Friday, August 31

Center for Rural and Small Business Development Success Story #-2

Left-New Education Center 

[Baton Rouge, La.] The Disciple Baptist Church of Ville Platte, La was experiencing a growth in membership and needed additional space to accommodate them.  They estimated the cost to build an educational center at $150,000.  Church leaders sought assistance from the Center for Rural and Small Business Development.  Staff members assisted them in identifying a lender and guided them through the financing process.  The center was financed and there is now a beautiful addition that consists of six classrooms.

The Center for Rural and Small Business Development under the auspices of the Southern University Ag Center had previously assisted the church in setting up a computer laboratory which is utilized by members of the church, as well as, others in the community.  It was equipped with ten computers and a printer.  Software was installed that assisted in studying the LEAP and Exit tests, increased computer skills and introduced the use of social media. The Center also provided additional computer technology training via the mobile computer laboratory.

The church continues to meet the needs of its members and the community at large.  Their vision remains clear and they are on target to meet all goals and aspirations.

For additional information, contact Gloria London at 225-771-4107 or
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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Disaster Assistance Available for Louisiana Small Businesses

Baton Rouge, LA – Small, nonfarm businesses in 11 Louisiana parishes and neighboring counties in Arkansas are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  “These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that began June 19, 2012, in the following primary parishes,” announced Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Primary Louisiana parishes: Morehouse, Richland, Union and West Carroll;
Neighboring Louisiana parishes: Caldwell, Claiborne, East Carroll, Franklin, Lincoln, Madison and Ouachita;
Neighboring Arkansas counties: Ashley, Chicot and Union.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Judd said.

Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage.  These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 3% for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Judd said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster.  Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster on August 15, 2012.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance.  Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.  However, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at  

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling SBA toll-free at (800) 659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA’s Web site at  Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877‑8339.

The deadline to apply for these loans is April 15, 2013.

SBA Field Operations Center - West, P.O. Box 419004, Sacramento, CA 95841

For further detail, contact Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin at 225-771-2242 ext. 201 or

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Wednesday, August 29


Baton Rouge- The Southern University Ag Center will remain closed through Thursday, August 30th, 2012. Chancellor Leodrey Williams made the announcement on Wednesday,  stating that offices will reopen Friday. He urges everyone to remain safe.
Contact Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Monday, August 27

Update on Southern University Ag Center campus closure

Baton Rouge, LA - Southern University Ag Center Chancellor Dr. Leodrey Williams has announced the closure of offices on Tuesday, August 28, and Wednesday, August 29, 2012.
“All parish staff should consult with their Parish Chairs as to closures affecting their offices,” said Chancellor Williams. 

All staff, faculty and personnel are asked to monitor their SU Ag Center email accounts, the social media sites and local news to get updates concerning work resumption and the path of now Tropical Storm Isaac.

The University encourages everyone to take all safety precautions available when leaving and entering campus.
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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Southern University Ag Center campus to close Tuesday, Wednesday

Baton Rouge, LA - Southern University Ag Center Chancellor Dr. Leodrey Williams has announced the closure of offices on Tuesday, August 28, and Wednesday, August 29 for state and parish staff except for those in essential services.

All staff, faculty and personnel are asked to monitor their SU Ag Center email accounts, the social media sites and local news to get updates concerning work resumption and the path of now Tropical Storm Isaac.

The University encourages everyone to take all safety precautions available when leaving and entering campus.
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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Safety Tips for Livestock and Pet In Advance of Tropical Storm Isaac

Goat herd

Baton Rouge, LA - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued guidance for residents in states who have livestock and pets that might be affected by Tropical Storm Isaac.  USDA is offering these tips to help residents protect the health of these animals in the event of power outages, flooding and other issues that can be associated with strong storms.
Follow the direction of state and local officials and stay tuned to your local Emergency Alert System television or ra­dio stations, and fire, police and other local emergency response organizations for relevant emergency information.

Livestock Safety
Make sure barns and structures where live­stock can be sheltered are in good repair. If more space is needed for your stock, make arrangements for the use of other sheltering facilities in close proximity to your facilities.
Calculate the feed and water requirements to maintain livestock and poultry during an emergency.
Make preparations for protecting feed and water supplies and providing emergency electrical power if necessary.
If possible, cover feed and forage stored outdoors with a tarp or plastic sheeting. Routinely cover open water supplies, such as troughs and stock tanks.

