Classes on doing business online offered at Oak Grove, Ruston, New Roads, Winnsboro

James Barnes, Van Osdell, Mary Ann  |  9/16/2008 7:42:51 PM

News Release Distributed 09/16/08

Classes on how to do business online will be offered in four locations across the state, beginning in Oak Grove on Sept. 23.

The two-day classes are offered jointly by the LSU AgCenter, the Southern University Agricultural Center and the Louisiana Economic Development Department (LED).

“Participants will gain a working knowledge of e-commerce, well enough to build a Web site on their own or learn enough to communicate effectively with a Web programmer who will then build their site,” said Dr. James Barnes, director of the LSU AgCenter’s Delta Rural Development Center in Oak Grove.

The second class in Oak Grove will be Sept. 30. Both classes are at the LSU AgCenter’s Delta Rural Development Center, 10284 Highway 17 South in Oak Grove.

The other classes will be in Ruston at the Chamber of Commerce, 211 N. Trenton St., Oct. 21 and 28; New Roads at the Point Coupee Parish Library, 201 Claiborne St., Nov. 12-13; and Winnsboro at the LSU AgCenter Scott Research and Extension Center, 212 Macon Ridge Road, Dec. 2 and 9.

On the first day, classes are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on the second day, Barnes said.

The e-business classes are designed for owners of existing retail and service businesses,

people wanting to start an Internet business, people operating businesses from their homes, retired persons seeking new challenges, agricultural producers and people considering alternative employment, Barnes said.

During the day and a half workshop, participants will learn to use the Internet as a business research tool to find new markets or suppliers or to check out the competition,

decide if a Web presence is right for their business and learn the process of planning a Web site and how to market it, Barnes said.

“Improving the ability of our local communities to effectively compete in the global marketplace is a priority at the LED,” said Stephen Moret, LED secretary. “This program complements our efforts to help communities build capacity because strong businesses and entrepreneurial spirit will build strong communities.”

"Providing e-commerce training for people interested in starting online businesses is the first step in rural economic development,” said Dr. Paul Coreil, vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter. “Location of a business is not as critical when a community has broadband connectivity. After receiving this training, a new business can connect to potential customers through the Internet and compete even if located in rural Louisiana."

“We think this partnership is a good fit,” said John W. Matthews of LED. “You can’t operate on what you knew yesterday.”

Workshop requirements include basic computer and Internet skills. The class is held in a computer lab at each location. Laptop computers will be provided. But space is limited so registration is required.

A $50 supply fee that can be paid online covers all course materials, meals and refreshments.

To register, go to For more information or if you have questions, please contact Barnes at the West Carroll Parish extension office at (318) 428-3571, or by e-mail at


Contact: James Barnes at (318) 428-3571, or

Writer: Mary Ann Van Osdell at (318) 741-7430, ext. 1104, or

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