Morehouse Parish is one of seven parishes selected to participate in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant aimed at reducing obesity and chronic diseases.Partner institutions working with the LSU AgCenter include the Southern University AgCenter and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.The Healthy Communities project will work to improve the nutrition and physical activity environment by implementing policy, system and environmental change strategies using a community-driven approach.
Morehouse Healthy Communities Coalition has held 2 coalition meetings this fall.There was a total of 49 community members attended the meetings.During the meetings participants were introduced to the Healthy Communities project, participated in a modified SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) and were asked to grade the overall health of the adults and children of Morehouse Parish.
The Morehouse Parish 4-H Youth Development program strives to create a sense of belonging with the youth in Morehouse Parish. The following strategies are utilized to build a sense of belonging among club members, their peers, and adult volunteers. 4-H Members can also choose to be a part of afterschool clubs like Horse Club, Shooting Sports, and Junior Leaders; or, they can show livestock during the District Livestock Show and State Livestock Shows. Youth are also being reached by many different school enrichment activities. Kindergarten through 3rd grade students are learning the importance of character counts through Aesop’s Fables and interactions with farm animals. Agricultural enrichment is being taught to Agricultural students at Beekman Charter School and the L.Y.F.E. program is also being used with financial math classes at Beekman Charter School.
Morehouse Parish currently has over 180,000 acres in crop production. Crops, such as corn and cotton, have increased over the last few years with soybean production declining. Demonstration variety plots of corn, cotton, soybean and rice were conducted. A Rice Verification program on Row Rice was conducted to demonstrate the costs and feasibility of growing rice on rows with furrow irrigation. An on-farm demonstration with a special emphasis on finding the best resistant soybean varieties against Southern Root-Knot nematode was conducted in 2019. Producers use this information to determine which management practices with benefit their farming operations.
The Morehouse Black Farmers and Landowners Association, LSU AgCenter and SU AgCenter partner with over 20 sponsors and 20 volunteers to host the Annual Field Day. The annual field day is held in July which usually draws 300 participant and presenter from Southern University AgCenter, LSU AgCenter and the agricultural industry.
850 youth (includes 150 4-H members and 4 school 4-H Clubs, 600 Clover bud members, 100 students in classroom enrichment programs)
4-H Clubs, school enrichment, field days, publications, newsletters, class series, website and workshops.
65 volunteers from 4-H, 48 volunteers from Agriculture and Natural Resources
LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, wildlife and animal enterprises to Morehouse residents. The total dollar amount from these commodities were: Animal enterprises, $4,820,642; aquaculture and wildlife, $575,250; plant enterprises, $159,778,747.
Land area — 794.25 square miles; Population —25,398; Population under 18 years old — 24.2%; Population 65 years old and over — 18.8%; Median household income — $31,672; Persons below poverty — 28.0%