Ascension Parish Profile

About the LSU AgCenter

The LSU AgCenter is dedicated to providing innovative research, information and education to improve people’s lives. Working in a statewide network of parish extension offices, research stations and academic departments, the LSU AgCenter helps Louisiana citizens make best use of natural resources, protect the environment, enhance agricultural enterprises, and develop human and community resources.

Program Highlights

4-H Youth Development

The youth development program focuses on leadership development for youth /adults, volunteer management, & enriching the lives of these youth through age appropriate competitions, project workshops, community service, activities, livestock programs, overnight camps, outdoors skills training, & identifying the knowledge, skills & competences essential to conducting 4-H youth development. The 2019 educational focus was career opportunities in Science, Engineering, & Technology (SET). Youth participated in 8+ hours of educational lessons of experiments and hands-on activities that led to several different career opportunities. 70% of students who participated expressed interest in wanting to learn more about SET due to these activities and 81% of those who participated learned something new about SET Careers. Not only does the Ascension 4-H program educate youth and open their eyes to career opportunities, but it also provides opportunities for community service. The 2019 service-learning focus was “Real Life Superheroes- Serving Those Who Serve Us!” Students worked over 400 hours and raised more than $5,600.00 throughout the year honoring those service men and women who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting our communities. This service project was recognized as 1st Place by Louisiana 4-H!

Agriculture and Natural Resources

In 2018, the value of Agriculture and Natural Resources for Ascension Parish topped 51 million dollars. The parish has a diverse agriculture related base which includes sugarcane, soybeans, livestock, and nursery crops, with sugarcane being the most valuable commodity. Throughout the year clientele gain knowledge through meetings, field days, workshops, demonstrations, and farm and home visits.

Master Gardener Program

There are currently 64 active trained Master Gardeners in Ascension Parish that serve as volunteers assisting LSU AgCenter agents with outreach efforts to help meet educational needs in consumer horticulture. Programs include environmental improvement activities, community and school garden programs, public horticultural events, etc. Some activities of the Ascension Master Gardeners include a spring and fall Library Lecture Series, vegetable gardening activities, educational booths at fairs and festivals, demonstration gardens, and a plant health clinic. In 2018 Ascension Parish Master Gardeners volunteered a total of 1,676 hours with a current value of $38,098 ($22.73 per volunteer hour) resulting in over 18,602 volunteer public contacts. They logged approximately 12,405 miles and contributed over $1,381 in unreimbursed expenses for a total program value of over $46,053.

Whom we reach:

  • 5,220 youth - 1,366 enrolled in 31 traditional school clubs and 7 project clubs, 3,554 school enrichment, 300 nutrition education.
  • 21,384 adults - 21,084 agriculture and natural resources, 300 nutrition education, 168 4-H youth development.

How we reach them:

4-H Clubs, school enrichment, field days, publications, newsletters, meetings, class series, demonstrations, farm & home visits, social media, website and workshops.

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, fishery, wildlife and animal enterprises to Ascension Parish residents. The total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Animal enterprises, $12,551,936
  • Fisheries and Wildlife, $292,875
  • Plant enterprises, $38,218,637.

Data from U.S. Census

  • Population under 18 years old- 26.8%
  • Population- 124,672
  • Land area (square miles)- 289.98
  • Persons 65 years old and over- 11.8%
  • Median household income- $74,748
  • Persons below poverty- 12.6%

Local Issues & Plans for this year

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture.

  • Hold recertification meeting for private pesticide applicators.
  • Conduct educational sugarcane and soybean field days and meetings.
  • Work with local cattlemen’s association to educate producers.
  • Write news column, webpage content and seminars on agriculture practices.
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits.

Promote and grow the Ascension Master Gardner Program.

  • Hold class to educate new Master Gardener volunteers.
  • Continue popular Master Gardener library lecture series each spring and fall.
  • Work to maintain the landscape bed and fruit and vegetable demonstration gardens at Lamar Dixon Expo Center.

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development.

  • Develop and implement service-learning projects throughout the parish.
  • Present hands-on educational lessons on topics that would benefit youth in everyday life circumstances.
  • Identify and recruit to increase the base of well-trained, screened, and supportive individuals to expand the capacity of the 4-H program.

How we are funded:

You are the local supporters and beneficiaries in the LSU AgCenter extension programs. Just 20% support keeps these programs in your community. Your parish extension office offers programs in:

  • Sustaining Louisiana agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
  • Building leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development.
  • Family, nutrition and health to enhance the quality of life for Louisiana’s citizens.

LSU AgCenter State Appropriated Funds for FY 2019-2020:

  • State general direct: 74.9%
  • Federal funds: 13.6%
  • Self-generated: 7.1%
  • Statutory deductions: 4.4%

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture