Bruce Schultz | 5/2/2008 11:23:08 PM
MANSURA – Local and state officials celebrated the grand opening Wednesday (April 30) of a new facility to house the Avoyelles Parish office of the LSU AgCenter and the Southern University Ag Center and the LSU AgCenter 4-H Museum.
In addition, the Avoyelles Parish Tourism Office is located in the new facility at 8592 La. Highway 1.
“This is a very good day for Avoyelles Parish,” said School Board President Carlos Mayeaux, talking to a crowd of about 200 people gathered for the event.
He credited state legislators for securing state funding for the project. Local governments and private donors also provided funds.
Mansura Mayor Kenneth Pickettt said the new office demonstrates the importance of agriculture to the parish economy.
“The agents and the parish deserve this building,” said Dwight Landreneau, LSU AgCenter associate vice chancellor.
Dr. Bill Richardson, LSU AgCenter chancellor, thanked parish tourism officials for joining in the project. He said the 4-H museum will “show the beneficial effects of 4-H on our state.”
Dr. Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension, said the project culminated years of work and cooperation.
“This doesn’t happen overnight,” Coreil said. “It takes a lot of support.”
He later said the opening of the new building is his proudest moment as the director of the LSU AgCenter’s extension service.
Coreil said the museum “will look at where 4-H has been and where it is going.”
Mansura was chosen for the museum’s location because 4-H originated in the town 100 years ago.
The museum’s director, Rose Anne St. Romain, said the museum will be for everyone involved in 4-H.
“It will show what 4-H did for people, how it has given them a sense of belonging,” St. Romain said.
The museum is scheduled to open in December, capping the centennial celebration of 4-H in Louisiana.
St. Romain said work is starting with a design firm to plan the exhibits. She said memorabilia, such as letters, newspaper articles and other artifacts about 4-H, are needed for displays.
Writer: Bruce Schultz at (337) 788-8821 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture