Tuesday, September 29

Dr. De’Shoin York named Interim Vice Chancellor for Extension at the SU Ag Center


Dr. De'Shoin York has been named the Interim Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach at the Southern University Ag Center.

Baton Rouge, La. – De’Shoin A. York, Ph.D., has been appointed the Interim Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

Dr. York was appointed to the position during the Southern University System Board of Supervisors’ meeting on September 25. The appointment will be effective on October 1.

In January, York was named the Associate Vice Chancellor of the Center. For the past 20 years, Dr. York has served as the Southern University Ag Center’s Nutrition, Health, and Wellness Specialist. In this role, she has designed and implemented nutrition, health, and wellness programming for the Center’s disadvantaged and low-income clientele. She also serves as Director for both the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) nutrition education programs.  


Prior to coming to the Southern University Ag Center, York was a research assistant at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center where she worked on the well-known Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Study.

She also served as the Director of Dietary Services for BHC Meadow Wood Hospital as well as Special Programs Coordinator and Food Procurement Coordinator for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

York has written several journal articles and publications in the area of food and nutrition.

She will serve as Chair for the Family and Consumer Sciences group of the Southern Region - Program Leadership Network (SR-PLN) for the 2021 programming year. The organization’s mission is to foster and strengthen Extension education programming throughout the southern region by promoting multistate cooperation, anticipating emerging program issues and needs, and implementing action processes to address them promptly.  

York is a member of the Louisiana Statewide Clinical and Translational Science Center (LaCATS) Advisory Board, which provides oversite to a statewide medical research consortium of 10 major academic and biomedical research centers within the state. The goal of the board is to facilitate clinical research to improve the health and healthcare of all Louisiana citizens, particularly those living with chronic diseases.

Dr. York earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Foods and Nutrition; a Master’s of Public Administration and a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy with a concentration in Health Policy, all from Southern University.



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Monday, September 28

SU/ LSU College of Ag set to co-host Virtual Ag Career Prep Week


Event Flyer

Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences (CAFCS) and the LSU College of Agriculture will co-host the Virtual Louisiana Land-Grant Ag Career Prep Week.

The event will be held October 13-16, 2020 and will provide the agricultural students from the state’s two Land-Grant Institutions with an opportunity to gain professional development skills and network with potential employers.

“Students should start career planning as early as freshman year,” said Dr. Renita Marshall, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Services/ Associate Dean of the SU CAFCS. “The goals of the virtual Land-Grant Ag Career Prep Week are to provide CAFCS students with the tools, guidance and opportunity to create and follow a career path, assist students in transitions from college to work at all levels, and introduce students to the many different careers within Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences,” added Dr. Marshall.

The prep week will include:

  • ·       Virtual Agriculture Career Fair
  • ·       Roundtable discussions on Ag Careers
  • ·       Virtual speed networking social
  • ·       Louisiana Land-Grant Coffee Chat with the Dr. Orlando F. McMeans and Dr. Phil Elzer

“The Ag Career Prep Week will also give students an appreciation of what the land-grant status means and how they and their chosen field work together to create stronger communities,” expressed Dr. Marshall.

Students, alumni, employers, and faculty interested in participating in the Virtual Louisiana Land-Grant Ag Prep Week should register by Thursday, October 8, 2020.



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Friday, September 25

SU Ag Center celebrated the 130th Anniversary of the 2nd Morrill Act with the 1890 Universities

Baton Rouge, LA - The SU Ag Center and the Southern University Baton Rouge campus, along with the nation’s 1890 Universities, celebrated the 130th anniversary of the Morrill Act of 1890 with an online forum on Monday, August 31.


The Act established a land-grant university system of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). in states where African Americans were banned from accessing public higher education.


“The Second Morrill Act of 1890 was passed out of necessity, due to the fact that the First Morrill Act excluded the African American citizenry from attending colleges established under the initial land-grant provision,” said Dr. Orlando F. McMeans, Chancellor-Dean of the SU Ag Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. “In summary, the Second Morrill Act stated that these schools were created to provide instruction in agriculture, the mechanical arts, English language and the various branches of mathematical, physical, natural, and economic science to the black citizens of the states where these students had no access to other higher education institutions,” added Dr. McMeans. 


The webinar featured two panel discussions, one consisting of the presidents of several 1890 Universities and Peter McPherson, President of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The second panel discussion consisted of private sector leaders.  Southern University College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences alum and the Director of U.S. Federal Government Affairs at Walmart, Phillip Thomas-Wallace, was one of five panelists who spoke during the forum.


The 1890s educate nearly 100,000 students annually, contribute more than $4.4 billion to the local economies, and provide pathways of opportunity for thousands of Americans, with little investment.


The 1890 land-grant universities are: Southern University and A&M College, Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Central State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Langston University, Lincoln University in Missouri, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.


View the 1890 Morrill Act 130th Anniversary Video.



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Wednesday, September 9

SU Ag Center to provide free physical exams during Small & Large Animal Health Clinic


Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Ag Center, the SU Institute for One Health One Medicine and Jackson’s Veterinary Services have partnered to host a Small and Large Animal Health Clinic from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sept. 13.

The clinic, which will include free physical exams for animals, will be held at the SU Ag Center’s Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena, located at 14600 Scenic Hwy., in Baton Rouge, La.

To request an appointment, visit www.jacksonsvet.com, click on appointment request, and complete the form. Individuals will receive a phone call within 24 hours to confirm the appointment time and details. All additional services offered during the health clinic will have a fee.

For additional information, please contact Jackson’s Veterinary Services at 318-947-5018 or via email at info@jacksonsvet.com.




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Thursday, September 3

SU Ag Center set to host a webinar on Solutions for Diversity, Access & Equality in Agriculture


Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Ag Center will host a webinar entitled, ‘Agriculture: Solutions for Diversity, Access, & Equality’ at 5 p.m. (Central) on September 16.

The webinar will consist of a panel discussion related to agriculture and the issues facing today’s society of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), farmers, scientists, and the challenges of accessing the needs to function and bring about meaningful change. The panel will consist of Dr. Deacue Fields,  Beattra Wilson,  Dr. RenĂ© Brown, and Irene Lewis.

“During these challenging times comprising of racial unrest, disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 amongst minority and underserved communities, and economic challenges, it is imperative that we have such a dialog to discuss ways in which we, as an 1890 land-grant university, engage and provide critical services to the citizens and communities we serve,” expressed Dr. Orlando F. McMeans, Chancellor of the SU Ag Center and Dean of the SU College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

Dr. Deacue Fields is the Dean and Senior Associate Vice President for the Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences and Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Fields was a faculty member at Auburn University and served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. In his administrative role, he has been successful in establishing multidisciplinary collaborations to attract extramural funds, build relationships with alumni and industry stakeholders to enhance the student experience. He has also conducted research on the impact of agribusinesses on state, regional, and national economies and assisted agribusinesses with marketing and management strategies. Dr. Fields earned a Bachelor’s degree from Southern University, a Master’s degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, all in Agricultural Economics.

Beattra Wilson is the Assistant Director of Cooperative Forestry and national lead for Urban and Community Forestry at the USDA Forest Service (FS) in Washington, D.C. In this position, Wilson oversees program policy, budget, partnership development and strategic delivery of national, regional and state urban and community forestry programs. She has served on the Forest Service Environmental Justice Board, co-chaired the USDA 1890 Land Grant Task Force Executive Committee and has built a solid career administering conservation cooperative assistance programs at regional and national offices. She currently serves as agency representative to the Secretary of Agriculture’s Office of Customer Experience and has completed White House detail assignments to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Wilson earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Forestry from Southern University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Kennesaw State University.

Dr. RenĂ© Brown is the pastor of Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La. He also serves as the President and Moderator of the Fourth District Missionary Baptist Association of Louisiana, Inc. and secretary of the T.J. Jemison Baptist Student Union Board. He is also a member of the Board of Leland College, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge, and the Workforce Investment Act Youth Services. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Plant and Soil Science from Southern University and a Master’s degree in Crop Physiology from Louisiana State University.

Irene Lewis was Southern University’s Spring 2020 Chief Student Marshal, the student graduating with the highest grade point average in the class. Lewis earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in Plant and Soil Science. During her academic career, Irene was elected the National Undergraduate President of the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) organization for the 2019-2020 year and Region IV National Undergraduate Vice President of MANRRS for the 2018-2019 year where she represented the organization's college chapters in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. Irene was also active in the local Southern University Chapter of MANRRS where she served as both the Secretary during the 2017-2018 academic year and Historian during the 2018-2019 year. She has interned with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and is currently working on a Master’s of Public Administration at The Ohio State University, focusing on food access policy.

“This webinar is not only an opportunity to showcase the successes of our graduates from Southern University’s College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences, but also to learn from their collective experiences on the issues associated with diversity, access and equality,” said Dr. McMeans.

To register for the webinar visit, https://rb.gy/tm6bzn.



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Wednesday, September 2

SU Ag Center set to host Free Virtual Certification Program


Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Ag Center will host three free virtual certification trainings through its Enhancing Capacity of Louisiana’s Small Farmers and Businesses Project.

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become virtual teaching and training machines while working remotely,” said Tamika Porter, Project Manager of the Enhancing Capacity Certification Programs. “Our teams have prepared and are excited and eager to continue the work of preparing and equipping others with specific knowledge and tools that will help advance Louisiana communities and abroad,” added Porter.

The educational series will include certifications in Food Safety, Small Business Development and Sustainable Urban Agriculture.

The Food Safety Certification Program will provide basic training to farmers and food production managers on how to prevent, minimize, and reduce the risks of food product contamination during farming, purchasing, receiving, storing, preparing, cooking, reheating and serving. The course is designed for caterers, food truck owners, produce growers, or home cooks. Participants will learn the Basics of Food Safety, Food Safety Regulations, How to Prevent Cross-Contamination, and will go through a Food Handler Training and receive a certificate of completion. This course will be held from September 15 – October 1, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Click here to register for the Food Safety Certification Program.

The Small Business Development Certification Program will assist economically challenged business owners in creating and strengthening their business. The program includes courses that develop and improve upon the professional skills of Louisiana Small Entrepreneurs and Farmers.  This training will be held from September 3 – 24, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Click here to register for the Small Business Development Certification  Program.

The Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certification Program is the production of food and fiber products using new emerging, and traditional practices in an urban environment. Participants will become familiar with the techniques and strategies necessary to grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and animals in an urban environment sustainably. The course will be held from September 3 – October 6, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Click here to register for the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certification Program.

The certificate programs have mandatory attendance and participation requirements. Upon successful completion, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from the Southern University Ag Center.

This program is has been made available through a partnership with the State of Louisiana Division of Administration Office of Community Development with funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For more information about the certification programs email certifications@suagcenter.com




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Tuesday, September 1

SU Ag Center to provide Emergency Hurricane Technical Assistance in North Louisiana


SU Ag Center's Mobile Education Center

Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center (SU Ag Center) will be deploying its Mobile Educational Technology Center (M-TEC) to Bastrop, Louisiana. The purpose of this deployment is to aid in providing technical assistance to the citizens of North Louisiana and the surrounding areas that recently suffered damage during Hurricane Laura. 


The SU Ag Center will be providing internet access and mobile computing for those that need to complete online forms.


“I am excited to welcome the SU Ag Center’s Mobile Technology Center, which is equipped with computers that will be available for use by our Bastrop and Morehouse Parish citizens,” said Mayor Henry Cotton. “Because of the widespread damage to our local electrical and internet access infrastructure, brought about by Hurricane Laura's destructive winds, this service fills one of our most pressing disaster recovery needs: community access to WiFi-enabled laptops. This will give our residents access to State and Federal aid programs, while maintaining social distance,” added Mayor Cotton.


“This is a great opportunity for us to provide assistance and serve one of the areas that is a part of our coverage area,” stated Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin, SU Ag Center Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach.


The unit is scheduled to be located at The City of Bastrop Technology and Conference Center, 794 Colliers Lane in Bastrop, Louisiana from Thursday, Sept. 3rd – Friday, Sept. 4th from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 


Face masks and social distancing will be required. 


For more information, contact Dr. Dawn Patin at dawn_mellion@suagcenter.com or call (225) 931-2786.





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