Northwest Region Newsletter - Nov. 2008

Patrick D. Colyer, Van Osdell, Mary Ann

Jacqueline Jordan portrays the heart in a skit.

Summerfield Elementary School students visit the cotton area at Sci-Port AgFest. Cookson and Hayes are behind them.

A crowd gathers at the forestry tour.


Red River Research Station research associates participate in Sci-Port AgFest

The Red River Research Station participated in AgFest, an annual event at Sci-Port Discovery Center, with cotton and wetland exhibits.

The event was held Nov. 6-7.

Chris Hardy, Jim Hayes and Colleen Cookson, all research associates, discussed cotton, and Darinda Dans, research associate, brought an exhibit of the constructed wetland.

Common questions were how many bolls of cotton are in a field, how much cotton does it take to make a shirt, why is some fabric rougher to the touch and what does cotton taste like?

Landowners take forestry field tour

Thirty-six landowners looked at two areas that were pre-commercially thinned to improve growth rates and wildlife habitat at a forestry field tour held Nov. 13 in Webster Parish.

With a high percentage of financial assistance now available through U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, this practice is much more feasible for landowners, said Ricky Kilpatrick, area forester.

4-H participates in prayer breakfast

The Webster Parish Farm City Prayer Breakfast was held Nov. 20 at the Minden Civic Center and many 4-H club members were in attendance along with the Webster Parish Extension staff -- Joan Almond, Lisa Holmes and Calvin Walker.

Farm Bureau presented awards to 4-H’ers who have won with Louisiana-bred animals in the parish fair. Winners were Emily Rhame, goat; Emily Robinson, dairy; and Karmen Underwood, beef.

Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain was guest speaker.

Seminars, Conferences, Exhibits

LSU AgCenter luncheon attendees learn how not to tip the scales over the holidays

Families can keep holiday traditions without tipping the scale by following a few tips from Vicky Chesser, LSU AgCenter registered dietitian.

She presented November’s Lunch and Ag Discovery program at the LSU AgCenter Red River Research Station Nov. 19.

Chesser says you do not necessarily have to cut fat and calories out of favorite holiday recipes as long as you perform physical activity.

She gave tips on things that can be done to prevent overindulgence at parties and during the holiday season when the average American gains three to five pounds.

Chesser said the pounds don’t necessarily come off because of a New Year’s resolution. Shortly after New Year’s come Valentine’s Day candy, Mardi Gras parties and Easter eggs. And before you know it, it’s football tailgating season again, she said.

“Radical changes will not work. We didn’t get habits overnight,” Chesser said. “We’re not going to change them overnight.”

She recommends the following:

Get plenty of sleep. Studies show lack of sleep is being associated with being overweight.

Drink water. The better hydrated you are, the better your metabolism.

Dress for success. Don’t go into a holiday meal anticipating giving yourself lots of room. Get rid of your comfortable clothes. “At least don’t eat in them,” Chesser said.

Eat slowly. Put your fork down after every bite.

Have a plan. You don’t always know what you are going to eat. Eating breakfast makes you less tempted to eat if you are not hungry. Don’t arrive starving.

Carry comfortable shoes with you so you can take an extra lap around the block or around the mall after shopping.

When you are the guest, volunteer to be the photographer. “Busy hands can’t be eating hands,” Chesser said.

Other suggestions for the guests are:

Talk more and eat less. Spend time with your family. “It’s not really about the food,” Chesser said.

Don’t let the different foods on your plate touch; that keeps portions smaller.

Put your napkin over your plate when you are finished. “If that doesn’t work, sprinkle salt over the food.”

Instead of bringing a hostess gift, bring something that can be donated to the local food bank.

Go for a walk before you leave.

Be a healthy hostess by not putting food all over the house. “Use nuts that have to be cracked.” They take longer to eat and cost less, Chesser said. She said to make sure ahead of time that guests do not have nut allergies.

Use smaller plates. Blue serving pieces tend to make people eat less, Chesser said.

Tell guests to take what is left over home with them in inexpensive plastic containers you provide. This reduces cleanup and the amount of leftovers in your refrigerator.

Fix a plate for a neighbor.

