Monday, December 15

USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator to hold stakeholder conference call

Baton Rouge, La – You are invited to join USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator, Val Dolcini, for a stakeholder conference call on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm, to review Secretary Vilsack’s announcement last week regarding the new Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).  The new options, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, and energy crops.  Free basic coverage plans and premium discounts available for new, underserved and limited income farmers. If the application deadline for an eligible crop has already passed, producers will have until Jan. 14, 2015, to choose expanded coverage

This is a conference call. 

WHO: Val Dolcini, Administrator, USDA Farm Service Agency 
Mike Schmidt, Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs

WHAT:   USDA Administrator Dolcini will host a stakeholder conference call to provide information on the new Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 at 2:00 p.m., EDT.

DIAL: 1-888-844-9904
Access code: 5411576

RSVP: Not required, but requested: todd.atkinson@wdc.usda.gov

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

Tuesday, December 9

Deadline For Nominations To Agriculture Hall of Distinction Approaching



Baton Rouge, LA - The nomination deadline for induction into the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction is Monday, Dec. 15. The inductees will be recognized at a reception and dinner at White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge on March 5, 2015. 

The nomination form can be obtained online at www.louisianaagriculturehallofdistinction.com  or through a parish SU/LSU AgCenter extension office. 

The Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction is a joint effort of the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Radio Network and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and is designed to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to agriculture or agriculture-related industries. Nominations can represent farming, ranching, forestry, aquaculture, fisheries, education or agribusiness. 

This is the second year for the hall of distinction program. Last year, Dennis Aucoin, a logger from Clinton, Clarence Berken, a rice farmer from Lake Arthur, and the late Ellis S. Martin, a forester from Alexandria, were the inductees. 

For more information, contact Don Molino with Louisiana Radio Network at 225-291-2727, ext. 210, or don@louisianaradionetwork.com or Bobby Soileau with the LSU AgCenter at 225-578-3659 or bsoileau@agcenter.lsu.edu


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Contact:
LaKeeshia D. Giddens
(225) 771-2160 
lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com

USDA Extends Application Deadline for Dairy Margin Protection Program to Dec. 19


Baton Rouge, LA - U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the application deadline for the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) will be extended until Dec. 19, 2014. The program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, protects participating dairy producers when the margin - the difference between the price of milk and feed costs - falls below levels of protection selected by the applicant.

"The 2014 Farm Bill created these safety net programs to provide safeguards against the uncertainty of weather and markets, but this safety net is not automatic. Producers must visit their local Farm Service Agency office to enroll before December 19," said Vilsack. "Despite the best forecasts, weather and markets can change, so a modest investment today can protect against unexpected losses tomorrow."

"For just $100, a farmer can cover 90 percent of production at $4 margin swings, and with affordable incremental premiums, dairy farmers can cover up to $8 margin swings," said Vilsack. "Those who apply this year will receive a slight increase in production protection that will not be available in the future. Farmers who do not sign up for the Margin Protection Program for 2015 will forfeit the 1 percent base production increase. For a 400 cow operation, this would equate to an additional 80,000 pounds of milk that are eligible for coverage. It's a small step to take to ensure your business is covered."

Vilsack encourages producers to use the online Web resource at, http://www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool 
to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. They can type in specific operation data and explore price projections and market scenarios to determine what level of coverage is best for them. They can also compare the data to see how the program would have helped in previous years, such as 2008, when margins dropped from $8 to $3 in just three months. The online resource is on a secure website that can be accessed from computers, mobile phones or tablets, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

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Contact:
LaKeeshia D. Giddens
(225) 771-2160 
lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com

Bright Futures Community Learning Center Starts a Fall Garden



Baton Rouge, LA - Students at the Bright Futures Community Learning Center in Donaldsonville, LA were eager to get started planting their fall garden. Everyone played their part from assembling the raised beds, shoveling dirt, planting, watering the plants, hauling dirt with the wheel barrow and snapping pictures to the clean – up of the area after the activity was completed. 

Despite the threats of rain, the students completed the garden and are looking forward to taking care of and harvesting it. The students and volunteers planted red cabbage, green onions, strawberries, lettuce, and other fall vegetables. 

Garden participants are taught Nutrition Education by Lisa Weber and will utilize the harvest of the garden in Nutrition Education classes, as well as, for after school snacks.  

The garden was facilitated by Southern University Ag Center's Stephanie Elwood, Extension Associate in Community Gardens; Lisa Weber, Nutrition Educator and led by De’Shoin Friendship York, Nutrition Specialist. The project's start date was November 5, 2014. Other adult volunteers included Joyce Gaignard, Michael Chatman and Harold Gaignard. 

