Thursday, February 21

SU Ag Center’s Dawn Mellion-Patin receives the T. M. Campbell Leadership Award from Tuskegee University

SU Ag Center Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach,
Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin, has been named the 2019 T. M. Campbell Leadership Award recipient by Tuskegee University. 


Baton Rouge, La. – Dawn Mellion-Patin, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach at the Southern University Ag Center, has been selected as the 2019 T. M. Campbell Leadership Award recipient by Tuskegee University’s Farmers Conference awards committee.
                                       
The award is given each year during Tuskegee’s Farmers Conference Awards Luncheon in honor of Thomas Monroe Campbell, the first person appointed as an Extension Agent in the United States.

To qualify for the award, recipients must exhibit professional and volunteer work, interact with 1890 Universities as well as other universities to impact Extension/Outreach, demonstrate involvement in public service activities to advance the quality of life for rural citizens and receive recognitions from peer groups for services rendered.

“It is an honor to receive the Thomas Monroe Campbell Leadership Award from Tuskegee University,” said Patin. “To be recognized by both a prominent HBCU and an 1862 University, within a few months of each other, has truly inspired me to continue my work of providing the rural citizens of Louisiana with the agricultural tools needed to improve their lives.”

In October, Patin received the 2018 George Washington Carver Distinguished Service Award from Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Patin has served as the Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach at the SU Ag Center since 2016. She developed the Center’s Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Training Institute, an intensive leadership development program that guides small, minority, socially-disadvantaged and limited-resource farmers through the process of becoming competitive agricultural entrepreneurs.

Her work in the field of agriculture has provided her with the opportunity to serve as a panel manager for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); chair of the Southern Region- Agricultural and Natural Resources Program Leaders Committee; grant committee member for the USDA’s  National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA); 1890 representative on the National Extension Disaster Education Network Executive Committee and historian for the National Society of Minorities in Agricultural, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) organization.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Plant and Soil Sciences, a master’s degree in Educational Agriculture, both from Southern University, and a doctoral degree in Agricultural and Life Sciences Education from Iowa State University.

Patin received the T. M. Campbell Leadership Award on February 21 during Tuskegee University’s 127th Annual Farmers Conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Tuesday, February 19

SARDI holds successful Spring Garden Workshop

Milagro Berhane, Senior Research Associate at the SU Ag Center, provides participants with instructions on how to plant tomato and watermelon seedlings during the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Institute's Spring Garden Workshop.


Baton Rouge, La. – Sixty small farmers, backyard gardeners and high school agricultural classes participated in the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Institute’s (SARDI) Community Spring Garden Workshop on February 15.

The event was held at 9 a.m. at SARDI’s Diesi Street location in Opelousas, La.

Antonio Harris, SARDI’s Director, greeted the participants and introduced the workshop’s presenters Milagro Berhane, Senior Research Associate, and Stephanie Elwood, Extension Associate for Community and School Gardens, both with the Southern University Ag Center.

Elwood provided participants with information on the importance of school and community gardens as well as information on nontraditional crops that can be planted in the Spring. Berhane instructed the participants in hands-on demonstrations on seedling preparation, transplanting seedlings, and hoop house and greenhouse maintenance.

During the demonstrations, each participant was able to plant their own tomato and watermelon seed that they were able to take home.

SARDI is a satellite campus of the Southern University Ag Center housed in Opelousas, La. The Institute focuses on improving the socioeconomic well-being of citizens in rural communities within a ten-parish region of St. Landry, Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Evangeline, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Martin and Vermillion Parish.

Click here to view photos from the event.


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Thursday, February 14

Animal Science Department Receives Donation from Four Paws Cremation Services

Standing from left, SU College of Ag alum and owner/CEO of Four Paws Pet Cremation Service, Lorenzo Bennet, presents a distal horse limb to Renita Marshall, DVM and Chair of the Department of Animal Science. 


Baton Rouge, La. – Four Paws Pet Cremation Service has donated a distal horse limb to the Department of Agricultural Sciences in Southern University’s College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

Lorenzo Bennet, an alum of the College and owner/CEO of the cremation service, presented the limb to Renita Marshall, DVM, Chair of the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

Marshall said the limb will be used for student instruction.

“We have a veterinary sciences course that we will use to show the students a real life picture into how the bones and the limbs of animals work,” said Dr. Marshall. “Whether or not the students go into animal science or veterinary medicine they will need to know how the bones work to be able to assist with any type of surgery or anything that has to do with the medical condition of a horse’s limb.”