Don’t encourage overeating. Pressure to try everything can be overwhelming for guests trying to watch calories.

Tips at the workplace include letting co-workers know you are trying to watch what you eat, taking your candy dish off your desk, not lingering in break rooms, donating a dollar to a candy sale rather than taking the chocolate and holding monthly birthday celebrations rather than celebrating each person individually.

4-H News

Eleven Caddo-Bossier 4-H’ers receive Discovering Tomorrow’s Leaders awards

Eleven 4-H members were among 16 students in Caddo and Bossier parishes receiving the weekly Discovering Tomorrow’s Leaders awards, a program sponsored by Chesapeake Energy.

Each was honored at his school, and the school received a computer. All winners will be recognized at a group function Dec. 2.

Nominations were accepted for the award from the general public through the news media. Nominees must have displayed outstanding leadership qualities within a volunteer organization, student leaders who go beyond the classroom.

Winners are:

Josh Barrett, Airline High School, who was last year's State Wildlife winner and organized training materials for this year’s state 4-H wildlife team, which finished second in the nation. He has been active as a 4-H ambassador at Bass Pro Shop's Nature Rangers program and in livestock and outdoor skills, enthusiastically promoting 4-H.

Caroline Boley, Captain Shreve High School, is an at-large member of 4-H. She is president of the junior class, Student Council senator-at-large, Z Club member, freshman homecoming maid and cheerleader. She beautified the Fair Grounds by painting sidewalk clovers, set up pet cages for Hurricane Gustav, helped children make artwork at the “Author! Author!” literacy event and co-emceed Generation United to Succeed to increase teen volunteerism. She has sung the National Anthem at the Disabled American Veterans and Congressional Medal of Honor conventions.

Maggie Brakeville, Benton High School, maintains a 3.9 grade point average. She served as 4-H president in 2007 and is current vice president and 4-H WILD vice president. She attended 4-H national Congress. She is on the Benton track team, cheers and participates in high school rodeo.

Khyria Kelly, Central Park Elementary, was recently voted 2008-2009 4-H president. She has also been recognized as Outstanding 4-H Elementary Girl for 2007-2008. She has donated school uniforms to the Providence House, collected food for the needy and participated in the American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart. She is co-captain of the cheerleaders.

Tonya Liuzzi, Southwood High School, conducts lessons at the Allendale Friendship House after-school program, serves as president of her 4-H Club and volunteered last summer as a camp counselor at Camp Grant Walker. She serves on the 4-H Leadership Advisory Council and has volunteered with the Caddo Parish Fair, made signs for 4-H camp, decorated a Mardi Gras float to promote the 4-H centennial birthday and donated time and food items to the Northwest Louisiana Food Bank.

Anna Loftin, Parkway High School, represents 4-H through participation in Junior Leadership, WILD Conservation Club, reporter for Louisiana Junior Cattlemen’s Association, alternate for Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council and queen for the National Junior Maine-Anjou Association.

Daniel McFarland, Caddo Magnet High School, is Caddo 4-H vice president, Louisiana Legislative Advisory Board vice president and Louisiana Junior Angus Association vice president.

Amanda Pittmon, Benton High School, has been an active 4-H member for the past eight years. She participates in the Glen Retirement Center dog therapy program, Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, Northwest Louisiana War Veteran’s Home and Special Olympics through the Bossier 4-H Junior Leadership Club.

Alex Sauer, Benton Middle School, is currently president of her 4-H club and is very active in junior leadership. She participates in food drives, Valentine’s cards for veterans, Earth Day and wrapping of gifts for the Northwest Development Center.

Jessica Taylor, Huntington High School, has been president of her local 4-H club for four years, recruits peers, served on the parish advisory leadership council for three years and conducts lessons for at-risk youth in an after-school program.

Chris Cates, Parkway High School, has been a member of 4-H for the past six years and was the president of the Elm Grove 4-H Club during his 7th and 8th grade years. He also served as treasurer for the Parish Junior Leadership Club. He is a member of the Parkway Marching Band and Parkway Jazz Band, volunteers at Bossier Little League and The Glen Retirement Center working with therapy dogs visiting the elderly.

