[Image: Madison Parish Profile 2012]
Family, Nutrition & Health
Nutrition programs, such as FF-NEWS, Smart Choices and others provide research-based information to help individuals and families increase their nutrition knowledge, gain skills in healthy food preparation, and improve eating and activity habits in order to live a healthy lifestyle. The issue of Childhood Obesity has been adopted as a major initiative. Programs such as Family Nutrition Night and Smart Bodies address this issue and promote healthy lifestyles through hands-on educational activities for chil-dren, parents and caregivers. School garden projects teach the value of food and enhance skills in health, math and social growth for youth and families.
4-H Youth & Family Development
Program initiatives strive to promote innovative learning-by-doing educational experiences to engage a diverse population of youth, families and volunteers. 4-H pro-grams promote literacy and life skill development utilizing a research-based curriculum, a mobile technology lab and project-based hands-on learning experiences. Southern University Y.E.S. program strengthens learning in reading, writing, math and science by developing new skills, increasing self-confidence and encouraging youth and families to contribute through service to their commu-nity. Youth and families also benefit from outreach efforts in resource management, financial literacy education, parenting and childcare series.
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Located in the Northeast Louisiana in the heart of the Mississippi River Delta, Madison program efforts include working with innovative producers to utilize precision agricultural farming methods, making recommendations for row crop commodities and researching irrigation problems resulting from salt water intrusion in irrigation wells. On-going collabora-tion with Ag Economists includes collection of data on production loss as a result of high river levels and continuing drought. As one of two GIS specialists for the AgCenter in North Louisiana, our local programming efforts have provided training for producers on how to better utilize precision agriculture technology in farming operations. Special programs in-clude field days, demonstration plots on local farms and at the Northeast Research Station, and regular farm visits. With data collected on local farms, producers are able to make bet-ter management decisions to increase returns on investments.
Who we reach:
2850 - Youth (includes 4-H Club members in 5 schools and all community outreach programs), 3450 - Adults 227 Ag & Natural Resources, 3223 4-H & Family Development.
How we reach them:
4-H clubs, Class series, School Enrichment, Demonstrations, Field days, Workshops, Newsletters, Web sites, Publications, and Social media.
Expanding our efforts:
150 Volunteers - 4-H, Master Gardeners, Master Horsemen, Family & Community Partners.
LSU AgCenter County Agents provide research-based information on plant, aqua-culture, wildlife and animal enterprises to Madison Parish clientele. The 2011 total dollar amount from these commodities were:
- Plant enterprises - $97,903,940 .
- Aquaculture and wildlife - $250,103.
- Animal enterprises - $2,221,133.
TOTAL Farm Gate Value $100,375,176
Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary Web site: LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary
Population - 12,093
Land area (square miles) - 624
Persons under 18 years old - 25%
Persons 65 years old and over - 11.9%
Median household income - $26,441
Local Issues & Plans for this year:
1. Increase productivity and profitability of Louisiana Agricul-ture.
- Conduct parish Ag Day
- Conduct on farm variety trials for evaluation of specific varieties in local production environment
- Conduct verification field with LSU AgCenter specialist to assure recommendations are effective/economical
- Develop a precision agriculture demonstration/to help producers become more proficient with emerging technology
- Conduct farm and home visits with ag producers and home own-ers to assist as needed
2. Promote the wise use of natural resources and protection of the environment.
- Work with producers to evaluate irrigation wells for performance and salinity content
- Youth to increase an appreciation for agriculture and how food is produced utilizing school garden projects
3. Build leaders and good citizens through 4-H Youth and Family development.
- Community partners to collaborate to enhance year-round learn-ing opportunities for parish youth and families
- 4-H members to build belonging, independence, mastery and gen-erosity through heightened learning opportunities utilizing technol-ogy-based resources and hands-on activities
4. Strengthen families and communities
- Youth and families to gain knowledge of how to incorporate healthful foods into their diets
- Adults to learn the importance of establishing healthy eating and physical activities, food safety, budgeting, and healthy practices to prevent chronic diseases and improve resource management
- Referral and court-ordered clientele to gain skills needed to raise their children from birth through adolescence