Thousands Learn About Food Fiber In Ag Alley

Cynthia Stephens, Richardson, William B., Coolman, Denise  |  1/28/2006 3:30:19 AM

LSU AgCenter agent Jason Holmes of Union Parish talks about ATV safety with students who visited the LSU AgCenter's Ag Alley during the 2006 Ag Expo in Monroe Jan. 20-21.

Sheila Haynes, an LSU AgCenter agent in West Carroll Parish, talks about forestry with a group of students visiting the LSU AgCenter's Ag Alley during the 2006 Ag Expo held in Monroe Jan. 20-21. Haynes told the students one cord of wood can produce 7.5 million toothpicks. She also engaged the students in a discussion about other materials produced from wood such as newspapers, books, postage stamps and sheets of paper.

News Release Distributed 01/27/06

MONROE – Thousands of people learned about where food and fiber come from as they strolled through the LSU AgCenter’s Ag Alley here Jan. 20-21.

The exhibits were part of the 24th Annual Ag Expo in Monroe.

In its third year as part of the expo, Ag Alley provided exhibits highlighting Louisiana commodities such as forestry, horticulture and poultry. A new exhibit featuring rice was added this year, and information on ATV (all-terrain vehicle) safety and shooting sports also was provided.

"Many people don’t know where the food they eat or the clothes they wear come from," said LSU AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson. "The LSU AgCenter is working to educate the public about the processes involved before food and clothing get to the store."

LSU AgCenter agent Cynthia Stephens from Ouachita Parish helped organize and present Ag Alley. Stephens agrees Ag Alley is an "excellent education tool" to use in teaching people about food and fiber.

"We had about 1,000 students come through Wednesday and Thursday before Ag Expo opened," Stephens said. "These tours were geared specifically toward students and offered information that will help them when they take their LEAP tests."

April Evans, 10, was one student who said Ag Alley was "very interesting."

"There is so much stuff here," Evans exclaimed as she walked through Ag Alley. "I like the chickens. It’s interesting."

Other children who did not go on the school tours visited Ag Alley during the regular hours for Ag Expo. Ezra Dalton, a 6-year-old from Portland, Ark., was among those and said he comes to Ag Expo so he can visit Ag Alley.

"This is cool," Dalton said as he walked through Ag Alley. "I like coming here."

His grandmother, Doris Hammond from Wilmot, Ark., said she doesn’t mind bringing her grandson to Monroe so he can visit Ag Alley.

"It’s very educational," Hammond said. "I can tell a lot of work goes in to this. I think this is a great way to teach people, especially young people, about where their food and clothes come from."

In addition to Ag Alley, the LSU AgCenter had an information booth, a 4-H booth and a pecan booth at the expo. Horticulture seminars also were held in the horticulture alley, and LSU AgCenter agents were responsible for the livestock show.

For information on this and other programs offered by the LSU AgCenter, go to www.lsuagcenter.com.

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Contacts:
Cynthia Stephens at (318) 323-2251 or cstephens@agcenter.lsu.edu
Bill Richardson at (225) 578-4161 or brichardson@agcenter.lsu.edu Writer:
A. Denise Coolman at (318) 547-0921 or dcoolman@agcenter.lsu.edu

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