Friday, August 30

SU Ag Center holds Sustainable Urban Ag Certification Program in Baton Rouge

The SU Ag Center's Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certification Program provides hands-on experience to individuals who are interested in learning how to farm in small spaces.

Baton Rouge, La. – Approximately 15 individuals are participating in the Southern University Ag Center’s Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certification Program.

One of the trainings was held Monday, August 20 at BREC’s Howell Community Park in Baton Rouge in conjunction with Baton Roots Community Farm.

During the training, which was the third session of the certification’s five-week training, participants received hands-on training on rainwater harvest, rain barrel construction, hydroponics systems, and an introduction to the use of drones in agriculture. 

The intensive training series teaches participants how to use sustainable agricultural practices in an urban environment; with hands-on experience.

“This certification program teaches individuals who live in urban and rural areas how to be sustainable farmers by using the resources they have around them to farm in small spaces, rather than large open fields,” said Marlon Ford, Ph.D., Urban Agricultural Specialist and program coordinator. “There are many communities that are food deserts with no access to fresh produce or farmers markets. This training provides individuals with the skills they need to grow their own vegetables and fruit organically,” added Ford.

“The goal for us at the Southern University Ag Center is to not only provide our participants with the skills to help their families eat healthier but we what our participants to share what they have learned with others in their communities,” expressed Ford.

Additional topics that will be covered during the series will include: Permaculture and the Environment; Irrigation and Composting; Small Scale Agriculture; Animal Husbandry: Poultry, Bees and Worms; Vertical Farming; Maximizing the Use of Land Resources and Infrastructure; Working with City Government within City Ordinances; Construction Techniques, Hoop Houses, Raised Beds; Organic and Sustainable Production and Combatting Diseases and Man-Made Threats.

The training was facilitated by Mila Berhane, Senior Research Associate and Dr. Marlon Ford, Urban Agricultural Specialist. Each class will be led by experts and professors from the SU Ag Center.

The training began on August 6 and will conclude with a graduation ceremony on September 3.

To date, the SU Ag Center has held Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certification programs in St. Landry, East Baton Rouge, and Livingston Parish, Rapides, Avoyelles, and Natchitoches Parishes.

The Baton Roots Community Farm is a program which provides an opportunity for the Baton Rouge community to learn sustainable agricultural practices on an urban farm. It was developed by The Walls Project to inspire health and wellness among all ages through hands-on gardening with an artistic environment.

For additional information about the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certification Program, contact Dr. Marlon Ford at


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SU Ag Center holds Graduation Ceremony for 7th Small Farmer Ag Leadership Institute

Members of Cohort VII of the Southern University Ag Center's Regional Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute received certificates of completion during a graduation ceremony on August 16.

Baton Rouge, La. – Fourteen small farmers from seven states received certificates of completion during a graduation ceremony for Cohort VII of the SU Ag Center’s Regional Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute.

The ceremony was held on Friday, August 16 in the Cotillion Ballroom of Southern University’s Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union.

Fourteen participants from Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, Texas and Ohio received certificates of completion from the year-long course.

Dawn Mellion Patin, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach at the SU Ag Center, served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. During her presentation, Patin discussed how the leadership institute was developed and encouraged the graduates to help other small farmers.

“We expect you to share what you have learned in conversations with aspiring small farmers,” said Patin. “We expect you to host field days, workshops, and pasture walks so others can see what you are doing,” she added.

The Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute is a one year course designed to guides small, limited-resource and minority farmers through the process of becoming more competitive agricultural entrepreneurs.

The overriding goal of the Institute is to promote small and family farm sustainability through enhanced business management skills, leadership development and the utilization of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and services.

The Cohort VII regional graduates of the Regional Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute are:

Anthony Barwick, Ohio; Kay Bell, Texas; Keisha Cameron, Ga.; Mark Chandler, Va.; Debora Coleman, Miss.; Felton DeRouen, II, La.; Hilery “Tony” Gobert, Ga.; Royce Martin, Ala.; Lennora Pierrot, Ala.; Gregory Smith, La.; Brad Spencer, Miss.; Joy Womack, La.; Virgil Womack, La.; and Oliver Whitehead, Va.

