Proceeds to benefit scholarships and ag-related experiences
Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center will host a scholarship gala as part of the 1890 land-grant system’s national celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Signing of the Second Morrill Act.
The gala, themed “Sowing Seeds for Future 1890 Scholars: Growing the Next Generation,” will be held at 8 p.m. on December 17 at the L’Auberge Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel, 777 L’Auberge Avenue.
All proceeds collected will be used to provide scholarships to students in the Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences disciplines, as well as, students participating in academic enrichment youth programs at the SU Ag Center.
Individual ticket purchases are $50; tables, which seat eight, can be purchased for $400. All sponsored tables will have priority seating. The deadline for table purchases is October 31, 2015. All checks should be made payable to the Southern University Foundation.
Deputy Administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Transportation and Marketing Program Arthur L. Neal, Jr. will serve as the keynote speaker for the gala.
In his current position, Neal is responsible for providing leadership in marketing research and technical assistance for the department of local food systems. He also conducts economic analysis on the transportation of agriculture products from farms to stores and directs the funding of approximately $100 million in grants for local food marketing and the competitive marketing of specialty crops. He also oversees the USDA Farmer’s Market at its headquarters and the People’s Garden, a departmental effort to encourage the creation of school and community gardens across the country. He has held this position since 2011.
Prior to joining the USDA’s Transportation and Marketing Program, Neal served as the Associate Deputy Administrator for the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), where he held a leading role in developing and enforcing national organic standards for the production, handling and certification of organic agricultural products.
Neal also worked as the National Program Manager for the USDA/1890 Program and as Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Adjudication in the USDA’s Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.
Neal earned a master’s degree from the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and a bachelor’s of science degree in Agriculture Economics from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge.
The gala will also mark the closing event of the Southern University Ag Center’s year-long celebration of the anniversary of the signing of the Second Morrill Act.
For additional information or to purchase tickets, contact Linda Batiste, Kim Butler or a gala committee member at 225.771.2242.