Friday, April 28

USDA/FAS Official Presents Seminar, ezFedGrants on SU Land-Grant Campus

Mr. Jim Suits shares information on grant opportunities available at Foreign Ag Service that can enhance world trade
Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Land-Grant Campus hosted a seminar and ezFedGrants certification registration presented by Mr. Jim Suits, a USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) official on April 27. Suits presented information on the agricultural trade capacity building program opportunities available at his agency. He indicated that there were not many names on the list of grant participants from the SU Land-Grant Campus. Thus, he encouraged faculty to write grant proposals on any of the five priority areas that would enhance world trade.  He further added that these opportunities can impact developing countries in places like West and East Africa in encourage them to engage safely in the global market.  He went on to list the five priority areas that include Post Harvest Loss Reduction; Climate-Smart Agriculture; Nutrition; Market Information Systems; and SPS/WTO Compliance. He noted that emerging issues facing the developing world include electricity, future of trade and permanently displaced persons. He then went on to point out that the FAS has programs in place to address such issues. Top three programs in place to address the problems include: USDA Scientific Exchange; Food Assistance; and Commodity. In conclusion, Mr. Suits stated that grant proposals from various partners including universities are favorably reviewed and awarded.

Suits concluded his inaugural visit to Louisiana with the introduction of the USDA Grants Management System known as “ezFedGrants.” The system involves different levels of authentication. He registered some SU Land-Grant Campus employees for one of those levels following his presentation.

Definition:
SPS – Sanitary and Phytosanitary
WTO – World Trade Organization

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http://www.suagcenter.com/              

Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Institute partners with the Small Business Administration to host the Acadiana Small Business Summit




Baton Rouge, La.The Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Institute (SARDI), formerly named the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives, has partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to host the Acadiana Small Business Summit (ASBS). 

The event will be held on Monday, May 1, 2017 from 8:45 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the SARDI office, 1209 Diesi St., in Opelousas, La. Admission is free and a lunch will be provided during the networking hour.

This year’s summit is targeting existing businesses who aspire to grow, individuals who aspire to become entrepreneurs, and businesses interested in the multi-billion-dollar industry of governmental contracting. The following agencies are participating as workshop presenters/ volunteers:

·         U.S. Small Business Administration
·         Louisiana Small Business Development Center - Southern University
·         Resource and Fund Development, LLC
·         SCORE Louisiana
·         Louisiana Economic Development
·         St. Landry Parish Economic Development
·         Louisiana Small Business Development Center - University of Louisiana at Lafayette

The ASBS summit will also kick off the 2017 National Small Business week.

All interested participants are asked to pre-register for the summit by emailing Krystle_Washington@suagcenter.com or calling 337-943- 2410.


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The joint SU/LSU Small Ruminant Field Day is Free

Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Ag Center, and the LSU AgCenter will host a joint small ruminant field day on tomorrow, April 29 from 8:00 am - 2:30 p.m. at Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena, 14600 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge, LA.

The workshop is free and open to the public! There is no charge to attend!

Scientists from the SU Ag Center will present information on the center’s newly established Master Small Ruminant Certification Program and share updates on the research they are conducting on small ruminants.

Producers can also participate in a FAMACHA certification course, which is used to treat and control Barber’s Pole worms and other parasites in goats and sheep, for an additional $10.

Small ruminant experts from both the SU and LSU Ag Centers will make presentations on forage management, nutrition and health interaction; distiller grains; infectious and parasitic diseases; small ruminant reproduction and drug use/ off label issues.

Topics of discussion will include: Herd Health and new guidelines; Mobile Technology and Marketing; Alternative Forages; Feed Supplementation; Food Safety, and etc.

Demonstrations & Hands-On Activities: Wet Lab (Fecal Egg Count); Goat Meat Product Development & Tasting; Practical Animal Husbandry Techniques; and Soil and Forage sampling.

For information on the SU Ag Center’s Master Small Ruminant Certification Program, contact Dr. Sebhatu Gebrelul at Sebhatu_Gebrelul@suagcenter.com or at 225.771.3841.

