Thursday, August 31

FEMA Assistance for Flood Victims

Baton Rouge, La. (August 31, 2017). For individuals affected by the floods, please visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at (preferred method) or call 1-800-621-3362 for assistance.  Share this information with friends and family. Stay strong!


SU Land-Grant Campus to host Produce Growers’ Training

Event Flyer

Registration Form
Baton Rouge, La. (August 31, 2017) The Southern University Land-Grant Campus will host a Produce Safety Alliance Grower’s Training from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on September 25 at the SU Ag Center, 181 B.A. Little Drive, in Baton Rouge, La.

The SU Land-Grant Campus has been holding safety trainings to assist produce growers in improving their safety practices ahead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) implementation of its Produce Safety Rule. This rule was finalized in November 2015 and sets standards for growing, harvesting, packing and storing fruits and vegetables. It addresses water quality, composting, farm personnel health and hygiene and equipment sanitation among other issues. 

Registration for the training is $20 and will include resource materials and lunch.

Participants will also be entered into a drawing for a free trip to the Soil Summit in Houston, Texas scheduled for December 12-13.

The registration deadline is Friday, September 15.

To register or for additional information, contact Emily King at 225-771-3705 or via email at or Dr. Fatemeh Malekian at 225-771-0251 or via email at


Friday, August 25

Yosha Lain Receives the 2017 White House HBCU All-Star Honor

The 2017 White House HBCU All-Star Yosha K. Lain (center) and her Academic Adviser/Mentor Dr. Zhu H. Ning (left) are congratulated by SU System President Dr. Ray Belton for the award.
Baton Rouge, La. (August 25, 2017) - Ms. Yosha K. Lain, an Urban Forestry senior at Southern University has been selected as the 2017 White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities All-Star Student Ambassador. According to Elyse Jones, the Operations & Program Analyst and the HBCU All-Star Program Manager of the U.S. Department of Education’s White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Ms. Lain’s superb achievements in academics, leadership, and civic engagement have set her apart from other applicants. The White House Initiative on HBCU is delighted that Ms. Lain will represent the Initiative as an ambassador who will go on to graduate as a leader from one of the nation’s finest HBCUs.

The purpose of this program is to recognize outstanding student leaders and empower them to be advocates for academic success and excellence. As an HBCU All-Star, Ms. Lain will be required to leverage the social media presence and community-based organization relationships to promote the value of education, have her work featured on the Initiative’s website, be invited to participate in regional events, network with other scholars to showcase her talent across the HBCU community, network with stakeholders from the public and private sectors, and join quarterly web chats with senior officials and other professionals.

The 23-year old All-Star honoree is a native of Winnsboro in Franklin Parish, Louisiana, where she graduated from Franklin Parish High School in 2012. She later earned an associate degree in Process Technology from Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe with Summa Cum Laude.

“Before coming to SU, I attended and visited other colleges and universities, but no other colleges have prepared and educated me more than my HBCU. The experiences and knowledge that I have encountered at Southern University and A&M College are incomparable. As an HBCU All-Star, I would like to promote the advantages of an HBCU education, the importance of leadership, and the values of community service,” Ms. Lain expressed. She also acknowledged, “A great education comes from great teachers, administrators, advisors, and others that are willing to put forth extra assistance to ensure that students gain the proper attention and knowledge to thrive in their academics, community, and future.”

At Southern University, Ms. Lain has earned two research stipends from an urban forestry undergraduate research scholar program funded by Dr. Zhu Ning’s projects.  She also earned The Luther and Mary Ida Vandross Scholarship, the Women Caucus Scholarship, and the Blessed to Be Blessed Scholarship.

“Majoring in Urban Forestry allows me to service a multitude of people and care for the environment. Many people are unaware of the values of a healthy environment,” said Lain.

Yosha has served as Student Government Association Legislator, Minorities in Agricultural, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Southern University Student Chapter President and Treasurer, and Southern University Urban Forestry Club Treasurer.
“I am honored to continuously be recognized on the Dean’s List and acknowledged as the student with the highest GPA in my Department of Urban Forestry & Natural Resources.  I am currently a member of Collegiate 100 Black Women, MANRRS Chapter, Democratic Society, Urban Forestry Club, and the Honors Society,” Yosha said.

“Ms. Lain treasures a great education, has the highest GPA, and ranks number one among the undergraduate student body in the Department of Urban Forestry and Natural Resources at Southern University. “Her academic standing has earned her multiple scholarships and honors,” said Zhu H. Ning, Professor of Urban Forestry, who nominated Lain and helped her to prepare the application packet. Dr. Ning added, “Ms. Lain’s leadership is equally stellar. She serves as the officer of the Urban Forestry Club, organizes student activities, and conducts community service projects.  As her academic advisor and the White House HBCU All-Star Campus Based Mentor, I am committed to continue mentoring her in the years to come. I am proud of her achievements and will guide her toward a distinguished and bright future.”

Yosha, who will graduate in fall 2017 with a B.S. degree in Urban Forestry & Natural Resources and a minor in Plant and Soil Science, plans to go to graduate school and continue to explore the divergent areas of agriculture.

This is the fourth consecutive year a student from SU has been selected as an HBCU All-Star. In 2014, Robert Chambers was honored with the same award. He has earned a doctoral degree in Urban Forestry and is employed by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. Sally Ross, received the award in 2015, and graduated with a B.S. degree in Urban Forestry as the College Marshal. After gaining research experience at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, she is pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The 2016 HBCU All-Star at Southern University was Kalaia Tripeaux.  She plans to graduate in May 2018, thereafter, enrolling in graduate school. In the meantime, Kalaia is continuing with her campus recycling effort while maintaining the USDA funded Educational Forest/Jaguar Nature Trail, which affords students the choice of enjoying the outdoors. 

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Sixteen farmers attend Produce Safety Training in St. Helena Parish

Training team flanked by Dr. Malekian, left, and Mrs. King, far right
Baton Rouge, La (August 25, 2017) - Sixteen farmers from the St. Helena area attended Produce Safety Training for small farmers in Greensburg on August 24, 2017. The farmers participated in the learning experience related to soil amendment, water safety, worker health and hygiene, storage and transportation and post-harvest activities. Participants were asked to pinpoint the safety issues in their farms and prepare a farm safety plan.  Dr. Fatemeh Malekian, produce safety project director, Emily king, produce safety program coordinator, and Burnell Muse, extension specialist from Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus conducted the training.

Louisiana is one of 42 states awarded millions of dollars by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rule. The rule, which the FDA finalized in November 2015, establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.

“The overall goal of this project is to enhance Louisiana’s Produce Safety Programs to continue to encourage the safe production of fresh fruits and vegetables and to promote compliance with the requirements of FDA’s Produce Safety Rule,” said Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “This project will help educate growers and will result in increased implementation of on-farm food safety practices by small, medium and large produce farms in Louisiana. This will develop a state-federal partnership for inspection, compliance and enforcement of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule as required by the law.”

“Southern University Ag Center has additional trainings planned for the near future. A Produce Growers Training is scheduled for September 25th, 2017 at SU Ag Center, A.O. Williams Hall,” said Project Director Fatemeh Malekian.

For more information, please contact Emily King, at 225-771-2367 or Dr. Malekian at 225-771-0251.

Weather updates from Southern University Athletics

Baton Rouge, La. (August 25, 2017) - Southern University Athletics is altering the start time for Sunday's home opener against Youngstown State due to the threat of inclement weather from Hurricane Harvey, officials announced Friday.

First touch for the non-conference match, which was original scheduled for 1:00 p.m., will now start at 10 a.m. from Jaguar Park.

For more information, contact Christopher K. Jones, Asst. Athletics Director for Media Relations
Southern University at 225.771.3495 or email


Hurricane Harvey Weather Announcement

Baton Rouge, La. (August 25, 2017) - The Southern University System and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are monitoring forecasts and weather announcements related to recently upgraded Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico. The forecast track does not currently include Louisiana. However, areas of the state are predicted to experience flooding associated with heavy rainfall.

