Friday, September 12

SU Ag Center: Back-to-School Summit Encouraging to Youth

L-r: Chancellor Williams, Dr. Burke, Lt. Gen. Honore

Dr. Truth, gives keynote address to youth

Byron Starks interacts with youth after speaking

Isiah Marshall, St. Martinville Jr. High School

Mystique Dufort, Catahoula Elementary School

Shalyric Self, singer, songwriter
Baton Rouge, LA – On September 11, 2014, the Southern University Ag Center welcomed students, faculty and staff from schools in Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Evangeline, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermillion Parishes to its 14th Back-to-School Summit for 8th graders at the Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette.  The event themed “Healthy Actions Produce Positive Youth” had Danna Andrus "Dr. Truth" serving as Keynote speaker.  Special appearances featured Cadet Cody LeBlanc, ULL Army, for the Presentation of Colors, and speech by Lt. Gen. Russell Honore (Retired), United States Army, in commemoration of 911.  Speakers included Byron Starks, Coach and Mentor, and Den Hussey, Motivational Speaker/MC. Shalyric Self provided entertainment.  Also prominent were Senator Elbert Guillory, LA State District 24; and Chancellor Leodrey Williams, SU Ag Center, with welcome greetings. 

Isiah Marshall, 8th grader from St. Martinville Junior High said he was happy for the opportunity to be there, and his take home message was to develop self-confidence, have a goal and stick to it.

“My brother is now in high school, and he told me about it because he attended in 8th grade,” Isiah said. 

Mystique Dufort, 8th grader from Catahoula Elementary School said the main lesson she took home from the summit was to believe in herself and not get misled by peers.

The event was covered by the Lafayette Advertiser and can be accessed by following this link.

Nearly three thousand student attendees received informational brochures along with school supplies from various agencies while learning from motivational speakers and video presentations.  Topics of discussion included a wide range of healthy living tips, from sexual conduct to drug abuse. The goal of the program is to give young people health alternative choices in life. The program targets eighth-graders because they are on the edge of becoming teenagers. Also in attendance were participating agencies and programs from surrounding parishes to show their support.

This annual summit is organized by the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives, the satellite arm of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, under the leadership of Dr. Wanda Burke who can be reached at 225-771-5184 or (337) 943-2410; via email at wanda_burke@suagcenter.com

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714



Wednesday, September 10

SU Ag Center: US Department of Agriculture Provides Disaster Information to Farmers

Baton Rouge, LA – The USDA has made available information on different programs available to farmers during an emergency or disaster. Emergency Brochure for Farmers can be downloaded in PDF format at https://db.tt/aapot4SZ


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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Tuesday, September 9

USDA: What the Farm Bill Means for New Farmers

Baton Rouge, LA - On Tuesday, September 9, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden hosted a Google+Hangout to discuss what the Farm Bill means for new farmers.

The Hangout video entitled What the Farm Bill Means for New Farmers - With Deputy Secretary Harden is available online

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Monday, September 8

USDA Shares Week in Review Video

Baton Rouge, La – The US Department of Agriculture shares a rundown of some of the key announcements, activities, and current events related to their work at USDA every week via a short video clip.

Week of September 5th highlights included U.S. food insecurity, lake algae, and adverse weather recovery assistance for farmers. Past videos are also available at the website.

Watch the video at www.usda.gov/thisweek.


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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Thursday, September 4

September is National Preparedness Month

Baton Rouge, La – The SU Ag Center is committed to keeping Louisiana citizens informed at all times. Thus, be Disaster Aware! September is National Preparedness Month.


#NatlPrep launched on September 2nd through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.  The Ready campaign launched a successful New Year’s Thunderclap supporting “Resolve to Be Ready” in 2014 reaching 1,304,972 people.

This National Preparedness Month, Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare. Resources are available at http://www.ready.gov/publications.
The Ready Campaign established four universal building blocks of emergency preparedness: Be informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved. America’s PrepareAthon! builds on this foundation by encouraging millions of Americans to focus on a simple, specific activity that will increase preparedness.
During National Preparedness Month we ask you, your family, community, school and workplace to take action by planning a National PrepareAthon! Day on or around September 30th. We recommend using digital media tools as a way to promote National Preparedness Month, September 1-30th.
Each week throughout National Preparedness Month will focus on different emergency preparation topics:
Week 1 - How to Reconnect with Family After a Disaster
Week 2 - Know How to plan for specific needs before a Disaster
Week 3 – How to Build an Emergency Kit
Week 4 & 5 - How to Practice for an emergency

Ready.gov has all the information you need to start the conversation with your family including emergency kit checklists and disaster fact sheets.
For more information about National Preparedness Month visit: www.ready.gov/september

Register your PrepareAthon! Day event: www.ready.gov/prepare

Get ahead of the rush and get the toolkit now to start planning and promoting your preparedness events both online and offline. The toolkit includes tons of amazing resources and ideas to ensure that you're completely ready to inspire others to be disaster aware!

Disaster planning and preparedness can be your lifeline to staying in business. With proper educationplanningtesting and disaster assistance, you will be able to stay in business through any interruption and beyond. The SBA and Agility Recovery will host a series of four webinars each Wednesday in September, which will highlight specific actions business owners can take to build a solid emergency preparedness plan.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714


SU Ag Center Counts Down to Annual Back-to-School Summit in Lafayette


Event announcement
Baton Rouge, LA - The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, through its Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives, will host its 14th Annual Back-to-School Summit on Thursday, September 11, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Blackham Coliseum, Lafayette, LA.

Now in its 14th year, this 10-parish event is a collaborative effort between the SU Ag Center’s Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives and 40 non-profit organizations, state agencies, local municipal governments, and businesses.

The summit aims to accomplish the following goals and objectives: To provide a neutral platform for open dialogue among teens and service providers; To assist teens in making healthy life choices; To present current information regarding sexually transmitted diseases and their impact on teens; To promote abstinence and/or deter pre-marital sex; and To facilitate informed behavioral choices among teens about alcohol and tobacco use.

The summit is free and open to all 8th graders in Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Evangeline, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermilion Parishes.

“The 2013 summit was, indeed, a success as reported by the 2,250 students and school personnel who attended from Avoyelles, St. Landry, Evangeline, Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, Lafayette and Vermilion Parishes. Our challenge for this year's summit is to, get 100% participation from (approximately 3,000) 8th graders residing in all 10 parishes serviced by the Southwest Center.  The ultimate goal, as always is to educate and inform participants about the prevailing youth-related issues to the point that they are persuaded to make positive and healthy behavioral choices throughout their new school year,” said Dr. Wanda Burke, Director.

For further details, contact the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives at (337) 943-2410.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Tuesday, August 26

Smartphone App to Prevent Bullying

Baton Rouge, La - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has launched KnowBullying, a free smartphone app that provides parents, caretakers, educators, and others information and support to address youth bullying. The KnowBullying mobile app, developed in collaboration with the federal partnership StopBullying.gov, is available for iPhone and Android users. Key features include:
  • How to start a conversation with a child about bullying.
  • How to prevent bullying for ages 3–6, 7–13, and older teens.
  • How to recognize whether bullying is affecting a child.
  • How and when to talk with children about bullying issues.
  • Getting advice and support through social media—Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and text messages.
  • Educator-focused strategies for preventing bullying in the classroom and supporting children who are being bullied.
Resources: Download the KnowBullying app and the promotional postcard and flier. Learn about more resources at StopBullying.gov

For further detail, contact Tiffany Franklin at 225-771-2242.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Monday, August 25

SU Ag Center to hold two free 'Excel for Small Business' TrainingAnnouncem

Announcement
The Center for Rural and Small Business Development in the Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center will hold two free ‘Excel for Small Business’ training classes. The classes will be held on Thursday, August 28, 2014, from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. and Thursday, September 4, 2014, from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Both classes will be held in room 138 of the Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center, 181 B.A. Little Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

Participants will learn how to use excel to track their business’ monthly expenses and income, develop cash flow statements and profit and loss statements for their current or future business.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. Computers will be available, but individuals are encouraged to bring their personal laptops or android devices.

To register, contact LaKeeshia Giddens at, 225.771.2160; via e-mail at lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com or Mr. Eual Hall at, 225.771.4105; via e-mail at eual_hall@suagcenter.com. When registering, please provide your name and the date of the class you wish to attend.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714


Wednesday, August 20

SUBR Produces one of the 8 Youngest Black College Graduates You Should Know

Baton Rouge, LA - Polite Stewart, believed to be the youngest graduate in Southern University and A&M College’s history, after enrolling at the Baton Rouge, La., university at age 14, he graduated at 18 with a degree in physics. Read more at The Root.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

SU Ag Center Shares Produce Preservation Training Video on YouTube

SU Ag Center Trainers
Baton Rouge, LA- The following training video (Preserving Produce via Canning, Freezing and Drying) was produced through a USDA Capacity Building Grant project entitled: "Eradicating Food Deserts through the Development of School Gardens," by the Southern University Ag Center and the Louisiana Public Broadcasting. The purpose of this video is to teach families and children transferable skills to grow their own fresh produce. The Southern University Ag Center (Baton Rouge, LA) is located in a food desert, which means there is limited access to fresh produce. This video was developed with the partnership of Exxon Mobil YMCA. The video can be view on the web via the Center's website at www.suagcenter.com or through the YouTube Channel or by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyQtNRMlp1U

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Thursday, August 14

You’re Invited to Healthy Corner Store Initiative Ribbon Cutting!!

Baton Rouge, LA - The East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority invites you to the Healthy Corner Store Initiative Ribbon Cutting!!
WHEN:                       August 19th @ 10:00AM
WHERE:                     Sewell’s Community Grocery, 469 Elmer Avenue
GUEST SPEAKER:    Mayor-President Kip Holden

 FREE GIVEAWAYS, FOOD and a FUN TWIST ON HEALTHY FOOD OPTIONS!  

 Come out and support neighborhood corner stores and see what the buzz is all about!

For further detail, contact Lyndsi Lambert at lyndsi.freshbeginnings@gmail.com

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Wednesday, August 13

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Increase Economic Opportunity and Improve the Quality of Life in Rural Areas

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is seeking applications for grants that will be awarded to organizations to provide critical financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop and strengthen their capacity to carry out housing, community facilities and community and economic development projects.

"Many rural nonprofits often need capital and technical assistance to carry out their missions," Vilsack said. "These grants will provide both of these components through local and regional organizations that are experts at delivering such services."

USDA is making nearly $6 million available to qualified organizations under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI).

Recipients must be non-profit organizations, low-income rural communities, or federally recognized tribes. Intermediary organizations are required to provide matching funds at least equal to the RCDI grant. The grants do not go directly to business recipients but rather through qualified intermediaries.

The deadline for submitting RCDI applications is November 12, 2014. Applications must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development state office where the applicant's headquarters are located. More information about the program and how to apply is available on page 47427 of the August 13, 2014 Federal Register.

Here is an example of how the RCDI program is helping rural communities. The Western Maine Community Action Program (WMCAP) has received several RCDI grants in recent years to help low-and very-low-income seniors maintain their independence and remain in their homes through the Keeping Seniors Home Program. Started in 2004, this program has served nearly 3,000 low-income senior homeowners in Maine. WMCAP is also working on a regional job creation plan to train energy auditors, private contractors, and other community partners to provide additional support services to Maine's elderly rural citizens.
President Obama's historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.

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Contact: Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384

Monday, August 4

SU Alumnus, Tyra Davis Needs Your Vote to Win America’s Favorite Veterinarian

Baton Rouge, LA - Dr. Tyra Davis-Brown needs your vote to win the 2014 America’s Favorite Veterinarian. America's Favorite Veterinarian contest strives to recognize the work of veterinarians from all industries. Veterinarians keep our pets healthy.  Davis is a 1999 Graduate of SU College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences in Animal Science and a 2003 graduate of Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Log on to http://www.americasfavoriteveterinarian.org/ to VOTE for DR. DAVIS today!!! Voters are allowed one vote daily until August 30, 2014

America’s Favorite Veterinarian is a nationwide contest created by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) to identify and celebrate extraordinary veterinary professionals practicing in all areas of veterinary medicine from private practice to public health, agriculture to academia. This contest honors and recognizes those entrusted to preserve and protect the health and well-being of animals and to celebrate the special relationships pet owners share with their veterinarians.

Dr. Davis grew up in a rural south Louisiana town of New Iberia, and earned a scholarship to Southern University in Animal Science, and was accepted into the university’s Honors College.  For the first time in her life, she considered a career in veterinary medicine despite her dream of becoming a physician or researcher.
After attending a summer internship at the University of Missouri and visiting Tuskegee University, Davis was convinced that she wanted to become a Veterinarian. After graduating she worked briefly with USDA/ARS and it solidified her desire to work with large animals, leading her to veterinary school in the fall of 1999.