Pet Safety
If you have not been ordered to evacuate, make sure you have enough pet food and water on hand to feed your pets during an emergency. 
If you have been ordered to evacuate by state or local authorities, take your pets with you when you go.  If you need assistance, such as persons relying on public transportation or with medical special needs, contact your emergency management agency for instructions.
An emergency pet shelter might be available near the human emergency shelter, check with your local emergency management agency to find the nearest emergency pet shelter to you. Do not stay behind with your pet if state or local officials order you to evacuate.
Pet owners should be prepared to provide the following information to pet shelter workers if possible: name; species and breed; sex; color; distinctive markings; age; microchip identification number; vaccination records; health conditions and required medication.

Other useful items to bring to a shelter are:
·          a clear and current photo of you with your pet
·         an extra collar, leash, and/or harness that fits
·         favorite toys
·         any medications and special diets for their pets
·         information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets
·         a pet carrier/kennel large enough for your pet to sleep in comfortably
More information about pet preparedness is available at:
Additional information and updates about USDA's hurricane relief efforts are posted at  And information about the U.S. Government's response efforts is available at

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

USDA: Food Safety Preparation Tips as Isaac Approaches

Baton Rouge, LA — With Tropical Storm Isaac's potential blast, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued food safety tips to citizens in affected areas last Friday. Power outages and flooding that often result from weather emergencies compromise the safety of stored food, and planning ahead can minimize the risk of foodborne illness.

"Storing perishable food at proper temperatures is crucial to food safety but can become difficult if you lose electricity for your refrigerator and freezer," USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen said. "For those living in Tropical Storm Isaac's projected path, we recommend stocking up on canned food, bottled water, batteries, and dry ice."

The publication "A Consumer's Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes" is available
 to print and keep for reference during a power outage.

Steps to follow to prepare for a possible weather emergency: 
  • Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer to help determine if food is safe during power outages. The refrigerator temperature should be 40° F or lower and the freezer should be 0° F or lower.
  • Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
  • Group food together in the freezer — this helps the food stay cold longer.
  • Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately — this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours.
  • Purchase or make ice and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.
  • Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.

Steps to follow if the power goes out:
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if you keep the door closed.
  • A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
  • If the power is out for an extended period of time, buy dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.

Steps to follow after a weather emergency:
  • Check the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer. If the thermometer reads 40° F or below, the food is safe.
  • If no thermometer was used in the freezer, check each package. If food still contains ice crystals or is at 40° F or below when checked with a food thermometer, it may be safely refrozen.
  • Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items) that have been kept in a refrigerator or freezer above 40° F for two hours or more.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers.
  • Thoroughly wash all metal pans, ceramic dishes and utensils that came in contact with flood water with hot soapy water and sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water.
  • Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved. Follow the Steps to Salvage All-Metal Cans and Retort Pouches in the publication "Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency" at:
  • Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters. If bottled water is not available, tap water can be boiled for safety.
  • Never taste food to determine its safety!
  • When in Doubt, throw it out!

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Thursday, August 23

SU Ag Center Discusses National 1890 Land Grant Universities’ MOU with EPA

L-r: Johnson, Eubanks, Coleman, Williams, Beauchamp,
Brown,  and Thilstead
Baton Rouge, La - The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center recently hosted U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 representatives. The team included Samuel Coleman-Acting Regional Administrator for Region 6, Dr. Eugene Thilstead, Senior Policy Advisor for Agriculture, and Jane Acevedo Beauchamp, Regional, MOU Coordinator/Management Analyst.  The purpose of the visit was to discuss the National 1890 Land Grant Universities Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the priorities set forth in the agreement. The implementation of the activities contemplated by the MOU will help to advance USDA-NIFA and EPA partnerships with the Minority Academic Institution Program, which ultimately will result in increased collaborations among the 1890 Land-Grant Universities and capacity building to form a cooperative working relationship in areas of mutual interest, promote equal opportunity in higher education, provide technical assistance in the form of teaching, research, outreach, extension and public service; and encourage the participation of students, staff, and faculty in USDA and EPA programs and workforce diversity.

The representatives toured the Southern University Ag Center, including laboratories in Urban Forestry, Animal Science, and Food Science.  SU Ag Center officials meeting with EPA’s representatives were Chancellor Leodrey Williams, Vice Chancellor for Research Adell Brown, Vice Chancellor for Extension Gina Eubanks, and Professor of Urban Forestry Andra Johnson. 
The MOU was signed June 29, 2012 by USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack, US EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Gilbert Rochon for Council of 1890 Universities.

