350 kindergarteners and first grade students at Bains Lower Elementary continue to care for their school garden. They are anxiously awaiting the harvest of their potatoes, peas, and turnips. In October, the youth learned how to identify Go, Slow, & Whoa Snacks and planted carrot seeds. In November, the children harvested and sampled radish. They also discovered the MyPlate. During the December programs, the children learned about food safety and hand washing and practiced washing germs away during the Fight BAC! Program. In October, a Dining with Diabetes Program was conducted to help adults at risk for type 2 diabetes, who are pre-diabetic or who have diabetes and their families/caregivers learn how to manage their condition through menu planning, carbohydrate counting, portion control, and label reading. 16 participated in this five-part series. 12 Adult Ed students participated in two nutrition programs and learned about the Dairy Food Group while working on menu makeovers to include more dairy. They also learned the importance of food safety and hand washing and how to debunk common home food safety myths. A monthly nutrition series continues at the Council on Aging. 36 clients learned the importance of the Dairy Food Group and some non-dairy food sources for calcium. They also learned how to reduce their risk of foodborne illness.
West Feliciana 4-H had a very productive fall. In our school club meetings, we are still participating in the Lesson Study: Ready Set Experiment. In October, our 4-H’ers learned about chemical reactions and made volcanos with lemons, food coloring, and baking soda. In November, we furthered that theme by making another chemical reaction, this time learning about biofuels. They mixed sugar, water, and yeast in bottles to blow up balloons. In our meetings, we also had career connections with both experiments to learn about various science related careers, the salaries made, and schooling required to follow these career paths.
The West Feliciana Junior Leader Program is growing steadily, and we are now at 25 members. The Junior Leaders held their very first event in December and it was successful. They ran the West Feliciana Parish 4-H Pet Show as a fundraiser for their service-learning project. The money raised was used to buy Christmas presents for the disabled veterans at the Veterans Home and to buy supplies for the animals at our parish animal shelter.
28 4-H’ers in the Sewing Club participated in their first workshop held in November. Livestock Show season is getting underway. 67 4-H’ers will be exhibiting 148 market animals, breeding animals, poultry, and rabbits.
Eighteen Master Gardener students finished their classes and graduated on December 4. The students learned about botany, weed management, pesticides, herbaceous plants, soils, trees, vegetables, etc. They also participated in a field trip to the Hammond Research Station and each gave a 5-minute horticulture presentation to the class. Students are required to complete 40 hours of volunteer service in order to earn the certified Master Gardener status. Four of the graduates have already obtained their certified Master Gardener status.
175 second grade students at Bains Elementary are participating in school gardens. The students planted their garden on October 29th and have green onions, garlic, radishes, bok choy, snapdragons, and lettuce growing. They also planted cabbage and cauliflower, but the deer and the freeze have taken a toll on those.
12 fruit and vegetable producers participated in a farmer’s update meeting November 5. Speakers included Dr. Raj Singh, LSU AgCenter Plant Pathologist and Dr. Kiki Fontenot, LSU AgCenter Vegetable Specialist. They also heard updates from Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry on new FDA food safety regulations.
Our new Administrative Coordinator, Randi Patin, started work on December 9. She is a lifelong resident of West Feliciana Parish where she resides with her husband, Perry Patin and their two girls. Alex is a 10th grader at WFHS and Valarie is a 5th grader at Bains Elementary.
Randi comes to us with 22 years of experience in a wide range of areas that we feel will help us complete our daily tasks. She looks forward to serving our community and helping all of you anyway she can. We are excited to have her as part of the AgCenter team! You can contact her by calling our office at 225-635-3614 or emailing her at RPatin@agcenter.lsu.edu