Northeast Region FCS Newsletter - September 2022

Quincy L. Cheek, Seay, Brittney, Russell, Markaye H., Butcher, Kimberly, Stevens, Cecilia

National Rice Month

by Markaye Russell

Louisiana’s cuisine is world famous due in no small part to its rice! National Rice Month is celebrated in the month of September. Rice is the oldest known food still consumed today. Louisiana is the 3rd largest rice-producing state with over 411,700 acres of rice planted. Rice production contributes over $308 million to the state economy. Most of the farming is done by family farms across six major rice-producing states: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas.

There are many forms of rice. The rough rice that is harvested from the field is the main product. Rough rice undergoes a milling process to remove the hull. Once the hull is removed, the kernels may be processed into many forms.

  • Brown rice has only the hull removed. It still has the bran layers on it. The bran layers are rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Parboiled rice is rice that has been soaked, steamed, and dried before milling. Consumers who desire fluffy, separately cooked rice favor parboiled rice.
  • Pre-cooked rice is rice that has been cooked and dehydrated after milling. This reduces the cooking time.
  • Regular-milled white rice has gone through the entire milling process. The hulls, bran layers, and germ have all been removed and the rice is sorted according to size.

We can get many secondary products from rice. Did you know that rice hulls are used in the manufacture of many products such as soaps, face washes, hair products, and some synthetic materials? Rice oil is extracted from rice bran and is a high-quality, cholesterol-free cooking oil. Rice polish, which is produced in the final stages of the milling process, is in high demand as a livestock feed. Rice flour is milled rice that is ground into flour and used for baking. Brewer’s rice is the smallest size of broken rice fragments. It is used to make pet foods, and as a carbohydrate source in brewing. Rice bran is rich in protein and natural B vitamins. It is used as cattle feed and in the manufacture of vitamin concentrates.

Rice is important for its nutritional value. It is the most popular grain globally and the primary dietary staple for more than half of the world’s population. Rice is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, an important part of the diet. Rice is also low in calories; a half-cup serving of cooked rice is only 82 calories. Rice only contains a trace amount of fat and is cholesterol and sodium free. Rice is also non-allergenic and gluten-free, making it an excellent choice for those on restrictive diets. This small but mighty grain supplies energy, complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, beneficial antioxidants, and more than 15 vitamins and minerals.

Healthy Recipe Box

by Brittney Newsome

Creamy Crockpot Salsa Chicken with Parish Rice


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of Parish Rice
  • 24 ounces of chunky salsa
  • 8 ounces of fat-free cream cheese


Spray a large crockpot with nonstick spray. Add the chicken to the bottom of the crockpot. Pour salsa over the chicken and then top with fat-free cream cheese. Cook on high for 3 ½ hours or on low for 6-8 hours. (Be sure chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165F). Stir together and shred chicken with two forks. Stir again until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Serve over Parish Rice.

Instructions for Parish Rice


  • 1 cup of Parish Rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


Add all ingredients to a rice cooker. Close the lid and set it to cook. Once done, let it rest, then fluff the rice.

Local Food Finds: Four Rivers Farm

by Cecilia Stevens

Four Rivers Farm is located in Jonesville, Louisiana, just below the Four Rivers convergence in Catahoula Parish. Owned by ag entrepreneur Robert Coleman, Four Rivers Farm offers fresh produce and value-added products.

Coleman uses intensive agricultural practices such as high-tunnel farming and focuses on unique produce such as purple carrots, heat-tolerant cucumbers, and favorites such as tomatoes and squash.

Four Rivers Farm also has a line of value-added products including pickles and jams. Customer favorites include “Monkey Butter”, a jam featuring bananas and pineapple, and Carrot Cake Jam which has bright orange shreds of carrots in a sweet jam base. Other favorites are the summer relish using bread/butter pickles.

Other items include the Four Rivers Supply line of gardening tools including hand trowels, gardening sheers, and decorative tool baskets.

Four Rivers products are available at farmers' markets in the Catahoula/Concordia area and at the Natchez Farmers Market. The jams, jellies, and garden tools may be ordered online by contacting Robert Coleman at

Kid Stuff

Fall is a fabulous time to work with your kids on trying new and exciting foods! Try substituting regular, salty chips with crispy apple chips. Check out the following recipe:


  • 4 cored and sliced apples (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (can be omitted)
  • Cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 200°F. Add the sliced apples to a large bowl; then coat the apples with the cinnamon and/or sugar. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or line one with parchment paper, then line the apples flat on the pan. Bake 2-3 hours until the chips are dry yet still a bit soft. Allow them to cool completely before placing them in an airtight container for up to 4 days (if they last that long!).

Food Safe Families: Four Steps to Keep Your Family Safe from Food Poisoning

by Kimberly Butcher

Did you know that 1 in 6 Americans will get sick from food poisoning this year? Keep your family safe by following these simple steps.