The SU System will continue to closely monitor conditions and if necessary activate Emergency Preparedness Teams and initiate preparations to ensure the safety of our students and staff and the SU community.

All students, faculty, and staff are asked to monitor their University email accounts, the University's social media sites, and local news to get updates and announcements.

Updates and announcements regarding any developments related to weather conditions will be provided via e-mail, on our website (, and via social, and local media.

Important links:
Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Get a Game Plan (GOHSEP)

Board of Regents

National Hurricane Center

Louisiana State Police

Visit for road updates. Keep your phones charged and near you while the inclement weather conditions continue in order to receive potential emergency messaging.


Wednesday, August 23

SU Ag Center Gives Youth A Boost of Energy during Little League Football Clinic

Photos from the Little League Football Clinic held at Memorial Stadium on August 19.
Baton Rouge, La. On Saturday, August 19, 2017, Louisiana Youth Football (LYF) registered nearly 790 youth at Memorial Stadium for Little League Football and Cheer.  Local Football Teams gathered excitedly to register, weigh-in their players, talk with other coaches about growth spurts, and jokingly discussing which teams would take the wins this season. The Southern University Ag Center was on hand to give youth players healthy snacks, and educational push cards on ways youth players can achieve proper nutrition and weight management. 

“Although healthy snacks are often times never their first choice, we made sure each player understood it’s the best choice,” said Kelli Hollins, Extension Associate, SU Ag Center.  

Extension agents from the SU Ag Center talked to the young athletes about the importance of making healthy food choices. The agents explained that lean meats, green vegetables, fruits, milk (if not allergic), potatoes, rice, bread, and peanut butter (if not allergic) are all good examples of food that provides a balanced mix of carbohydrates, protein, calcium, and iron.

Louisiana Youth Football is a non-profit organization led by Leroy Hollins. LYF’s mission aims to utilize organized and structured athletics as a tool to enlighten and cultivate the development of well-rounded youth through establishing a foundation of the following life skills: Responsibility; Goal Setting; Sportsmanship; Self Control; Smart Decisions; Teamwork; Leadership; and Perseverance.

For more information on how you can get involved with LYF, call 225.308.1147 or visit


Saturday, August 19

SU Land-Grant Campus hosts Disaster Preparedness workshop for Louisiana farmers

Sections of the Disaster Workshop during the LRGA Annual Meeting at SU Ag Center 
Baton Rouge, La. (August 19, 2017) – Today, the Louisiana Ranchers & Growers Association (LRGA) held an Annual Meeting and Workshop themed, “Drought to Deluge: Are You Ready for the Next Disaster?,” at the Southern University Agricultural Center.

Ms. Lynda Ingram, Louisiana Ranchers & Growers Association and Ms. Zanetta Augustine, SU Ag Center opened the event with greetings to participants. The workshop taught participating farmers about ways to navigate through natural disasters such as the recent floods.

On hand to share information about preparing for farm disasters were Patrick Babineaux, County Executive Director, Tangipahoa Center, USDA/Farm Service Agency; and Marty Pousson, Program Coordinator, Pesticide & Environmental Programs, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

Mrs. Emily King, SU Land-Grant Campus, promoted the event that brought 25 farmers and several presenters to the campus. She also shared information on Developing a Farm Preparedness Plan – A Future Workshop.

“The farmers are very engaged in the presentations and contribute to the conversations,” said King.  

Three farmers, Lynda Ingram, Rintha Simpson, and Lillie Howard shared their stories about the “Drought to Deluge” problem of 2016. Rintha Simpson owns a cattle and goat operation, SnS Farm.
“I find the disaster training very important to to me and other producers,” said Simpson.

The workshop ended with lunch at noon, and the LRGA business meeting commenced at 1:00 p.m.
Louisiana Ranchers and Growers Association is a nonprofit organization of small farmers working together to further their success.

The Southern University Ag Center is a co-sponsor of the LRGA Annual Meeting.


Friday, August 18

St. Helena Parish OMG Club Receives Next Era Grant to Promote Tobacco-Free Living

Next Era, statewide youth movement
Baton Rouge, La. (August 18, 2017) – Next Era, a new statewide youth movement of The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living, recently awarded $1,700 to the Outstanding Mature Girlz (OMG) Club in St. Helena Parish.  Teens at St. Helena College & Career Academy will unite as change agents to promote healthy, tobacco-free lifestyles.

“This grant is very important for the OMG Club, because promoting health is one of our core iValues,” said Nicolette Gordon, Assistant Area Agent at the Southern University Ag Center. “Although the campaign will not focus on telling the community not to use tobacco, we will educate them on the hazards of tobacco use in hopes that many will make informed decisions when it comes to using it.”

Only 30 participants will be selected for the Next Era Program, based on set criteria, and recruitment will begin August 28, 2017 for the program to kick off on September 11. Once program hopefuls are accepted, they will undergo an intense training that will equip them to advocate for the cause. Youth will speak with local media about their work, conduct surveys and meet with key decision-makers in the community, as well as share their findings with school communities to raise awareness about the hazards of tobacco use. All grant milestones must be completed by April 18, 2018.
For more information on how you can be involved with the Next Era Program, contact Nicolette Gordon in St. Helena Parish on Tuesday and Thursday at – 225-222-4136.


Thursday, August 17

Cristo Rey students return to the SU Land-Grant Campus for second day of exploration

Chancellor-Dean Dr. Bobby R. Phills, SU Land-Grant Campus
welcomes 62 students from Cristo Rey 
Baton Rouge, La. (August 17, 2017) – On August 14, the SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus hosted 60  students in the 10th grade from Cristo Rey, and on August 17, the faculty and staff returned with 62 students in the 9th grade to learn about academic offerings at Southern University.

Cristo Rey is a college prep High School that partners with many corporate work study programs and is exposing students to available universities in the state.

Among those supervising and mentoring the students while on the Land-Grant Campus was Ms. Tyler Litt, who serves as Student Activities Coordinator.


Monday, August 14

Land-Grant Campus hosts students from Cristo Rey exploring program offerings at Southern University

Dr. Robert Rene welcomes students and faculty from Cristo Rey to
the SU Land-Grant Campus
Baton Rouge, La. (August 14, 2017) – At the invitation of Dr. Robert Rene, SU Recruitment Officer, a team of staff brought 60 students from Cristo Rey to learn about academic offerings at Southern University. The SU Land-Grant Campus is hosting the two-day event at A. O. Williams Hall.

Cristo Rey is a college prep High School that partners with many corporate work study programs.

Among those supervising and mentoring the students while on the Land-Grant Campus were Ms. Andraei Henderson, faculty of English and Data Analyst and Ms. Tyler Litt, Physical Science faculty and Student Activities Coordinator.


Friday, August 11

The Southern University Institute for One Health One Medicine launches Mentoring Program

Mentees get an up close and personal overview of the Animal Science program at the SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus
Baton Rouge, La. (August 11, 2017) – Two seniors from Zachary High were invited to participate in Southern University’s Institute for One Health, One Medicine for exposure to the agricultural sciences in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. The first mentoring program participants were engaged in experiential learning activities on August 3. The students, Ja’Mecia Profit and Amin Washignton, were required to complete a senior project entitled “Windows to the World.” This program will allow the mentees to engage in daily activities through job shadowing and hands-on experiences, while learning leadership skills by working with faculty and staff in the college. This ongoing project throughout their senior year will give the mentees a glimpse of various careers in agriculture with emphasis on animal science.

Both Ja’Mecia and Amin have chosen Animal Science/Veterinary Medicine as their future career option. They will continue to be exposed to poultry, rabbits, canine, swine and equine, among other types of learning opportunities that will be provided to youth through the institute. We look forward to having Ja’Mecia and Amin in our Beginning Agricultural Youth Opportunities Unlimited (BAYOU) Program next summer, and as incoming freshman next Fall Semester.

Renita W. Marshall, DVM & Professor of Animal Science at the SU Land-Grant Campus, serves as the Interim Director of Southern Institute for One Health, One Medicine, and can be reached by calling (225) 771-0252 or emailing

The BAYOU Program provides an opportunity for high school students to gain first-hand knowledge about career opportunities in Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences and related disciplines at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La.


Wednesday, August 9

Professor Zhu Ning Honored with Prestigious International Society of Arboriculture Award for Sustained Excellence in Education

Professor Ning displays her prestigious international award
Baton Rouge, La. (August 9, 2017) - Dr. Zhu H. Ning, an Endowed Professor at the Urban Forestry and Natural Resources Department of the Southern University and A&M College System, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the 2017 recipient of the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) prestigious Alex L. Shigo Award for Excellence in Arboricultural Education.

According to the ISA, this Award of Distinction is presented to Professor Ning in recognition of her dedication to enhancing the quality and professionalism of arboriculture through sustained excellence in education.

Ning was recognized during the opening ceremony of the ISA Annual International Conference and Trade Show on Sunday, July 30, 2017 in Washington, D.C. 

The ISA, headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, USA, is a professional organization supporting urban forestry and arboricultural research, education, and outreach around the world. ISA, with more than 30,000 members and credential holders worldwide, has been honoring members and industry professionals with the Awards of Distinction since 1963. Nominations are reviewed by the ISA Awards Committee and winners are selected then presented to the ISA Board for approval. 

Through her professional services to ISA, Dr. Ning has made significant impacts on arboricultural education at the national and international level. She was elected as a member of the ISA Board of Directors and contributed to the ISA strategic direction including education and research policy development that ensures the educators, scientists, practitioners, and students to receive advanced and best available arboricultural and urban forestry knowledge.

While serving as the ISA President of the Arboriculture Research and Education Academy and member of the ISA Science and Research Committee, she played an important role in identifying emerging education issues and research needs. She also served on the ISA Conference Program Committee to organize the conference education programs/sessions and workshops.

Ning has been an Associate Editor and an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, one of the two premier urban forestry journals in the world. Her contributions to the Board and to the Journal have made lasting impacts on the journal’s quality and the scholarly endeavors of the educators and students. She has also served as a peer reviewer of the ISA Arborists’ Certification Study Guide book, arboriculture and urban forestry articles, and book chapters.

Ning’s dedication and impact on urban forestry education extends beyond the borders. She has influenced the development of scientific exchange in urban forestry between USA and China. Supported by the ISA, Ning chaired and organized the first “Urban Forest Sustainability International Symposium.” Her efforts provided education and scientific exchange platform for international educators, scientists, practitioners, and students from four continents.

“Dr. Ning’s work with the international symposium not only helped promote arboriculture in China, but also introduced the world’s most populous country to ISA,” says Michelle Mitchell, ISA Board president. “Ning also led a team in translating ISA’s Arboriculture Dictionary into Chinese, which helped advance arboriculture education in China.”

“I am deeply humbled for being honored with this award. I want to thank the ISA and its members for nominating, selecting, and honoring me with this highest award in arboricultural education. I would like to acknowledge Southern University, NSF, NASA, USDA NIFA, ISA, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) for their support to my research and education efforts that benefit the students both in USA and China,” Ning said.

With the new course contents and teaching modules, Ning has contributed to the enhancement of the Urban Forestry Master’s degree curriculum at Southern University by designing, developing, and enhancing an arboricultural course titled “Tree Biomechanics.” She encourages students to learn tree structure, function and physiological processes in an interconnected way, and challenges students to apply the learned knowledge in identifying tree structural problems, conducting tree risk assessment, and developing mitigation strategies.

She has also created a new course titled “Sustainable Natural Resources in a Changing Climate.” Ning has incorporated climate change and sustainability, two issues of critical importance to the world, to the SU’s Urban Forestry B.S. curriculum, which is a significant effort in enhancing urban forestry education and enabling students to be familiar with related current and potential national initiatives.

With the support from her externally funded nationally competitive grants and projects, such as “Quantifying the response of urban tree species to elevated CO2 and flooding,” “Integrating Sustainability in Urban Forestry and Agriculture Education,” and “Enhancing global competence and research skills in climate change and urban ecosystems through collaborative research in China,” Ning provided experiential learning opportunities and hands-on research training that enable students to enhance their research skills and knowledge, and strengthen their global competency. 

Dr. Ning’s externally funded projects have been a valuable tool in recruitment and retention that enabled her and the department to attract, select, and retain highly qualified new recruits both at undergraduate and graduate levels, through providing professional development opportunities, research stipends for undergraduate students, assistantships for graduate students, and salaries for post - doctoral trainees.

Utilizing her grant writing skills, she has created and taught a new Ph.D. level course called “Proposal Development and Grant Writing.” She offers students the principles in developing a proposal, teaches how to write a proposal, leads them in exploring the funding opportunities, guides students in preparing a grant application, and prepares them for a competitive workforce.

For more information, please contact Zhu H. Ning at or 225-771-6292.


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SU Ag Center’s 4-H LIFE CHILL visits Global Wildlife Center

SU Ag Center 4-H LIFE CHILL youth, caregivers and mentors toured the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, La. on July 18, 2017. 

Baton Rouge, La. The Southern University Ag Center’s 4-H Living Interactive Family Education (LIFE) Mentoring Program and Changing How I Live Life (CHILL) group participated in a tour of the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, La. on July 18, 2017.

A total of 28 participants – 18 youth along with 10 mentors, volunteers, SU Ag Center staff and caregivers - from East Baton Rouge and St. Landry Parishes attended the tour.

The youth were extremely excited and amazed to see and learn about so many exotic animals from all over the world. As an added bonus, the youth were able to feed the animals.

Many youth and caregivers stated they had never visited the Global Wildlife Center and were happy the 4-H LIFE team put the tour together.

The SU Ag Center's 4-H LIFE program seeks to rebuild broken family units who have been impacted by parental incarceration.  The 4-H National Mentoring project engages youth ages 5 to 17 in interactive family activities that include the incarcerated parent and the caregiver.  The program operates in both East Baton Rouge and St. Landry Parishes.

CHILL is a group mentoring session that brings mentors/mentees together each month to participate in fun activities that will develop and/or strengthen their relationships. 

The 4-H LIFE program is directed by Dr. Tiffany Franklin, Principal Investigator and Milissia John Baptiste-Cole, Co-Principal Investigator.

For additional information about this program or how to become a mentor, contact Dr. Franklin or Mrs. John Baptiste-Cole at 225-771-2242.

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


Wednesday, August 2

SU Land-Grant Campus Concludes a Successful Inaugural Retreat

Administrative staff pose for a photo on the final day of the 'Inaugural Administrative Organization and Strategic Planning Retreat.' The event was held at the Southern University Law Center from July 31 to August 2, 2017.

The Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus concluded its two and a half day ‘Inaugural Administrative Organization and Strategic Planning Retreat’ on August 2, 2017.

The retreat, which was held at the Southern University Law Center, was facilitated by Beattra Wilson, National Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and Dr. Willie Rawls, Retired Associate Research Director and Professor of Agricultural Education at the SU Ag Center.

The final day of the retreat provided the administrative staff with a re-cap of the issues and solutions formulated during the previous days’ breakout and plenary sessions.

SU Land-Grant Campus Chancellor-Dean, Dr. Bobby R. Phills, also presented the state of the SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus and encouraged the attendees to continue to work together to provide the best Research, Extension and Teaching experiences for the Center’s clientele and students.

The event ended with a picnic in the courtyard of the Law Center.

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

View photos from the retreat here.