for Natchitoches and Red River parishes on Feb. 20 in Natchitoches.

Topics included weed resistance, soybean and feed grain varieties, utilizing organic fertilizer in cotton systems and market updates, as well as several other timely topics for cotton and feed grain systems.

25th annual Forestry Forum set for March 12

The 25th annual Ark-La-Tex Forestry Forum will be held Thursday, March 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Airport Financial Plaza in Shreveport.

Even though the current economic picture isn’t bright, there are still opportunities for forest landowners to make progress, said Ricky Kilpatrick, area forestry agent for the LSU AgCenter.

Sponsors are the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana Forestry Association, Northwest Louisiana Extension Forestry Advisory Committee and the Ark-La-Tex Ag Council.

Registration by March 9 is $20,and $25 thereafter. Lunch is included.

Send the fee along with your name and address to Forestry Forum, P. O. Box 370, Benton, La. 71006-0370.

Topics include Visions for Louisiana’s Forests by Wade Dubea, assistant commissioner, state forester, Baton Rouge; Managing Forests in a Depressed Market by Bill Hubbard, southern regional extension forester, University of Georgia; New Tax Laws for Timber and Mineral Rights Considerations by Paul Spillers, tax attorney; Safety in the Forest by Don Reed, LSU AgCenter professor; Louisiana Forestry Issues by Buck Vandersteen, executive director, Louisiana Forestry Association; and Impact of Regeneration Decisions on Timber Production by Dr. Mike Blazier, forest research project leader, LSU AgCenter.

·The National Association of Interpreters (park naturalists, etc.) held its annual meeting in Shreveport February 26-28 at the Holiday Inn Financial Plaza with Kilpatrick having an exhibit on common yard tree problems and giving a presentation on the success of the environmental education program at Oil City Elementary School.

Kilpatrick also gave a presentation on Project Learning Tree at the Southwest Louisiana Forestry Forum on Feb. 28 in DeRidder.

Pyzner exhibits at Pecan Show

John Pyzner, pecan and fruit extension specialist, exhibited at the 2009 Louisiana State Pecan Show at Ag Expo in West Monroe recently.

He was assisted by Louisiana pecan growers in answering questions from show attendees. Ag Expo had an attendance of 9,342.

Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners Cynthia Murray, Catherine Jack, Randa Durham, Betty Lawrence and Debby Evans assisted preparing pecan entries for display and judging. Ruthie Clark from the Pecan Station also assisted in preparing pecans for display. Charlie Graham, horticulturist, and Jon Lowe, retired Caddo Parish county agent, judged the show.

The Pecan Show attracted a lot of attention with 92 pecan entries representing 26 varieties and 17 native selections. Fifteen growers representing nine parishes participated.

13th Annual Greenhouse Tomato Seminar held

Vegetable growers learned about the greenhouse tomato industry at the LSU AgCenter Red River Research Station’s 13th Annual Greenhouse Tomato Seminar Feb. 27.

Dr. H.Y. Hanna discussed grafting, new cultivars, new growing media made of recycled glass, recycling growing media, successful cultural practices and pollinating techniques.

A tour of the greenhouses was conducted.


Joan Almond was recently named FCS coordinator for the Northwest Region and Gwen Fontenot will be parish chair in Natchitoches.

4-H News

Caddo thanks legislators, marches in parade

During February, Caddo 4-H agents and students thanked several area legislators for their support with goodie baskets and also attended Caddo Parish Commission and Caddo Parish School Board meetings.

Caddo 4-H also had a float in the Highland Parade on Feb. 22.

Livestock show produces winners from Northwest Region

Hundreds of young people from across Louisiana were named state champions during the 74th Annual LSU AgCenter 4-H and FFA Livestock Show Presented by Price LeBlanc Feb. 14-21 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales.

To qualify for the state show, the competitors first had to participate in parish and district livestock shows across Louisiana. At the state show, which is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, more than 3,000 young people competed with more than 6,000 animals.

Judges at the LSU AgCenter Livestock Show determined 2009 state champions in various breeds of beef and dairy cattle, goats, hogs, poultry and sheep.

Following is a list of winners in various livestock categories and their home parishes and 4-H or FFA affiliation:

Exhibition Poultry

Champion Old English Game – Peyton Igo, Webster 4-H.

Market Swine

Champion Duroc – Reed Martin, Natchitoches 4-H.

Breeding Beef

Champion Louisiana-bred Angus Heifer – Daniel McFarland, Caddo 4-H.

Reserve Champion and Reserve Champion Louisiana-bred Limousin Bull – Ariel McDonald, Natchitoches 4-H.

Champion Limousin Heifer – Amber Shamsie, Bossier 4-H.

Champion Any Other Breed, Non-Brahman Influence, Heifer – Anna Loftin, Bossier 4-H.

Champion Commercial Heifer, Brahman – Anna Loftin, Bossier 4-H.

Reserve Champion Commercial Heifer, Non Brahman – Harlie Fossman, DeSoto 4-H.


Jr. Champion and Jr. Champion Yearling Louisiana-bred Jersey – Anna Robinson, Webster 4-H.

Reserve Jr. Champion and Reserve Jr. Champion Louisiana-bred Yearling Jersey – Katherine Rashall, Caddo 4-H.

Reserve Sr. Champion and Reserve Sr. Champion Louisiana-bred Jersey – Anna Robinson, Webster 4-H.

Reserve Champion and Reserve Champion Louisiana-bred Jersey – Anna Robinson, Webster 4-H.

Jr. Champion and Jr. Champion Louisiana-bred Yearling Holstein – Haley Parker, DeSoto 4-H.

Reserve Jr. Champion and Reserve Jr. Champion Louisiana-bred Yearling Holstein – Haley Parker – DeSoto 4-H.

Overall Jr. Champion and Overall Jr. Champion Louisiana-bred Holstein – Haley Parker, DeSoto 4-H.

Overall Reserve Jr. Champion and Overall Reserve Jr. Champion Louisiana-bred Holstein – Haley Parker, DeSoto 4-H.

Champion Louisiana-bred Holstein – Haley Parker, DeSoto 4-H.

Reserve Champion Louisiana-bred Holstein – Haley Parker, DeSoto 4-H.

Caddo girl Dairy Premier Exhibitor

Katherine Rashall of Caddo Parish was among six exceptional Louisiana youths among 30 finalists who were recognized Feb. 21 for their knowledge, skills and communication abilities as they were named winners of the Gerry Lane Premier Exhibitor Awards at the 74th annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show Presented by Price LeBlanc.

For the past 12 years the premier exhibitor program has recognized 4-H and FFA members who may not have champion animals but who have a thorough understanding of animal science.

Program participants have to pass an exam, take part in a skill-a-thon, write an essay, prepare a resume and show poise and confidence during an interview with livestock show officials.

The winning youths were among 30 finalists and scores of contestants in the program, which recognizes outstanding livestock exhibitors in six categories -- beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, sheep, goats and swine. Rashall was Dairy Premier Exhibitor.

Through an endowment from Gerry Lane Enterprises of Baton Rouge, the top winner in each premier exhibitor category received a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond, a commemorative belt buckle and a monogrammed jacket.

Natchitoches Ag Day sees LSU AgCenter participation

The Natchitoches Parish Farm Bureau’s third annual Ag Day on Feb. 28 included booths and speakers from the LSU AgCenter.

Presenting activities for youth were Julia Campbell, David Yount, Lola Shuttleworth and Gwen Fontenot while Vicky Chesser and Juanice Moses conducted nutrition activities for adults.

Radio advertising promoted the event.

Banquet to raise funds for 4-H shooting sports

A fund-raising and recognition banquet for Northwest Louisiana 4-H Shooting Sports will be held Friday, March 27, at Central Assembly of God, 700 Highway 80 in Haughton.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the meal, catered by Shane’s, will be served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets, $15, can be picked up at the Caddo and Bossier extension offices of the LSU AgCenter and Bearing Services in Coushatta. Only 200 will be sold, said Joe Barrett, LSU AgCenter outdoor skills agent.

Youth who have attended national shooting events will be recognized. Jack Dillard will conduct a live auction and there will also be a silent auction.

Proceeds will help with expenses for shooting sports participants from a four-parish region to attend national contests and start a scholarship fund or stipend for an outdoor skills youth from the four-parish region. The parishes are Bossier, Caddo, Red River and Webster.


March 7—4-H Night at the Mudbugs

March 10—Legislative meeting at the Red River Research Station

3/3/2009 9:28:57 PM
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