For more information contact: Sebhatu Gebrelul (225) 771-3841; sebhatu_gebrelul@suagcenter.com; Renita Marshall (225) 771-0252; Renita_marshall@suagcenter.com
                                                                                                                                                      
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http://www.suagcenter.com/              



Thursday, April 27

Southern University Land-Grant Campus Judges THRIVE Science Fair

THRIVE Academy Science Fair winners - Warner, Clark, and Ortega pose for a shot

L-r: Ms. Hollins, Dr. Ford and Dr. Mellieon observe student demonstration

Mellieon, Hollins and Ford from the SU Land-Grant Campus judge science fair
Baton Rouge, La - Members of the Southern University Land-Grant Campus were invited to  THRIVE Academy, a residential charter school for at-risk youth, on April 12 to judge the 6th grade science fair. Ms. Kelli Hollins, Extension Associate; Dr. Marlin Ford, Research Associate; and Dr. Harold Mellieon, Director of Livestock Programs, served as judges for 25 students’ completed projects in the areas of Informational, Physical Science, Chemistry, and Weather.
“The 6th graders have been learning the scientific method and how to apply it to research.  I think the communication part was the improvement across the board because they all had to give an oral presentation.” says, Mrs. Christie Monroe, 6th grade science teacher. The science fair was used in two folds. It allowed the students to explore science using their own ideas, and it also allowed them to apply what they have learned all year. The students worked very hard on their projects. Over all it was a great experience.

The SU Land-Grant Campus has established a garden on the THRIVE Campus for students to engage in learning activities outside of the classroom. Students are also given ownership of school garden to ensure easy access to fresh produce. The experiences and knowledge gained from this project played a major role in the science fair projects as well.

The project titled, “Using Agriculture as a Fast Track Vehicle for Change through Experiential Learning” has allowed us to collaborate and support THRIVE with many activities. Fast Track was introduced to students as a teaching mechanism which offers agricultural experiences and nutrition education as well as developing interpersonal skills and workforce development skills.
 “We are truly grateful to the SU Ag Center for their constant support of Thrive. We cannot thank you enough!” says Monroe.

The winners of the 2017 Science Fair were: A. Warner, J. Clark, and M. Ortega.
Started in 2011, THRIVE Academy serves to empower students from underserved Baton Rouge communities and prepare them academically and personally for success in college and beyond.

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http://www.suagcenter.com/              

Wednesday, April 19

SU Land-Grant Campus Shines at Annual Academic Honors Day Awards Program

Honoree Patrice Lazard receives award from SU System President-Chancellor Ray Belton

Patrice Lazard poses with President Belton, left and Land-Grant Campus Chancellor-Dean Bobby R. Phills

Patrice Lazard poses with Chancellor-Dean Phills and Adviser Dr. Patricia Meyinsse
Baton Rouge, La. - Southern University held its Annual Academic Honors Day Awards Program on April 19, 2017 in Baton Rouge. Parents, family, friends, students, faculty and staff were in attendance.

Students who earned a 3.0 GPA or better for the fall and/or spring 2016 semesters were honored. Among this year’s winners was Patrice Lazard, Agricultural Economics major advised by Dr. Patricia Meyinsse. Ms. Lazard won the Chancellor’s Scholar Award and the highest GPA honor in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

The Southern University Land-Grant Campus comprises of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. 

http://www.suagcenter.com/              

Monday, April 17

Nearly four hundred participants, exhibits attend The Land-Grant Campus 13th Annual ‘Connecting Businesses with Contracts’ Procurement Conference


Baton Rouge, La.Nearly four hundred current and potential small business owners, major prime companies, along with federal, state and local government agencies attended the Land-Grant Campus’ 13th Annual ‘Connecting Businesses with Contracts’ Procurement Conference.
                                     
The event, which was held in Southern University’s Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union on April 11, provides a venue for individuals to learn about the resources that are available through federal, state and local government agencies and prime companies.

This year’s conference featured a procurement panel discussion and several informative sessions on business tax strategies and financial management, employee and performance management, the anatomy of winning bids, the five P’s for more effective marketing, construction law and how to protect yourself, how to obtain and maintain a contractor’s license and transparency: a true story of a millennial business owner.
                                                                                                                                                             
SU alum and retired Lt. General Russel Honoré served as the guest speaker for the conference.

During his speech, Honoré touched on Hurricane Katrina, the Great Flood of 2016, business and family leadership, entrepreneurship, and resilience.

“Going into business should be about solving other peoples’ problems. Using that strategy will result in several streams of income.  You must be prepared to qualify for contracts with the government,” said Honoré. 

“They do not pick people from the street to receive contracts when disaster strikes. In business, doing what has value rather than what is cheap ensures that you will get repeat business from a client. Treat your clients like your patients, connected with a lifeline,” he added.

The procurement conference was co-sponsored by the Center for Rural and Small Business Development at the Land-Grant Campus; the U. S. Small Business Administration; America’s Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University; Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and Goodwork Network.

Photos from the procurement conference are available here.

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SU Land-Grant Campus to host joint Small Ruminant Field Day

Flyer
Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Ag Center, and the LSU AgCenter, will host a joint small ruminant field day on April 29 from 8:00 am - 2:30 p.m. at Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena, 14600 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge, LA.

The event is free to the public!

Scientists from the SU Ag Center will present information on the newly established Master Small Ruminant Certification Program and share updates on the research they are conducting on small ruminants.

Producers can also participate in a FAMACHA certification course, which is used to treat and control Barber’s Pole worms and other parasites in goats and sheep, for an additional $10.

Small ruminant experts from both the SU and LSU Ag Centers will make presentations on forage management, nutrition and health interaction; distiller grains; infectious and parasitic diseases; small ruminant reproduction and drug use/ off label issues.

Topics of discussion will include: Herd Health and new guidelines; Mobile Technology and Marketing; Alternative Forages; Feed Supplementation; Food Safety, and more.

Demonstrations & Hands-On Activities: Wet Lab (Fecal Egg Count); Goat Meat Product Development & Tasting; Practical Animal Husbandry Techniques; and Soil and Forage sampling.

For information on the SU Ag Center’s Master Small Ruminant Certification Program, contact Dr. Sebhatu Gebrelul at
Sebhatu_Gebrelul@suagcenter.com or at 225.771.3841.

For more information on the field day, contact: Sebhatu Gebrelul (225) 771-3841; sebhatu_gebrelul@suagcenter.com; Renita Marshall (225) 771-0252; Renita_marshall@suagcenter.com
                                                                                                                                                      
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http://www.suagcenter.com/              

Thursday, April 13

SU Land-Grant Campus’ Urban Forestry Professor Receives Morrison-Evans Outstanding Scientist Award, Students Recognized at Conference

Dr. Yadong Qi with her Morrison-Evans Outstanding Scientist Award.

Standing from left (front row) are Brittany Benjamin, Asia Rubin, and Patrice Lazard. Standing from left on the second row are student mentors Drs. Zhu Ning, Renita Marshall, Patricia Meyinsse and Chancellor-Dean Bobby R. Phills.

BATON ROUGE, La. – Yadong Qi, Ph.D., received the distinguished Morrison-Evans Outstanding Scientist Award for 2017 from the Association of 1890 Research Directors’ (ARD) at its biennial symposium in Atlanta, Georgia, April 1 – 4.  Qi is Interim Department Chair and Director of the Urban Forestry Graduate Program, a professor of Urban Forestry with the Southern University College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences and a research scientist in the SU Ag Center.

What makes this even more impressive is that she is only the second Southern University scientist to ever receive the award!   The first Southern University recipient was in 1989. Nominees were submitted for selection from the 1890 Institutions and Qi emerged the sole winner of the prestigious award.

The ARD biennial symposium honors one outstanding scientist from the 19 intuitions based on established criteria. The theme of this year’s symposium was “1890 Research: Meeting the 21st Century Challenges Through Innovation.”  

“I feel extremely honored to receive this prestigious award, it is like a dream coming true,” said Qi. “This honor belonging to not only me but the entire Southern University System and The Land-Grant Campus.”

Qi went on to express her appreciation to Dr. Bobby R. Phills, Chancellor-Dean of the Land-Grant Campus, for nominating her for the award and for his visionary leadership to establish the nation’s first urban forestry BS degree program at Southern University 25 years ago.

She also thanked all of her administrators, colleagues, postdoctoral students, visiting scholars, undergraduate and graduate students; long-time collaborators from the USDA Forest Service, the USDA UV-B Monitoring and Research Program at Colorado State University, Louisiana State University, Rutgers University, the University of Wyoming, the University of Maryland, College Park and international partners and the many funding agencies that have supported her research throughout her tenure at Southern University.

Undergraduate and graduate student oral and poster presentation competitions were also held during the symposium. Land-Grant Campus students Brittany Benjamin, Patrice Lazard and Asia Rubin placed in the oral competition. Benjamin, an Urban Forestry graduate student from New Orleans, La., won third in the graduate student category of Renewable Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Lazard, an Agricultural Economics undergraduate student from Lawtell, La. won first place in the undergraduate student category of Family, Youth, Community and Economic Development; and Asia Rubin, an Animal Science undergraduate student from Lafayette, La., won third place in the undergraduate student category of Animal Health and Production and Animal Products.

About the Morrison-Evans Outstanding Scientist Award
The Morrison-Evans Outstanding Scientist Award is named in honor of Dr. Richard D. Morrison, President Emeritus, of Alabama A&M University and Congressman Frank E. Evans of Colorado. Dr. Morrison and Mr. Evans provided leadership in seeking research and extension funds for the 1890 Institutions under the Second Morrill Act of 1890.


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Tuesday, April 11

Southern University Land-Grant Campus Hosts Inaugural National ‘Diversity in Wildfire Summit’


SU partners with USDA and the U.S. Forest Service to welcome HBCU students to learn about opportunities in the wildfire industry, April 19-20.

Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Land-Grant Campus is hosting its first ‘Diversity in Wildfire Summit’ for agricultural sciences majors from 1890 Land-Grant colleges and universities nationwide to inform them of career options and opportunities in the wildfire industry.

The two-day event will expose students to viable careers in the wildfire sector, from hands-on operations to business administration. They will also have the opportunity to network with representatives from various governmental agencies and gain insight on pertinent wildfire management topics. Attendees will hear from top industry experts to include those in real estate and urban planning, conservation and effects of fire on natural resources.

“Our primary goal at the Southern University Land-Grant Campus is to provide our students with quality education in agriculture through research and by introducing them to opportunities for success during their matriculation as well as after graduation,” says Chancellor-Dean Bobby R. Phills, Ph.D. “We’re excited to expand our reach to students at our sister 1890 Land-Grant institutions through the Diversity in Wildfire Summit.”

Students from over 22 universities will attend the summit including Tennessee State University, the University of Maryland - Eastern Shore and West Virginia State University.

About the Southern University Land-Grant Campus

The Land-Grant Campus of the Southern University and A&M College System embraces a mission consistent with the University’s tripartite mission of teaching, research, and extension/public service. Our Land-Grant role is to educate, train and mentor a cadre of highly skilled students and professionals to prepare them for a highly technological and globalized workforce.

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Thursday, April 6

The Land-Grant Campus is set to hold its 13th Annual ‘Connecting Businesses with Contracts’ Procurement Conference


Baton Rouge, La.Hundreds of current and potential small business owners will gather at Southern University’s Smith-Brown Memorial Union on April 11 for the Land-Grant Campus’s 13th Annual ‘Connecting Businesses with Contracts’ Procurement Conference.

The event, which will be held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., will feature a session for millennial business owners and sessions on business tax strategies and financial management, employee and performance management, the anatomy of winning bids, the five P’s for more effective marketing, construction law and how to protect yourself, and how to obtain and maintain a contractor’s license.

The conference provides a venue for potential and existing business owners, contractors, non-profits, small towns, and municipalities to learn about the resources that are available through federal, state and local government agencies and prime companies.
                                                                                                                                                                    Retired Lt. General Russel Honore` will serve as the guest speaker for the conference.

Honore` is a native of Louisiana and graduate of Southern University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture. He is best known for leading the Joint Task Force Katrina, in which he led the Department of Defense’s response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit to name only a few awards he has received.

General Honore` retired from the United States Army in 2008 with 37 years of service. He currently speaks and consults on Building a Culture of Preparedness.