Master Gardeners donate to 4-H Foundation

The Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners is donating $1,000 to the 4-H Foundation for scholarships to summer camp in 2009.

The money will be split between Caddo and Bossier parishes and matched by the LSU AgCenter’s Chancellor’s Scholarship, allowing 16 children to attend camp, said Karen Martin, northeast and north central regional 4-H coordinator for the LSU AgCenter.

The Louisiana Master Gardener program is a volunteer service and educational organization designed to meet the needs of home gardeners, said Mary Catherine Googe of Shreveport, committee chairman who reported the award.

Denyse Cummins, LSU AgCenter area horticulture agent, said the donation arose from a desire to do more than beautify the community and educate gardeners. “Now they wish to expand their goals to bringing children to nature and providing that opportunity to children who normally have little access,” Cummins said.

Since Master Gardener classes began in Shreveport in 1998, 343 local individuals have been certified as Louisiana Master Gardeners and have gone on to educate and beautify the community.

The Louisiana 4-H camp is open to fourth- through sixth-graders. About 4,000 4-H’ers attend each summer. The camp sessions start Monday afternoon and the campers go home Friday morning.

Although all campers share many of the same activities such as sports, swimming, crafts and games, each camper also selects an educational track in which he will spend each morning. The track subjects range from outdoor adventures, health and nutrition, wetlands and dramatic arts, to science, engineering and technology.

Camping helps boys and girls appreciate the outdoors, live together as a group, get along with others and appreciate people with different interests and backgrounds. While participating in activities, campers develop teamwork skills and learn life skills that help them become more self-sufficient and responsible, Martin said.

2008 is the 100th anniversary of Louisiana 4-H and the 86th anniversary of 4-H Camp Grant Walker, one of the oldest 4-H camps in the country. The 80-acre campsite is located near Pollock.

LSU AgCenter takes part in Farm Safety Day

The Farm Bureau in Marshall, Texas, planned a Farm Safety Day for 175 young high school participants.

Business leaders, community resources and the LSU AgCenter personnel helped with the program. Joe Barrett conducted an ATV safety program for the youth on the responsibilities and liabilities of owning and riding an ATV.


Almond elected to Chancellor’s Faculty Council

Joan Almond has been elected to the Chancellor’s Faculty Council through 2012.

Team wins national award for child safety program

Eighteen LSU AgCenter faculty members were part of a team recognized as the southern regional winner at the national Epsilon Sigma Phi conference, which was held as part of the Galaxy III National Conference Sept. 15-19 in Indianapolis, Ind.

The team is responsible for designing and implementing the Overnight Chaperone Program to make sure extension agents and volunteers know proper procedures for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of 4-H members entrusted to their care. The team has been conducting training sessions across the state. Since the program’s inception in 2004, more than 1,200 volunteers have been trained.

The members from this region are Joe Barrett, Karen Martin and Katherine Pace.

Peterson recognized at Community Renewal event

Community Renewal International honored Dr. Grace Peterson, Family Nutrition Program (FNP) garden coordinator for the LSU AgCenter, with a Caring Neighbor Award at a Haven House rally Nov. 22 at First Baptist Church.

Community gardeners were in attendance, and Peterson was presented a plaque for helping build caring communities.

Breakfast was served and Fire Chief Brian Crawford was keynote speaker.

EFNEP Events

Platoon Patrol wraps up

In the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum on the Fair Grounds, Platoon Patrol featured the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program staff in military uniforms with a message on rules for a healthy heart that included regular exercise, a low-fat/high-fiber diet and drinking lots of water and milk.

The team used music to teach the lessons.

New Employees

Andrew Garcia is the new regional tech support specialist.

He will be supporting the Information Technology-related needs primarily in northwest and north central Louisiana. He has a B.S. in biomedical engineering with a computer science concentration from Louisiana Tech University. He is a past blue ribbon winner in the computer science contest at 4-H University.


December events

Dec. 15-16—Annual conference

Dec. 24-Jan. 1—Christmas vacation

Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. Unstable is the future of a country which has lost its taste for agriculture. If there is one lesson of history that is unmistakable, it is that national strength lies very near the soil. Daniel Webster

11/27/2008 2:04:24 AM
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