Northeast Region Newsletter, July 2022

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Activity Corner

by Ana Gouge

  • Yoga - No equipment necessary. There are plenty of free online Yoga videos for all levels!
  • Dancing - No equipment necessary. Dancing burns 250-500 calories per hour! Host a family dance off!
  • Use the Stairs - If you have stairs in your home try going up and down a few times! You can also spice things up by doing a step aerobic workout. Step up and down from the landing to the first step, trying to see how quickly you can go. Mix things up by turning to one side or the other as you step up and down.
  • Follow the Leader (Fitness Style) - Play this as a family to show off your skills. Try planking for 1 minute!
  • Indoor Obstacle Course - Obstacle courses always prove to be a blast, and setting up an indoor one is sure to be a hit with your kids. The key is to spread the course over a large area and include variety with activities such as jumping, balancing, crawling, rolling, hopping and more. You can have them jump through hula hoops, hop between pillows on the floor, crawl under tables…you get the idea!

Healthy Recipe Box

Blueberry and Watermelon Salad with Marinated Feta

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1⁄3 cup cubed feta cheese
  • Pinch of hot pepper flakes
  • 1⁄3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 1⁄4 cup loose, thinly sliced fresh basil

  • Directions:

    Toss together feta, red onion, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and hot pepper flakes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Toss together watermelon, blueberries, cucumber and basil; transfer to small serving platter. Top with feta mixture.


    Flavors of Health logo. SNAP logo. EFNEP logo. Healthy Communities logo.

    • Catahoula/Concordia Parishes, Ana Gouge, (318) 414-6055
    • East Carroll/Morehouse Parishes, Jocinda Jackson, (318) 559-1459
    • Franklin/Caldwell Parishes/FCS Regional Coordinator, Quincy Vidrine, (318) 435-2903
    • CDC Food Systems Coordinator, Cecilia Stevens, (318) 435-2908
    • Madison/Tensas Parishes, Joy Sims, (318) 574-2465
    • Ouachita Parish, Cathy Agan, (318) 323-2251
    • Ouachita/Morehouse Parishes, Kimberly Butcher, (318) 323-2251
    • Ouachita/Union Parishes, Markaye Russell, (318) 323-2251
    • Richland/West Carroll Parishes, Brittney Newsome, (318) 281-5741

    Northeast Region FCS Logo.

    For the latest research-based information on just about anything, visit our website:

    Dr. Luke Laborde, LSU Vice President for Agriculture
    Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, LSU College of Agriculture.
    The LSU AgCenter and LSU provide equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need an ADA accommodation for your participation, please contact Quincy Vidrine at least two weeks prior to the event. The LSU AgCenter provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

    July is National Grilling Month

    by Markaye Russell

    Summertime is known for it’s outdoor cooking, so it’s not a surprise that July is National Grilling Month. With more Americans lighting their grills than ever before, it’s important to remember that a fun barbecue is a safe barbecue.

    When the warmer weather hits, there’s nothing better than the smell of food on the grill. Don’t let incorrectly prepared food ruin your summer. Always remember the steps for food preparation: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Foodborne illness tends to increase during the hot summer months because germs grow faster in warmer, more humid weather.

    Foodborne illness is preventable by simply following food safety guidelines. When cooking outside, most times you don’t have the convenience of soap and running water like you do in your kitchen. Use these tips to grill this summer.

    • Wash your hands. If clean water is not available, use hand sanitizer.
    • Make sure there are plenty of clean utensils and dishes.
    • Keep food cold until you are ready to put them on the grill. Letting them sit allows bacteria to grow.
    • Stay out of the temperature “Danger Zone.” Hot food should be kept at 140°F or warmer and cold food should be kept at 40°F or colder. 0°F is the best temperature for frozen foods.
    • Use a food thermometer to ensure the meat is cooked to safe internal temperature.
    • Keep hot food warm to at least 140 degrees F until ready to be placed in cooker with ice or refrigerate to prevent bacteria growth.
    • Follow the one-hour rule on hot days. When the temperature outside is about 90 degrees F, perishable food such as meat, poultry, dips, cold salads, fruit, and vegetables are only safe to sit out on the table for one hour.
    • Don’t mix raw and cooked foods. Once cooked, use a clean plate. Bacteria from the raw food will contaminate the freshly cooked meal.