Bright Futures Community Learning Center, which is run by Donna Gaignard, CEO,  serves an average of 60 students who are enrolled in summer programs, after-school activities and tutoring. 


For more information about the project, contact Lisa Weber at 225-562-2326 or lisa_weber@suagcenter.com.

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Contact:
LaKeeshia D. Giddens
225-771-2160
lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com

Wednesday, December 3

SU Ag Center 4-H Program to Receive $75,200 Award from the National 4-H Council



Baton Rouge, LA - The Southern University Ag Center's 4-H Living Interactive Family Education (LIFE) National Mentoring Program has received an award in the amount of $75,200 from the National 4-H Council, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

"This amount is based on your requested award amount and the projected youth reach in your submitted proposal, which Council has reviewed and recommended for funding," stated Sally Miske, National 4-H Financial Management Director, in a letter informing the Ag Center of the council's intention to fund the program.

The SU Ag Center's 4-H LIFE program seeks to rebuild broken family units who have been impacted by parental incarceration.  The 4-H National Mentoring project engages youth ages 5 to 17 in interactive family activities that include the incarcerated parent and the caregiver.  The program is continuing its implementation in both East Baton Rouge and St. Landry Parishes. 

For additional information about the Southern University Ag Center's 4-H LIFE program contact Tiffany Wilkerson-Franklin, Program Coordinator, tiffany_franklin@suagcenter.com or  Milissia John-Baptiste, Program Assistant, milissia_jbaptiste@suagcenter.com, at 225-771-2242.



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Contact:
LaKeeshia D. Giddens
(225) 771-2160
lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com

SU Ag Center to Host 'Santa’s Healthy Living Workshop' in St. Helena Parish




Greensburg, LA - The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center (SUAREC) will host its first 'Santa's Healthy Living Workshop' on Friday, December 12, 2014 at the Forest Festival Park in Greensburg, LA. The workshop will follow the town's Annual Christmas Parade.

During the workshop, young Christmas enthusiast will create healthy, edible arts and crafts in an effort to promote healthy snacking habits and teach youth about the benefits of eating healthy foods.

Teens between the ages of 13 -18 will have the opportunity to learn about the benefits of becoming an Ambassador for the SUAREC's Healthy Living Initiative for Youth and many ways they can join in on the "Healthy Fun!"

For more information, contact Nicolette Gordon in St. Helena Parish on Tuesday and Thursday at, 225-222-4136 and in Tangipahoa Parish on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at, 985-748-9381.

This article was written by Nicolette Gordon, Assistant Area Agent for St. Helena and Tangipahoa Parishes.

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Contact:
LaKeeshia D. Giddens
(225) 771-2160 
lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com

Friday, November 21

Funding Opportunity for Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers in Louisiana


Baton Rouge, LA - The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Louisiana has announced a special funding pool for beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). In order to be considered for this funding pool, applications must be received by December 19, 2014.

For more information on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, visit the NRCS EQIP webpage or your local NRCS office. To get started with NRCS, visit your local USDA Service Center or www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted. Learn more about the Farm Bill at www.nrcs.usda.gov/FarmBill.


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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Wednesday, November 19

SU Ag Center Receives New Research Grant from USDA-NIFA

Baton Rouge, LA - SU Ag Center has recently received $479,672 funding for three years (2014-2017) from USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Capacity Building Grant Program to undertake a multi-disciplinary research entitled “Urban Tree Interception of UV (A/B) Radiation and Its Genetic Consequences.” The project director is Dr. Yadong Qi, professor of urban forestry and the co-project directors include Dr. Wei Gao, professor and director of USDA UV-B Monitoring and Research Program at Colorado State University, Fort Collins; Dr. Rao Uppu, professor and chairman of environmental toxicology, SUBR; Dr. Wesley Gray, professor of chemistry, SUBR; Dr. Kit L. Chin, professor of horticulture, SU Ag Center; and Dr. Shuju Bai, associate professor of computer science at SUBR.

“This multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary research team represents the best partnership and collaboration in the field of UV-B monitoring and research. The team will have two major tasks:  to develop UV (A/B) interception models to understand how forest canopy influences UV radiation in urban environment, and to investigate UV (A/B) induced DNA damage and associated repair mechanisms in selected group of southern broadleaf tree species,” said Dr. Yadong Qi, PD.

The partnership with Dr. Gao’s group at Colorado State University USDA UV-B Monitoring and Research Network will ensure streamlining SU's portable UV-B monitoring station to be coupled with the Network's Baton Rouge ambient monitoring station. Gao’s group will provide system calibration, participate in canopy UV transfer modeling task, host and train graduate and student interns for the project.

Co-PDs Dr. Uppu and Dr. Gray will participate in DNA damage and repair research task and student advisement. Co-PDs Dr. Shuju Bai and Kit L Chin will participate in measurements and modeling of canopy-UV interaction. The project will provide training opportunities to postdoc scientists, graduate students, and undergraduate interns in urban forestry and environmental toxicology.

Stratospheric ozone depletion has resulted in a significant increase in solar ultraviolet radiation (UVB, 280-315nm and UVA, 315-400nm) on the earth's surface. With the future uncertainty of stratospheric ozone recovery and global climate change, there is a critical need for systematic evaluation of UV impacts on trees and urban forest. In the last 15 years, Dr. Yadong Qi with her team has investigated the biochemical and biophysical mechanisms of UV tolerance in more than 30 southern tree species. The outcomes of the early study warrant the continuation to further evaluate tree interception of UV radiation and its resulting genetic consequences.  

“With this new project, we will focus on discovering the role of DNA damage and repairing mechanism in UV-B tolerance in southern trees and modeling the forest canopy influences on UV radiation in urban environment. The results will contribute to a better understanding of UV effects on the trees' genetic stability and quantification of urban forest effects on ground level UV distribution.  Such knowledge is not only important to the scientific community, but also crucial to planning and management and long-term sustainability of urban forests”, said Dr. Qi.

This new project has also received strong endorsements, technical support and collaboration from several well-know research experts in DNA damage/repair and UV climatology, including  Dr. Gordon Heisler, research meteorologist, USDA-FS Northern Research Station, Dr. Joseph Sullivan, professor in plant physiology at University of Maryland-College Park; Dr. John R. Battista, professor in biological science at LSU; and Dr. Ann E. Stapleton, associate professor in genetics at University of North Carolina in Wilmington.

The knowledge of UV-B tolerance capacity in diverse trees will have implications in predicting forest health and ecosystem productivity and in designing effective urban and community forest management strategies. The project will strengthen our institutional research competitiveness and enhance research and student training capabilities at Southern University.

Dr. Yadong Qi can be reached at 225-771-4408 or via email yadong_qi@suagcenter.com

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714
bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

Tuesday, November 18

SU Ag Center’s Dr. Fatemeh Malekian Featured in the Advocate

Malekian teaching on healthy food choices
Baton Rouge, La – Southern University Ag Center Professor Fatemeh Malekian shared a nutrition education program at Windborne Elementary. The event appeared in the Baton Rouge Advocate in the Eat-Play-Live section titled “Parents get lesson in healthy eating for their kids’ sake.”

The article focused on teaching parents to be positive influence on their children eating and other healthy habits. About two dozen mothers and fathers joined the three-month National Obesity Initiative from the La Capitale chapter of The Links Inc. to prevent obesity and the serious health problems associated with it.

“You are the one who chooses the food for your children,” said Fatemeh Malekian, a food science professor at Southern University, while introducing the program. “They will eat what you give them. You have the power.”


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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

Monday, November 17

Dr. Fatemeh Malekian Honored by Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge

Dr. Malekian surrounded by children, sons-in-law and grandchildren
Dr. Malekian
Baton Rouge, La – A faculty member of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Fatemeh Malekian, Professor of Nutrition and Food Science was recognized by the Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge. On November 14, 2014, the Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge hosted its 21st Annual Gala, themed “Celebrate the Family/An All Red Affair.”  This year's event, held at The Capitol Park Welcome Center, was one to remember.  Dr. Malekian was among the families honored at this very special event. The other honorees were Kim and Trey Bowman, Dr. Murrelle Harrison, Julio and Sherry Melara. 
Typically these families have overcome severe adversity or contributed through their volunteer efforts to strengthen the community.  The organization hosts this event, which celebrates families, while raising funds for the agency.  The contributions received from this event helps support Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge and its mission to counsel and strengthen individuals and families improving their quality of life. 
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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

Thursday, November 13

SU Delegation’s visit to Guangxi Silk Industry Extension Center Posted in China

The delegation visited the Guangxi Sericulture Technology Extension Station Museum

Discussion Exchange

US and Chinese scientists after talks 
Baton Rouge, LA – Faculty members from Southern University went on a scientific exchange visit to China from October 17-30, 2014.  In Nanning, Guangxi Province, one of the entities visited by the delegation posted a news article about the team on their website in Chinese.

This translation of the Guangxi Silk Industry website post is a product of web translation.

“October 28 morning, the American world agricultural supply and demand forecasts member delegation of experts in different fields of study consisting of five Americans from Southern University were accompanied by the Deputy Director of Agriculture Department of Foreign Economic Department of the Guangxi autonomous region Sericulture Technology Extension Station visit.

Delegation visited the Guangxi region sericulture development sandbox layout schematic diagram, Guangxi Sericulture Technology Extension Station Historical Museum, the outcome Museum, Mulberry wine processing plant, heard the Guangxi Sericulture Technology Extension Station Qiguang Jun webmaster, Lu Rui good secretary on Guangxi Sericulture Sericulture Development and termini in research, technology promotion, development and utilization of resources such as sericulture briefing, the two sides reached a preliminary agreement on the next step of cooperation.”

The original Chinese version is available at http://www.gxcy.gov.cn/tytg/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=137312

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Monday, November 10

SU Ag Center set for Fall Garden Workshop


Growing non-traditional vegetables, learning about edible landscapes and microgreens are some of the topics that will be covered during the 2014 Southern University Ag Center's Fall Garden Workshop.

The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on November 25 in room 191 of A. O. Williams Hall - SU Ag Center, 181 B. A. Little Drive, in Baton Rouge.

Other topics covered during the workshop will include:
  • School and Community Gardening
  • Seasonal Vegetables Planning
  • Insects, The Good and the Bad
  • Hands on Planting and Harvesting
  • Vegetable Tasting
Participants will also be able to tour the SU Ag Center's newly constructed "Urban Demonstration Farm," which currently features raised bed gardens of winter vegetables. Lunch will also be provided.

For additional information about the Fall Garden Workshop and to RSVP, contact Stephanie Elwood, Mila Berhane or Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin at 225.771.2242.

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Contact:
LaKeeshia D. Giddens - Article's Writer
(225) 771-2160
lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com 

or 

Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714
bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

SU Ag Center Asked to Participate in EBR Parish Prison Toy Giveaway


The Southern University Ag Center has been asked to participate in the 2014 East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Toy Giveaway. Donations can be given to Delores Johnson, Milissia John-Baptiste or Tiffany Franklin. These individuals can be reached at 225.771.2242 for additional details.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714
bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

or 

LaKeeshia D. Giddens
(225) 771-2160
lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com

Dr. Yadong Qi Recently Gave Several Oral Presentations at Two International Conferences



Dr. Yadong Qi, professor of urban forestry, was selected to give two oral presentations at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) XXIV World Congress, in Salt Lake City, Oct. 5-11, 2014. Her first talk entitled “Greenspace infrastructure and Public Perception of representative Country Parks in Beijing, China” was given at the Technical Session A-04(88) Resilience and Identity with Urban Forests: A Landscape Approach, which featured eight international talks from Japan, Turkey, Australia, Korea, Thailand, USA, and Italy.  Qi’s second talk entitled “Novel Nanotechnology for Forest and Forest Product Protection” was given at the Technical Session F-15(259) Application of Nanotechnology and Biotechnology in Forest Product Research, which featured five international talks from China-Taipei, Malaysia, USA, and Germany. The abstracts have been published in The International Forestry Review Vol.16(5),2014; p29, p309.

Also, Dr. Qi attended the International Union of Photobiology (IUPB) 16th International Congress on Photobiology, from September 8-12, 2014 in Cordoba, Argentina. Dr. Qi was selected to give one oral presentation entitled “UV Radiation and Its Impact on Skin Cancer in the United States” at the Technical Session of UV-Induced Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis. The session featured five international talks from France, Japan, Poland, Canada, and USA. In addition Dr. Qi had a poster presentation entitled “UV-B Tolerance Properties Exhibited in Diverse Broadleaf Trees” at the Congress. The abstracts were published in the 16th International Congress on Photobiology Abstract Book: p277, p614.  