The conference is free, but pre-registration is required. To register, visit http://crsbd.com/events/. On-site participant registration will be available on the day of the conference.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Rural and Small Business Development at the Land-Grant Campus; the U. S. Small Business Administration; America’s Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University; Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and Goodwork Network.

For more information about the Procurement Conference or to obtain registration forms, contact Eual Hall at 225-771-4105 or via e-mail at eual_hall@suagcenter.com.

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Thursday, March 30

SU and LSU Ag Centers set to present AgMagic in April

Event Flyer

Event to teach children about Louisiana’s agriculture through fun exhibits and activities


Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University and LSU Ag Centers have partnered to present AgMagic, an interactive event that teaches children about Louisiana’s agriculture and why it’s important to their lives.

During the event, visitors will be able to pet live farm animals, learn about 4-H, bugs, watch plants grow and learn where their food comes from.

AgMagic will be held at the Parker Coliseum – Highland Road near the south gates of LSU - on the LSU campus. The event is free and will be open to school groups between April 3 and 7, and open to the general public April 8 and 9.

Schools are asked to schedule a visit via Eventbrite.com by searching for ‘AgMagic.’

The LSU AgCenter has hosted AgMagic since 2004 and named the Southern University Ag Center as a partner for the event in 2015. For additional information, visit www.LSUAgCenter.com/AgMagic.

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Monday, March 27

Students Receive Real-Life Training during Mock Youth Legislative Session at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol

2017 iLEAD Club Youth Senators and Representatives are, from left on the first row, Jacolby Parker, Ronnie Morgan and Kymonin Muse; second row Nicholas English, Mela'Je Hurst, Thrid row, Xavier Gordon, Yelitza Gonzales, Chassidy Millspaugh , Christopher Muse and Corey LaBlanc. 

Baton Rouge, La. – Ten students in the Interactive Leaders Engaging and Advancing Democracy (iLEAD) Club at the Kentwood High Magnet School and St. Helena College and Career Academy participated in the 2017 Youth Legislature Session hosted by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge. The annual event was held March 20 -21 at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

Youth Legislator, which has been in existence for over 35 years, is a program that introduces middle school students to the legislative process through classroom application, and participation in a two-day mock legislative process.  This year students received a surprise visit from Louisiana’s Secretary of State, Tom Schedler. 

Young “future political” hopefuls get an opportunity to select a governor, house and senate officers. This year Christopher Muse, an eighth grader at St. Helena College & Career Academy ran for Governor.  Although, Muse was a few votes shy of winning the election, he delivered a very clever speech that will resonate with the hearts of many youth legislature participants. Muse was also appointed to the Governor’s Cabinet where he served on both the Health & Welfare, and Commerce Committees.

“I learned many things, while serving on the Governor’s Cabinet,” said Muse.

During the session, youth participants that exhibit an exceptional level of professionalism, positive and frequent participation, and democratic spirit get an opportunity to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  This years’ inductee is Youth Senator Xavier Gordon, an eighth grader at St. Helena College & Career Academy.

The iLEAD club is an in-school club developed by Nicolette Gordon, Assistant Area Agent at Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center.  The club is dedicated to training student government officers and members in St. Helena and Tangipahoa Parish schools.

Students participating and their elected positions were Nicholas English, youth senator; Xavier Gordon youth senator; Ronnie Morgan, youth senator; Mela’Je Hurst, youth representative; Yelitz Gonzales, youth representative; Corey LeBlanc, youth representative; Chassidy Millspaugh, youth representative; Kymonin Muse, youth representative and Jacolby Parker, youth representative.

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Friday, March 24

National Agriculture Day attracts more than 3,000 students to SU Activity Center

SU Band welcomes participants to National Ag Day
Baton Rouge, La. - The Southern University Land-Grant Campus celebrated its 2017 National Ag Day event with the rest of the nation on March 21. Faculty, staff, students from kindergarten to college and community members participated in the celebration with students from area schools numbering in excess of 3,000.

National Ag Day is about recognizing and celebrating the contribution of agriculture in our everyday lives. The event provided not only the opportunity and forum for youth to learn about Louisiana agriculture, but also the platform to meet and recruit potential students to Southern University and particularly, the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. 

Southern University System President-Chancellor Dr. Ray Belton and Land-Grant Campus Chancellor-Dean Dr. Bobby Phills, along with numerous administrative staff, were on hand to bring greetings to Ag Day participants.

Activities of the day included a performance by the Southern University Human Jukebox Marching Band to kick off the event; animal and plant displays, demonstrations, a petting zoo, and a bio-processing station, to name only a few of the exhibits offered by the students, staff and faculty of the Agricultural Research and Extension Center, College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences; USDA agencies and the East Baton Rouge Public Library. Even the Land-Grant Campus mascot was on hand to entertain the crowd. Event photos are available here.

Chancellor-Dean Bobby Phills captured the sensation of the day best in his post event message to the organizer Dr. Renita Marshall.

“Dr. Marshall you hit a HOME RUN today.  In fact, it was a GRAND SLAM,” said Dr. Phills.  “I can truly say that the Land-Grant Campus is on the move, and people like you and the programs that you all host are simply SUPERB.  I am not sure who were all your committee members, but please let them know that I am equally as proud of them as I am of you and your leadership,” said Dr. Phills.

“The last time I saw this many people (3000 + students) in the F. G. Clark Activity Center was during SU Basketball Glory Days.  Thus, to see it like this again, warms my spirit. I can’t wait to see it become bigger and better,” added Phills.

For the past five years, Renita Marshall, DVM/Associate Professor of Animal Science has worked diligently to make this event better every year. This year, she stated that the success of the event left her speechless. However, she thanked everyone for showing appreciation to all those in the agriculture industry responsible for feeding over seven billion mouths every day.

“Please accept our sincere gratitude for your help during the 5th Annual National Ag Day Celebration. The goal was to promote Southern University Agriculture, celebrate God's creation and encourage whole family awareness of the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products to the world. The event was, once again, a great success, and we hope all participants enjoyed it as much as we did,” said Dr. Marshall.

On the eve of the National Ag Day event, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed an official proclamation declaring March 21, 2017 Agriculture Day (Ag Day) in Louisiana. On the day of the event, Agriculture Acting Deputy Secretary Michael L. Young issued a statement on National Agriculture Day.

"Today is National Agriculture Day, set aside to pay tribute to the farmers and ranchers of our nation.  The work of American producers and growers ensures consumers in our country have plenty of safe food and a wide variety at a cost lower than much of the world.”

The History of National Ag Day dates back to nearly 43 years ago. According to the National Ag Day’s website, it’s a day set aside to encourage every American to understand how food and fiber products are produced, recognize essential roles of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy and appreciating the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products. Since 1975, National Ag Day has been the program to spotlight all the great work farmers and ranchers do to feed and clothe the United States and the world.

Over the next 40 years, the Earth’s total population is projected to increase from 7.3 billion to more than 9 billion, meaning that global agriculture producers will need to increase food production by 70 percent to meet demand.

Engaging the next generation is one of the important initiatives of the program, which is achieved by giving youth an overview of Ag Day and exposing them to careers in agricultural sciences.

Washington D.C. is the main hub where National Ag Day happens with a luncheon on Capitol Hill and the USDA main Ag Day celebration dinner.

“The significance is to make sure that the policy makers in Washington D.C. know what farmers and ranchers do,” said Colin Woodall, Vice President of Government Affairs at National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

“Everyone has to put on clothes and eat every single day,” Woodall said. “Without farmers and ranchers, it wouldn’t be possible.”

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http://www.suagcenter.com/              

Thursday, March 23

SU Land-Grant Campus to hold Pruning and Wood Waste Utilization Workshop

Event Flyer

Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Land-Grant Campus will hold a Pruning Demonstration and Wood Waste Utilization Workshop from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on March 28 at the SU Ag Center.

The goal of the workshop is to broaden the ability of landowners, students and the general public to maintain Urban Forest Ecosystems that meet both human and ecological needs.

The workshop is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.

To pre-register, email Dr. Kamran Abdollahi at kamran_abdollahi@suagcenter.com or call 225-324-8206.

