Thursday, May 30

The SU Ag Center is using an air monitoring system to conduct research on air pollution

SU student Keandrys Dalton and Michael Orr with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) test an air monitor near the Southern University Ag Center on May 15. 

Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Ag Center's Air, Nutrient, Soils, Water, Ecosystem and Remote Sensing (SU-ANSWERS) Institute has begun placing air monitoring units around the campus of Southern University to monitor and conduct research on air pollution.

The air monitors are designed to monitor air quality in specific areas.

SU College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences alumnus (Ret.) Gen. Russell Honore` donated an air monitor and a drone to the Ag Center and the College in January of 2019.  The Institute purchased eight additional monitors that will be linked into a statewide monitoring system.

“The monitors will be strategically located around the Southern University campus and in various other locations around the state,” said Andra Johnson, Ph.D., the Vice Chancellor for Research at the SU Ag Center.  “This will provide our stakeholders with access to air quality data in their areas, as well as allow our researchers to conduct studies to determine the impact of air pollution and examine ways to mitigate these pollutants.”

Honore` said he donated the equipment to be used by Southern University students with the hopes that they will find ways of improving the technology.

“Students can take the air monitors that are already made and enhance them or create a new one. That’s called intellectual property,” said Honore`. “From that, the student; the professor or the department can get grants as well as share in the bounty of success,” he added.

The first monitor was installed near the Southern University Ag Center’s greenhouses on May 15 by Michael Orr with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) and Keandrys Dalton, a SU Animal Science student. The additional monitors will be installed around the state in the coming months.

The monitoring system will be open to the public, which will allow citizens to access air quality readings in their communities.

The mission of the SU-ANSWERS Institute is to promote natural and biological resources conservation through research, education, and service to communities both in urban and rural settings. The mission is achieved by conducting cutting edge research focusing on natural and biological resources, providing hands-on research training and experiential learning to the next generation of leaders in natural resources, utilizing research results and analytical laboratories to provide technical services to the communities and promoting scientific collaboration and partnership building at state, regional, national, and international levels.

The SU-ANSWERS Institute is led by Johnson and the Institute’s Director Zhu Ning, Ph.D.


SU Dietetic Internship Program holds 25th Annual Graduation Ceremony

Standing from left is the Director of the Dietetic Internship Program Cheryl Atkinson, Ph.D.; Dietetic Interns Gabrean Stansbury; Hannah Onnebane; Fatrice Williams; Bonnie Lee, a member of the Dietetic Internship Program's first graduating class; former Director of the Dietetic Internship Program and current Program Leader Bernestine McGee, Ph.D.; Dietetic Interns N'Keyma Lee; Aquierra Anderson; Adrienne Johnson and Ellen McKnight.

Baton Rouge, La. – Southern University’s College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences' (CAFCS) held a graduation ceremony for students enrolled in its Dietetic Internship Program on May 22.

The event was held in the Royal Cotillion Ballroom of the Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union on Southern University’s campus.

The 2018-2019 Dietetic Interns were: Aquierra Anderson from Greenwood, MS; Adrienne Johnson from Marion Junction, Al; N’Keyma Lee from East Point, GA; Ellen McKnight from Baton Rouge, LA; Hannah Onnebane from Baton Rouge, LA; Gabrean Stansbury from Franklin, LA; and Fatrice Williams from Zachary, LA.

Cheryl Atkinson, Ph.D., Director of the Dietetic Internship Program, presided over the ceremony and C. Reuben Walker, Ph.D., served as the keynote speaker.

The program’s former director, Bernestine McGee, Ph.D., was honored during the event for her years of service to the program.

The ten-month Dietetic Internship Program is a post-baccalaureate supervised practice program in dietetics. Its curriculum is designed to educate students to function as entry-level registered dietitians after successfully completing the Registered Dietitian Exam.

Since the program’s inception 25 years ago, it has remained accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). To date, 200 individuals have graduated from this program and its students have a 92% pass rate on the Registered Dietitian Exam.

Southern University is one of eight historically black colleges and universities that offers a supervised practice program in dietetics.

For additional information on the SU College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences’ Dietetic Internship Program, visit or contact Cheryl Atkinson, Ph.D., at 225-771-3168.

Photos from the graduation ceremony are available here


Wednesday, May 22

SU College of Ag Vice Chancellor Retia Walker to receive Iowa State Alumni Award

Southern University College of Agriculture Vice Chancellor for Academics and Student Services/ Associate Dean, Retia S. Walker, Ph.D., has been named the recipient of the 2019 Alumni Achievement Award by Iowa State University.

Baton Rouge, La. – Retia Scott Walker, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Academics and Student Services/ Associate Dean of Southern University’s College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences, has been named the 2019 Alumni Achievement Award recipient by the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University (ISU).

According to ISU website, the award recognizes alumni who have accomplished meritorious service and/or distinguished achievements in business and industry, education, family and consumer sciences and health.

“I am excited about this recognition and look forward to returning to Iowa State University this fall to participate in the celebration honoring graduates of the college,” said Walker. “I had a great experience there and developed lasting relationships with classmates and professors, some of whom I am still in touch with annually,” she added.
Retia has been an educator for more than 50 years. She has served as the Vice Chancellor for Academics and Student Services/ Associate Dean in the SU College of Agriculture since November 2017. Prior to coming to Southern University Walker has served as an Interim Provost, an Executive Assistant to the President and as a Department Chair in Human Ecology, all at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Walker has also held the position of Vice President of Academic Outreach and Public Services, Dean and Professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, both at the University of Kentucky and Assistant Professor in the College of Education Graduate Program at Texas Woman's University.

Walker earned a B.S. in Home Economics Education and a Minor in Foods and Nutrition from Tuskegee University; an M.S. with a concentration in Family Studies from Hunter College; an M.S. ED in Education Administration and Supervision from Pace University (NYC) and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Iowa State University. Retia also completed her post-doctoral studies in Gerontology at the University of Maryland-College Park and Baltimore, and the Executive Education Program from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.       
This award will be the third time Retia has been recognized by Iowa State University. In 1983 she was honored as an Outstanding Ph.D. Graduate and in 2003 she received the Virgil Lagomarcino Laureate Alumni Award from the College of Education.

Retia will receive the 2019 Alumni Achievement  Award in October during Iowa State’s Homecoming.


Friday, May 17

SU Ag Center to teach youth healthy cooking skills during summer camp

C.H.E.F. Camp applications are now available

Camp Application

 Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Ag Center is now accepting applications for its “Creating Healthy Enjoyable Foods” (C.H.E.F.) youth cooking camp for ages 9-11 on July 15-19 and for ages 12-15 on July 22-26.

The C.H.E.F. camp is designed to teach youth basic cooking principles and nutrition education based on the USDA’s, “MyPlate” food guidance system and Dietary Guidelines.

Each day, participants will work together to create an entire meal while learning healthy eating and physical activity principles, food preparation, kitchen and food safety, common cooking terms, proper food handling, measuring techniques, critical thinking and team building skills, planning and time management.

Both sessions will be held on the Southern University Baton Rouge campus in Pinkie E. Thrift Hall from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Only 20 participants will be accepted for each session. Participants are required to bring a bag lunch and a healthy snack each day.

Registration for the camp is $35 and must be accompanied with a completed registration form and mailed to: C.H.E.F., Nutrition Education Program, Southern University Ag Center, P. O. Box 10010, Baton Rouge, LA 70813. Payment must be made in the form of a money order payable to the Southern University Ag Center.

The application deadline for both sessions is June 28.

To obtain an application or for additional information, contact Kiyana Kelly or Marquetta Anderson at 225.389.3055 or via e-mail at, or


Thursday, May 16

SU Ag Center’s Tiffany Franklin appointment to Federal Advisory Committee

SU Ag Center's Dr. Tiffany Franklin has been appointed to serve as a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Baton Rouge, La. – SU Ag Center’s Associate Youth Specialist, Tiffany Franklin, Ph.D., has been appointed to serve as a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ) by Caren Harp, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Franklin will serve a two-year term and help shape the FACJJ’s perspectives on juvenile justice issues and share them with the President of the United States, Members of Congress, and the OJJDP Administrator.

The purpose of the FACJJ is to analyze, review, and examine legislation, research, policies, regulations, practices, and/or operations and to advise the President, Congress, and the OJJDP Administrator about the issues that affect juvenile justice and delinquency prevention throughout the nation.

The committee was established by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (Section 223).

Tiffany has also served on Governor John Bel Edwards’ Advisory Board on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

She has been employed with the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center since 2006.

Franklin earned a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation and Leisure Studies, a Master’s in Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy, all from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La.

Tiffany is a published author with research interests in juvenile justice policies for at-risk youth; vulnerable, underserved populations, primarily incarcerated females; and community and economic development policies for impoverished areas.

The Tensas Parish native currently resides in Zachary, La.


Friday, May 10

Applications now available for the SU Ag Center’s Summer CLIMATE Program

Program to help High School Juniors qualify for TOPS

Program Application

Baton Rouge, La. – Applications are currently being accepted for the SU Ag Center’s Cultivating Leadership Innovation by Motivating Agricultural Talents through Education (CLIMATE) Program.

CLIMATE is a two-year summer program for current high school juniors. The residual program will provide supplemental instruction and assist participants in qualifying for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) scholarship. The participants will also be given the opportunity to gain pre-collegiate work experience during a professional internship in their home town or a neighboring parish.

During the first year of the program, participants will spend four weeks on the Southern University campus preparing for the ACT test and participating in educational courses and field trips.

At the completion of the four weeks, the students will receive a $500 educational assistance award.

Students will further their knowledge during the second year of the program by working for eight weeks in an agricultural related internship with either a state or local government agencies or community organizations. The returning participants will receive a $2,000 stipend after successfully completing the internship.

Participation in CLIMATE is free of charge, however, only high school juniors will be accepted into the program.

To apply, applicants must submit an application with an official transcript and a one and a half page double spaced essay which includes:

•An introduction of the applicant to include what he or she would like the selection committee to know about him/herself.
•The applicant’s definition of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.
•Why the applicant believes that Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences are important.
•The applicant’s goals and aspirations for the future.

Additionally, applicants must have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and scored between a 14 and a 19 on the ACT.

All applications must be submitted by May 20, 2019.

To obtain an application or for additional information contact, Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin, Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach, at 225-771-3532 or via email at


Wednesday, May 8

SU Ag Center set for 12th Annual Small Ruminant Field Day

Event Flyer

Baton Rouge, La. – The SU Ag Center will host its 12th annual Small Ruminant Field Day on June 1 at the Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena, 14600 Scenic Hwy., from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public with workshops geared towards educating adults on the topics of:

·         Small Ruminant Reproduction
·         Alternative Forages
·         Heard Health and Disease Management
·         Mobile Technology and Marketing
·         Small Ruminant Certification Program

There will also be a demonstration on practical animal husbandry techniques.

The Small Ruminant Field Day is co-sponsored by the SU Ag Center, the Center’s Southern University Institute for One Health One Medicine and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program.

For additional information on the Field Day, contact Dr. Sebhatu Gebrelul at or Dr. Renita Marshall at


More than 300 students expected to attend SARDI’s 8th Grade End of School Bash

Event Flyer

Baton Rouge, La. – More than 300 eighth-grade students from schools throughout St. Landry Parish will participate in the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Institute’s (SARDI) 8th Grade End of School Bash on May 9.

The event themed, “A Journey to Excellence: Imagine the Possibilities,” will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Yambilee Building Convention Center, 1939 W. Landry Street, in Opelousas, La.

The program aims to help eighth-graders embrace wise choices as they transition to high school.

SARDI is a satellite campus of the Southern University Ag Center located in Opelousas. The Institute focuses on improving the socioeconomic well-being of citizens in rural communities within a ten-parish region of St. Landry, Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Evangeline, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, and Vermillion Parish.

The End of School Bash is co-sponsored by the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund.

For additional information, contact SARDI at 337-943-2410.


Tuesday, May 7

SNAP-ED Growing Healthy Program plants citrus orchard at St. James Parish School

SU Ag Center's SNAP-Ed Growing Healthy Coordinator, Stephanie Elwood, teaches St. Louis Academy students how to care for several varieties of orange trees that were planted at their St. James Parish School.

Baton Rouge, La. – A citrus orchard was recently implemented at St. Louis Academy in St. James Parish. SNAP-Ed Growing Healthy coordinator Stephanie Elwood and Nutrition Educator for St. James and Ascension parishes Lisa Weber led the initiative with the school’s elementary class.

Satsuma, Kumquat, Lemon and Naval orange trees were planted behind the school building to complement the vegetable garden the school has planted in the front of the building.

For additional information on the SU Ag Center’s Growing Healthy Program, contact Stephanie Elwood at

Food Safety Certifications Awarded to Folsom, La. Residents

Baton Rouge, La. – Eleven Louisiana residents recently received Food Safety Certification under the Southern University Ag Center’s, “Enhancing Capacity of Louisiana Small Farms and Businesses,” program.  The training was held in Folsom, Louisiana, located in St. Tammany Parish.  The all-female class included two restaurant co-owners, their workers and family members who were working in the restaurant. 
The training in safe food handling was held for five weeks, ending on April 1.  The participants learned about the importance of food safety, good personal hygiene, controlling time and temperature, preventing cross-contamination, cleaning and sanitizing. 
Dr. Fatemeh Malekian, Professor at the Southern University Ag Center, conducted the training and was assisted by L’Asia George, Research Assistant, and Emily King, Produce Safety Program Coordinator.

William Augustine, Project Coordinator, brought the Mobile Technology Education Center to Folsom on the last class.  The Mobile Unit is a full-size bus retrofitted into a mobile classroom.  It is furnished with computers, the internet, a projector, and a small kitchen.  L’Asia George conducted a food safety/cooking demonstration on the unit, focusing on using proper food safety practices during preparation, cooking, and serving. 

Participants received the ServSafe Food Handler Guide and a binder with the information taught in the sessions.  At the final session, the participants were awarded certificates acknowledging their completion of the Food Handler course.  The training and resource materials were provided at no cost to the participants.

For additional information about our Food Safety Certification Program, contact Dr. Fatemeh Malekian at or Emily King at

SNAP-ED Growing Healthy Program plants container garden at local senior citizen centers

Baton Rouge, La. - The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center's SNAP-Ed Growing Healthy program recently planted container gardens at the Greater King David Baptist Church’s Baton Rouge Center for Seniors and the Cheneyville Senior Center.

Approximately 15 senior citizens at Cheneyville and 25 at Greater King David planted their own container tomato plants. Participants were involved in the whole process from filling the pots with soil, planting and fertilizing. Each participant took their plants home and will nurture them until harvest time!

The activities were led by SU Ag Center’s Nutrition Educators Marquetta Anderson, Kiyana Kelly and Growing Healthy Coordinator Stephanie Elwood.

For additional information about the SU Ag Center's SNAP-Ed Growing Healthy Program, contact Stephanie Elwood at


SU Ag Center’s Spring Garden Workshop draws more than 100 garden enthusiast

Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Ag Center’s 3rd Annual Spring Garden Workshop drew a crowd of nearly 125 garden and flower enthusiast. The event was held on April 24 at the Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena and hosted by the Center’s Wisteria Alliance Program in partnership with the Flower Lovers’ Garden Guild and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program.

The workshop featured interactive sessions on flower production, house plant care, edible landscapes, hibiscus production and hands-on demonstrations on building raised gardening beds, constructing rain barrels, flower arranging, and hydroponics.

“This conference was really beneficial to me,” said Ursula Square, who has recently started gardening. “The information that I received on the edible landscaping will help me be able to grow fruit trees at home. What has really got me going has been learning about the raised gardening bed and how you can find inexpensive ways to actually construct one, such as using cinder blocks,” add Square.

“The Spring Garden workshop is an educational program that helps individuals through hands-on gardening, learning techniques, and skills that they can do at their home,” said Zanetta Augustine, Assistant Agriculture Specialist, and workshop organizer. “Individuals can come to the workshop and learn how to garden on their own,” said Augustine.

The Wisteria Alliance Program prepares women to own and operate their own farms and other agricultural based businesses. It began in 2012 as a pilot program aimed at providing practical, hands-on training for women who live on farms, and those who are interested in starting a farm, and/or urban or community garden.            

The Flower Lovers’ Garden Guild began on November 20, 1953, with a group of women gathering to organize a club that would enable them to learn more about flowers, to exchange ideas about their culture and to fellowship. In March 1954, the women decided to call the club the “Town and Country Garden Club.” In October 1956, the name of the club was changed to the “Flower Lovers’ Garden Guild.” Its focus is the beautification of the community and homes with flowers and plants.

For additional information about the Spring Garden Workshop, email   

Photos from the 2019 Spring Garden Workshop are available here.


More than 520 attend SU Ag Center, SBA 15th Annual Procurement Conference

Baton Rouge, La. – More than 520 small business owners and exhibitors participated in the Southern University Ag Center’s 15th Annual ‘Connecting Businesses with Contracts’ Procurement Conference on April 16 in the Felton G. Clark Activity Center on the Southern University campus.

“The goal of the Procurement Conference is to connect small business owners with contracts that are available through government agencies,” said Eual Hall, Interim Director of the Center for Rural and Small Business Development at the SU Ag Center.

“There are many times that small business owners don’t know where to go, what to do, or to whom they need to speak to for assistance with their small businesses,” said Jo Ann Lawrence, Louisiana Deputy District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “With this event, small business owners are able to sit down and talk to potential customers, such as federal agencies, state and local government agencies, municipalities and even major prime contractors,” added Lawrence.

Several workshops featured during the conference included: How to Get and Market the GSA Schedule/Marketing to the Federal Government; Contracting Opportunities; Getting the Financing You Need; Expanding to Global Markets/Doing Business Internationally; Small Business Resources; and Bridging the Gap: “Identifying the Connection Between Research and Business. There was also a procurement panel consisting of federal, state and local government agencies and participants were able to network with more than 60 exhibitors.

Adell Brown, Jr., Ph.D., a professor at the Southern University College of Business, was the keynote speaker for the luncheon session at the conference.

“The conference gave us a platform to make valuable connections with small businesses, community leaders and companies who are committed to doing business with Small Business Enterprises and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises,” said Shakita Billups, Co-Founder of DreamBoost Consulting, LLC and one of the 60 business exhibitors participating in the conference. “Our objective was to connect with influential people and learn about impactful resources we can maximize to not only grow our business but help us have an even greater impact on the businesses we serve,” added Billups.

“We want to see small businesses grow, develop, prosper and continue to remain in business for having been in touch with us and participating in this conference,” said Lawrence.

Co-sponsors for the Procurement Conference included the U. S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University, Louisiana Economic Development (LED), and the Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).

For additional information, contact Eual Hall at 225.771.4105, Krystle Washington at 225.771.3902, or e-mail   

Photos from the conference are available here.


Monday, May 6

SU Ag Center holds exciting Jaguar Trail Ride

Baton Rouge, La. - More than 300 rodeo enthusiast and trail riders for Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas attended the Southern University Ag Center’s 46th Annual Jaguar Trail Ride. The event, which was held April 12 – 13 at the Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena, was co-hosted with the It’s All About Us Trail Ride Association.

Activities during the Trail Ride included roping, breakaway, tie-down, and barrel racing events; a trail ride; and a concert featuring Lil Nate and the Zydeco Big Timers.

Cash, as well as other prizes, were given to the winners of the events.

Photos from the Trail Ride can be viewed here.