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.
4-H Youth Development
The Rapides Parish Youth 4-H Development program is a co-curriculum program which conduct monthly 4-H educational programs in the elementary, Junior High and Senior High schools. The are over 1200 youth enrolled in 33 Organizational Clubs and 5 Clover Bud Clubs. The focus this year is on Ag Awareness and Healthy Living. During the club year, strategies are utilized to build a sense of connection among club members, their peers, adult volunteers, leaders, and 4-H faculty. We offer club meetings, various contests, officer training, shooting sports, award trips, 4-H camps, workshops, livestock projects, livestock club and Junior Leadership Club.
Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS)
Nutrition is important to everyone. Efforts in nutrition programming continue to address the obesity problem and the other chronic diseases associated with it. Nutrition programs are conducted with young audiences beginning at age three in Head Start and across the life span including programs at the Council on Aging sites. Nutrition information is also provided at commodity distribution and food bank sites. The overall goal is aimed at changing eating behaviors for a healthier population with lessons centered on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, reducing fat, making half of grains consumed whole, choosing lean sources of protein and being physically active. Food safety education is also a priority in FCS programming. Healthy living is making the healthy choice, the easy choice.
Rapides Parish Extension Office
300 Grady Britt Drive
Alexandria, LA 71302
Phone: (318) 767-3968
Fax: (318) 767-3971
8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Parish Chair - Rodney Johnson
Administrative Coordinator - Misty Richardson
4-H and Youth Development
- Shooting Sports
- Junior Leaders
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Animal Production
- Beef Cattle
- Horticulture/Lawn and Garden
- Pest Management
- Urban Forestry
Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS)
- Lunch ‘N” Learn
- Kid Chef & Teen Chef
- Adult Cooking & Nutrition Workshops
Whom we reach:
- 5,000 youth (includes 1,250 4-H members and 33 school 4-H Clubs and 6 Clover Bud Clubs)
- 6,800 adults (3,000 agriculture and natural resources and 3,800 family consumer sciences)
How we reach them:
- 4-H Clubs, school enrichment, field days, publications, newsletters, class series, websites, demonstrations, social media and workshops.
Expanding our efforts:
- 250 volunteers from 4-H, Master Gardeners, family and community, Master Cattleman and Master Goat.
LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Rapides Parish residents. The total dollar amount from these commodities were: Animal enterprises, $13,524,972; fisheries and wildlife, $8,792,898; plant enterprises, $128,639,756.
Land area — 1,362 square miles; Population —130,562; Population under 18 years old — 24.7%; Population 65 years old and over — 16.4%; Median household income — $42,655; Persons below poverty — 19.9%
Local issues and plans for this year
Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture.
- Conduct cotton, corn, soybean and beef cattle field days.
- Conduct series on master gardener, master cattleman and master goat.
- Write news column, webpage content and seminars on agriculture practices.
- Conduct farm and home educational visits.
Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development.
- Junior Leaders work to assist in conducting educational activities and workshops for younger youth and have implemented a Service Project to assist various community organizations.
- Utilize the Livestock Club with assistance of volunteers to better prepare youth with projects and build leadership skills.
- Shooting Sports trained Adult Volunteers and Parent Volunteers to reach over 85 youth participants educating them in safety and marksmanship.
Strengthen families and communities
- Conduct nutrition programs that create healthy communities by improving overall nutrition and increasing physical activity levels, in youth and adults, which will produce long-lasting behavior changes.
- Provide nutrition education and food demonstrations at farmers markets and commodity food sites
- Provide hands-on food safety and cooking skills workshops for youth and adult audiences.
- Provide nutrition education programs in schools and head start centers.
- Protect the health of Louisiana families and reduce childhood lead poisoning through lead-safe healthy homes education.
- S.M.A.R.T. Portions-Weight Loss Program
- Farmers Market-Healthy Cooking Demonstrations
- Dining with Diabetes
- Healthy Communities Programming
- Let’s Eat for the Health of It
- Lead Poisoning
- Healthy Indoor Environments
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%