AgCenter News

Linda Benedict  |  11/22/2013 9:39:00 PM

The All-America Selections Display Garden at the Botanic Gardens at Burden has won a national design award. Photo by Katie Guitreau

Kristen Healy

Photo By: John Wozniak

Denise Holston-West

Melanie Lewis Ivey

Photo By: John Wozniak

Paul Price

Photo By: John Wozniak

Bentley Fitzpatrick, research associate at the Red River Research Station, shows students cotton after it was ginned. The display was part of the AgMagic exhibit at the Louisiana State Fair at Shreveport. Roughly 2,500 students were registered for the event, which ran from Oct. 24 to Nov. 10, from schools across northwest Louisiana, but many more showed up for unscheduled visits, according to Gwen Fontenot, 4-H agent in Natchitoches Parish. Photo by Bruce Schultz

Photo By:

Gina Eubanks

LSU AgCenter, LSU join in promoting Burden Museum & Gardens
The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens, LSU Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens all occupy the 440 acres of land in the center of Baton Rouge, which at one time was the Windrush Plantation owned by the Burden family.

Now, all parts have been pulled together under one name – the Burden Museum & Gardens.

“This new branding will help us raise the profile of the site and promote it as a destination for the city, state, region, country and the world,” said John Russin, AgCenter vice chancellor.

The largest share of the property, more than 400 acres, is the Botanic Gardens, which is the new name for the former Burden Center.

For more information about the research projects, educational programs, display gardens and special events at the Botanic Gardens and other parts of Burden Museum & Gardens, go to www.discoverburden. com.

Botanic Gardens wins national design award

The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden has received a national award for the design of its All-America Selections Display Garden.

This 50-foot-by-200-foot garden features flowers and vegetables recommended by All-America Selections, a nonprofit organization.

The garden won first place in the category for AAS display gardens with fewer than 10,000 visitors per year, according to Jeff Kuehny, Botanic Gardens director. The garden was established in 2008 and the planting design was created by by Katie Guitreau, Botanic Gardens landscape manager. She changes the plantings each fall and spring, using the latest AAS varieties.

The All-America Selections Display Garden is one of five gardens to visit at the Botanic Gardens. The others include the Children’s Garden, the Vi and Hank Stone Camellia Gardens, the Rose Garden and the Ornamental Ginger Garden.

Three new specialists join the AgCenter

Three new extension specialists have joined the AgCenter. They are Kristen Healy, public health entomologist; Melanie Lewis Ivey, plant pathologist; and Paul Price, plant pathologist.

Healy has statewide responsibilities for mosquito control. Her research focuses on the dynamics of container mosquitoes – those that lay eggs in standing water around homes and structures. Her work also includes honey bees and how pesticides affect them. She is based in the Department of Entomology on the LSU campus.

Lewis Ivey’s work involves disease management of horticultural crops, including vegetables, small fruits, fruit and nut trees, ornamentals and turf. She is based in the Department of Plant Pathology on the LSU campus.

Based at the Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro, Price provides education about plant and crop diseases for the 13-parish Northeast Region. He is involved in collaborative research and extension projects for cotton, corn, soybean, grain sorghum and wheat.

Holston-West wins award for Smart Bodies

Denise Holston-West, registered dietitian and program manager for the AgCenter’s Smart Bodies program, is the winner of the 2013 Southern Region Excellence in Extension Award.

The Association of Public and Land- Grant Universities awards this distinction to individuals who have a positive effect on people in their community and provide visionary leadership for the Extension System.

The Smart Bodies program addresses the childhood obesity problem in Louisiana with three components – the 2 Step in the Classroom curriculum materials, the Body Walk interactive exhibit and the Organwise Guys teaching materials.

The program was initially funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation for $1.8 million in 2004. In 2010, Holston-West received an additional $1.25 million in external funding from Blue Cross.

The program has been recognized with the BlueWorks Award from Blue Cross and as a National 4-H Program of Distinction.

Eubanks named new program leader

Gina Eubanks, vice chancellor for extension at the Southern University Agricultural Center, has been named pro-gram leader for food and nutrition at the LSU AgCenter.

“Our research and extension programs related to human nutrition and obesity prevention will be greatly strengthened with the addition of Dr. Eubanks to our team,” said Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture. “Her joint appointment will enhance our working relationship with Southern University and provide more opportunities for collaboration between the two land-grant universities and efficient use of resources.”

Eubanks’ appointment will be 60 percent with the AgCenter and 40 percent with Southern. She will report directly to Richardson and provide programmatic supervision for AgCenter regional directors and academic department heads and directors.

One of Eubanks’ first assignments is working with the Healthy Communities program in West Carroll Parish. “This program takes a holistic approach to health education,” Eubanks said. “Good nutrition and physical fitness must work together. The whole community needs to be involved for real change to take place. The effort in this parish will serve as a model for the rest of the state.”

Eubanks has been with Southern University nearly 22 years, joining the faculty as coordinator of family and consumer sciences in 1991. She rose through the ranks and was named vice chancellor for extension in 2002.

Eubanks received a B.S. degree in clothing and textiles from Southern in 1977. She was awarded an M.S. degree in clothing and textiles merchandising in 1978 and a Ph.D. in home economics in 1987, both degrees from Oklahoma State University.

(This article was published in the fall 2013 issue of Louisiana Agriculture magazine.)

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