Xavier Bell named 4-H agent for St. John Parish

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

LAPLACE — Growing up in Concordia Parish, Xavier Bell thought his love of music would guide him toward a future as a band director. That was until his 4-H agent saw something within him that he didn’t see himself, paving the way for a new passion.

Bell became the new 4-H agent for St. John the Baptist Parish on June 1, 2022. He looks forward to building a community atmosphere around the organization and tailoring the program to help each individual child reach their full potential.

“Helping people, seeing people smile and helping people succeed is what I’m passionate about, and 4-H gives me that opportunity,” Bell said.

Bell attended Louisiana State University and graduated in 2017 and 2019 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural education with a concentration in youth development. From there, he interned with the National 4-H Council in Washington DC for the summer and participated in the Citizen Washington Focus Group as a program assistant. Returning home to Louisiana, his journey continued at the state 4-H office on LSU’s campus.

In July 2019, Bell became a full-time 4-H agent in East Feliciana Parish. Having now transitioned to St. John Parish, Bell looks forward to presenting an array of 4-H programs that incorporate civic engagement, healthy living and personal development.

“Everybody wants opportunities for their kids to participate. We’re coming out of COVID restrictions, and now is one of the best times to build a program,” Bell said. “A lot of people just think about the livestock aspect of 4-H. it is agriculture-based, but there’s so much more to it. It’s my job to build a program tailored to each individual child so they can get the full experience of the organization to help them reach their goals.”

While getting into the local schools is the first step to building a robust program, Bell said 4-H includes multiple levels of involvement that expand far beyond the campus setting. Summer camps, 4-H university competitions, poster contests, fishing sports, fashion events, and parish and regional level culinary contests are only a few ways students can explore their interests through this organization. According to Bell, opportunities also encompass citizenship conferences, summits and other national events.

“My motto is to trust the process. First, I want to get into the schools and immerse myself within the community by doing service projects within the parish,” Bell said. “By getting to know public officials and school administrators, we can work together to build a youth program for the entire parish.”

Bell invites community members of all ages to get involved with St. John 4-H. Even adults can find a spot in the organization, whether as a club leader or a judge for 4-H competitions.

Bell can be reached at 985-497-3261, 601-870-0291, or by email at XBell@agcenter.lsu.edu. The St. John Parish 4-H office is located at 151 East Third St. in Edgard, directly behind the Courthouse.