The Morrill Act of 1890 established Black land-grant universities, 28 years after passage of the first Morrill Act laid the foundation for the nation’s public university system. The 18 historically black land-grant institutions are located in 17 states. The list includes: Alabama A&M University; Alcorn State University; Delaware State University; Florida A&M University; Fort Valley State University; Kentucky State University; Langston University; Lincoln University; North Carolina A&T State University; Prairie View A&M University; South Carolina State University; Southern University System; Tennessee State University; Tuskegee University; University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff; University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Virginia State University; and West Virginia State University.

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Tuesday, August 21

Center for Rural and Small Business Development Success Story

Pastor Smith and wife, Sandra

[Baton Rouge, La.] The Present Truth Prayer Center of 3560 Delta Drive in St. Gabriel, La is grateful for the assistance given by the Center for Rural and Small Business Development. During the Fall of 2008, leaders of the Present Truth Church Prayer Center began to look at vacant land and buildings to relocate their church due to the growth in membership. By the summer of 2009, the church began to eye a new warehouse that was for sale. At first they only wanted to rent the warehouse, but later decided it would be best to purchase it.  They approached Iberville Bank for assistance in this effort.  The loan officer had previously worked with the Center for Rural and Small Business Development at SU Ag Center and referred them there for assistance in the development of a loan proposal.

The Center for Rural and Small Business Development provided counseling, developed a business plan, financial statements and completed the Iberville Bank loan package for the purchase of the warehouse.

Senior Pastor/Founder Randy Kevin Smith and his wife, Sandra worked closely with Gloria London and Eual Hall from the Center for Rural and Small Business Development in finalizing the business plan and loan proposal.  The final package was completed in June 2009 and submitted to Iberville Bank.  The loan was approved and closed in August 2009.

The church has had great success financially and spiritually. They have been able to meet all financial obligations, membership has tripled and they are engrossed in community outreach as the continue to win souls for Christ.

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Friday, August 17

SU Ag Center receives funding for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers

Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin, Director

Baton Rouge, La - Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center among recent recipients from the USDA. The SU Ag Center received the sum of $300,000 in funding toward “Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers in Louisiana.”

On August 8, 2012, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the award of 70 grants to tribes, educational institutions and non-profit organizations across the country to conduct training, outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and landowners. The awards are being made through the Outreach Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) Competitive Grants Program, known as the "2501 program."

"USDA continues working to help improve the success of minority farmers and ranchers in today's agricultural economy," said Vilsack. "These grants provide crucial assistance to help institutions who are helping American producers build capacity and increase profitability, and thereby create stronger rural communities."
As authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, the grants awarded will bring $19 million in new and additional funding to programs and organizations to bolster assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. Grants will enable recipients to work with prospective farmers as they acquire, build and operate farms and ranches, revitalize the rural economy, and create new, sustainable economic opportunities in the region and nation.
Recipients include new awardees and qualifying programs and organizations that have previously benefited from Department assistance in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

For further detail, contact Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin, project director, at 225-771-3532 or

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

SU Ag Center among 1890 grant recipients from USDA

Baton Rouge, La - The SU Ag Center received high marks from the USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), capturing more than 60% of the proposals submitted by the Center in the 2012 funding cycle of the 1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program.

The main goal of this funding program is to build and strengthen the research, teaching and extension capacity at the 1890 institutions.  Therefore, the program requires that goals be aligned with NIFA’s Challenge areas as well as with the institution’s strategic plan as they relate to food and agriculture sciences.

Dr. Kit L. Chin, PD and Yadong Qi, Sebhatu Gebrelul, Renita Marshall, Fatemeh Malekian, Co-PDs, in collaboration with Rutgers University and West Virginia State University have tentatively received a research grant from USDA/NIFA Capacity Building Grants Program in the sum of half-a-million dollars for the conduction of research by finding alternative utilization of roselle hibiscus as small farm and niche market crop. 

The goals of the project are to: continue the screening of roselle hibiscus varieties best suited for small farm production in Louisiana; conduct research to develop high antioxidant functional food products to aid in the development of roselle hibiscus enterprises; and support product development and niche marketing, with emphasis on finished products that have health benefits such as reduction of high blood pressure, and marketability. 

In collaborative work with West Virginia State University, the extract from roselle hibiscus will be evaluated on its effects on arresting the proliferation of animal and human cancer cells in vitro.  Rutgers University will assist in quality control work with SU Ag Center scientists on developed hibiscus products.  The project also strives to develop a roselle hibiscus business incubator by providing training and facility to jump start entrepreneurship development.

The funded project will also evaluate the roselle hibiscus foliage as nutritive forage for weight gain of goats as well as a natural dewormer for intestinal parasitic control.

Other recipients of this year’s funding include: Zanetta Augustine, PD, Dawn Mellion-Patin and Calvin R. Walker, Co PDs: Academy for the Academic Enhancement of High School Students in the Food and Agricultural Sciences, $243,979.00; Wanda Burke, PD, Willie Rawls, Aubrey Williams; Conrad Jones; Christopher Rogers; Edith Harris; and Calvin R. Walker, Co PDs: Development of Learning Modules for Assuring Academic Enrichment Support for Youth in Rural Louisiana, $247,737.00; Tiffany Franklin, PD, Andra Johnson, and Stephanie Elwood, Co-PDs: Eradicating Food Deserts in Neighborhoods through the Development of School Gardens, $250,000; Christie Monroe, PD, Kasundra Cyrus, Yemane Ghebreiyessus, and Calvin R. Walker Co-PDs: Using Agriculture as a Fast Track Vehicle for Change through Experiential Learning, 249,886.00; Additionally, Renita Marshall serves as PD, and Willie Rawls, and Kenyatta Nelson-Smith as Co-PDs on a teaching grant, JAGS in AG: Recruitment, Exploration and Retention that attracted $150,000.00. Congratulations are in order.

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Thursday, August 16

Second Chance to Recover Program Gives Female Inmates Keys to a New Start

Tiffany Franklin addresses inmates
Photo by Kelli Palmer
[Baton Rouge, La.] The SU Ag Center’s Second Chance to Recover (SC2R) Program provides women who are three months from release with the self- sufficiency skills they need to re-enter society.  The program focuses on topics such as resiliency and optimism, anger management, job skills development, addictive behaviors and overcoming addiction.
With Louisiana having the largest overall incarceration rate in the country and the third highest incarceration rate for women, programs such as Second Chance to Recover are becoming highly important. “You have to have a different mindset once you get out of here,” said Tiffany Franklin, Program Coordinator for the Second Chance to Recover program. “It can work, if you work it. Change comes from within and you have to decide to do it for yourself, “said Franklin, as she spoke to women in the SC2R Program at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Franklin, along with Delores Johnson and Milissia John-Baptiste of the SU Ag Center conduct the SC2R program every Tuesday at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison women’s facility. Together, they use a team-teaching approach to capture and maintain the attention of the inmates. The team addresses family, social, health, environmental and economic issues, which foster both outreach and research efforts that will improve the quality of life for the inmates. “You have to begin to see yourself in a different light and you have to start putting a positive light to difficult situations in your life,” said John-Baptiste.
The continuation of the SC2R program will continue to afford inmates who are within 3-6 months of being released the opportunity to engage in meaningful activities to assist with their reintegration into their communities.

For additional information about the Second Chance 2 Recover Program, contact Tiffany Franklin at 225-771-2775 or
Writer: Kelli Palmer, 225-771-5696 or

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Monday, August 13

SU Ag Center Schedules Bigger, Better Back-To-School Summit

Baton Rouge, La. The Family and Youth Development Program at Southern University Ag Center will hold a Back-to-School Summit for 8th graders on September 19, 2012, 8:30 am-1:00 pm.  The event will take place at the Blackham Coliseum, 2330 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA; featuring speakers Danna Andrus "Dr. Truth"; Hollis Conway, two-time Olympic Medalist; Byron Starks, Coach and Mentor; and Den Hussey, Motivational Speaker. Additionally, there will be great performance by Shalyric Self.  
The theme for this year’s event is “Discovering the Winner in You!”
For further details, please contact Wanda Burke at 225-771-5184 or (337) 943-2410; via email at

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Wednesday, August 8

Southern University Ag Center Releases new Research Programs Video

DVD Cover

[Baton Rouge, La] The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center (Southern University Ag Center) has released a new programmatic video entitled Discovering 21st Century Opportunities.  This 15-minute video production demonstrates the broad spectrum of research programs that the Center provides, and illustrates the important contributions that the agricultural sciences and related industries make to the economic prosperity of Louisiana. The Southern University Ag Center conducts statewide basic and applied research in the areas of Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems; Human Nutrition, Diet and Health; Family, Youth Development and Enrichment; Urban Forestry; Natural Resources and Environment and Economics, Marketing, Policy and Community Development. Useful research-based information is disseminated to the citizens of Louisiana to enhance the lives of underserved and socially disadvantaged communities in Louisiana.
Through applied research, scientists at the Southern University Ag Center are discovering new opportunities to improve quality of life among underserved citizens. In this video, faculty, staff, students and administrators discuss the innovative ideas that constantly enhance the economic status of marginalized citizens across Louisiana. The video can be accessed by visiting the Center’s website at, clicking on the “YouTube” button at the top right corner, or going directly to YouTube channel at A copy of the video may be requested by sending an email to