She undertook large animal and equine research at MIZZOU and the USDA/Agricultural Research Service, but was steered by fate to the mixed animal practice focus.  Upon graduating from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, she landed a job with Dale Peyroux, in Hammond, La, and commends Peyroux for taking her under his wing and helping her “to become the veterinarian she is today.”

“My journey has taught me that sometimes in order to find our true self we must step outside what seems to be comfortable and accept possible life changing opportunities without reservation. Accepting that scholarship to Southern was one of the best decisions I have made in my life,” Davis said.

"Dr. Davis should be America's Favorite Vet because of her work ethic, kindness, and commitment to animal care. At Hammond Animal Hospital Dr. Davis and her staff provide their patients with affordable and top notch care. Dr. Davis makes every patient feel comfortable and is very detailed in explaining the best options for my pet. Not only is Dr. Davis a community hero she is an advocate for Pet Education and Wellness. I have witnessed Dr. Davis carpool pets for Senior citizens in the community who do not have the transportation to make important visits to the clinic. Dr. Davis also offers house services for her clients who are unable to make scheduled appointments due to irregular circumstances. I have the upmost respect for Dr. Davis and she should be chosen as America's Favorite Vet."--Teirsen.

For further detail, contact Renita W. Marshall, DVM/Associate Professor, Animal Science

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Friday, August 1

SU Ag Center: Dr. Abdollahi Presents at 2014 Biomass Conference

Dr. Abdollahi presents poster session

Assembly of 2014 Biomass Conference Participants
Baton Rouge, LA - Dr. Kamran Abdollahi, professor and program leader, urban forestry at Southern University Ag Center was selected to present a poster in a session at the 2014 Biomass Conference. The conference themed, Biomass 2014: Growing the Future Bioeconomy, took place July 29-30 at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center, with more than 3,000 participants. 

Dr. Abdollahi can be reached at 225-771-6291 or kamrana664@cs.com


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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

SU Ag Center to Host School Garden Workshop in Mansura

Baton Rouge, LA - The Southern University Ag Center will host a School Garden Workshop at the Mansura Ag Center in Avoyelles Parish on Monday August 4th, from 9am-11am. Teachers, parents and volunteers associated with the gardens funded by The Rapides Foundation are invited to attend. The workshop will cover a broad range of topics including the importance of school gardens, basic gardening skills as well as hands-on activities with seeds and trays.
De’Shoin York, extension specialist, Stephanie Elwood, extension associate, Camellia Brown, nutrition educator, and Melody Coco, nutrition education assistant, from the SU and LSU Ag Centers will coordinate events for the workshop.

For further detail, please call Stephanie Elwood at 225-771-2134; for directions to the workshop call Camellia Brown at 318-964-2249

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Wednesday, July 9

SU Ag Center to Offer Healthy Living Classes for Teens in Opelousas


Baton Rouge, LA - Young people ages 10 to 18 are invited to learn how to take good care of themselves while having a good time during this year’s Healthy Living Workshop hosted by the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives in Opelousas.

When: July 16 – 30, 2014
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on weekdays
Where: 1209 Diesi St., in Opelousas

Crystal St. Junious with the Center said the classes are free.  However, parents will need to drop off and pick up their children each day at the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives.

Parents will need to register their children no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, July 11.

St. Junious said the program acknowledges that the teen years are a period of intense physical, emotional, mental and intellectual growth.

“It is also a time when your child develops habits that can last a lifetime. You can help your teenager reach optimal growth and development by instilling lifestyle habits that support a healthy and happy body,” St. Junious said.

She said the program will incorporate exercise, making healthy food choices, skin care and lessons on how to deal with and manage stress.

“In addition, multi-platinum recording artist Cupid and professional fitness instructor Kasey Barnes Binns will teach fitness with a twist of dance to show how much fun healthy living can be,” St. Junious said.

For more information, call the center at 337-943-2410 or visit the Daily World online.

The Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives is a satellite unit of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center.  Located in Opelousas, the Center serves a 10- parish region of Southwest Louisiana.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Wednesday, July 2

41st Annual Bayou Classic: 4 for 41 Tickets - Only in July!

Baton Rouge, LA – Get 4 Bayou Classic Tickets for Only $41. Hurry and get your family's tickets for the Bayou Classic! This special deal commemorates the Bayou Classic's 41st anniversary, and is perfect for you and your family. Enjoy family friendly events like the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade, Battle of the Bands & Greek Show, the game itself, Fan Festival and more!

