Tensas 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

The Center for Disease Control identified seven parishes with adult obesity rates over 40%, including Tensas. In order to promote healthy lifestyles and health equity, the LSU AgCenter is conducting long-term change through the Healthy Community Coalition which is a systemic community-driven approach that is expected to increase knowledge related to healthy behaviors, to promote healthier communities through building coalitions, and to increase community practices that promote healthy behaviors. This project will also include special events and classes through SNAP-Ed to educate families and individuals of all ages.

4-H Youth Development

Obesity continues to be a problem in Tensas Parish. 190 4-H youth and other students participated in educational programming relating to healthy lifestyles, gardening practices and improving communication skills. They learned how to make healthy food choices, the importance of fruits and vegetables in the diet and the role exercise plays in improving health. A new Garden Project Club was started, and youth are getting hands-on instruction on how to grow, harvest and prepare a variety vegetables. 14 youth reported planting new home gardens this year. Five youth participate in the NE Regional Leadership Board, one on the State Executive Board and another serves on the State SET Board and is a National Conference Delegate. 4 youth participated in livestock shows this past year. Progressive Farm Safety Day is held annually with all parish 4th and 5th graders learning safety tips for home, farm and community

Agriculture and Natural Resources

With an agricultural driven economy, Tensas Parish producers must use all the resources that are available to support both themselves and the local economy. Crop production demonstrations, workshops and field days are held in cooperation with producers for on-farm education.Precision ag demonstrations promote stewardship of the land and the production inputs used.Assistance with landscaping and home gardens is provided as one of the services of the Tensas Parish Extension Office.

Louisiana Master Farmer Program/Environmental Education

Currently, there are over 4000 producers are enrolled in the Louisiana Master Farmer Program and 296 have completed certification with fully implemented conservation plans.Numerous field days, workshops and trainings held annually demonstrated the benefits of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to producers and landowners. Master Farmer Phase I trainings and Phase II are conducted in North Louisiana on a yearly basis.Waterfests and classroom presentations were conducted, providing hands-on training and education for youth and educators in schools related to importance of their influence on the environment, especially water quality and quantity.Numerous grants were received for research and demonstration projects to showcase BMPs effectiveness and impact resolving soil, water, plant, animal and air quality issues.

Whom we reach:

  • 500 youth (includes 180 4-H members and 7 school 4-H Clubs)
  • 3000 adults (1000 agriculture and natural resources and 2000 family consumer sciences)

How we reach them:

4-H Clubs, Clover Buds, Project Clubs, school enrichment, field days, publications, newsletters, website and workshops.

Expanding our efforts:

155 volunteers from 4-H, FCS programs and community involvement, Master Gardeners, LA Master Farmer, Producer demonstrations, Multi-Parish/state/organizational education efforts, Farm Safety Day, Ag Expo, Ag Alley, Ag Adventures, .

Parish Facts:

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

  • Animal enterprises: $500,796
  • Land area: 641 square miles
  • Aquaculture and Wildlife: $645,408
  • Population: 4, 770
  • Plant Enterprises: $101,752,235
  • Population under 18 years old: 31%;
  • Median household income: $23,906
  • Population 65 years old and over: 12%
  • Persons below poverty: 38%

Local issues and plans for this year

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana Agriculture

  • Conduct Crop Variety and Production Demonstrations
  • Conduct Precision Agriculture Demonstrations and assist growers with interpretation of resulting data and its potential use
  • Write news articles, web page content, and conduct workshops on agriculture practices
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits

Promote the wise use of natural resources and protection of the environment.

  • Conduct Louisiana Master Farmer Program training sessions
  • Presentations and teaching at Model Farm and Research Station Field Days
  • Development of and presentations at on-farm demonstrations
  • Presentations at commodity production meetings, field trips, civic groups and schools related to soil, water, air, plant, animal and people related to environmental education

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H youth development.

  • Develop and implement service-learning projects throughout the parish
  • Continue Gardening Projects
  • Increase participation in parish, regional and state activities

Strengthen families and communities

  • Conduct educational trainings and demonstrations on nutrition and health
  • Conduct multi-parish parenting trainings and workshops
  • Teach classes on reducing credit balances and examining spending habits

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