In 2001, Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, the fifth campus of the Southern University System was founded out of the need to increase the impact of Southern University’s land grant programs for the citizens of Louisiana. This goal is achieved by continually making contributions to the overall growth in quality of life by addressing citizens’ scientific, technological, social, economic and cultural needs, just as the Mississippi River has made contributions to the physical and economic growth of the United States.
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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

The Pledge is Raging for SU Jaguars

Baton Rouge, La. HEY Jaguar FANS!  We have a great show of school spirit, but we need more. Help us win the College Colors Day Pledge Your Allegiance Contest!  Go to and pledge your support for the Jaguars or check the standings if you’ve already pledged. The school with the most pledges wins $10,000 for their university. Let’s win! Share this with other Jaguar fans on your Facebook page. We need to show our spirit. Contest ends Friday, August 31, 2012!  Go to now and pledge your support for Southern University spirit!

For further detail, contact Henry Tillman at 225.771.5497


Monday, August 6

It’s Farmers Market Week!

Producer Andab Berhane displaying his seedlings in the market
Baton Rouge, LA - United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proclaimed Aug. 5-11 as National Farmers Market Week. This special week kicked off in Frankfort, Kentucky last week.

Since 2000, when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) first proclaimed National Farmers Market Week, the number of farmers markets across the country has grown an estimated 160 percent from 2,863 in 2000 to more than 7,500 in 2012. As these numbers increase, farmers markets are bolstering local economies, improving community health, and bringing diverse groups of people together through a shared social space.

Farmers Markets are important to make fresh nutritious food available to more people. The farmers associated with local markets across the country donate hundreds of thousands of pounds of unsold, fresh produce to food banks, shelters, and other social service agencies.

Go to for the Louisiana Farmers Market Directory and check out some of these markets.

The Baton Rouge Red Stick Farmers Market is a year-round open air market featuring fresh and seasonal Louisiana products. The Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in three locations. On Saturdays, it operates 8am - noon at corner of 5th and Main Streets; Thursdays, 8am - noon at 7248 Perkins Road; and Tuesdays, 8am – noon, April -December only, at 8470 Goodwood Blvd.

Go downtown to the Market and thank our farmers and producers for providing us with fresh, locally grown and produced foods and products to enjoy. When you shop at the Market take your time, slow down, and enjoy the rich sights, sounds and smells of Louisiana Proud, farm-fresh, locally grown and produced foods and products.

Contact Red Stick Farmers Market at (225) 267-5060 or via email

Visit the Red Stick Farmers’ Marker in Baton Rouge at


Farmers Markets are places to learn about where our food comes from. When you shop the Market, often the person you are buying from actually grew, produced, managed or harvested the food or product. Take the time to talk to these people behind the tables: ask questions about when the item was picked; what methods they use to make the product; and how far the item has to travel to the Market.

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Friday, August 3

Louisiana Ranchers & Growers’ Annual Meeting

You are invited to Louisiana Ranchers & Growers’ annual meeting, August 18, 2012.  Everyone is welcome; invite any farmers you know who might be interested in attending.  The afternoon session will be devoted to making connections among farmer groups, particularly small, minority, and alternative producers. The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m., Ashford Cattle Company, 4868 Felix Lee Road, Ethel, LA.

9:00 a.m.          Pasture Walk at Ashford Cattle Company
                          Don Ashford/Ann Wells – Cow-Calf Management Intensive Grazing
                          Wedge Barth – Water System Components
                          (bring your lawn chair for the sit-down part of this program)

 12:00 noon       Lunch and Afternoon Sessions at Southern University Ag Center


   Robert Wallace, Louisiana Ranchers & Growers Association

                           Dawn Mellion-Patin, Southern University Ag Center
1:00 p.m.          Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers Association/Louisiana Ranchers & Growers: History of   Relationship and Current Feedback
                            Mike Oakley, President, OFRA
                            Robert Wallace, President, LRGA

1:30 p.m.          Building Relationships Among Farmer Organizations


-Interests and Needs

                        -Opportunities for Collaboration

                             Facilitator:  Emily King, Southern University Ag Center
3:00 p.m.          Louisiana Farmers & Ranchers Association Business Meeting
                            Robert Wallace, President
                            Carnell Washington, Vice President
                            Edith Gross, Secretary
                            Kimberly Chapin, Treasurer

3:30 p.m.          Adjourn

For further detail, contact Emily King, Outreach Specialist, Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center at 225-771-2399 (office) or 225-718-3705 (cell); via email

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Field Day exposes youth to agriculture

Speaker addresses mixed audience
Morehouse Black Farmers Association, Southern University, and the LSU Ag Centers conducted a field day in Mer Rouge. Participants of all ages were able to test the latest equipment and watch presentations about the featured crops. Also, folks loaded up for a hay ride through fields to see corn up close.
Read the full story and watch the video at

For further details, please contact Odis Hills at 318/ 281-5741 or 318/ 281-5742.
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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

USDA Announces National Farmers Market Week Begins August 5

Shoppers at Red Stick Farmers Market, Baton Rouge, La
Baton Rouge, La. – USDA Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced a 9.6 percent increase in farmers markets from 2011 with 7,864 operating across the country, as she launched the National Farmers Market Week, August 5-11, 2012.

To read details of the news release, visit

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

Pledge Your Support for SU Jaguars, Win Big

Baton Rouge, La. HEY Jaguar FANS! We need you to show your Southern University spirit! Help us win the College Colors Day Pledge Your Allegiance Contest!  Go to and pledge your support for the Jaguars. The school with the most pledges wins $10,000 for their university. Let’s win! Share this with other Jaguar fans on your Facebook page. We need to show our spirit. Contest ends Friday, August 31, 2012!  Go to now and pledge your support for Southern University!

For further detail, see attached flyer or contact Henry Tillman at 225.771.5497

Thursday, August 2

Kamran Abdollahi dubs Baton Rouge “Green City”

Dr. Kamran Abdollahi
Baton Rouge, La. Professor and program leader of the urban forestry at Southern University and researcher at SU Ag Center, Kamran Abdollahi and his graduate students recently completed a scientific study of the more than 1 million trees within Baton Rouge’s city limits. Those trees compose a canopy that covers 44 percent of the city — a larger percentage than the professor can find in any other North American city. Atlanta’s 36 percent coverage is second, according to data compiled by Abdollahi’s urban forestry program.

The six-month study used the urban forestry community’s standard method developed by the urban forestry community and software created by the U.S. Forest Service. Last summer, Abdollahi and his graduate students pinpointed 400 locations indicative of the city’s forest, each measuring one-tenth of an acre, then counted and measured each tree at the location.

While some of the plots were heavily forested, others were developed and nearly treeless. The counting method resembles a scientific survey, where a percentage of the population can accurately account for the views of the entire country.

These plots will become permanent research locations where Abdollahi can return occasionally to search for changes — whether trees have grown or been cut down.

In his report, Abdollahi has attached a dollar value on Baton Rouge’s trees — $6.2 billion, a number reached using six separate measurements. For example, the urban forest removes 860 tons of pollution per year, he found, which Abdollahi said saves the city and its industry $6.2 million a year in costs associated with capturing contaminants. Also, he calculated that residents and businesses save $8 million a year because of shade created by trees — a figure developed by calculating the shade that covers homes and buildings on the survey sites.

These numbers prove that trees offer more than aesthetic value, Abdollahi said.

“It’s more than just loving trees,” he said.

Baton Rouge’s fertile location along the Mississippi River allows for a greener landscape, but Abdollahi credits the city’s interested residents with maintaining and planting trees. And he said he hopes through more education the city can keep what it has.

“Of course we are blessed with the ecology of the land,” he said, “but we have to take care of it.”

Abdollahi has begun working closely with nonprofit Baton Rouge Green, a tree-planting and education organization that has planted 4,800 trees in a quarter-century. While that number is a small piece of the city’s foliage, the organization’s projects raise awareness of the positive attributes of trees, he said.

“Baton Rouge Green is doing the right thing by showing that trees are important,” Abdollahi said.

“We have to appreciate what we have and build on it,” Abdollahi said. “We can’t say Baton Rouge Green is going to do it. We don’t have to do it. Every citizen should get involved, get organized.”

To read the full story, please visit the Advocate at

For further details, please contact Kamran Abdollahi at 225-771-6291 or via email

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714