For additional information about the SU Ag Center’s Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute, contact Zanetta Augustine at 225-771-2591 or visit the Institute's webpage at


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Friday, August 23

SU Ag Center’s TV Program Focus airing in several Parishes

Baton Rouge, La. – The current edition of the SU Ag Center’s TV Show, Focus: Insight on the Southern University Ag Center, has begun airing in Lafayette, Orleans, Ouachita and St. Charles Parishes as well as in Kenner, La.

The air times and channels for the show are:

Jefferson Parish - (includes: Metarie, Gretna, Marrero, Harvey, Harahan, Westwego, River Ridge, Terrytown, Elmwood, Grand Isle, Avondale, Kenner, and Lafitte)


Channel: Cox 6, AT&T 99

Air Dates/Times:  Mondays:                  9:34 a.m. and 4:57p.m.

                              Tuesdays:                  2:25 p.m.

                              Wednesdays:             12:12 p.m.

                              Thursdays:                12:16 p.m.

                              Fridays:                    10:19 p.m.

                              Saturdays:                 2:22 p.m. and 10:58 p.m.

                              Sundays:                   5:47 p.m.

*Will air indefinitely at same times weekly

Calcasieu Parish

Channel streaming:

Air Dates/Times: Friday, August 30 - Thursday, Sept. 5th

Times: 6:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.

St. Tammany Parish

Channel: AT&T 99, Roku App, Fire TV, Charter Comm. 197 SD or 710 HD

Air Dates/Times:    Sept.  1st @ 9:30 a.m.

                                Sept. 3rd @  2 p.m.

                                Sept. 4th @ 11 p.m.

                                Sept. 5th @ 2 p.m.

                                Sept. 6th @ 11 a.m.

                                Sept. 7th @ 9:30 a.m.

The Focus Show will air at these times for several weeks.

NOTE: How to setup Roku App for St. Tammany Parish:

NOTE: It will also air as filler/fill-in when needed.  

East Baton Rouge Parish

Channel: Cox Cable 21, AT&T 99

Air Dates:   Sept. 2 @ 11 p.m.

                   Sept. 3rd @ 7 p.m.

                   Sept. 6th @ 6:30 p.m.

                   Sept. 7th @ 6:30 p.m.

*Will air indefinitely. Check local listings.

Lafayette Parish - (Includes: St. Landry, Acadia, Iberia, St. Martin, St. Mary, Vermillion Parishes)
Channel: Acadiana Open Channel (AOC) and Streaming at,

Air Dates/Times: Thurs., August 29th @ 7 p.m. on AOC 1 
                             Fri., August 30 @ 7 p.m. on AOC 1
                              Sat., August 31 @ 8 p.m. on AOC 2
                             Sun., September 1 @ 5 p.m. on AOC 1
                             Mon., September 2 @ 8 p.m. on AOC 1
                             Tues., September 3 @ 4 p.m. on AOC 2

**Note: Cox 15 & 16 -- Check local listings for dates times on Cox Cable

              LUS 3 & 4 ---  Check local listings for dates times on LUS

Orleans Parish
Channel: Cox cable 95
Air Date/Times:  Tues., August 20th @ 5 p.m. and; 5:30 p.m.
                            Thurs., August 22nd @ 5 p.m. and; 5:30 p.m.
                            Tues., Aug. 27th @ 5 p.m. and; 5:30 p.m.
                            Thurs., Aug. 29th @ 5 p.m. and; 5:30 p.m.

Ouachita Parish - (Includes: Franklin, Caldwell, Morehouse, Richland Parishes)
Channel: Comcast  Xfinity 75
Air Dates: August 20th — 25th daily
Times: 10:15 a.m., 1 p.m., and 10 p.m.
*Everyday through Sunday, August 25th

St. Charles Parish - (Includes: Destrehan, Des Allemands, Boutte, St. Rose, Luling)
Channel: SCP-TV (Cox Channel 6, U-Verse 99 and Streaming at,
Air Dates: Saturday’s indefinitely
Times: 12 noon

Kenner, LA
K-TV Cox Cable channel 76 and AT&T 99
Air Dates: Daily
Times: 3:30 p.m.
Note: It will air for the next several weeks.

The show can also be viewed on the SU Ag Center’s YouTube channel, here.

For additional information about the SU Ag Center’s Focus Show, contact Dexter Newman at 225-771-2173 or email him at


SU Agricultural Sciences Alumni Give Back to the Department

Standing from left, senior pre-veterinary medicine major Macy Ceaser receives a scholarship from Lorenzo Bennett, a 2001 graduate of the Department of Agricultural Sciences, on August 20, 2019.

Agricultural Sciences graduates present a scholarship to a student in the department

Baton Rouge, La. – Lorenzo Bennett and William Singleton, Jr., both 2001 graduates of Southern University’s Department of Agricultural Sciences, presented a $900 scholarship to Macy Ceaser, a Senior Agricultural Sciences major with a concentration in Pre-Veterinary Medicine, on August 20.

Bennett and Singleton said they gave the scholarship because they wanted to assist students in the department and challenge fellow graduates of the department’s Animal Science, Agricultural Economics, Agriculture Business, Plant and Soil Science, and Pre-Veterinary Medicine concentrations to reach back and do the same.

For more information on how to give to the Department of Agricultural Sciences, please contact Dr. Renita W. Marshall at or call her 225-771-0252.


Thursday, August 22

SU Ag Center’s S.H.A.R.E. Program featured in Polished Magazine

Photo courtesy of the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging's Polished Magazine.

East Baton Rouge Council on Aging highlights pet therapy program

Baton Rouge, La. – An article written by Dr. Renita Marshall, department chair of Southern University’s Department of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Southern University Institute for One Health One Medicine, on the SU Ag Center’s Southern Human-Animal Relationship Experience (S.H.A.R.E.) is featured in the current issue of Polished magazine.

The article details the objectives of S.H.A.R.E., which is an initiative under the Southern University Institute for One Health One Medicine. The program provides the community with the psychological and physical benefits of animal-assisted therapy, visitations, and interactions.

S.H.A.R.E. is composed of representatives from the Southern University Ag Center, Southern University Baton Rouge students, community volunteers, and veterinary practitioners.

Studies have shown that pet therapy can lower blood pressure, release calming endorphins and lowers overall physical pain.

The full article is available here.

POLISHED is a quarterly publication produced by the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging. It is geared towards the interest of senior citizens in East Baton Rouge Parish and their caregivers.

For additional information about S.H.A.R.E., contact Dr. Marshall at 225-771-0252 or email her at


Monday, August 12

SU Ag Center set to host Louisiana 4-H Healthy Living Ambassadors Training

Event Flyer

Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Ag Center will host its’ 2019 Louisiana 4-H Healthy Living Ambassador Training from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on August 24, 2019 at the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Institute (SARDI), located at 1209 Diesi Street in Opelousas, La. 

The 4-H Healthy Living Ambassadors Program aims to help teens learn how to guide their peers and communities into living healthier lifestyles through nutrition, and physical fitness. The training is open to all 4-H Club members, and those teens in the 6th – 12th grades who would like to become members. Local extension offices will provide chaperones and/or transportation to this training. Teens interested in attending the training should contact their local Youth Development Extension Agent.

The theme is “4-H Ambassadors Geaux WYLD with Leadership!”  The training will consist of five interactive sessions for the youth, with lots of fun and physical activity. Workshops to be offered will include:

  • Wild about Leadership – Knowing your leadership style will help you learn about collaborating for yourself, others and your community.
  • Navigating the Jungle – Learn how to empower youth through the use of the HYPE Project Phase: Think, Learn, Act, Share and Evaluate.
  • Elephant Communications – Learn basic communication skills that you need to know to be an effective local/state 4-H Healthy Living Ambassador. This workshop will include making quality video clips to market your 4-H program.

For more information visit, The training is free, and lunch and snacks will be provided.

On-site registration will be available on the day of the event. For more information, please call Nicolette Gordon at 985-748-9381, 225-222-4136, or e-mail her at

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Friday, August 2

SU Ag Center’s Gerald Williams Works to Build a Partnership with LED

Baton Rouge, La. – Gerald Williams, the SU Ag Center’s Community and Economic Development Associate Specialist, met with the Small Business Services, Community Competitiveness, members from the board of directors, and staff members from Louisiana’s Economic Development Department on July 30 in the hopes of developing collaborations and partnerships for the SU Ag Center’s Extension Program.

Williams is a recent new hire at the SU Ag Center. He is a two-time alum of SU where he received his B.S. in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. He is also a graduate of the Community Development Institute at the University of Central Arkansas and received a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University. Many may know him as the former mayor of the City of White Castle, Louisiana where he served in that capacity for eight years and as a councilman for four years.

Gerald plans to continue to develop partners and collaborations with local, state and community organizations to better assist the citizens of Louisiana through the SU Ag Center’s Cooperative Extension Program.


SU Ag Center’s CLIMATE Program helps students qualify for the TOPS Award

Baton Rouge, La. – The SU Ag Center held a closing ceremony for the first class of its Cultivating Leadership Innovation by Motivating Agricultural Talents through Education (CLIMATE) program on June 28 in T.T. Allain Hall.

Sixteen high school juniors participated in the two-year summer program designed to provide supplemental instruction in assisting participants in qualifying for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) award.

During the first year of the program, students spent four weeks on the Southern University Baton Rouge campus attending English, Math, Sciences, and Leadership Development classes, preparing for the ACT test, and participating in field trips.

In the second year of the program, the participants will further gain pre-collegiate work experience by working a paid internship with either a state or local government agencies or community organization for eight weeks. Each internship will be in the participant’s home town or a neighboring parish.

For additional information about the CLIMATE Program, contact Zanetta Augustine at 225-771-2591 or Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin at 225-771-3532.


The BAYOU II: SARDI Program helps students increase their ACT scores

Baton Rouge, La. – The Bayou II-SARDI summer program was held June 2 – 21, 2019 on the Southern University campus. The program was developed as a recruiting tool to introduce high school students to the many facets of agriculture and the department. Additionally, we developed a primary focus on ACT enrichments and preparations to help students increase their performance on the most widely used precollege standardized test. The Bayou II-SARDI programs goal is to strengthen student’s skills in math, science, grammar, writing, English, and test-taking strategies.

Thirty students were selected from an applicant pool of 60 students to participate in the BAYOU II: SARDI program, twenty-one (21) students accepted the invitation and completed the summer program. Of the twenty-one students, five (5) met the university's standards for dual-enrollment.

At the conclusion of the program, the SARDI Class’ post-test average was 2.4 points above the national average for all students and 6 points above the national average for Black/African American Students and 4.4 points above the Louisiana Average.

The students also noticed a drastic increase in their scores on the English section of their post-test, ranging from a 16 % to 85% increase in their actual scores. Overall, the average score for the ACT English Test increased by 11 points.

Through a partnership with STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response), students were educated on the importance of setting boundaries, being aware of their surroundings to prevent sex trafficking, recognizing and reporting signs of abuse, etc.

Additionally, BAYOU II: SARDI partnered with each department in the College of Agriculture (Animal Science, Urban Forestry, Apparel, Merchandising and Textiles), Food and
Nutrition; and with Burnell Muse, SU Ag Center Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, on Ag Related activities, farm tours, and demonstrations.


SARDI holds Summer Healthy Living Academy

Baton Rouge, La. – On June 3, 2019, 35 students entered The Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Institute (SARDI) to begin a four-week healthy living themed summer program.

The goal of the program is to improve the health, safety, development, and well-being of adolescents and young adults within the community.

One of the main highlights of the program was the four-week-long Food Truck Challenge that was designed to encourage the students to prepare their own healthy meals while learning about entrepreneurial skills in the process. The Food Truck Challenge required the groups of students to create themes, marketing plans, menus, and designs with a healthy twist in mind. Each group was also tasked with preparing and serving different types of foods from their menus to their peers to enhance their knowledge of kitchen etiquette and safety, teamwork, and customer service.

Some of the other highlights of the program included activities that were based on the MyPlate food guide, gardening, physical activity, and recreational/discretionary time.   


East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome visit CHEF

Baton Rouge, La. – East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome was the guest speaker for the first session on the SU Ag Center’s “Creating Healthy Enjoyable Foods” (C.H.E.F.) youth cooking camp. Mayor Broome visited the camp on July 19 and encouraged the participants to continue to make healthy cooking and eating a staple in their lives.  

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.

This year the nutrition staff held two sessions of the camp. The first session was held July 15 – 19 for youth aged 9-11. The second session was held July 22-26 for youth aged 12-15. Both sessions were held on the Southern University Baton Rouge campus in Pinkie E. Thrift Hall.

For additional information about the CHEF Camps, contact Marquetta Anderson at 225.389.3055 or via e-mail at,

Photos from the CHEF Camp are available here


Department of Family and Consumer Sciences students and faculty present at a National Conference

Baton Rouge, La. – Faculty and students from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences attended the 105th American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Annual Conference and Expo held June 23 – June 26, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Arch located in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Samii Kennedy Benson, Assistant Professor of Apparel Merchandising and Textiles (AMTX) traveled to the national conference with four members from Southern University’s collegiate chapter of the Student Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (SAFCS) which included: Kendall Hall, a junior, Human Nutrition and Food major; Aravian Louis, a senior, Child Development major; Patricia Mitchell, a sophomore, Apparel Merchandising and Textiles major; and Lynette Weems, a senior, Apparel Merchandising and Textiles major.

Dr. Kennedy Benson and the students participated in “i3: Inspiration – Innovation – Impact,” a fast-paced session designed to share high impact ideas for 25 minutes at a round table, while others present simultaneously. The group presented their collaborative research project, Vision Boarding in the Classroom: Incorporating Vision Boards into the FCS Curriculum, complete with lively anecdotes, examples of vision board’s created by FACS students and handouts to share with participants.

Dr. Kennedy Benson also presented her research, FACS @ HBCUs: An Overview of Family and Consumer Sciences Programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, during the Oral Research Session sponsored by the Community of Colleges, Universities and Research (CUR) and the Assembly of Higher Education (AHE).

Drs. Cheryl Atkinson, Chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and Jung-Im Seo, AMTX Assistant Professor, also attended the conference. Dr. Seo presented research conducted in collaboration with Senior AMTX student, Autumn Hamilton titled, Ready-To-Wear Clothing Fit Satisfaction Based on Body-Shape Perception, during the Poster Session. Autumn and Dr. Seo explained that each person’s perception of their body shape has different locations of ready-to-wear clothing fit issues. The research found that young consumers preferred to wear tight clothing in the current fashion trend.

In addition to presenting their research, the faculty and students participated in various workshops and informational sessions reflective of the mission of AAFCS: to provide leadership and support for professionals whose work assists individuals, families, and communities in making informed decisions about their well-being, relationships, and resources to achieve an optimal quality of life.


Youth learn to sew and design during the 2nd Annual Fashion Camp

Cross stitching, threading a needle, using a sewing machine and designing a dress out of newspaper were some of the skills that 20 budding designers learned during the 2nd annual Fashion Design Camp held July 15-19 in Pinkie E. Thrift Hall.

The free camp was hosted by the Nu Gamma Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.’s in conjunction with the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Apparel Merchandising and Textiles program.

“We are working with Southern University’s College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences as a partnership to help support the community with our “The Arts Target,” which focuses on bringing more education about the Harlem Renaissance as well as the Black Arts Movement,” said Danielle Staten, a member of  Nu Gamma Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “We have been reaching out to local girls and working with seamstresses in the community to give them a valuable skill that they can use,” she added.

Eleven-year-old Navira Robinson said the skills she learned during the camp will help her to reach one of her future goals. “During the fashion camp, I learned how to be independent while sewing and how to use a sewing machine. One of my future goals is to make clothes when I get older and this camp has given me the skills to accomplish this goal,” said Robinson.

“We want to continue to have outreach into the community with young girls and young boys to develop them and assist them in making a graceful approach to adulthood.

During the week-long camp, the youth learned to make combination quilts out of their own t-shirts and designed ball gowns out of newspapers. The participants displayed their gowns and presented their quilts to their parents and the other chapter members during a fashion show held on the last day of the camp.

Cox Communications presented Chromebook computers to five camp participants for their hold work and skills gained during the camp.

This is the second year that the Nu Gamma Omega Chapter has held the Fashion Camp in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and the fourth year working on its “The Arts Target,” initiative.

“We want to continue to provide outreach into the community for young girls and boys to develop them and assist them in making a graceful approach to adulthood,” Jacqueline Nash Grant, President of the Nu Gamma Omega Chapter.

Drs. Jung-Im Seo and Samii Kennedy Benson, professors in the Apparel Merchandising and Textiles program facilitated the camp and were assisted by Carlton Knighten, a current AMTX student and Jordan Johnson, a recent AMTX graduate.

Photos from the Fashion Camp are available here


SU student Serena Harris participants in Purdue University’s Veterinary Medicine Summer Research Program

Senior Pre-Veterinary Medicine student Serena Harris participated in Purdue University's 11-week Veterinary Medicine's Summer Research Program.  

Baton Rouge, La. – Serena Harris, a senior Agricultural Sciences/ Pre-Veterinary Medicine student in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences participated in Purdue University’s Veterinary Medicine’s Summer Research Program (PVM) from May – July.

The 11-week program paired students with PVM faculty members and allowed the students to conduct independent research projects and explore non-practice careers.

Serena and the other PVM Summer Research participants joined eight students from the University of Illinois Summer Veterinary Program to attend the 9th Annual Joint Symposium on the Purdue and University of Illinois Veterinary Scholars on June 26 on the Purdue University campus.

Serena presented her research during a Research Poster Presentation on July 24 in the Purdue Veterinary Medical Library. She is now working on a publication of her research findings.

Harris was the only student from an HBCU accepted in this year’s program. The other five undergraduate students participating in the program with from Purdue University, Case Western Reserve University, Liberty University, and Rutgers University.


Dr. Orlando F. McMeans Named Chancellor- Dean of the SU Ag Center

Dr. Orlando F. McMeans, the Vice President for Research and Public Service at West Virginia State University has been named the Chancellor of the SU Ag Center and Dean of the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Board of Supervisor named Dr. Orlando F. McMeans as the Chancellor of the Southern University Ag Center and the Dean of the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences during its monthly board meeting on July 19.

“I am extremely honored and beyond humbled to have an opportunity to serve as an integral part of the Southern University System, the world’s only HBCU system, as both Chancellor of the Agricultural Research and Extension Center and Dean of the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences,” said McMeans.

He went on to express his appreciation and gratitude to Southern University System President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton, the Southern University Board of Supervisors and the SU  Ag Center Chancellor-Dean Search Committee for their belief and confidence in his ability to lead and inspire future generations of students in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

“I look forward with great enthusiasm to meeting those who work diligently to advance the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, as well as the talented students, outstanding faculty, dedicated staff, proud alumni, loyal friends and generous supporters of the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences,” he added.

McMeans currently services as Vice President for Research and Public Service at West Virginia State University (WVSU), the Executive Director of the WVSU Research and Development Corporation and Dean and Director of the WVSU Gus R. Douglass Land-Grant Institute. He is also a full tenured Research Professor of Biology. He has been employed with WVSU, which was then called West Virginia State College, since November 1998.

He currently serves in leadership roles within the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and other national associations. He serves as a member of the board of directors for the APLU; chair of the Board on Agriculture, Research, Extension and Teaching; and Steering Committee Co-Chair of the Association of 1890 Research Directors 2019 Biennial Research Symposium. McMeans has served on the West Virginia Science and Research Council since 2011 and has held leadership positions or a membership in the following organizations: Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (past national president);  USDA/1890 Executive Team (past chair); Association of 1890 Extension Administrators (member), 1890 Deans Council (member), and the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (member).

 McMeans earned a Bachelor of Science in horticulture from Alabama A&M University, a Master of Science in horticulture, and a Ph.D. in horticulture both from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, McMeans went on to do postdoctoral studies in the area of genetic engineering at Virginia Tech.

His start date is currently pending.

The Southern University System established the Agricultural Research and Extension Center as its fifth campus in 2001. The Southern University Board of Supervisors voted to merge the Southern University College of Agriculture with the Ag Center on July 1, 2016.