Red River 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 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

Louisiana is now #4 with highest obesity rate of 19.1%.Teaching youth to learn the importance of eating healthy and taking care of their bodies should help them be less likely to experience the consequences associated with obesity later in life. “Let’s Eat for the Health of It” youth and adult curriculum have been utilized in nutrition programming in Red River Parish. “Eat Smart, Live Strong” lessons have also been taught to adults in the parish.A variety of other nutrition lessons have been demonstrated for specific programs with the Red River Health Unit, such as, National Nutrition Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.Red River Elementary requested programs on nutrition and proper etiquette for their students this year.The LSU AgCenter launched a way for families to learn about nutrition and healthy lifestyles through Family Nutrition Night, providing them with an educational opportunity to learn more about the correct portion sizes, snacking, the importance of breakfast, calories in beverages, physical activity and BMI. The “10 Tips Nutrition Education Series”, “Smart Choices”, and “SNAP-Ed Social Marketing Campaign” are resources that have been used for additional reinforcement.Increasing, within a limited budget, the likelihood that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) recipients will make healthful food choices consistent with the most recent dietary advice reflected in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and USDA MyPlate is the goal.

4-H Youth Development

Red River Parish has 170 4-H club members and 60 volunteers enrolled in ten of the 4-H clubs in the parish. There are three project clubs in the parish: Junior Leader Club, 4-H Outdoor Skills, and 4-H Livestock. This year 4-H and Junior Leaders are focusing their efforts on meeting the needs of others around our parish. The clubs collect items and donate monthly to various groups, such as special needs, veterans, nursing home/hospital residents and foster children. The Junior Leaders serve in the parish at local events such as the Domestic Abuse Awareness Event, Trunk on Front, Summer Reading Program at the parish library, Red River Parish Fair Parade, and Coushatta Christmas Parade.They also serve in programs such as the Therapeutic Riding Program at the Red River Cowboy Church.The local 4-H Clubs meeting focus this year is Science, Engineering, and Technology.During club meetings, students explore science- based careers each month through hands-on projects.In addition to service, students participate in various leadership camps, summer camps, and 4-H University on LSU campus.

Agriculture & Natural Resouces

Red River Parish is located in northwest Louisiana and consists of 388.6 square miles. Established March 2, 1871, the parish was named for the Red River which flows through the entire length of the parish. Coushatta is the parish seat and was named for an Indian tribe which once inhabited the area. Agriculture plays a major role in the livelihood of Red River Parish residents. The parish is very diverse agriculturally, with the livestock and plant industries valuing over $46 million. In addition to large-scale producers, home gardens are common throughout the parish, with homeowners tending to fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals.

Whom we reach:

170 youth (includes 170 4-H members, 8 in School 4-H Clubs, 2 Homeschool

clubs, 3 Project Clubs)

500 agriculture and natural resources and family consumer sciences

How we reach them:

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

Expanding our efforts:

150 volunteers from 4-H, Master Gardeners, family and community and Master Horseman, News Paper, SNAP Ed Social Marketing Campaign.

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Red River Parish residents. The total dollar amount from these commodities were: Animal enterprises, $21,375,609; aquaculture and wildlife, $780,071; plant enterprises, $24,825,547.

Land area — 43,203.90 square miles; Population —4,659,978; Population under 18 years old — 23.5%; Population 65 years old and over — 15.4%; Median household income — $46,710; Persons below poverty — 18.6%

Local issues and plans for this year

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture.

  • Conduct beef cattle and crop workshops, along with other related topics.
  • 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.

  • Develop and implement service-learning projects throughout the parish.
  • Junior Leaders will work with CASA, character education projects and fashion club members on promoting youth development activities.

Strengthen families and communities

  • SNAP ED clients receive training on feeding their families nutritionally on a budget.
  • Conduct workshops on disaster preparedness, gab and go boxes storm clean up and house cleaning after a storm.

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%

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture