Ouachita Parish Profile - January 2022

Report to Stakeholders January 2022

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 the best use of natural resources, protect the environment, enhance agricultural enterprises, and develop human and community resources.

Program Highlights

Family and Consumer Sciences

Ouachita Parish ranks 37 out of 64 parishes for health outcomes (2021 County Health Rankings). Ouachita FCS Community Nutrition Programs include EFNEP, Flavors of Health, and SNAP-Ed. The LSU AgCenter conducts nutrition education through series of classes, special events, and social marketing to promote healthy communities and lifestyles. Partnerships have been formed through Healthy Communities Coalitions to promote policies, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes to help make the healthy choice easier. Ouachita FCS also offers the Healthy Beginnings for Your Baby series of parenting skills classes on a referral basis.

4-H Youth Development

Ouachita’s 4-H Club focus for 2021-2022 is Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness. We have approximately 400 members enrolled, so far, for the current school year. We are continuing to utilize Google Classroom, along with some in-person club meetings, where 4-Hers and their families will be able to access monthly health lessons and newsletter containing information about workshops, camps, contests, and project clubs such as: Photography Club, Shooting Sports Club, and Livestock. Through our Choose Health curriculum, youth will learn about replacing sweetened drinks, vegetables and fruits, how to read nutrition facts labels, whole grains, and more.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Horticulture programming includes an annual gardening seminar, the Maki Horticulture Lecture Series, participation in fall and spring horticulture forums, and lectures given to various garden clubs. A weekly horticulture segment is broadcast every Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. on Louisiana Living on KARD Fox 14. Horticulture programming in the coming year will place emphasis on continuing to build a seed preservation program with special emphasis on old LSU varieties and those specific to northern Louisiana, recycling and composting yard waste, and restorative horticulture projects at the former Mulberry Plantation in downtown Monroe.

Whom we reach:

  • 3,122 Youth (includes 300 4-H members & 13 4-H clubs)
  • 3,358 Adults (Mass Media efforts reached 395,554 community members)

How we reach them:

4-H Clubs, school enrichment, field days, publications, newsletters, news articles, television, class series, demonstrations, school/community gardens, social media, website, special events, and workshops.

Expanding our efforts:

501 volunteers from 4-H, Master Gardeners, FCS and Healthy Communities.

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter Extension Agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Ouachita Parish clientele. The 2019 total dollar amount from these commodities were:

  • Plant enterprises: $51,413,521
  • Fisheries and wildlife: $7,346,028
  • Animal enterprises: $26,736,986
  • Persons under 18 years old - 24.6%
  • Median household income - $41,121
  • Population - 160,368
  • Persons under 5 years old - 6.7%
  • Land area (square miles) - 610.41
  • Persons 65 years old and over - 15.3%
  • Persons below poverty - 23.9%

Local issues and plans for this year

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture

  • Restricted use pesticide certification training and testing
  • Hay, grass and weed control and production
  • Rural internet options
  • Variety testing

Promote the wide use of natural resources and protection of the environment

  • Maki lecture series
  • Urban and residential tree selection and care
  • Soil programming

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development

  • Healthy living including resiliency and coping strategies
  • Community service including helping the homeless
  • Special needs programming

Strengthen families and communities

  • Healthy meal preparation and time management
  • Promoting physical activity that does not require gym membership or equipment
  • Advocate for policy makers and officials to promote healthy lifestyles

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture