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

Thursday, June 5

SU student, faculty, alumni group touring Europe

Baton Rouge, LA - Jason Matthews’ first foray into a foreign country was in 2003 when he had to withdraw as a student from Southern University to be deployed to Iraq where  he was part of the U.S. military’s Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This time he is part of a 14-person group of Southern University students, faculty and alumni on a 9-day study abroad program. For Matthews and others, the trip to is a dream come true.

The tour is designed to be a learning experience for students and faculty, said leader Dr. Shenika Jones, associate professor of criminal justice.

“I hope this inaugural trip generates interest within the SU community so that more of us begin to see the value in international experiences,” Jones said. “After all, that is a key part of Southern's mission.”

“As an instructor, I believe that most learning takes place outside of the classroom. I try to create a value-free space for my students, one in which they can experience world learning without boundaries,” Jones said. “International experiences provide an unchartered platform for growth where I become a facilitator as opposed to a professor.”

The trip is a combination of efforts by the Dr. Carlos Thomas, head of the Division of Information Technology Office and the Department of criminal justice. They used Education First College Study Tours to facilitate the trip, which includes stops in London, Paris and Amsterdam.
Alberta Robertson, an academic advisor to freshmen students, said the trip will provide her with clearer outlook on cultures that she can share with her students.
“For the students who go on this trip, it will be a major addition to their resumes,” said Robertson who once worked in a company’s human resources office. “International study and travel like this is makes a big statement when businesses are looking at résumés.”
Gabrielle Lewis, a criminal justice major, said she expects to “gain a new perspective of the world and have the opportunity to embrace other cultures. I want to have a new frame of reference and understanding of the world from a rewarding cultural exposure.”
The senior from Winnsboro, La., said just coming to Southern was “a big step for someone from a small town of 1,500 people,” adding that the trip abroad “will be life changing.”
“College is about learning and growing,” she said, “and at Southern University I have indeed done both. My university has done more than enough to prepare me for this trip.”
Thomas, who played a pivotal role in setting up the trip at a reduced cost with Education First College Study Tours, said he saw the opportunity for traveling “as something Southern can continue to do for its students,” adding that he traveled overseas while in high school and “it changed my view of the world and what I wanted to do with my life.”
This trip was a year in the planning and execution, with Dr. Jones also assuming a leadership role, Thomas said.
Southern alum Shekeitra Lockhart-Matthews said while she has done extensive travel abroad, she viewed the three stops on this trip as “surreal.”
Lockhart-Matthews, the wife of Jason Matthews, said the stop at Oxford University and world-renowned science museums will help her “learn the culture and educational practices of exemplary institutions of higher learning.”
Jones said the students will also gain a better knowledge of African culture. “Many are unaware of the African influence on the European continent but this experience is especially geared towards highlighting that influence and illustrating the African impact on culture, fashion, architecture and music.”

Additionally, she said, “our participants will be afforded the opportunity to interact with travelers from California and Texas, as we will be joined by groups from Las Positas College (California) and Sam Houston State University.  
This will be the first of several such trips.  Jones said planning is underway for 10-day excursion to Italy, Greece and the Hellenic Islands in 2015.
(To follow the group during this year's tour or for more information on next year's tour, visit the following links: https://twitter.com/SUtravelsAbroad or https://www.facebook.com/SouthernUniversityTravelsAbroad.)
For full details, contact Edward Pratt or Erin Fulbright, Southern University Media Relations at (225) 771-4545 or (225) 771-3907.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

SU Ag Center Welcomes Participants to Ag Food and Science Leadership Academy

Ag Leadership Academy participants convene in Baton Rouge for orientation
Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center received summer participants in The Academy for the Academic Enhancement of High School Students in the Food and Agricultural Sciences on June 1, 2014. The Ag Leadership Academy is a summer program consisting of two Phases.  This summer, 20 students have returned to complete Phase II of the program under the direction of Zanetta Augustine, research associate and Dawn Mellion-Patin, Specialist, Agriculture.

Phase II of the program comprises of an orientation for participants at the SU Ag Center in the first week, followed by hands-on work experience in a professional setting near their home for the remaining seven weeks. Students will be exposed to careers in Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences along with other professions.

For more information, please call Zanetta Augustine at 225-771-2242.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

SU Ag Center set for free Business Development Training in Natchitoches

Workshop announcement
Baton Rouge, LA – The Center for Rural and Small Business Development at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center will hold a free business development training, entitled “Starting and Maximizing Your Business,” from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at Abundant Life International, 1855 Highway 6 East, Natchitoches, LA 71457. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m.

To register, please call 318-419-0802 or to receive additional information about the training, contact Eual Hall, LaKeeshia Giddens or Sonja Butler at 225.771.2242.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Wednesday, June 4

SU Ag Center’s Second Chance 2 Recovery Program Reunites Inmates with Families

Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, through its Second Chance 2 Recovery program brought inmates at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and their families together to enjoy a relaxing day on June 3, 2014 as part of the prison's "One Day With Kids" event.
"It's a very special feeling, I cherish the moment being with them and just spending time with them," Tameka Johnson said as she kissed her son on the cheek.

Prison officials say the ladies earned the special extended visits by graduating Southern University Agriculture Center's "Second Chance 2 Recovery" program.
The Second Chance 2 Recovery program, which teaches inmates job and parenting skills gave the inmates eight hours to visit with their children in a carnival setting, motivating them to do better when they return to society.
It was fun for children and mothers to play and eat together, giving them a chance to reconnect and make memories they can hold on to forever.
The event was featured by Fox 44 news and is available online under the heading “Female inmates enjoy special day with their kids.” The video clip is available at: http://www.fox44.com/news/female-inmates-enjoy-special-day-their-kids

For more information about this program contact, Tiffany Franklin at 225-771-2775 or tiffany_franklin@suagcenter.com

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Friday, May 30

SU Ag Center Counts Down to Annual Youth and Family Exposition

Expo flyer
Baton Rouge, LA – In just a couple of weeks, the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center will hold its annual Family and Youth Exposition. From June 12-14, the event, which culminates the past year’s youth development program activities statewide, will bring youth together for a two-day educational, fun-filled experience. The 2014 event will assemble SU Ag Center specialists, agents, and researchers 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, June 12, 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 recognition.

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

Wednesday, May 28

SU Ag Center’s Garden Project Teaches More Than Plants

Left, Stephanie Elwood, SU Ag Center, oversees Washington Career and Technical Education Center students as they plant flowers along Washington’s Main Street. Left-right: Logan Billeaudeau, Darren Thomas, Colby Duplechain and Dustin Ellis. / Freddie Herpin, Daily World
Baton Rouge, LA - Southern University Ag Center is collaborating with the Washington School Board and Washington Career & Technical Education Center on a Joint garden project to beautify the town of Washington in Louisiana. Now, 14 large, square cypress planters, each about four feet wide, three feet tall, and filled with flowering plants and shrubs, line Washington’s main business district. The Washington Career and Technical Education Center students spent the week of May 20, 2014 filling the planters with soil and scores of plants they had grown themselves as part of the beautification effort.
 “By summer, these will be popping,” said Stephanie Elwood, an extension associate with Southern University’s Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
 “We have roses, gardenias, witch hazel and many others,” Elwood said.
Although the historic town, which depends on tourism, will benefit, WCTEC pro-start teacher Candy Palumbo said it is benefiting the school and its students as well. She said many of the businesses in town don’t even know WCTEC exists.
“This is a chance to engage the business community and show them we are willing to work with the town,” Palumbo said. “This will help them realize there is a local treasure in their backyard they may not be aware of.”
The project is the brainchild of Elwood, who does most of her teaching in Baton Rouge. But she and her husband have a farm in the nearby Plaisance community.
“I have ties to this community and wanted to make it look nice,” said Elwood, who headed up an eight-week gardening program at WCTEC this past semester.
Part of that program involved converting an unused storage area “into a lovely greenhouse.”
Palumbo said the greenhouse was initially intended to grow herbs and vegetables for the school’s culinary program, but adding flowers was just a natural extension. Keeping up the planters will also become a part of that program.
The project also has generated unexpected side benefits — working in the garden is relaxing and helps relieve stress for many of the students; improving grades and self-esteem in some.
Elwood said that is something she has noticed in her own teaching career.
“I’ve taught hundreds of kids. They often complain and object, but I’ve yet to come across a kid who puts his hands into soil and doesn’t like it,” Elwood said.
The students are marketing the products of the greenhouse at the local farmers market and other venues.
“They are learning customer-service skills that will be of value when they transition from school to work,” Palumbo said.
Elwood praised Mayor Joseph Pitre and a host of volunteers and others who helped make the project possible.
Pitre had a limited budget for beautification but agreed to give the program a try; area businessman Pat Fontenot donated the aged cypress that Washington Alderman Krandall Pijou and school board employee Jack Caine assembled with the help of the students; the St. Landry Parish Waste Disposal District donated the soil.
“This is a real coalition,” agreed Palumbo. “Everyone has taken a small part. Now all the puzzle pieces are coming together.”
The full story is available on the Daily World site under the heading “Students Beautify Downtown Washington.”
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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Friday, May 23

SU Ag Center’s Parenting Training Benefits Community

Participants learn the importance of emergency preparedness

Nutrition educator explains techniques of preparing healthy meals

Parent educators discuss prevention of delinquency and bullying
Baton Rouge, LA - The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Family and Human Development Department in conjunction with the East Baton Rouge Parish Head Start Program conducted a parenting training entitled “Parenting Techniques for a New Generation” on April 16, 2014, in A. O. Williams Hall.

The primary focus of this training which garnered 87 parents was to provide them with preventive skills and strategies that will enable their adoption of recommended nurturing practices and develop healthy lifestyles.

Training sessions included:
Preventing Delinquency, Bullying, & Self Control Tips - Delores Johnson and Milissia John-Baptiste spoke to participants on preventing delinquency and bullying. The session was developed to teach self-control techniques to parents and prepare them to deal with bullying and delinquency situations. Parents were taught to understand bullying behavior, types of bullying and ways to prevent bullying. The session included hands-on activities and a bullying video that received worldwide attention from social media and varies national media outlets.

Nutrition & Physical Activity for Children - Marquetta Anderson-Reynolds, and Kiyana Kelly presented on Healthy Eating Habits for Preschoolers. The purpose of this session was to inform parents about the importance of helping their children develop healthy eating habits. The session was designed to teach families about the importance of healthy eating, provide examples of how to prepare healthy meals and snacks, and incorporate 60 minutes of physical activity daily to improve their overall health.

Handling Crisis & Emergency Preparedness - Kristin Brandon and Joanie Ledet collaborated with the American Red Cross Organization to help parents increase awareness on the importance of protecting their families at home, while travelling and during a crisis/emergency situation.  In this session, participants were provided with important information and hands-on activities to encourage positive action to create a family plan, prepare early for a disaster, and build an emergency supply kit.  In addition, parents gained knowledge on the significance of immunizations, home safety and guidelines for child passenger safety. 

In addition to the sessions, several agencies displayed exhibits including LaCHIP, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, American Red Cross, East Baton Rouge Head Start, and SU Ag Center. The agencies’ exhibits offered families and children quick tips on various topics.

The Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP) provides health coverage to uninsured children up to age 19. It is a no-cost health program that pays for hospital care, doctor visits, prescription drugs, shots and more.

In the past year, 514 parents participated in the Parents Preparing for Success (PPS) Program which provided basic parenting training and financial/time management training to new mothers. More than 57 participants graduated after completing all six classes at the SU Ag Center.

For further information on this or future parenting training, please contact Dr. Kasundra Cyrus at 225-771-2242.

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Thursday, May 22

SU Ag Center’s School Garden “Thrives” With Students

Before the garden - tractor set to plow field

Students shape and plant seedlings in the garden

SU Ag Center team conducts Taste Test Field Day for students

After- the students complete planting in garden 
Baton Rouge, LA - After the abrupt closure of Jetson Correctional Center for Youth in Baton Rouge, the Ag Fast Track USDA Grant team at SU Ag Center has shifted focus to teaching 6th and 7th grade adjudicated youth at THRIVE School. Lessons include agricultural and horticultural skills in implementing a school garden from the ground up. SU Ag Center’s Kevin Belizeard assisted by tilling up a 100 ft. diameter circle on the THRIVE campus and each class shaped the garden rows and planted with vegetable and ornamental seedlings. The grant was originally targeted to youth registered at Jetson Correctional Center.

THRIVE is a public, tuition-free, charter boarding school that serves at-risk youth in East Baton Rouge for students in grades 6 through 12. It provides students with an outstanding education in a holistically nurturing family-like residential setting.

The SU Ag Center team including Joyce Tubbs and Decobea Butler concluded the school year at THRIVE with a Taste Test Field Day. During the event, the students visited five different stations; giving them the opportunity to taste fresh vegetables and fruits, make their own trail mix and fruit smoothies. This experience allowed the students to try new things and see the advantage of planting and growing their own garden.

After experiencing the field day and learning the joys of gardening, the students were worried about their garden over the summer. Several workshops will be held at the garden site over the summer for the THRIVE students to attend and nurture the garden planted on campus and in their hearts.

The Ag Fast Track USDA Grant Team at SU Ag Center consists of Christie Monroe, Owusu Bandele, Stephanie Elwood, Kelli Hollins and Mila Berhane.

For more information about this program or to volunteer contact, Christie G. Monroe at 225-771-4350 or christie_monroe@suagcenter.com or visit THRIVE website at www.thrivebr.org

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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Wednesday, May 21

SU Ag Center Mentee Wins National Institute of Science Award

L-r: Marshall, Burton, Manuel, Gebrelul

Burton makes oral presentation
Baton Rouge, LA- the Southern University Ag Center and the College of Sciences and Agriculture continue to engage in successful collaborations that increase achievement on both campuses. 
Lamar Burton, a Biology sophomore and Timbuktu scholar at Southern University won second place in the 71st Joint Annual Meeting of the National Institute of Science and the Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society hosted by Prairie View A & M University in Houston.  Mr. Burton made an oral presentation entitled “Mixed Species Grazing of Cattle and Goats on Gastrointestinal Infections of Haemonchus Contortus.” For the past one year, Burton has participated in the Mixed Species Grazing of cattle and goats, collecting data on Gastrointestinal Infections of Haemonchus contortus research project.  He is being mentored at the SU Ag Center by Sebhatu Gebrelul, Professor, Animal Science; Renita Marshall, DVM and Associate Professor; and Shonta Manuel, Research Assistant. 
Haemonchus contortus is also known as red stomach worm, wire worm or barber's pole worm. It is very a common parasite, and one of the most pathogenic nematodes of ruminants such as goat. This parasite is responsible for anemia, bottle jaw, and death of infected sheep and goats, mainly during summer months in warm, humid climates.

For further details, contact Dr. Sebhatu Gebrelul at 225-771-2242.
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Contact:
Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714