Step 1: Clean

  • Washing hands with soap and warm water before and after handling raw food is the best way to reduce the spread of germs and prevent food poisoning.
  • Thoroughly wash utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with soap and hot water. Rinse. They may be sanitized by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Air-dry.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking. Do not wash fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial produce washes.

Step 2: Separate

  • Keep raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat food.
  • Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from produce in your shopping cart. Place food in plastic bags to prevent their juices, which may contain harmful bacteria, from dripping onto other food.
  • At home, put raw meat, poultry, and seafood in containers, on plates, or in sealed plastic bags in the refrigerator to prevent their juices from dripping onto other food.
  • Use a separate cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Sauce that is used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood should not be used on cooked food unless the sauce is boiled first.
  • Never place cooked food back on the same plate that previously held raw food unless the plate has first been washed in hot, soapy water.

Step 3: Cook

  • Color and texture are unreliable indicators of safety. Using a food thermometer is the only way to ensure the safety of meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products. These foods must be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria.
  • The food thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the food, away from bone, fat, or gristle.

Step 4: Chill

  • The temperature in a refrigerator should be 40°F or below, and the freezer 0°F or below.
  • Perishable food should be thawed in the refrigerator, in the microwave, or in cold water. They should never be thawed on the counter or in hot water. Do not leave food at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour when the temperature is above 90°F).
  • Meat and poultry defrosted in the refrigerator may be refrozen before or after cooking. If thawed in the microwave or cold water, cook before refreezing.
  • Divide large pots of food, like soup or stew, into shallow containers. Cut cooked meat or poultry into smaller portions or slices. Place in shallow containers, cover, and refrigerate.
  • Only buy eggs from a refrigerator or refrigerated case. Store eggs in the refrigerator in their original carton and use within 3-5 weeks.
  • When selecting pre-cut produce choose only those items that are refrigerated or surrounded by ice and keep refrigerated at home to maintain both quality and safety.

Upcoming Events

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 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Jack Hammond Community Center in Winnsboro is hosting a health resource expo. Contact Quincy Vidrine for more information.

Teen Cuisine (in-person) Franklin Parish: Workshops taking place on September 15th, October 13th, October 20th, November 3rd, and December 15th for ages 13-18. Contact Quincy Vidrine for more information.

Ouachita Parish Healthy Communities Coalition Meeting (in-person) Ouachita Parish: Meeting on September 13th at 1:30 p.m. at Ouachita Parish LSU AgCenter Office. Contact Cathy Agan for more information.

Super Saturday at Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana (drive-through event) Ouachita Parish: September 17th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact Cathy Agan for more information.

Ouachita 101 at West Monroe Convention Center (in-person) Ouachita Parish: Workshop on September 30th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Contact Cathy Agan for more information.

OMCAP Resource Fair (in-person) Ouachita Parish: Fair at OMCAP on October 7th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact Cathy Agan for more information.

Ouachita Healthy Communities Coalition Meeting (in-person) Ouachita Parish: October 11th at Ouachita LSU AgCenter Office from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Contact Cathy Agan for more information.

Ouachita Parish Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Coalition Kick-off Event Ouachita Parish: October 14th from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (Location TBA) Contact Cathy Agan for more information.

Super Saturday at Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana (in-person) Ouachita Parish: October 15th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact Cathy Agan for more information.

Ouachita HYPE Meeting (in-person) Ouachita Parish: October 20th from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Ouachita LSU AgCenter Office. Contact Cathy Agan for more information.

Healthy Funroe Wellness Fair (in-person) Ouachita Parish: Saul Adler Recreation Center in Monroe from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on October 22nd. Contact Cathy Agan for more information.

Stay Independent: A Healthy Aging Series (in-person) Richland Parish: At the Mangham Branch Library (302 Hixon Street, Mangham) from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on September 2nd, September 16th, September 30th, and October 7th. Contact Brittney Newsome for more information.

Family Meal Prep Made Easy (in-person) Richland Parish: Workshop in Rayville from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. September 27th at the Richland Parish Extension Office (702 Madeline Street). Contact Brittney Newsome for more information.

Crockpot 101 (in-person) Richland Parish: Workshop at West Carroll Parish Extension Office on September 29th at 195-A Community Road, Oak Grove from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Contact Brittney Newsome for more information.

Soybean Focus Group and Food/Product Testing Franklin Parish: October 7th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the M.E.R.I.T. Building in Winnsboro. Contact Quincy Vidrine for more information.


Catahoula/Concordia Parishes, Ana Gouge, (318) 414-6055

East Carroll/Morehouse Parishes, Jocinda Jackson-Jones, (318) 559-1459

Franklin Parish/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 Parish, Markaye Russell, (318) 323-2251

Richland/West Carroll Parishes, Brittney Newsome, (318) 281-5741

9/19/2022 2:16:48 PM
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