The department offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Agricultural Sciences with concentrations in Agri-business, Agricultural Economics, Animal Science, Plant and Soil Sciences, or Pre-Veterinary Medicine.

For additional information about the Department of Agricultural Sciences, click here


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Tuesday, February 5

SU Ag Center set for 9th annual Louisiana Small Farmer Conference

Event Flyer


Baton Rouge, La. - Small farmers from throughout the state will gather at Southern University’s Felton G. Clark Activity Center from March 14-16 to attend the 9th annual Louisiana Small Farmer Conference.
                                                               
The three-day conference, themed “Louisiana Small Family Farms: Unlocking Your Potential,” is designed to educate, provide expanded awareness of educational opportunities, USDA programs and services and other resources to help small farmers stay in business.

This event is the ideal venue for new and beginning farmers, small and urban farmers, agricultural business owners, community leaders, community based organizations, Urban Agriculturalists, Government Agencies and anyone interested in learning about agriculture.
                                                     
The conference will kick-off at 10 a.m. on March 14 with a grant writing session.

Additional conference sessions will cover the topics of:
  • Farmer’s Income Tax?
  • Hydroponics and Aquaponics Systems
  • Soil Health for Better Crops and Livestock
  • Sustainability: Self-Sufficient Farming Practices
  • There’s an App for That: Staying Connected
  • Raised Beds and Vertical Gardening
  • Value-Added Products

The conference will also include a USDA Round Table Discussion on small farmer needs, an exhibit hall and the Louisiana Living Legends Banquet, which honors individuals who have made significant contributions to Southern University in the areas of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences.

The limited complimentary registration will end on February 28, 2019.

After this date, the registration fee for the conference will be $100 for Agricultural Professionals and $75 for Small Farmers. Payment for the conference should be made in the form of check or money order made payable to: Southern University Foundation – ANR Programs.

On-site registration will begin at 8 a.m. daily during the conference.  Agricultural exhibitors are welcome.

To register or to reserve an exhibitor space, click here or contact Zanetta Augustine at 225.771.2591 or via e-mail at zanetta_augustine@suagcenter.com. 

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Tuesday, January 29

Three Urban Forestry students have been awarded the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship

Undergraduate student Asija Rice and graduate students Wilbert Thomas and Simbrey Majors have been awarded the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship. (Photo courtesy of the Southern University Baton Rouge campus website.)


Baton Rouge, La. – Southern University Urban Forestry students Asija Rice, Simbrey Majors and Wilbert Thomas have been awarded the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship.
               
The scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a degree in forestry, wildlife or marine science at a Louisiana public college or university. Undergraduate students receive $2,000 annually; graduate students receive $3,000 annually.

2019 marks the first time in several years that Southern University students have received the scholarship.

Click here to read the full article.

                                                
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Monday, January 28

SU Ag Center set to host 76th Annual Livestock Show


Schools invited to guided tours, Meat purchases are available

Event Flyer
                                                            
Baton Rouge, La. – Nearly 100 young farmers from throughout the state will converge on the Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena with hopes of having their prized winning animals named champion during the Southern University Ag Center’s 76th Annual Livestock and Poultry Show.

The event, which will be held from February 28 – March 2, provides an opportunity for youth to showcase their hard work in raising and caring for various breeds of cattle, hogs, sheep, lamb, goats and poultry. Winners will receive premiums, ribbons, rosettes and trophy belt buckles.

The Livestock Show Office is inviting local schools to come to the show on March 1 to participate in guided tours. The tour will include a mini petting zoo, hands-on plant, tobacco free living and nutrition exhibits.

Pre-orders of non-processed choice meats from various livestock are currently being accept by the  Livestock Show Office. All proceeds from meat sales go directly to participating youth as a reward for their hard work and financial investment. The following meat choices and quantities are available:

  • One whole beef $2,000
  • One half beef $1,000
  • One-fourth beef $500
  • One whole pork $225
  • One whole lamb $200
  • One whole goat is $175

There is a processing fee that is not included in the original cost of the meat. All purchases must be paid by money order or check and made payable to the Southern University Ag Center Livestock Show, prior to being picked up from the slaughter house.

Those who don’t pre-order their meat are invited to make a purchase during the show’s ‘Junior Auction Sale’ on Saturday, March 2 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena.

The office will deliver the meat to either Cutrer’s Slaughter House in Kentwood (985) 229-2478 or Rouchers in Plaquemine (225) 687-4258.

Donations to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank are also welcome. 

Since 1943, Southern University has continued the tradition of providing an opportunity for youth throughout the state to gain valuable knowledge and skills at the Annual State Livestock and Poultry Show. The Livestock Show provides a venue for youth to showcase their animals, develop entrepreneurship skills, build character and receive leadership training.
                                         
For more information on the SU Ag Center’s Livestock Show, how to purchase meat or register a school for a guided tour, visit http://www.suagcenter.com/page/livestock-show-2019, call 225.771.6208 or email decobea_butler@suagcenter.com. 

The Southern University Ag Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences together are called the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus.

           
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Friday, January 25

SARDI set to host its Community Spring Garden Workshop on February 15

Event Flyer


Baton Rouge, La. – The Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Institute (SARDI) will host its Community Spring Garden Workshop from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Friday, February 15, 2019. The event will be held at SARDI’s office, located at 1209 Diesi Street, in Opelousas, La.

Sessions covered during the workshop will include:

·         Soil Preparation Tips
·         Seedling Preparation
·         Greenhouse Maintenance
·         Transplanting Seedling to the Field
·         Hoop Houses and Raised Beds

SARDI is a satellite campus of the Southern University Ag Center housed in Opelousas, La. The Institute focuses on improving the socioeconomic well-being of citizens in rural communities within a ten-parish region of St. Landry, Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Evangeline, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Martin and Vermillion.

For additional information or to register for the Community Spring Garden Workshop, call 337-943-2410.
                                                
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Budding designers display elegant newspaper wedding dresses in Southern’s Library

Newspaper wedding dresses designed by students in the Apparel Merchandising and Textiles concentration will be displayed in the lobby of Southern University's John B. Cade Library until March 2019.


Baton Rouge, La. – Southern University Apparel Merchandising and Textiles (AMTX) students have designed beautiful wedding dresses with newspaper as the fabric.

The floor length dresses, along with newspaper headpieces, were a part of a project in the Sustainability in Design class. The project was meant to “stretch the students’ talent, skills and abilities as a designer,” according to the project assignment provided to the students.

The newspaper wedding gowns are currently displayed in the lobby of Southern University’s John B. Cade Library. The exhibit will run until March.

AMTX is one of three concentrations offered in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences within the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. For more information about the department, visit http://www.subr.edu/subhome/42.

Click here to view photos of the newspaper wedding dresses.

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Wednesday, January 23

SU Land-Grant Campus concludes Food Safety Certification Training in Alexandria

Participants received certificates of completion at the conclusion of the SU Land-Grant Campus' Food Safety Certification Program in Alexandria, La. on December 17, 2018. The training was held inside the Campus' Mobile Education Unit. 


Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Land-Grant Campus concluded the final session of its Food Safety Certification Program in Alexandria, La. on December 17, 2018.

The five-session training, which was conducted by SU Land-Grant Campus employees Dr. Fatemeh Malekian, L’Asia George, Emily King and William Augustine, consisted of Food Handling and a Cooking Demonstration.

The demonstration provided participants with a visual concept of the five chapters presented during the food handler trainings. Research Assistant L’Asia George prepared a Fajita Chicken Garden Salad in the well-equipped Southern University Agricultural Mobile Education Unit’s cooking station. She cleaned and sanitized all the counter tops and used the handwashing sink to wash her hands between tasks.  Ms. George then utilized the three compartment sinks to wash the utensils, salad bowls and other containers.  The microwave was used to heat the pre-cooked fajita chicken strips.

The food demonstration showed the participants the proper way of implementing food safety practices while preparing a meal. At the end of the demonstration, every participant requested and signed up to take the SU Land-Grant Campus’ ServSafe Certification course to continue learning more about food safety.

The participant also received a certificate of completion at the end of the training.

Funding for the training is provided through a grant from the Louisiana Office of Community Services titled, “Enhancing Capacity of Louisiana Small Farms and Businesses.”

In addition to the Food and Farm Safety Certification Program, the SU Land-Grant Campus also offers certifications in Sustainable Urban Agriculture, Master Small Ruminant and Small Business Development.

For additional information on our four certification programs, visit http://www.suagcenter.com/page/food-safety-certification-program.

The Southern University Ag Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences together are called the Southern University Land-Grant Campus.

Click here to view photos from the training.


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Tuesday, January 22

Louisiana Industrial Hemp Alliance holds inaugural meeting at the SU Ag Center

Members of the Louisiana Industrial Hemp Alliance (LIHA) held their inaugural meeting at the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus on January 14, 2019. Seated from left are, Curtis  L. Willis, Ph.D.; Joyce James and Bobby R. Phills, Ph,D., Chancellor-Dean of the SU Land-Grant Campus. Standing, from left, are Joe Lavigne; Arthur Walker, LIHA Chair; Odis Hill, SU Ag Center Assistant Area Agent; Winston L. Brumfield; Versa O. Clark; Andra Johnson, Ph.D., SU Ag Center Vice Chancellor for Research and C. Reuben Walker, Ph.D., SU Land-Grant Campus Associate Vice Chancellor for Auxiliary and External Engagement.  


Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Land-Grant Campus hosted the inaugural meeting of the Louisiana Industrial Hemp Alliance (LIHA) on Monday, January 14, 2019.

The meeting, which was held in Fisher Hall on Southern University’s Campus, was convened to address new legislation regarding Industrial Hemp.

“Industrial HEMP has been around for millennia,” said Arthur Walker, Chair of the LIHA. “It is a grain in the family of Cannabis Sativa L. The difference between it and other versions of the cannabis plant is in the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels. It has a level of .3% and below. Marijuana, its cousin, has THC levels of 5 and above,” he add.

THC is the psychotropic component of the plant that can cause individuals to experience a “high.” Making it virtually impossible to get high from the Industrial Hemp plant.

However, it was still classified as a schedule I drug, along with marijuana, by the Nixon administration in the 70’s. Making it illegal to be grown in the United States, but, the purchase of imported raw materials to manufacture products from the plant was legal.

Many of these products include clothes, soap, fiberboard and insulation.

“For a number of years the US has spent over $150 million per year on importing Industrial Hemp products just from China alone,” said Joe Lavigne, LIHA member. “We feel that Louisiana is the perfect safe space to take a fraction of that market and really drive the Industrial Hemp economy.”

“The small farmers and the small business owners of Louisiana need that infusion of opportunity,” expressed Walker.

The 2018 Farm Bill officially removed Industrial Hemp from the schedule I classification. Industrial Hemp is now classified as a commercial commodity like corn, sugarcane, and rice.

“Now farmers can get crop insurance and receive financing opportunities from the federal government to start growing Industrial Hemp,” said Walker. “The whole commodity designation and moving Industrial Hemp from the Department of Justice, where it was a schedule I drug, to the control of the Department of Agriculture is a game changer.”

As of the end of December 2018, 40 states had passed legislation that allowed their farmers and business owners to get involved with Industrial Hemp. Louisiana is among the last 10 states to have no legislation for the commodity.

“With the passage of the Farm Bill, those 40 states that have passed legislation are now ready to go to commercialization, as long as their laws are modified to fit under the federal umbrella,” said Walker. “Louisiana has to have something established from ground zero.”

The Alliance hopes to influence legislation in the state of Louisiana to allow the state’s small farmers and business owners to involve themselves in the commercial end of Industrial Hemp.

If legislation is passed, the Southern University Land-Grant Campus plans to assist small farmers in the propagation of the crop.

“Part of the Southern University Land-Grant Campus’s mission is to work with small, limited resource farmers throughout the state. We will assist the LIHA in helping to teach small farmers how to grow, cultivate and prepare this commodity as a value-added crop that can be exported throughout the world,” said Bobby R. Phills, Ph.D., Chancellor-Dean of the Southern University Land-Grant Campus. “It is our hope that this crop will enable small farmers to remain on their farms and be able to earn a decent living by growing Industrial Hemp.”

The Louisiana Industrial Hemp Alliance’s mission is to aid in the acceptance of the free marketing of Industrial Hemp as an agricultural crop in Louisiana. The organization is dedicated to a free market of Industrial Hemp, Low-THC varieties of Cannabis, and to change current laws to allow Louisiana farmers to grow this crop and Louisiana processors to process this crop on a commercial scale.

The Southern University Ag Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences together are called the Southern University Land-Grant Campus.

For additional information about the Louisiana Industrial Hemp Alliance, contact Arthur Walker at artw@communicationsone.com.


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Thursday, January 17

Faculty and Staff Gear Up for the Spring Semester with Convocation

Faculty and staff from the Southern University Land-Grant Campus attend convocation on January 10, 2019. The event was held in Fisher Hall on the Southern University campus.


Baton Rouge, La. – Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center staff and faculty members from the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences held their Spring 2019 Convocation on January 10, 2019.

During the meeting faculty and staff members were provided with information from the three academic departments and the Ag Center's Extension and Research Programs.

A representative from the human resources department Southern University and A&M College - Baton Rouge, LA was also on hand to provide information on retirement.

Photos from the event are available here.

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Wednesday, January 9

SU Land-Grant Campus, USDA Bastrop Listening Session has been Postponed

Event Flyer


Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s January 17 Listening Session has been postponed to a later date.



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Wednesday, December 12

Kentwood 4-H Youth Ambassadors Travel to the Nation’s Capital for HYPE Training

Kentwood High Magnet School students Ronny Johnson, Jr. and Jayla Berry attended the National 4-H Council Walmart Healthy Habits Programming Training in Chevy Chase, Maryland on November 1-3, 2018.


Baton Rouge, La. – A panel of judges selected Kentwood High Magnet School 4-H’ers Jayla Berry and Ronny Johnson, Jr. to represent Tangipahoa Parish at the National 4-H Council Walmart Healthy Habits Programming Training. The selection was made during an Impromptu Essay Contest on October 10.  These students were tasked with guiding their peers and communities, into living healthier lifestyles through the use of The Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project.

The training was held at the National 4-H Council Headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland on November 1– 3. 4-H youth and adult leaders from the Southern University Land-Grant Campus attended workshops on implementing the HYPE Project Curriculum. While attending the training, youth also had an opportunity to learn about health disparities, community access, policies, systems, and environmental changes through hands-on activities.

Since attending the training, Berry and Johnson have hit the ground running and have committed to revitalizing Kentwood High Magnet’s school garden and building a Humanity Box for the Town of Kentwood.  During a regular 4-H Club meeting on November 14 the Youth Ambassadors presented their plans, and solicited their club members for feedback in getting the projects underway. 

The HYPE Project is a five-phased model which teaches youth ambassadors how to impact their communities by establishing youth-led campaigns. The phases of the project are: Think, Learn, Act, Share and Evaluate.

For additional information about 4-H programs in Tangipahoa Parish, contact Nicolette Gordon, Assistant Youth Development Agent at 985-748-5462.

The Southern University Ag Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences together are called the Southern University Land-Grant Campus.

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Monday, December 10

SU Land-Grant Campus holds Food Safety Certification training in Alexandria

Dr. Fatemeh Malekian conducts a food safety certification session in Alexandria, LA on the SU Land-Grant Campus' Mobil Education and Technology Center.


Training designed for individuals who work in the food service industry

Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Land-Grant Campus (SULGC) held a Food Safety Certification training in Alexandria, LA on November 26.

The training, which was taught by Dr. Fatemeh Malekian, was the second session of the five-part course designed for individuals who work in food service or who are starting food businesses.

During the training, Dr. Malekian discussed proper personal hygiene for individuals who handle food, including hand washing, using gloves properly, clothing and jewelry, and illness or injury. 

Because correct hand washing is a critical part of food safety, Dr. Malekian conducted a hand washing demonstration where participants rubbed a gel, which represented dirt and germs, on their hands.  The participants then washed their hands thoroughly with soap and water. After the hand washing, Dr. Fatemeh used a black-light to see if any gel, which glows in the dark, remained on their hands.  The participants were surprised to see that a small amount of the gel was left in places like the cuticles of their fingers and folds in the palms.

The training and demonstration were held on the SULGC’s Mobile Education and Technology Center, a bus retrofitted with up-to-date technology and a demonstration kitchen.  William Augustine, Project Coordinator, operates the mobile unit.

In addition to proper personal hygiene, topics covered during the course will include the importance of food safety, controlling time and temperature, preventing cross-contamination, and cleaning and sanitizing.  Along with Dr. Malekian, the SULGC Food Safety Certification team includes Dr. Kasundra Cyrus, Emily King and L’Asia George.

Participants receive the ServSafe Food Handler Guide and a binder with the information taught in the sessions.  At the final session on December 17, the participants will be awarded certificates acknowledging their Food Safety Certification. The training and all educational materials are provided at no cost to the participants.

Funding for the Food Safety Certification Program is provided by the Enhancing Capacity of Louisiana Small Farms and Businesses grant from the Louisiana Office of Community Services.

For additional information about the SU Land-Grant Campus’s Food Safety Certification Program or to schedule a training in your area, contact Emily King or L’Asia George at 225-771-2242.

The Southern University Ag Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences together are called the Southern University Land-Grant Campus.

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