LSU AgCenter DeSoto Parish Profile Report to Stakeholders October 2023

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

Flavors of Health (FoH) is the Family and Consumer Science Program offered in DeSoto Parish. FoH is a nutrition education and health program with a community focus. Our program serves Louisiana’s adults, promoting healthful diets and positive lifestyles to prevent or manage chronic disease and to improve quality of life. We also conduct programs for our youth, emphasizing cooking skills and preparation of healthful meals and snacks. FoH uses the latest science and best-practices to help you and your family manage your nutrition-related health challenges. We focus on healthy eating and physical activity. We provide virtual and on-site classes, presentations, workshops, and educational materials to encourage healthier food and fitness behaviors. This includes cooking skills, grocery shopping strategies, small goal setting, exercise and physical activity guidance, healthy habit development, weight management and diet-disease links.

4-H Youth Development

4-H is a community of more than 6.5 million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. 4-H’ers participate in fun, hands-on learning activities which encourage a sense of belonging among the youth. The 4-H Club is the largest youth organization in the United States! Louisiana has more than 85,000 4-H members in more than 1,700 clubs. Louisiana 4-H reaches a diverse group of youth, grades K-12. Through non-formal, research-based, experiential learning activities, 4-H participants gain knowledge and life skills to become productive, capable, and compassionate members of their communities. The 4-H program combines the cooperative efforts of youth, volunteer leaders, land-grant universities, federal, state, local governments, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Services, DeSoto Parish had approximately 32,000 head of beef cows and calves as of January 1, 2023. The 2020 LSU Agriculture Summary reported a gross farm value of $10,704,242 for beef production in DeSoto Parish. To sustain the cattle industry in DeSoto Parish we conducted a series of meetings in which beef producers gained awareness of feeding cattle through the winter, cool season forage variety recommendations, marketing beef cattle, weed control in pastures and hay fields. We average 40 producers that attend our beef meetings. With the utilization of a beef cattle email distribution list, in which I have 242 members, monthly newsletters are sent to cattlemen in my area.

Whom We Reach:

908 youth (includes 235 4-H members, 57 adult volunteers, 11 school 4-H Clubs, and 7 after- school clubs) 24,901 adults (3,548 agriculture and natural resources and 21,353 family consumer sciences)

How We Reach Them:

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

Expanding Our Efforts:

Over 100 volunteers from 4-H, ANR and family and community.

Parish Facts:

LSU AgCenter county agents provide research-based information on plant, aquaculture, wildlife and animal enterprises to DeSoto Parish residents. The total dollar amount from these commodities were: Animal enterprises, $2,981,060; aquaculture and wildlife, $5,458,526; plant enterprises, $39,822,294. Land area — 896 square miles; Population —26,853; Population under 18 years old — 24%; Population 65 years old and over — 18.4%; Median household income — $45,364; Persons below poverty — 19.6%

Local Issues and Plans for This Year:

Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana agriculture

  • Conduct quarterly beef cattle producer meetings
  • Conduct annual pesticide recertification meetings
  • Assist homeowners with lawn and garden questions
  • Conduct farm and home educational visits

Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth Development

  • Develop young leaders through Character Development programing in school club meetings
  • Conduct life skill lessons in partnerships with local business and stakeholders for Jr. Leaders Clubs
  • Partner with the D.O.V.E. program to teach life skills through a school enrichment program that will help with aiding them in adulthood through their community garden

Strengthen families and communities

  • Promote healthy diets and positive lifestyles to prevent or manage chronic diseases and to improve the quality of life
  • Educate youth on cooking skills and preparation of healthy meal plans
  • Conduct programs such as Spice of the Month, Playstreets, and StoryWalks throughout the communities of DeSoto Parish

Extension Funding
FY 2022-2023

How we are funded:

You are the local supporters and beneficiaries of the LSU AgCenter extension programs. Your support keeps these programs in your communities.

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 2022-2023:

  • State General Direct: 78.01%
  • Federal Funds: 12.06%
  • Self-Generated: 6.31%
  • Statutory Dedications: 3.62%

For the latest research-based information on just about anything, visit our website: LSUAgCenter.com

Extension Office Address: 10117 Hwy 171, Grand Cane, LA 71032
Phone: 318-872-0533 Fax: 318-872-2367
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Website: LSUAgCenter.com/DeSoto       Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/desotoparishextension

Parish Chair: jsalley@agcenter.lsu.edu
Administrative Coordinator: msaenz@agcenter.lsu.edu

Office Staff:
Joshua Salley Parish Chair/ANR  jsalley@agcenter.lsu.edu
SarahJayne Driskill 4-H Youth Agent  sjdriskill@agcenter.lsu.edu
Erin Stockton Nutrition Agent  estockton@agcenter.lsu.edu
Melissa Saenz Administrative Coordinator  msaenz@agcenter.lsu.edu