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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Wednesday, November 5

Southern University among APLU Winners of the 1890 University Awards


On November 3, 2014 the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU) announced the winners of the 1890 University Teaching, Research and Innovation Awards.  APLU's Council of 1890 Universities named the 2014 recipients of the 1890 Teaching, Research and Innovation Awards.  Now in its second year, the annual honor highlights exemplary achievements at 1890 land-grant institutions by recognizing advances in teaching, research and innovation on 1890 university campuses and encourages further advancement and development in areas of critical importance. The awards were presented during a special reception at the 127th APLU Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

The Council of 1890 Universities, which is comprised of presidents and chancellors from APLU member historically black land-grant and public universities, works to strengthen teaching, research and extension programs as well as seeks to maintain, ensure and increase funding at these institutions.  The awards are designed to bring exposure to these universities and add to the national dialogue regarding their significance.

Prior to the selection process, self-reported data from the 1890 Universities was submitted in a number of outcome categories (e.g., retention rates, research revenue and expenditures, etc.). Each university was then evaluated among its peers with the winning institution demonstrating the most productivity in a given area. 

APLU Vice President for Access and Success John Michael Lee, Jr.: “The 1890 Teaching, Research and Innovation Awards not only serve as a means to recognize the advances of 1890 university campuses in these areas, but serve as a means to tell the story of how black public universities are going above and beyond their call of duty.”

The 1890 Teaching, Research and Innovation Awards Recipients:

The Southern University System took home the International Research Award. This award was presented for the largest increase in international research awards from 2012-2013 through 2013-2014.

Other awards went to the following universities: The Retention Award - Lincoln University; The Degree Completion Award - Kentucky State University; Agriculture Degree Completion Award - Lincoln University; Education Degree Completion Award - Fort Valley State; STEM Degree Completion Award Alcorn State University; Intellectual Property Award - Fort Valley State University; Innovation Award - North Carolina and A&T State University and the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff; Research Award - Kentucky State University; Experiential Student Learning Award - Kentucky State University; International Students Award - Delaware State University; International Student Development Award - University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Alumni Engagement Award (Number) - University of Arkansas Pine Bluff; Alumni Engagement Award (Amount) - West Virginia State University; Exemplary Alumni Award - West Virginia State University; and 1890 University of the Year Award - North Carolina A&T State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. NCA&T and UMES were among the top three in 6 out of 14 categories.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714
bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

Tuesday, November 4

MANRRS to Sponsor Annual Sweet Potato Sale

                                                                          
The Southern University chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Student Organization is currently taking orders for their Annual Sweet Potato Sale.

The group is selling 40 pound boxes of sweet potatoes for $20. Payment is required with your order and the deadline to order the Sweet Potatoes is 5 p.m. on November 13.

The potatoes will be available for pick-up on Thursday, November 20 from noon-3 p.m. at the parking lot behind the SU Ag Center-A.O. Williams Hall.

For more information about the sale or to place an order, contact Zanetta Augustine at 225-771-2242.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714
bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

LaKeeshia D. Giddens – writer
(225) 771-2160
lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com

SU Ag Center’s Stephanie Elwood Featured in Rapides Foundation’s Annual Report


Southern University Ag Center Extension Associate Stephanie Elwood appeared in the Rapides Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report. The report spot lights Elwood’s work with the Youth Garden Project at five elementary schools in Avoyelles Parish. The printed and video versions of Stephanie’s interview can be viewed by clicking the following links:

View the print Annual Report online at http://issuu.com/therapidesfoundation/docs/2013_trf_web/1 . (Stephanie’s photo and caption begin on page 5 and her article appears on page 6.)

View the Annual Report videos from the Foundation’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLLhAzFmx1JrtjVqnbPU0WaGP31iC4dbK. (Stephanie’s interview begins at 6:54 on the video titled “2013 Annual Report – Healthy Behaviors.”)

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714
bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

LaKeeshia D. Giddens – writer
(225) 771-2160

lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com

SU Faculty Returns after Taking Part in a Scientific Exchange Program in China

SU delegation meets with officials of the Heilongjiang Agricultural Committee in Harbin

Ornamental model greenhouse in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Province

Edible mushroom growing on sugarcane waste product in Nanning
Five members of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and Southern University and A&M College have returned to Baton Rouge after taking part in the US-China Scientific Cooperation Exchange Program (SCEP). The visit which took place from October 17-30, 2014 was part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Foreign Agricultural Service’s exchange with the People’s Republic of China.

The objective of SCEP is to promote bilateral scientific exchange in the areas of agricultural cooperation, development, and trade between the United States and China.

During the visit, the group met with the Chinese staff of the National Agro-Tech Extension and Service Center, the College of Economics and Management at the China Agricultural University, the Division of Market Information at the Agricultural Committee of Heilongjiang and Guangxi Provincial Department of Agriculture as well as visiting extension agencies, manufacturers of value-added products, grains and poultry farms.

Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) arranged everything as soon as the SU delegation arrived in Beijing.  The agenda was full of meetings and activities related to Agriculture, world supply and demand estimates. 

The visit proved to be quite fruitful and the team is confident that the goals of the program were not only met, but exceeded.  The meetings with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and other agriculture-related entities revealed numerous potential areas for successful collaboration.  

The meeting at the Silk Science Research Institute and the tour of the facilities was one of the most impressive!  The information presented demonstrated areas of mutual collaboration that could potentially utilize the expertise of the majority of the faculty at the SU Ag Center and Southern University's Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. Specific areas included (1) planting, breeding and research on the various species of mulberry trees (which silk worms only feed on); (2) growth and development of the silk worms; (3) production of the silk fabric; (4) investigating additional textile applications for the silk; (5) investigating new food and beverage products from the mulberry fruit (jams, juices, wines, etc.); (6) fertilizer production; (7) research on pharmaceuticals products from the mulberry trees; and (8) marketing all of these products in Louisiana and the U.S.  

From the meeting with faculty members at the College of Economics and Management at the China Agricultural University, it is evident that there are opportunities for joint research and publications in areas such as food production and security; food consumption and safety; public goods and rural development;  climate change, biotechnology and agriculture, among others.  The faculty members with whom the team met were quite impressed by the way teaching, research and extension in the Southern University System and in the USA work so well together. In addition, they were amazed with the USDA programs to assist U.S. farmers and rural families.  The SCEP visit will provide opportunities for future faculty and student exchanges between the Southern University System and China.

“At one of the meetings in Guangxi Province in Nanning Department of Agriculture, the deputy director informed us that we were the first academic and agricultural group from the United States to visit their facilities. As a result the doors for collaboration opened and seven faculty members present were extremely excited about what we can offer from the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and also what we could benefit from the mutual collaboration,” said Fatemeh Malekian, Professor of Food Science/Nutrition, SU Ag Center and Program Team Leader.

The China delegation consisted of: Professor of Food Science and Nutrition, Fatemeh Malekian; Coordinator for Planning and Evaluation, Oscar Udoh, Ph.D.; Professor of Animal Science, Sebhatu Gebrelul, Ph.D.; Associate Dean, College of Sciences and Agriculture, Doze Y. Butler, Ph.D., MBA, and Professor of Apparel Merchandising and Textiles, Southern University and A&M College; and Communications Specialist, Bridget Udoh, Ph.D.

For additional information, contact Fatemeh Malekian at 225.771.2242.
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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

Tuesday, October 28

SU Ag Center Seeks Mentors for its 4-H LIFE Program


Baton Rouge, LA - The Southern University Ag Center is seeking caring adults to volunteer as mentors for youth who are actively involved in the 4-H Living Interactive Family Education (LIFE) program.  

The project seeks to rebuild broken family units who have been impacted by parental incarceration, which has a profound effect on the family.  The 4-H National Mentoring project engages youth ages 5 to 17 in interactive family activities that include the incarcerated parent and the caregiver.  

If you are the caring adult the program is looking for, contact the SU Ag Center 4-H Program Coordinator or Parent Educator to see how you can positively impact the lives of young people in the East Baton Rouge and St. Landry parish community.  Interested individuals must be cleared through a background check prior to working with youth. 


For information on how to get involved, contact Tiffany Wilkerson-Franklin, Program Coordinator, tiffany_franklin@suagcenter.com, or Delores Johnson, Parent Educator, delores_johnson@suagcenter.com,  at 225-771-2242. A family needs you!

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714
bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

LaKeeshia D. Giddens – writer
(225) 771-2160
lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com

Friday, October 24

SU Ag Center holds “Pack the Pantry Project” with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank


Baton Rouge, LA - In celebration of National Food Day, the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center has partnered with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to hold a 'Pack the Pantry Project.' 

This event is being held to assist the food bank in its mission to feed the hungry in its eleven parish service area.

With the holiday season swiftly approaching this may be a difficult time of the year for many families.  For this reason all SU Ag Center employees are asked to donate a non-perishable food item. Employees can place their donation in the food bank barrel located in the lobby of the Ag Center until November 7, 2014.

If you have any questions about the SU Ag Center’s Pack the Pantry Project, please contact Milissia John-Baptiste, De’Shoin Friendship, or Tiffany Franklin at 225-771-2242. 

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

bridget_udoh@suagcenter.com

LaKeeshia Giddens
(225) 771-2160

lakeeshia_giddens@suagcenter.com