    Kid Stuff

    by Kimberly Butcher

    Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month in the USA? A great way to celebrate is to make homemade ice cream with your family. This fun summer activity is great for kids!


  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: To make chocolate ice cream add 1 1/2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup

  • Supplies:

  • 1 Gallon Ziploc Bag
  • 1 Quart Ziploc Bag
  • Ice
  • ½ cup rock salt

  • Directions:

    Add sugar, half and half, vanilla extract and chocolate syrup to quart sized freezer bag and seal tightly. Fill gallon freezer bag halfway with ice. Sprinkle ½ cup of rock salt over the ice. Place your quart sized bag inside the gallon bag and seal. Double-check your bags to make sure they're well sealed. Shake bags vigorously until ice cream forms. Enjoy!

    Recipe made available by:

    Local Food Finds

    by Cecilia Stevens

    Farmers Markets Update

    (Winnsboro, LA) - The LSU AgCenter announces August 7-13 as National Farmers Market Week celebrating the impact of farmers markets on local communities.

    Farmers markets don’t just happen—a strong partnership between local leaders, market volunteers, and customers must exist to make a market flourish. When that mix occurs, great things can happen within a community.

    Farmers markets are community hubs sparking entrepreneurship. Many small towns are experiencing a rejuvenation due to the impact of a weekly farmers market. Mayor-elect Hannah Cummings Springer of Columbia, Louisiana, says, “Our Columbia Farmers Market helped people re-discover downtown. This has led to increased investment and community pride.”

    Randy Williams, manager of the Second Saturday Farmers Market in Bastrop, echoes those sentiments. “Our community center sponsored this market not just to bring more fresh produce to the neighborhood but also to help engage the community. I love seeing people, especially youth, bring vegetables they grew or crafts or cottage foods to sell.”

    As stakeholders work together to promote farmers markets, diversity in both patrons and vendors increases. This can bring added unity to the community. The Farmers Market Coalition, a non-profit group promoting best practices in market promotion and operation, states, “We fundamentally believe that farmers markets are for everyone and seek to support efforts to make farmers markets safe, inviting and accessible for all.” Such efforts include reducing physical barriers to access, implementing programs to accept SNAP and senior benefits, and coordinating kid-friendly programming.

    The LSU AgCenter is proud to partner with farmers markets by offering programs to strengthen local food access. Makenzie Miller, a food systems specialist with the AgCenter, says, “ The LSU AgCenter supports farmers markets by providing technical assistance related to farmers market development, SNAP/EBT acceptance, and vendor recruitment, as well as offering nutrition education resources and/or demonstrations at farmers markets.”

    For more information on farmers markets, contact your parish’s LSU AgCenter Extension office. Celebrate National Farmers Market Week by visiting a local market. And be sure to give a “thank you” to the vendors, volunteers, and local leaders who make these markets possible.

    National Blueberry Month

    by Brittney Newsome

    July is the best time to harvest blueberries and is the peak season for this fruit, which is why it is the perfect time to celebrate National Blueberry Month in July. Blueberries are nutritious and provide a great source of Vitamins C and K and ½ cup contains only 43 calories! The blueberry color comes from anthocyanin, a compound that helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. Blueberries, whether fresh, frozen, or canned, are a real taste treat. You can simply wash and enjoy them in their fresh state or prepare them in your cereal, salads, muffins, and pancakes. Be sure to visit for more information and recipes.

    Upcoming Events

    • Small Changes, Healthy Habits Nutrition Series (in-person and virtual) - Richland and West Carroll Parishes: Contact Brittney Newsome for more information.
    • Home Food Preservation Training - Franklin Parish: Please contact Quincy L. Vidrine at 318-623-5217 for more information.
    • Work-Out Wednesdays (virtual) - Ouachita Parish: Please contact Cathy Agan for more information.
    • Health Resource Expo 2022 (in-person) - Franklin Parish: On September 28, 2022 from 10 AM to 2 PM, the Jack Hammond community center in Winnsboro. Contact Quincy Vidrine for more information.

    7/15/2022 1:53:56 PM
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    The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture