The Bossier Parish Advisory Leadership Council (ALC) was established in January 2007. The responsibilities of the ALC are to represent peers, identify needs and issues, identify opportunities for collaboration, be active in sharing their skills and knowledge to help the parish and understand Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service as a common resource.
Members of the Bossier Parish ALC are:
||4-H Livestock Parent
||Bossier Parish Police Jury
||Ark-La-Tex Ag Council
||Bossier Parish Police Jury
||4-H Club Leader
||Ark-La-Tex Ag Council
||Bossier Parish 911
||Bossier Parish School Board
|LaRhonda P. Coleman
||N. La. Health Education Center
||Bossier City Council
||Bossier Parish Sheriff
||Bossier Parish School Board
||Bossier Parish Farmer
ANR - Agriculture & Natural Resources
Bossier Parish Advisory
Leadership Council Meeting
Red River Research Station
March 5, 2012
The Bossier Parish Advisory Leadership Council met at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, March 5, 2012. Those attending included:
Shelly Barrett, Principal, Meadowview Elementary
Tammy Smith, President, Bossier Parish School Board
Mike Mosura, Bossier Parish School Board
David Caldwell, Timber Landowner
Julian Whittington, Bossier Parish Sheriff
Jack D. Barnett, Landowner
Glenn Benton, Bossier Parish Police Jury
Joycelin Shamsie, 4-H Livestock Parent
Jon V. Lowe, Ark-La-Tex Ag Council
Mark Morgan, Timber Landowner
LaRhonda Coleman, North La. Health Education Center
Tracey Hilburn, Bossier Parish E-911 Director
Donnie Leflett, Bossier Parish Cattleman and Farmer
LSU AgCenter Staff:
Patrick Colyer, Northwest Regional Director
Randy Sanderlin, Resident Coordinator, Pecan Research Station
Karen Martin, 4-H Regional Coordinator, Northwest Region
Grace Peterson, Assistant Extension Agent, FNP/Horticulture
Linda Perry, Nutrition Educator II, Caddo/Bossier EFNEP
Arelis Soberal, Nutrition Educator I, Caddo/Bossier EFNEP
Bossier Parish Office Extension Staff:
Ricky Kilpatrick, Area Forestry Agent/Parish Chair
Jeannie Crnkovic, 4-H Youth Development
Alex Shook, 4-H Youth Development
Katherine Ervin, 1890 Extension Aide
Alison Smith, Administrative Coordinator
As each member signed in, they were provided with handouts pertinent to the meeting. Ricky welcomed everyone and thanked them for taking the time to attend in the planning and evaluation process to the ongoing success of the AgCenter’s programs in Bossier Parish. While everyone ate their meals from the Blue Moon BBQ and Grill in Bossier City, they listened to the video message from Dr. Paul Coreil, Vice Chancellor and Director of the La. Cooperative Extension Service, and Dr. John Russin, Vice Chancellor and Director of the La. Agricultural Experiment Station.
The handouts consisted of the AgCenter’s Business Plan (which was provided to participants prior to the meeting), Roles and Responsibilities of ALC members, Bossier Parish Extension Highlights pamphlet and the Louisiana Highlights of Agriculture booklet as well as other ongoing programs in Bossier.
Staff members of the AgCenter and Bossier Parish office introduced themselves. Ricky explained to the group that the purpose of the meeting was to update everyone on the financial crisis that the LSU AgCenter is facing and recent changes in program priorities outlined in the Business Plan which was shown as a PowerPoint presentation.
Ricky explained how the extension service came to be in existence. Four legislative acts are significant in the establishment.
- First, in 1862 the Morrill Act established the land grant system throughout the United States. This act provided for the development of one college in each state with an emphasis on courses in agriculture and mechanical arts. LSU is Louisiana’s 1862 land grant university.
- In 1887 the Hatch Act established the agricultural research program for the purpose of conducting scientific experiments in agriculture.
- The 2nd Morrill Act in 1890 established an additional 17 land grant universities for African Americans. Southern University in Baton Rouge is Louisiana’s 1890 land grant university.
- And in 1914 the Smith-Lever Act created the extension service system throughout the country. Its intent was to aid in diffusing useful and practical information related to agriculture and home making and the use of that information.
Ricky discussed the history, funding and organizational structure of the AgCenter. He mentioned that there were originally 7 regions which were restructured to the now 5 regional offices, 64 parish offices and 16 research stations, reduced from 20. A pie chart was used to depict specific funding for the AgCenter.
A Business Plan was prepared because state funding has been reduced over $30 million since July 2008 resulting in a reduction in workforce (314 positions lost) and has created a need to focus extension and research programs based on budget realities. As a result of this meeting, we will be able to improve our educational efforts so your feedback in this time of restructuring is critical.
What steps have we taken in response to budget cuts?
- Focused programs
- Set 20% local support goal to meet the southern states average
- With the significant increases from our local supporters over the last few years, we have reached that 20% goal in Bossier Parish.
- Continuing to apply for competitive grant funds
- OMK – military grant for working with youth on Barksdale AFB
- Shooting Sports – NRA grant used for purchase of trailer to transport supplies to competitive events, purchase supplies used in the shooting sports program.
- DADS – grant used for supplies in conducting Divorce: Children in the Middle program
- Energy grant for Parkway High School
- Developing new partnerships
- Improving administration efficiency
- Exploring other revenue streams
- Fee for services
- Foundation gifts and support
Local support has grown tremendously from 1981 to 2011. The LSU AgCenter continues to benefit greatly from this support. The Bossier Parish Police Jury, Bossier Parish School Board and Bossier City Council provide support to the Bossier Parish Extension office. This is greatly appreciated and provides for a successful program in the parish. In addition to the financial backing, our local supporters also provide facilities, equipment and other resources.
Ag commodity programs proposed to be de-emphasized include pecans, dairy, swine, small ruminants and fruits and vegetables. Why the decision to reduce research and extension focus?
- Declining economic impact of the commodity – either decline in the value of the industry statewide, lack of commodity support, or more reliance on private support.
- Requires financial investment in programs to remain competitive – funds are not available.
- Can share and obtain information from other states – sharing research and extension programming expertise.
- Physical changes (e.g. pecan?) – the Pecan Station will have an interstate traveling through it soon.
- Level of faculty expertise – quality programs.
The impact of the budget cuts for Bossier Parish has resulted in:
- Loss of 4-H secretary (huge challenge to maintain the largest 4-H program in the northwest region…enrollment, newsletters, camp sign-up, project books, etc.)
- Loss of FCS agent
How do you think the changes in the agriculture, 4-H and family consumer sciences program areas (research and extension) revealed in this business plan will affect or already affecting our parish?
. LSU-S internship opportunities
. Parents enter youth in enrollment system instead of 4-H office
. School – Common Core instead of GLEs (change coming)
. Will become more efficient, more productivity, more involvement for support of programs they want to keep
. Loss of secretary
. Programs volunteer driven – how can we assist our volunteers if we can’t keep up in the office
. Fewer and fewer employees will result in an end to the program
What are some other possible funding streams we could explore to sustain local programming and offset future budget cuts?
. Commodity groups
Other key programs to consider
. Who is getting the word out?
. Link our website to the Bossier Parish School Board website
. How are you benefitting me?
. Marketing through social media
. Sharing 4-H with former 4-H’ers
At this time, Ricky asked the committee members to introduce themselves to the group. He thanked everyone for participating and encouraged the group to join in at the regional listening session:
May 3, Natchitoches Arts Center, 6:00 p.m.
May 5, Hill Farm Research Station, 6:00 p.m.
Thank you for participating in this critical ALC meeting. If you are concerned about the ongoing cuts, and resulting restructuring, at the LSU AgCenter, please communicate the importance of our programs to local, state and federal policymakers that provide funding. Help us to identify potential funding partners to sustain important AgCenter research and extension programs.
Minutes from the committee meetings may be retrieved from the links provided below: