Lafayette 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 unique statewide network of parish extension offices, research stations and academic departments, the LSU AgCenter helps Louisiana citizens make the best use of natural resources, protect the environment, enhance agricultural enterprises, and develop human and community resources.

Program Highlights

4-H Youth Development

LSU AgCenter offers 4-H to youth across the parish, encompassing those youth in public schools, parochial schools, charter schools, and home schools. Youth today are more independent than ever, especially considering the intensity at which technology is being integrated into students’ lives. Youth are taught healthy choices, leadership skills, teamwork, and other important aspects of a successful and fulfilling life. Our School Garden Initiative engages youth in creative learning by improving academic performance, enhancing life skills, and teaching youth to make healthier choices. 2021-2022 club members were involved in a seven-part lesson series that discussed food science.

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Major agriculture and horticulture programs are Master Gardener, Master Cattleman, Master Horseman, and Master Farmer. The staff offers various agricultural field days and demonstrations. A private pesticide applicator re-certification class is offered through our office. The Master Gardeners contribute over 8,537 volunteer hours and travel over 37,285 miles annually answering horticulture related calls and giving presentations through the Master Gardener Speaker’s Bureau. The total estimated value for major agriculture commodities in Lafayette equal 58.5 million dollars.

Family & Consumer Sciences

Improving the health of families and individuals is the focus of FCS in Lafayette Parish. Parenting classes including “Healthy Beginnings” are offered to eligible parents. Nutrition classes are taught in schools, summer camps, senior centers, and with nonprofit organizations. The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program teaches limited income families how to eat healthy on a budget.

Who we reach

  • 30,107 - Total Youth
    • 27,592 4-H Youth Development (934 enrolled in 30 traditional school clubs and 2 project clubs and 2,265 school enrichment)
    • 1,693 Ag & Natural Resources
    • 822 Family Consumer Sciences
  • 29,891 – Total Adults
    • 16,220 4-H Youth Development
    • 13,389 Ag & Natural Resources
    • 282 Family Consumer Sciences

How we reach them:

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

Parish Facts

LSU AgCenter County Agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife, and animal enterprises to Lafayette Parish residents.

The 2020 total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Plant enterprises: $39.9 million
  • Fisheries enterprises: $2.7 million
  • Animal enterprises: $15.8 million

Data from the U.S. Census

  • Population estimates - 244,205
  • Persons 65 years old and over - 14.3%
  • Land area (square miles) – 268.72
  • Median household income - $58,761
  • Persons under 18 years old – 23.8%
  • Persons below poverty - 16.2%

Local Issues & Plans for this year

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development

  • Increase a sense of belonging by establishing common ground, celebrating diversity and creating opportunities for the inner-city and rural youth to interact and serve others together.
  • Expand communication efforts to general public about opportunities in the 4-H Youth Development program.
  • Build awareness of issues facing youth as it relates to teamwork and the skills necessary to work together. Through a series of lessons, students will be introduced to topics of communication, public speaking, cooperation and working together, and a mental health service focus.
  • Continue to enhance and expand the school garden program to promote healthy food choices, nutrition education, and physical exercise.
  • Promote agriculture awareness and careers in agriculture.
  • Continue transitioning back to in-person programming in schools and educational outreach to best meet stakeholder needs.

Increase agricultural knowledge and awareness of Louisiana Agriculture

  • Continue major educational programs based on local needs.
  • Promote advocacy among constituents.
  • Educate general public regarding horticulture licensing.
  • Expand agriculture’s voice though social media/mass media.
  • Keep general public updated on pest outbreaks and disaster awareness.

Strengthen families and communities

  • EFNEP clients will receive training on feeding their families nutritionally while on a budget.
  • Basic education on health literacy and active parenting skills.
  • Teach classes on reducing credit balances and examining spending habits.
  • Expectant mothers will receive education on maintaining wellness during and after pregnancy and caring for their newborns.

How we are funded:

You are the local supporters and beneficiaries of the LSU AgCenter extension programs. Your 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 2022-2023:

  • State general direct: 78.01%
  • Federal funds: 12.06%
  • Self-generated: 6.31%
  • Statutory deductions: 3.62%

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture