Tuesday, September 17

Agricultural Sciences students discuss ‘Meat gets a Makeover’ article

Students conduct blind taste test of the ‘Whopper’ and the ‘Impossible Whopper’

Baton Rouge, La. – The Agricultural Sciences 472 class recently conducted a seminar discussion titled, “Meat Gets a Makeover.”

The discussion stemmed from a Consumer Reports article by the same name. The article asked if meatless patties were safe, tasty, healthy and if they will save the environment.

After the seminar, the students conducted a blind taste test comparison between Burger King’s all-beef meat patty in the “Whopper” and the meatless “Impossible Whopper.”

Six out of 10 students chose burger B., the “Impossible Whopper” as their favorite tasting burger.

“The students were shocked when I told them they voted for the Impossible Whopper after the taste test,” said Dr. Renita Marshall, Animal Science Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural Sciences at Southern University.

The Impossible Whopper is an all-plant, gluten-free burger that gets its protein from soy and a mix of coconut and sunflower oils.

“They had no idea that I was going to ask them to taste the two burgers,” said Dr. Marshall. “I wanted the students to understand that agriculture is now high-tech and this technology may change the way we produce food,” she added.

To read the Consumer Reports ‘Meat Gets a Makeover,’ article, click here.


Tuesday, September 10

SU Ag Center to Host Leadership Conference for Mayors and Community Leaders

Event Flyer

Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Ag Center will host its inaugural Learning Everyday About Development (L.E.A.D.) Conference for mayors and community leaders on October 8 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the St. Gabriel Community Center, 1400 Gordon Simon Leblanc Drive, in St. Gabriel, La. 70776.

The conference will equip mayors, police juries, city council members and other community decision-makers with the tools to help communities reach their potential while unlocking previously untapped resources.

Topics covered during the conference will include:

·         Bettering our communities through grants
·         Community Development meets STEM
·         Initiatives used to develop my community economically

For additional information about the L. E. A. D. Conference, contact Gerald Williams at 225-771-5782 or email him at gerald_williams@suagcenter.com.


Wednesday, September 4

Recent graduate Chyanna McGee Pursues a Master’s Degree at Penn State

Recent graduate Chyanna McGee is currently pursuing a Master's of Science Degree in Plant Pathology at Penn State.

Baton Rouge, La. – Chyanna McGee, a Spring 2019 Southern University graduate of the Department of Urban Forestry and Natural Resources in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences, is currently pursuing a Master's of Science degree in Plant Pathology; specializing in plant disease management at Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania.

McGee said she decided to come to Southern University and major in Urban Forestry as a trial and error decision she made with her dad.

“My dad graduated from Southern University many years ago with a degree in Agricultural Economics. I wanted to be a teacher, but he insisted that I did Urban Forestry and if I didn't like it after my first year that I could change my major,” said Chyanna. “He then took me to meet Dr. Zhu Ning, my departmental advisor, who then promised that I could be a member of her research team my first summer researching in Shenyang, China. I, of course, accepted the invitation and by the end of my freshman year I grew to love the Urban Forestry Department and also "The Ag Family," she added.

During her time at Southern, Chyanna has held numerous leadership positions ranging from serving as president of the Urban Forestry Club, to president of Southern University’s Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Chapter, as well as Vice-President of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Along with these leadership roles she is also one of the founding members of Southern University’s Society of American Foresters (SAF) Chapter. All of this was done while maintaining a 3.3 grade point average by the time she graduated.

She said her experiences at Southern will enable her to be excel at Penn State.

“While at Southern University I had the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the subject matter, work on projects and research, and also held numerous leadership positions,” expressed Chyanna. “I had the opportunity to learn alongside bright young leader and even travel to conferences to meet industry leaders which lead me to internships and other opportunities. I established a home at Southern University and was able to be a part of the "Ag Family," which opened the doors to graduate school visits and is solely the reason that I decided to continue my education. Southern University’s College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences has molded me into the student, leader, and scholar I am today,” Chyanna said proudly.

After receiving her master’s, McGee plans to continue her education by working on a Ph.D. in Botany either at Penn State or another accredited university. She said her goal is to use her advanced degree to help sustain crop production and find ways to use medicinal plants, starting with a health/beauty line to add to her business, “The GirlZ CloZet."

Chyanna, who is a native of Baton Rouge and graduate of McKinley Senior High School, is the daughter of Theora Tyrone and Gerald McGee.


SU Ag Center Trains youth to be Ambassadors for Healthy Living at SARDI

Baton Rouge, La. – Nearly 40 youth were trained as Ambassadors for Healthy Living on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at the Southern Agriculture and Rural Development Institute (SARDI) in Opelousas, La. As 4-H Ambassadors for Healthy Living, youth participants will help to guide their peers and communities, into living healthier lifestyles through nutrition, physical fitness, and public policy. 

Workshops offered during the training included:

  • 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.

Youth participants represented local schools in East Baton Rouge, Orleans, St. Landry, St. Helena, and Tangipahoa Parishes.

For more information on becoming a 4-H member or becoming an Ambassador for Healthy Living, contact Kayla Fontenot in St. Landry Parish at  337.943.2410, Chelsea Hammond in Orleans Parish at 504.658.2900, or Nicolette Gordon in Tangipahoa Parish 985.748.9381.


SU Ag Center’s Gerald Williams meets with the Mayor of St. Gabriel

Standing from left, Lionel Johnson, Jr., Mayor of the City of St. Gabriel, poses for a photo with Gerald Williams, SU Ag Center's Community and Economic Development Associate Specialist, following a meeting to discuss the development of community-based programs for the city on August 22.

Baton Rouge, La. – SU Ag Center’s Community and Economic Development Associate Specialist, Gerald Williams held a meeting with Lionel Johnson, Jr., the Mayor of the City of St. Gabriel, on August 22.

During the meeting, which was held at the mayor’s office, Williams, Johnson and Courtney Lawson discussed the development of several programs to assist the city in the coming months.

Williams said he will continue to work with Mayor Johnson as well as mayors throughout the state to provide economic development assistant to their communities.

For additional information on the SU Ag Center’s Community and Economic Development initiatives, contact Gerald Williams at gerald_williams@suagcenter.com.