Family, Nutrition & Health
Nutrition programs available through the LSU AgCenter provide research-based information to help individuals and families increase their nutrition knowledge, gain skills in healthy food preparation, and improve eating and activity habits in order to live a healthy lifestyle. The issue of childhood obesity is a major initiative of the LSU AgCenter. Programs such as Family Nutrition Night, Smart Bodies, Smart Choices, Body Quest, Happy Healthy Me, Loving Your Family Feeding Their Future and others target this issue and promote healthy lifestyles through hands-on educational activities for children, parents and caregivers. Eat Smart, Live Strong is programming available for senior adults looking to improve their health and knowledge of nutrition.
4-H, Youth & Family Development
With obesity rates reaching epidemic proportions in our children and youth, the focus of 2013 4-H Clubs was health. Educational programs were taught each month on health-related issues. Smart Bodies, a joint effort between LSU AgCenter and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, was offered for the first year in Catahoula Parish. This program focused on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity in Pre-K to fifth-graders at two schools in the parish. Youth were able to strengthen their leadership skills while teaching nutrition lessons as part of a joint effort between Tensas and Catahoula parishes. The TEN CAT: Making Families Fit program focused on low income families in both parishes. Participation in parishwide activities such as 4-H cookery, pet show and bicycle rodeos continue to grow. The Junior Leader Club participated in service-learning projects throughout the year focusing on the elderly. Youth learned the importance of giving back to their communities through service-learning projects such as canned food drives, literacy projects and supplies for the military. Youth continued to strengthen their skills through the parish livestock programs offered through 4-H.
Agriculture & Natural Resources
The production of row crops, timber and beef cattle is a major economic stimulus to the Catahoula Parish economy. Farm variety trials, soil fertilization trails and corn foliar fertilizer trials were done with parish farmers. These tests are vital in the support of the agriculture industry. Hunting and fishing is an economically important opportunity to the citizens of Catahoula Parish. People interested in learning more about wildlife management were given the opportunity to attend a series of learning sessions with the Master Wildlifer Program offered through Clemson University through a live meeting hosted in Catahoula Parish. The LSU AgCenter Master Cattle Producer class was offered and well received by local cattle producers in the parish. Residents of the parish were also supplied with the latest recommendations on home gardens and lawns. Non-industrial private forest landowners were given the opportunity to enroll their lands in the American Tree Farm System’s Certified Tree Farm program. An annual crop production meeting was held for local farmers and agriculture workers.
Who we reach:
1,216 Youth (4-H, FCS, ANR)
2,463 Adults (4-H, FCS, ANR)
4-H Clubs, Class series, School enrichment, Demonstrations, Field days, Workshops, Newsletters, Websites, Publications, Social media.
122 Volunteers: 4-H, FCS, ANR.
LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Catahoula Parish clientele. The 2012 total dollar amount from these commodities were:
Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary www.lsuagcenter.com/agsummary
Population – 10,292
Land area (square miles) – 708.03
Persons under 18 years old – 22.6%
Persons 65 years old and over – 15.2%
Median household income – $37,115
Persons below poverty – 25.9%
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html
1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture.
2. Building strong leaders and good citizens through 4-H youth development.
3. Enhancing life quality through health and nutrition.