Visit Ticketmaster HERE to purchase your tickets today! Or you can visit the following locations to purchase tickets:
·        New Orleans Arena Box Office (1501 Girod Street, New Orleans)
·        The Grambling State University Ticket Office
·        The Southern University Ticket Office 
 The code for this ticket promotion is: 4FOR41


This offer is valid ONLY July 1-31, 2014. Certain rules and restrictions may apply.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Monday, June 23

USDA Provides Centralized Resource for Beginning Farmers

Baton Rouge, La - Today, Monday, June 23rd, Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced a new resource:  www.USDA.gov/newfarmers, a website that provides centralized, one-stop shopping for beginning farmers and ranchers to explore the variety of USDA initiatives designed to help them succeed.  USDA's www.usda.gov/newfarmers has in depth information for new farmers and ranchers, including: how to increase access to land and capital; build new market opportunities; participate in conservation opportunities; selecting and using the right risk management tools; and, access USDA education and technical support programs.  Cooperative Extension links are included among the Research, Technical Assistance, and Education resources. The website will also features instructive case studies about beginning farmers who have successfully utilized USDA resources to start or expand their business operations.


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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Thursday, June 19

SU Ag Center Exposition Event Stimulates Youth in the Sciences

L-r: Eubanks, Burke, Grant Henry, Illustrated Talk, Ervin, Chancellor Williams
L-r: Senior Quiz Bowl Team - John Zacharie, Jr.; Jessica Espree; Ronjacoby Bell; and Tyler Brown
L-r front row: Jr. Quiz Bowl Champs-Bri Sensley, Laken Chambers, Landon Chambers
L-r: Eubanks, Burke, Isaiah Bonner, 2nd place winner, Junior division, Illustrated Talk, Lee, Chancellor Williams


L-r: Eubanks, Burke, Miracle Styles, 1st place winner, 9-12 age category, Public Speaking, Sims, Chancellor Williams
Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center concluded its 33rd Annual Youth and Family Exposition on Saturday, June 14 after three days of inspirational learning and fun activities. The event brought more than 300 youth from across the state to engage in contests, hands-on experiential learning, seminars and friendly interaction on campus. Sarah Sims, extension aide in Madison Parish brought the most (30) participants and took home three first place wins in public speaking. Miracle Styles, placed 1st in Public Speaking in the 9-12 Age Category; Kanessia Crothers won first place in the 13-15 Age Category; and Consuela Guice, came in first in the 9-12 Age Category in the Illustrated Talk contest.

Other competitions and top winners included Public Speaking, Illustrated Talks and Quiz Bowl.  In the 9-12 age group of Public Speaking, Miracle Styles from Madison Parish placed 1st, and Joseph Pickney, St. Landry Parish came in 2nd under the leadership of Extension agents Sarah Sims and Aubrey Williams respectively.

Among the 13-15 age category contenders, Kanessia Crothers of Madison Parish placed 1st; Kataja Epting, East / West Carroll Parish took 2nd place; and Candace Noel of St. Martin Parish, was 3rd under the supervision of Sarah Sims, Carolyn Robinson and respectively. 

The Illustrated Talk competition consisted of three age groups. In the 9-12 Age Category; Consuela Guice, Madison Parish won 1st place; 2nd Place- Isaiah Bonner, Caddo Parish; and 3rd Place- Caylon & Taylon Celestine, St. Martin Parish. Extension agents Sarah Sims, Patricia Lee and Wilbert Harris brought the youth.

In the 13-15 Age Category: 1st Place- Chardai Burks & Taylor Threats of West Carroll Parish; 2nd Place – Quellique Serf of East Baton Rouge Parish; and 3rd Place – Seth Portiere & Greg Randle of St. Martin Parish; under the guidance of Carolyn Robinson, Terrence Marshall, and Wilbert Harris.

In the 16 -18 Age Category, Grant Henry of Bossier Parish won 1st place. Mentored by Katherine Ervin, Henry has won Illustrated Talk four years in a row.

The Quiz Bowl contests produced two winning teams. In the junior category, Calcasieu came in 1st, Caddo, 2nd and St. Landry 3rd. On the senior team, Bossier winners were 1st, East/West Carroll, 2nd and St. Landry 3rd. Extension agents in these areas are Carol Sensley, Carolyn Robinson and Ursula Ransburg.

Concurrent breakout sessions included the secrets of soils; healthy youth, healthy future; discovering your niche in agriculture; urban greening and sustainability; turning gas into water: the art of science; tobacco-free zone: youth living healthier lives, and fun with numbers. 

The event attracted broad media coverage. The three major television news networks in Baton Rouge carried the event. WVLA, NBC channel 33 covered the expo in the evening news on the eve of the full event. WAFB channel 9 aired the show under the news items “SU Ag Center Hosting Youth Expo”; and WBRZ News 2 Louisiana at 5 PM - WBRZ-TV 06/13/2014 “SU gives kids an appreciation for math, science.”
Dr. Wanda Burke, Youth Development Specialist organizes this event and can be reached at 225-771-2242.
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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

SU Ag Center: Southwest Center Shows Opelousas Youth How to Make Biofuel

Researcher Antonio Harris 
Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center continues to grow in scope beyond agriculture and Baton Rouge to the Southwest Center for Rural Initiative. This summer, youth in St. Landry Parish are learning about making biofuels from SU Ag Center staff.  On June 17, 2014 the Daily World newspaper published an article entitled “From grease to green energy, kids learn science hands-on,” in which Mr. Antonio Harris, research associate and instructor, shows youth ways to turn grease into fuel from restaurant grease.

The full article is available online at the Daily World website.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Friday, June 13

SU Ag Center Youth Expo Picks up Steam

First time attendee, Garrinecia Singleton, EBR

Youth rally
Baton Rouge, LA – Youth, families, volunteers and Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center faculty and staff gathered in A.O. Williams Hall on June 12 for an activity-filled weekend. Upon arrival, participants completed registration and kicked off the event with a friendly basketball game. This morning, in the midst of pouring rain, the youth rally ushered in the activities. Youth competitions in public speaking and illustrated talks are on-going as well as educational seminars and workshops.  The event will culminate on tomorrow at noon with quiz bowl competitions, awards presentation and recognitions.

Parishes across the state are represented from as far north as Morehouse and locally from East Baton Rouge.  First time attendee, Garrinecia Singleton from Scotlandville Magnet High School expressed her excitement about the Expo.

“I like science and astronomy; I want to learn more so as to decide what to study in college,” Singleton said.

This year’s Expo themed "Full STEAM Ahead," Preparing Youth for the Pathway to Success, will feature exhibits, entertainment, activities, fun and exciting workshops and demonstrations for the whole family. Activates will focus on STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics.

For additional information, contact Dr. Wanda Burke at 225/771/2242.  

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Contact:        
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

Thursday, June 12

Chancellor Williams Recognized in Centennial Celebration of Cooperative Extension

Chancellor Williams
Baton Rouge, LA – Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center’s Chancellor Williams was featured in the Times-Picayune on June 11, 2014 in an article entitled “Southern University official has been with Cooperative Extension for 50 years.” 

As the Cooperative Extension service celebrates 100 years, the LSU Agricultural Center is recognizing Leodrey Williams, who currently works at Southern University, previously at LSU and served at the national level in Washington, DC.

Dr. Williams has been working for the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, for 50 years, half the time the Cooperative Extension has been in existence, according to a news release from the LSU Agricultural Center.

In 1914, the passage of the Smith-Lever Act, created a partnership between agricultural colleges and the United States Department of Agriculture in efforts to support agricultural extension work.

Extension work in Louisiana had only taken place through LSU until 1971 when Southern University created its own extension office.

Williams was hired as an agriculture specialist, five years later, he went to LSU and served as associate state agent, director of Equal Employment Opportunity and associate professor in the Department of Extension and International Education, positions he held for four years. In 1980, he became extension director at Southern University. Soon after, Williams would move to Washington DC where he served as the national director of the Cooperative Extension Service, making him responsible for funding extension programs at 104 land-grant universities around the country.

Williams returned to SU and took on his previous role as extension director in 1995. Then, in 2001 Williams was asked to head the newly-formed Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

"No matter what you do, whether it's in community development, if it's in small business development, it's enhancing the socioeconomic quality of life for people," Williams said. "You have more people now than you had 100 years ago. As long as there are people with problems, there will be a need for extension service."

For the past 50 years, Dr. Leodrey Williams has been working with SU and LSU in Baton Rouge, as well as Washington DC at the national level, in Cooperative Extension service.

The full article is available at NOLA.com

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Southern University Ag Center’s Bioenergy Research Gathers Momentum

L-r: Rubert Ward, Reginald Miles, Martin Johnson, Kamran Abdollahi, Morgan Watson, Willie Rawls and Glenn E. Ford 
Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center continues to develop in the field of biomass and bioenergy. Dr. Kamran Abdollahi, research scientist and Urban Forestry Program Leader, is building a collaborative network to expand the reach of study in the field of bioenergy.  On June 10, 2014 Abdollahi invited a team of experts to the SU Ag Center for discussions on ways to develop a strategy for enhancing the research in bioenergy production. The team consisted of five experts in diverse fields germane to bioenergy. Rubert Ward serves as President of JL Management Solutions LLC; Reginald Miles, Vice President, Phalanx Construction LLC; Martin Johnson, President, GreenSolar Louisiana; Morgan Watson, President, MEL Inc., and Glenn E. Ford, Chairman, GreenSolar Louisiana.

As greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels are contributing to the problem of global warming, studies are underway at Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center to discover various types of biomass that can be used to create fuel in more efficient ways. Biomass is the source of bioenergy. The collaboration between the SU Ag Center scientists and the industry experts will support development of a cutting edge product that will be environmentally safe and cost effective for future generations. On a global scope, bioenergy is the energy source of the future.

One of the team members, Rubert Ward has more than 35 years of experience managing domestic and international operations, including extensive experience in the waste tire recycling and energy industries.  As Plant Manager, he managed the successful start-up of a $400-million 565 Mw combined cycle facility and a $100-million 35 Mw biomass co-generation facility.  Mr. Ward has also held senior executive positions with CMS Energy Corporation with investments and operations in 18 countries.  He has had financial responsibility for $200 million of assets generation, including Jamaica Private Power Company (Kingston, Jamaica), eight hydroelectric plants and two wind power plants.

For additional information, contact Kamran Abdollahi at 225-771-2242,

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Wednesday, June 11

SU Ag Center’s Annual Youth and Family Exposition Starts June 12

Flyer
Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center will hold its annual Family and Youth Exposition from June 12-14, starting at 11:00 am.  The event will assemble youth in Baton Rouge for a two-day educational, fun-filled experience. The 2014 event will also bring together, SU Ag Center specialists, agents, staff, faculty and volunteers from various parishes for a memorable program with the youth.

This year’s Expo themed "Full STEAM Ahead," Preparing Youth for the Pathway to Success, will feature exhibits, entertainment, activities, fun and exciting workshops and demonstrations for the whole family. Activates will focus on STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics.

Youth will arrive in Baton Rouge on Thursday, tomorrow, get acquainted and enjoy fun activities on the grounds of the Southern University Ag Center in A.O. Williams Hall. They will participate in educational seminars, workshops, illustrated talk, motivational and public speaking on Friday. The event will culminate on Saturday morning with quiz bowl competitions, awards presentation and recognitions.

For additional information, contact Dr. Wanda Burke at 225/771/2242.  

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Contact:        
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

Friday, June 6

USDA StrikeForce to Help Grow Rural Economies in Louisiana

Baton Rouge, LA - USDA is focused on trying to address the challenge of persistent poverty rural areas.  While poverty is a rural, suburban and urban challenge, the reality is that nearly 85 percent of America's persistent poverty counties are in rural areas. USDA's StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity Initiative is part of our commitment to growing economies, increasing investments and creating opportunities in poverty-stricken rural communities. StrikeForce was officially launched in 2010 as a pilot project in persistent poverty areas in rural Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi.

In 2012, StrikeForce efforts expanded into persistent poverty counties in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. In 2013, Secretary Vilsack announced new efforts to bring the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity to Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Virginia. In 2014, Strike Force efforts expanded into Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
There are now over 700 persistent poverty counties (PDF, 2.2MB), parishes, boroughs, Colonies and tribal reservations in twenty states receiving StrikeForce attention.
Since its inception, StrikeForce has formed over 400 community based partnerships and supported 80,300 projects and opportunities to strengthen America's rural economy.
Learn more about how StrikeForce is encouraging growth and creating opportunity (PDF, 270KB) |Spanish (PDF, 161KB), and how you can get involved.

For full detail, visit USDA StrikeForce at: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=STRIKE_FORCE
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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714