Thursday, January 29

SU Ag Center Hibiscus Research Stands Out in North Louisiana Ag Expo

Snowden, left, shares information with some event participants
Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center staff comprising of researchers and extension agents participated in the 33rd Annual North Louisiana Agri-Business Council Ag Expo on January 16-17. This event, which was held at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe, La., educated the community of the various day-to-day aspects of agriculture and science. The Ag Expo brings to the forefront innovative agricultural products, practices and advances in technology. The event was attended by over 10,000 people from Louisiana, South Arkansas, East Texas and Mississippi.

The Southern University Ag Center’s booth highlighted the various methods of urban and conventional gardening and distributed by-products of those techniques. Drs. Janana Snowden, Research Associate, and Vanessa Ferchaud, Research Associate, received high recognition for their research group’s work with the hibiscus (Roselle Sabdariffa) plant. Approximately 900 observers had the opportunity to sample hibiscus tea, which was prepared by the SUAREC staff, and learn of the many health benefits that the plant provides. Over 600 copies of publications were disseminated with nearly 200 hibiscus seed packets provided to farmers interested in growing the plant. This Roselle hibiscus exhibition was inspired by project director, Dr. Kit L. Chin, Professor Plant & Soil Sciences, along with research team member, Dr. Yadong Qi, Professor of Urban Forestry, and funded by USDA/NIFA project #2012-38821-20092.

"Dr. Janana Snowden and Dr. Vanessa Ferchaud really represented the Southern Ag Center very well.  They had some timely publications and educational information regarding Hibiscus sabdariffa for the public which was very well received along with significant interest. I think the most impressive thing about these two researchers was their ability and willingness to discuss the Southern University Ag Center as well as their research project on Hibiscus sabdariffa with the public.  Snowden and Ferchaud’s performance this weekend certainly made North Louisiana more aware of a Southern University Ag Center and many wanting more," praised Rafash Brew, Area Horticulture Specialist, Northeast Region, LSU AgCenter.

In addition to representing the Southern University Ag Center, the team also attended a luncheon where Louisiana Dept. of Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain was the keynote speaker. He emphasized the importance of agriculture and international trade through Louisiana’s five ports.
Overall, the 33rd North Louisiana Agri-Business Council Ag Expo provided great exposure for the SUAREC’s research and extension endeavors in the community and also provided an advocate of recruitment for the Southern University System.

For more information about Hibiscus sabdariffa, contact Drs. Kit Chin, Yadong Qi,
Janana Snowden or Vanessa Ferchaud at: (225-771-2242).


Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

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