Thursday, June 21

SU Land-Grant Campus’ Fast Track Garden Thrives

Photos from the Fast Track Gardening Program at Thrive Academy in Baton Rouge. 

Baton Rouge, La. – Fifteen high school students from Thrive Academy have graduated from the Southern University Agriculture Land-Grant Campus’ (SUALGC) Fast Track Garden Program.

The graduation ceremony was held on May 15 at the school.

Throughout the 2017-2018 school year SUALGC Garden Instructor, Stephanie M. Elwood, taught hands-on classes to the 9-11th grade students in Ms. Hollins Chemistry class. During the classes, the students planted a citrus orchard of orange, kumquat, satsuma and lemon trees on the school’s grounds and learned landscaping skills by building an ornamental flower bed outside of their on-campus dorm facility.

In total, the students helped assemble three, 4x8 ft. vegetable garden lumber raised flower beds on the campus. The students filled the flowering beds with soil, planted, fertilized and maintained the garden throughout school year.

The classes also included exploring how hip hop and gardening go together and how to make healthier food choice for a better quality of life. Life skills, careers in agriculture and agricultural opportunities for teens were also part of the weekly curriculum.

Thrive Academy is a residential charter school located in South Baton Rouge, which houses and teaches some of Baton Rouges’ most creative, charismatic and brightest students. 

Special thanks to the SUALGC Fast Track team, Dr. Yemane Ghebreyessus, Kelli Hollins, Stephanie M. Elwood, Mila Berhane, and Southern University Agricultural Economics student Simeon Ross.

For additional information about the SUALGC’s Track Fast Gardening Program, contact Stephanie Elwood at or at 225-771-2134.

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


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