                            
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Wednesday, March 22

SU Land-Grant Campus Concludes another Successful La. Small Farmer Conference


Small Farmer Conference attendees speak with a representative from the state's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) during the Soil Health session of the conference.
Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Land-Grant Campus held its 7th Annual Louisiana Small Farmer Conference March 16-18, 2017 at the Southern University Ag Center.

Nearly 200 small farmers from throughout the state attended the three-day event themed, “Innovation and Resilience for Louisiana’s Family Farms.”

This year’s conference kicked off with a grant writing workshop which prepared attendees with information to conceptualize and develop a competitive grant proposal for the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program. Other sessions included Value Added Marketing, Soil Health, a Modern Technology and Farming Drone Demonstration, Farm Labor Issues, Produce Safety and a panel discussion on Bees and Cut Flowers.

Jay Grymes, Chief Meteorologist at WAFB News Channel 9, also presented a session on Climate Change and Small Scale Agriculture. During this session Grymes discussed the August 2016 floods, weather trends within the state and how the trends will affect agricultural production.

The Louisiana Living Legends Banquet was held on the evening of March 17 following the conference’s sessions. This banquet honors individuals who have made significant contributions to Southern University in the areas of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences.

The 2017 honorees were Dr. Patricia Meyinsse, professor of Agricultural Economics at the SU College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences in Baton Rouge; Dr. Donald McDowell, retired professor of the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics & Agriscience Education at North Carolina A&T State University; and Lee Hampton, retired Parish Chair of St. Landry Parish and Cooperative Extension Agent.

The three join 21 others who have been honored with this recognition since 2005. 

Dr. John Pierre, Chancellor of SU Law Center was the banquet's speaking and shared the history of the Land-grant System with the audience, which dates back to 1862, the Act developed by Vermont Senator Justin Morrill, and the birth of the 1890 institutions. He continued to explain how Southern University became one of the 19 universities in the country in the 1890 Land-Grant System.

Dr. Pierre stated that in 1890, Congress passed the Second Morrill Act with the stipulation that African Americans were to be included in the land-grant university system. The first Morrill Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. LSU is the 1862 land-grant instruction in Louisiana.

The conference concluded with the graduation ceremony for the 2017 Class of the Louisiana Small Farmer Leadership Institute.

The graduates are Delores Andrews; Elaine Brumfield; Ricky Brumfield; Mahdi Cezar; Craig Coleman; Larry Freeman; Chris Hayes; Lillie Howard; Yolanda Renee Lee; Patricia Richardson; Patrick Richardson and Rosie White.

The overriding goal of the Institute is to promote the sustainability of small family farms through enhanced business management skills and leadership development.

“The leadership institute has taken the majority of the participants from being just small producers through the mindset of becoming great producers with limited acreage, herds or holdings,” said Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin, Vice Chancellor for Extension and Director of the Small Farmer Leadership Institute.

 2017 Louisiana Living Legend honoree Dr. Donald McDowell served as the keynote speaker for the graduation ceremony. In his speech entitled “Agriculture is deeper than dirt,” Dr. McDowell advised the graduates to be good stewards of the land and acquired skills.

“Get your land and farm incorporated, get them protected,” said Dr. McDowell. “As graduates of the Ag Institute, you have an obligation to encourage youth to pursue careers in agricultural sciences; you are change agents and must educate the public especially young people about the importance of agriculture,” he continued.

Leroy Conish, a 2011 Institute graduate also spoke to the graduates about his growth since his completion of the course. He stated that he started growing vegetables to improve his health and ended up making money from it.

“Now, I make money from growing okra, and make my community in St. James Parish sustainable,” said Conish.

The highlight of the program was the rendition of the poem “Hey Black Child” by nine-year-old fifth grader Christina Gary from Gilbert Junior High in Franklin Parish, who plans to attend Southern University and pursue a degree in agricultural economics.  The poem, penned by Countee Cullen, portrays the power of black youth with proper guidance.

SU Land-Grant Campus Chancellor-Dean Dr. Bobby R. Phills was so impressed by Gary's performance and prospect that he offered her a four-year college assistantship should she pursue an agricultural science degree at Southern University.


Photos from the Small Farmer Conference, Louisiana Living Legends Banquet and Louisiana Small Farmer Leadership Institute Graduation Ceremony are available here.